Sep 12 til Sep 19, 2022

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Sep 162022
 
Monday, September 12th
Eastern Star
1st Gary Smith (10) 36 points
2nd Ross Schiffke (19) 35 points
3rd Nik Evans (14) 33 points
Near pins Nik Evans, Paul Smith, Gary Smith, & Robby Watts.
A new week of golf began pretty much as last week with the game preceded by torrential overnight rain which resulted in major flooding in Pattaya and its surrounds. Though over forty kilometers away from Pattaya the Eastern Star course was not spared. Most if not all the bunkers on the course were flooded, the fairways sodden, but the greens were remarkably dry if not in the best condition.
There was the never-ending threat of rain throughout the round, fortunately, we stayed relatively dry with only the occasional spot of rain. The Eastern Star course is a challenge at the best of times, but with wet fairways and no run, it was an even greater challenge today. A couple of golfers rose to the challenge none more so than Gary Smith who took pride of place at the top of the leaderboard with thirty-six points. After a couple of games to settle in Ross Schiffke found form to take second place with thirty-five points, and a rare visit by Nik Evans saw him take third place with thirty-three, Nik also attended the presentation which is even more rare for him as he lives in Rayong. All the near pins were shared around today with one each to Nik, Paul & Gary Smith, and Robby Watts in his last game of this tour of duty taking the final pin.
Wednesday, September 14th
St Andrews
1st Gary Smith (10) 41points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 33 points
3rd Les Cobban (9) 32 points
Near pins, Ross Schiffke, Gary Smith, & Liam Malone X 2.
Sometimes the strangest things happen on the golf course, today a caddie got very excited having found a live crab on the cart path. She looked to be licking her lips in anticipation of a gourmet supper, alas the crab eluded her grasp and escaped so it was back to som tom again.
Today looked like being a great day for golf but by the third hole, we got hit with a torrential downpour, which held up play for about thirty minutes, thereafter it remained fine. Despite the amount of rain recently the course was in remarkably good condition, the fairways were excellent, the greens improved on our last visit, but the bunkers still remain in a very shabby state. A lot of work has been put into the course since our last visit so hopefully, by our next visit the bunkers will have been refreshed.
Gary Smith remains in a rich vein of form and took the honours for the second day in a row with an excellent score of forty-one points, when will this run end?. Second place went to Kob Glover with thirty-three points with Les Cobban in third a further stroke adrift. All the near pins were taken with one each to Ross Schiffke and Gary Smith with a newcomer straight off the street Liam Malone taking two.
Friday, September 16th
Treasure Hill
1st Les Cobban (9) 31 points
2nd Niall Glover (12) 30 points
3rd Keith Hemmings (25) 29 points
4th Michael Brett (15) 29 points
Near pins Les Cobban & Paul Smith.
After weeks of inclement weather, it was nice to get a fine day for the last game of the week at Treasure Hill. Despite all the rain, the course was in remarkably good condition, nevertheless, it was a wise decision to play pick, clean, and drop from the off as there were plenty of mud balls.
As always scoring was very modest as Treasure Hill is such a challenging and unforgiving course. With Gary Smith away indisposed there was an opportunity for someone else to set up and claim first place and Les Cobban was the one to do it with a score of thirty-one, probably one of the lowest winning scores for some time. Niall Glover took second one point adrift while Keith Hemmings who at times played excellent golf only to fade away still did enough to take third on countback from Michael Brett. It was also Keiths last game of this tour. Remarkably only two near pins were won going to Les Cobban and of course Paul Smith, Paul had one of his lowest ever front nines but recovered well on the back to also record a twenty-nine-point card.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sep 5 til Sep 9th, 2022

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Sep 112022
 
Monday, September 5th
Greenwood B & C, White tees, Medal.
1st Alex Sala (20) Net 69
2nd Robert Oldham (27) Net 71
3rd Gary Smith (10) Net 72
Near pins, Niall Glover, & Paul Smith X 3.
The medal round of the month was played at Greenwood on the B & C nines. This is one of the more forgiving courses on our roster, hence its choice as the venue for the only medal round of the month. Torrential overnight rain which caused flooding in Pattaya also affected the course which was quite damp.
Under the circumstances, scoring was very decent with visitor Ales Sala taking first place with a very tidy net sixty-nine points. Another visitor Robert Oldham found himself in the winner’s circle for the second game in a row taking second place with a net sixty-nine, while the ever-consistent Gary Smith took third place a stroke back. All the near pins were taken with Niall Glover winning one while dead-eye-dick Paul Smith took three.
Friday, September 9th
Khao Kheow C & A.
1st Paul Smith (3) 37 points
2nd John Ryalls (15) 31 points
3rd Kob Glover (20) 31 points
Near pins John Ryalls, Jay Mitchell, Gerry Cooney, & Paul Smith.
After a week of horrendous weather where the Wednesday game was washed out before even leaving the bar, people were hopeful of getting in a game to finish off the week. The prospects didn’t look good as we drove to the course with heavy rain falling, however by the time we arrived it was fine again and eventually turned out to be a nice day with whispy white clouds on a blue background.
Understandably the course was very wet, plugged balls the order of the day, some plugged so deep it was difficult to find them. This had the effect of slowing down play markedly, consequently, it took about four hours and thirty minutes to complete the round. With it being quite a hot day and carts not allowed on the fairways there was a lot of walking to be done and there were a few tired bodies by the end of play.
Despite the difficult conditions Paul Smith put in a great showing with thirty-seven points to take first place, six ahead of second-placed John Ryalls who pushed Kob Glover into third place on countback. John also managed to take a near pin with the remaining three going to Jay Mitchell, Paul Smith, and Gerry Cooney.
In his last game of this tour, Raleigh Gosney went out in a blaze of glory with probably his worst game of this tour. Looks like the Monsoon season is well and truly upon us, so we can expect rain to be a major factor in golf over the coming months.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aug 29 til Sep 2, 2022

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Sep 032022
 
Monday, August 29th
Silky Oak
1st Robby Watts (9) 38 points
2nd Kob Glover (19) 36 points
3rd Michael Brett (15) 34 points
Near pins Mike Smith, & Kob Glover X 3.
We live in Amazing Thailand where anything is possible and surprises are everywhere. On Saturday the Bunker Boys committee held a two-hour meeting where a number of issues of concern were discussed and conclusions reached, by Monday it was as though nothing had happened and normal service was resumed, I guess that was two hours in the life of those concerned that they will never get back.
Golf for the week kicked off with a game at Silky Oak where we had a surprisingly low turnout, for some reason this course polarises opinion with people either liking it or loathing it and refusing to play. This is surprising as it’s usually in decent condition as it was again today other than some of the greens which were a bit bumpy in places.
We were extremely lucky today weatherwise as it threatened to rain several times, luckily the weather gods were on our side, and despite black heavy clouds hanging around we managed to finish dry
A couple of decent scores were returned, none better than Robby Watts who took first place with thirty-eight points having rediscovered his short game, and despite having to borrow a putter as he got a bout of Alzheimer’s and left his putter at the bar. Kob Glover took second with thirty-six points. A poor finishing hole with only one point saw Michael Brett take third with only thirty-four. Four out of five of the near pins were taken with Mike Smith getting his first win of any kind since joining the Bunker Boys taking one and Kob Glover taking three.
Wednesday, August 31st
Burapha C & D.
1st Michael Brett (15) 37 points
2nd Robby Watts (😎 36 points
3rd Gary Smith (10) 35 points
4th Jay Babin (21) 35 points
Near pins Jay Babin, Niall Glover, Kob Glover, & Paul Smith
The last game of August was scheduled to be played at Bangpakong Riverside but due to an unreasonable price hike, we changed venue and played Burapha C & D nines. This turned out to be one of the most frightening rounds of golf that anyone can remember for a long time. By mid-back nine, the caddies were encouraging us to hasten as the rain was coming. Before the rain came we found ourselves in the eye of a ferocious thunder and lightning storm, some of the lightning strikes were so close it was a miracle that nobody got hit, there was nowhere to shelter on that part of the course.
By the time we reached the eighteenth tee, the sky was black, the light was very dim, and the rain was pelting down in torrents flooding fairways and greens. This proved to be a cruel blow to Robby Watts who was playing himself into a winning position in the race for the golfer of the month only to lose his ball in the middle of the fairway and end up wiping the hole thereby thinking that was the end of his challenge.
Despite another round that ended in a one pointer Michael Brett had done enough to take first place with thirty-seven points, taking it from Robby who had thirty-six despite a wipe on the last. Gary Smith who considers himself lucky to be alive having survived a lightning strike no more than a meter away took third place with thirty-five beating Jay Babin on countback into fourth place. All the near pins were taken with one each to the Glovers, Niall & Kob, Paul Smith & Jay Babin took the remaining two.
In the race for the golfer of the month at least three were in with a realistic chance of taking it out. Gary Smith lead going into the last round and looked favourite having played consistently good golf all month. Robby Watts and Niall Glover were hot on his heels so it was all to play for. In the end, Gary didn’t add to his total and Robby added four points to his tally thereby passing Gary by one point to be crowned golfer of the month of August
Friday, September 2nd
Pattavia
1st Gordon Melia (23) 37 points
2nd Geoff Boyle (24) 36 points
3rd Mike Smith (21) 35 points
Near pins Robert Oldham, Jay Mitchell, Niall Glover X 2.
The Pattavia course was in sparkling condition in preparation for a Junior’s competition this weekend so no complaints on that score. A heavy shower prior to leaving the bar was an ominous sign, however, that was the end of the rain. A decent field was on hand to start a new month of golf.
A real trip down memory lane for today’s winner, Gordon Melia who at the end of his third week amongst us recaptured his former glory to take first place with a very fine thirty-seven despite a poor start. Newcomer Geoff Boyle took second place with a handicap equalling thirty-six. Having gotten his name on the score sheet for the first time on Monday with a near pin Mike Smith went one better today taking third place with a very respectable thirty-five points, are we seeing an emerging star in our midst?. Newcomer Robert Oldham and Jay Mitchell took a near pin each with Niall Glover taking two.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aug 22 til Aug 26,2022

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Aug 302022
 
Monday, August 22nd
Treasure Hill
1st Kob Glover (19) 31 points
2nd Robby Watts (9) 29 points
3rd Raleigh Gosney (19) 29 points
Near pins Bil Richardson, Kob Glover, & Niall Glover.
After the previous two rounds where conditions were substandard, it was nice to play a course in decent condition. The Treasure Hill course was difficult as always which was reflected in the scoring, at least the greens were nice for a change. A little wind made for even more difficulty than normal.
On a day when only one player breached thirty points, it was a lady, Kob Glover who took first place with thirty-one points. On a course where he rarely has less than thirty-six points, Robby Watts took second place with a lowly twenty-nine beating Raliegh Gosney on countback. Only three near pins were taken with the Glovers, Kob, and Niall taking one each with Bil Richardson taking the third.
Wednesday, August 24th
Burapha A & B. White tees.
1st Niall Glover (12) 41 points
2nd Robby Watts (9) 39 points
3rd Paul Smith (2) 38 points
4th Michael Brett (15) 37 points
Near pins Kob Glover, Bil Richardson, & Robby Watts X 2.
A step up in course quality today with a midweek game at Burapha where we played the A & B nines. Once again we were tricked by the positioning of the white markers which according to the card were to be around six-thousand four hundred yards, as it turned out they were closer to six thousand yards.
For the first time, the Bunker Boys played a new rule whereby mudballs were allowed to be cleaned and dropped close to where they lay without penalty. This new rule change will obviate the need to play pick, clean, and place in the future as the casual water rule will apply where appropriate.
By contrast with Monday where only one player breached thirty points, only one player out of a field of twenty failed to reach thirty points today. As with the last couple of visits to Burapha scoring was of a high standard. Niall Glover took first place with a remarkable display of putting prowess with forty-one points. Two back Robby Watts rediscovered his short game to take second place with thirty-nine points. After a few months, away Paul Smith made a return to the Bunker with a solid round of thirty-eight points to take third while Michael Brett rounded out the winners circle with thirty-seven points. All The near pins were taken with one each to Kob Glover and Bil Richardson, with Robby taking two.
Friday, August 26th
Khao Kheow A & B
1st Gary Smith(10) 36 points
2nd Niall Glover (12) 32 points
3rd Michael Brett (15) 28 points
Near pins JJ Harney, & Paul Smith X 2.
A most unpleasant day for the last game of the week at Khao Kheow where we played the A & B nines. Ominous-looking clouds turned into heavy rain on the front fine for a couple of holes only to return again on the back nine, making for very difficult conditions. Gloves and grips were wet, the course was sodden, and a bit of wind didn’t help either.
Scoring was very poor overall with only Gary Smith putting in a decent shift on thirty-six points to take first place. Niall Glover was a bit away from his forty-one of Wednesday with thirty-two points to take second while twenty-eight points must be an all-time low score taking third place much to the surprise of Michael Brett. Three near pins were won, one going to JJ Harney, with the other two unsurprisingly going to Paul
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aug 15 til Aug 19, 2022

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Aug 212022
 
Monday. August 15th
Greenwood C & B White tees.
1st Robby Watts (9) 37 points
2nd Geoff Parker (20) 35 points
3rd Paul Anderson (16) 33 points
4th Kob Glover (20) 33 points
Near pins Tony Cliff, Robby Watts, & Bil Richardson X 2
A couple of very pleasant surprises to start the week at the Bunker, first, all the sick people from the past few weeks have recovered and were on board today, second, we were delighted to welcome back Gordon Melia after an absence of about three years looking fighting fit and healthy.
The most distant of our local courses, Greenwood was the venue for today’s game and was in good shape albeit a bit damp underfoot. Despite that, we didn’t play lift, clean, and place which with the benefit of hindsight we probably should have. Just about everyone had several mudballs and some particularly bad ones turned the game into a bit of a lottery making a game of skill into a game of chance.
Although not at his best today Robby Watts was good enough to take first place with a respectable thirty-seven points. An appearance by Geoff Parker at the presentation was an indication that he may be in the frame and so it turned out with him taking second place with thirty-five points, his best score for some time. Paul Anderson on thirty-three points took third place on countback pushing Kob Glover into the remaining fourth place in the winner’s circle. Almost fully recovered from Pneumonia Bil Richardson showed superior accuracy to take two near pins with Tony Cliff and Robby Watts taking the remaining two. Today we bade farewell to Hubert Stiefenhof who returns to Germany to take care of some business before returning again in December, we wish Hubert Gute Reise.
A real test of ability and course management skills awaits on Wednesday with a game at St Andrew’s, who is going to master this challenge?
Wednesday, August 17th
St Andrews
1st Robby Watts (9) 35 points
2nd Mashie Kaneta (18) 32 points
3rd Gary Smith (10) 30 points
4th Jimmy Carr (19) 30 points
Near pins. Wan Miller, & Jay Mitchell
Just as predicted St Andrews threw up a real challenge but not the one we were expecting. The course, normally in great condition was in the poorest state we have seen it possibly forever. Whilst the fairways were ok the greens were dreadful, bumpy in places, and unbelievably slow. It was hard to get your mind to believe that what your eyes were seeing was not true, so many puts were not just a bit short, but way short. The bunkers were disgraceful, possibly the worst we have ever seen, with no sand and full of weeds and grass, it will take a massive effort to restore them to even an acceptable level. As if the course wasn’t bad enough a very strong wind blew all-day adding to the difficulty.
The pace of play was fine until the back nine where we ran up against a couple of very slow groups which held us up on just about every hole, all in all, one of the least satisfying days of golf.
Scoring was very substandard with most not breaching thirty points. Someone remarked that every time he saw Robby Watts he was in trouble, he must have scrambled well as he took first place with thirty-five points making it two in a row, can he do a three in a week on Friday? Mashie Kaneta took second place with thirty-two, the Bunker Boys always seems to be a happy hunting ground for Mashie. Gary Smith took third on countback from Jimmy Carr, both on thirty points. Only two near pins were taken by Jay Mitchell and Wan Miller. There was a real scramble for one of them with at least four players a short distance from the hole which on another day would be close enough to win.
Friday, August 19th
Wangjuntr Golf Park Highlands Course
1st Gary Smith (10) 36 points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 32 points
3rd Robby Watts (9) 30 points
Near pins Gary Smith, Les Cobban, & Jay Mitchell X 2.
It had been at least three years since the Bunker Boys’ last visit to Wangjuntr to play the Valley Course so this time we opted for the more popular Highlands layout. which as it turned out was a mistake. Since the COVID period, it seems that far more attention was lavished on the Valley Course than the other two, consequently, the Highlands layout was in disappointing condition. Feral pigs destroyed several fairways rooting for whatever feral pigs root destroying them in the process. Worse still the greens were so bad they made St Andrews from Wednesday look good, rough, bare, and bumpy as well as variable in speed making for an odious mix.
Despite the conditions, someone always shines through, and today it was the turn of Gary Smith who took first place with a solid thirty-six points. Kob Glover
took second with thirty-two points and Robby Watts completing the winners circle with thirty points. All the near pins were taken with one each to Gary Smith and Les Cobban, Jay Mitchell took two
The day wasn’t a complete disaster, with wildlife in abundance everywhere you care to look there was something for nature lovers if not golfers
Robby Watts, winner at Greenwood & St Andrews.
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Aug 8 til Aug 12, 2022

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Aug 132022
 
Monday, August 8th
Pattavia
1st Michael Brett (15) 36 points
2nd Kevin LeBar (15) 34 points
3rd Hubert Stiefenhofer (17) 33 points
Near pins Robby Watts X 2, & Michael Brett X 2.
Yet another day when the weather looked like playing a part in the game, grey skies and spitting rain for the first few holes gave way to more pleasant conditions, not quite blue skies but nonetheless fine for golf. The course was in decent condition despite so much rain lately, nevertheless, we played lift, clean, and place which helped a lot as mudballs were common.
A course that many find difficult proved to be the case again today with scoring modest. One newcomer remarked how quick the greens were, four putting a couple of holes, little did he know how fast they can be when dry, those with experience of the course were not caught out. Hubert Stiefenhofer had his clubs regripped over the weekend with fatter grips which proved a wise decision as he was much happier with his game and took third place from Niall Glover on countback. On his home course and with his number one caddie on the bag, Kevin LeBar took second place with thirty-four points. In what looked like becoming a Barry Crocker of a round with only thirteen points on the front nine, Michael Brett was able to string together seven pars on the back to amass twenty-three points and take first place with thirty-six. He also got back in near pin mode taking two with Robby Watts taking the other two.
Several golfers are struggling with a severe dose of flu, Jimmy Carr hasn’t been seen for weeks and Robby Watts, Bil Richardson, and Michael Brett are all suffering the ill effects of what has come to be known as the Dows variant.
Wednesday, August 10th
Greenvalley
1st Stuart Brown (0) 37 points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 35 points
3rd Raleigh Gosney (19) 35 points
4th Niall Glover (11) 28 points
Near pins Jay Mitchel, Gary Smith, Stuart Brown, & Hubert Stiefenhofer.
A much more pleasant day for golf today with patches of blue sky, a strong at times blew all day keeping temperatures cool. The Greenvalley course was in fine condition apart from the greens which were a bit tatty looking, and without grass in places. One view was that they had been cut too close for a recent competition and consequently deteriorated markedly, nevertheless, they were very quick.
On debut with the Bunker Boys and playing off scratch Stuart Brown announced himself with a well-compiled thirty-seven points to take first place. Kob Glover and Raleigh Gosney both finished on thirty-five points and in that order on countback. A measure of how badly everyone else played can be gauged by the fact that fourth place was a full seven strokes back where Niall Glover had the dubious honour of filling the remaining place on the leader board. Even players like Robby Watts, Gary Smith, and Les Cobban were not in the frame. All the near pins were taken with one each to Stuart Brown, Jay Mitchel, Gary Smith, and Hubert Stiefenhofer
Friday, August 12th
Eastern Star
1st Gary Smith (10) 34 points
2nd Les Coban (7) 32 points
3rd Stuart Brown (0) 30 points
near pins Kob Glover, Mashie Kaneta, & Kevin LeBar
After years of not visiting Eastern Star its suddenly become the place to be with our third visit in about five weeks. Once again the course was in fine condition but the greens were like many of late, hard to hold approach shots on the putting surface with anything short staying short,
Scoring was very modest at best with several not playing up to scratch, the strong wind probably played a part. Robbie Watts set a new record for himself putting nine balls in the water, almost equaling Geoff Parker’s ten in Chiang Mai.
Even our low handicappers struggled with Gary Smith taking first place with thirty-four points two ahead of Les Cobban in second place. Newcomer Stuart Brown took third place with thirty points. Kob Glover got back in the near pins taking one with Mashie and Kevin taking the other two.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Aug 1 til Aug 5, 2022

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Aug 082022
 
Monday, August 1st
The Vintage Club
1st Niall Glover (11) 38 points
2nd Craig Dows (5) 35 points
3rd Les Cobban (7) 35 points
Near pins Craig Dows, Kevin LeBar, & Les Cobban X 2.
We began a new month of golf in fine style with a game at The Vintage Club in the Bangkok suburb of Samutprakarn. This club claims to be a “World Class Golf Venue” and it’s difficult to dispute that claim. Competition ready to host the Thai LPGA this week the course was in pristine condition and well worth the extra effort to get there, a drive of ninety minutes. It was hard to find any fault with the course, in particular, the greens were superb. A green fee of thirteen hundred baht walking was excellent value for a course of this quality and with universal approval no doubt we will make a return visit before too long. The green fee also included a food voucher to the value of two hundred baht to be spent in the clubhouse adding to the lure of the club.
Unfortunately, the weather put a bit of a dampener on the day, heavy rain started falling on the first hole and never stopped all day, only eased off to a drizzle. Play became increasingly difficult with grips and gloves wet and casual water on many parts of the course. Despite that, we soldiered on to the end and a few overcame the adverse conditions to record decent scores. Top of the heap Niall Glover took first place with an excellent thirty-eight. Craig Dows and Les Cobban both recorded scores of thirty-five with Craig taking second on countback, he also managed to bag a near pin with Kevin LeBar while Les Cobban took two. Last game of this tour for Craig and David Prior, both returning down under for a few months.
Wednesday, August 3rd
Pattaya Country Club.
1st Jay Mitchell (25) Net 70
2nd Gary Smith (10) Net 71
3rd Robby Watts (😎 Net 73
4th John Turnbull (11) Net 74
Near pins Jay Mitchell, Hubert Stiefenhofer, John Turnbull, & Gary Smith.
The monthly medal round was played at Pattaya Country Club in overcast and blustery conditions. Rain threatened all day and a few drops did fall but didn’t interrupt play. The wind however was a different story, constantly changing direction and intensity and making play tricky, if one was paranoid they might think the wind was always against them. The course held up remarkably well despite recent rain and carts were allowed on the fairways, so no need for pick, clean, and place.
A strong group of fifteen despite several regulars so competition was keen, we had a couple of first timers who found themselves in the winner’s circle despite playing with borrowed clubs. Despite having four wipes in Stableford terms Jay
Mitchell took top spot with a net seventy, one might reasonably conclude that his handicap was generous, all things considered. The very consistent Gary Smith took second place with a net seventy-one. Robby Watts returned to form after a few off days to take third place with a net seventy-three, while the second newcomer JohnTurner completed the scoring with a net seventy-four.
All the near pins were taken with one each going to Jay Mitchell, Hubert Stiefenhofer, John Turnbull, and Gary Smith. In a remarkable turn of events, only Robby and Hubert were present at the presentation so quite a sizeable contribution was made to the very deserving cause, the delinquent fund.
Les Cobban with the “Hole in One” trophy from the Chiang Mai trip.
Friday, August 5th
Pattana B & C
1st Jay Babin (21) 37 points
2nd Michael Brett (15) 35 points
3rd Bil Richardson (12) 34 points
Near pins Raleigh Gosney, Niall Glover, Bil Richardson, & Robby Watts.
A rare day of late when there was little or no prospect of rain, the wind was a problem yet again, blustery and continually changing direction, making for difficult conditions.
Due to the wetness of the course, we decided to play off the yellow tees as opposed to the whites as was the original plan, once again this proved problematic as several had without notice been moved forward close to the reds making a mockery of the distance indicated on the card. Still, with the wind and zero run on the fairways, the course proved a challenge and this was reflected in the scores returned.
A couple of courses are proving to be happy hunting grounds for Jay Babin and Pattana is one such course, he took first place with thirty-seven points. A poor finish with only two points on the last two holes robbed Michael Brett of the chance to outdo Jay, finishing two strokes back. Bill Richardson took third a further stroke back. All the near pins were taken with one each going to Raleigh Gosney, Robby Watts, Bil Richardson, and NiallGlover.
There are times when we go for long periods without a “Hole in One”, This year we have had four already, the latest addition to the list is Raleigh Gosney who after thirty-five years since his last ace.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jul 25 til Jul 29, 2022

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Jul 292022
 
Monday, July 25th
Khao Kheow Country Club B & C, yellow tees.
1st Robby Watts (9) 31 points
2nd Masao Ishikawa (17) 31 points
3rd Hubert Stiefenhofer (14) 30 points
4th Craig Dows (4) 30 points
Near pins Niall Glover, Hubert Stiefenhofer, & Robby Watts.
A couple of unexpected arrivals swelled the numbers today with Raleigh Gosney, Stuart Tinkler, and Masao Ishikawa all making a return to the Bunker. The last week of July began with a game at Khao Kheow where we were allocated the B & C nines. In recent weeks this course has been edging up its prices to the extent that it’s no longer competitive with many other courses in the area and may well find itself dropped off our roster.
The course was very damp underfoot with plugged balls the norm, the greens however seem to have been unaffected and were quite hard. Rain threatened all day, in fact, there was a short sharp downpour on the back nine which held up play only for a few minutes, mostly we missed the weather that looked menacing in the vicinity.
Scoring was very disappointing with a lowly thirty-one points taking first place going to Robby Watts on countback from Masao Ishikawa. A countback also for third with Hubert Stiefenhofer taking it from Craig Dows on thirty points. The real winner should have been Gary Smith with a respectable thirty-five points but for some reason, his card was not presented until after the presentation. Fortunately, Robby did the honourable thing and rang the bell lest he suffered the pangs of guilt from his ill-gotten gains. Three near pins went to Robby, Hubert, and Niall Glover.
Wednesday, July 27th
Burapha C & D white tees.
1st Bil Richardson (13) 40 points
2nd Robby Watts (9) 37 points
3rd Niall Glover (12) 37 points
4th Craig Dows (5) 36 points
Near pins, Stuart Tinkler, Kob Glover, Niall Glover, & Robby Watts.
By way of a change, we played the C and D nines at Burapha today. The course was quite wet and in hindsight, we probably should have played lift, clean, and place. There was quite a difference in the speed of greens from the C to the D course.
The skies were grey at the start of play and before too long a short heavy shower held up play for a few minutes, however, a few delicate flowers decided to take shelter after nine holes for some reason and held up the course for the rest of the round.
With a field of sixteen, we still had a few notable absentees most notably Geoff Parker who some wag said was saving his green fee to buy some new balls having lost so many in Chiang Mai last week. Also missing Raleigh and Ishi after only one game.
Scoring was very good if a little short of the heroics of our last visit where forty points weren’t enough to get in the winner’s circle. Today Bil Richardson took first place with forty playing some of the best golf he has played since joining the Bunker Boys. Robby Watts took second on countback from Niall Glover with Craig Dows rounding out the winner’s circle with thirty-six points. All the near pins were taken with the Glovers getting one each, Robby Watts and Stuart Tinkler got the other two.
Friday, July 29th
Eastern Star.
1st Wan Miller (14) 35 points
2nd Kob Glover (20) 35 points
3rd Bil Richardson (13) 34 points.
Near pins. Raleigh Gosney, Stuart Tinkler, Wan Miller, & Robby Watts.
The last game of the month was scheduled for Silky Oak but due to a lack of caddies at Barcelona Valley was changed at the last minute back to Eastern Star. With a few absentees again we were pushed for transport but still managed to get everybody to the course.
A nice change weatherwise with a bright breezy day and lots of blue sky and warm temperatures. There was a bit of wind but not enough to add to what was already a challenging course, particularly for those that hadn’t played much there and were unfamiliar with the layout.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chiang Mai Trip

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Jul 222022
 
Monday, July 18th
Chiang Mai Trip.
Day 1
Mae-Jo Golf Course
1st Hubert Stiefenhofer (14) 41 points
2nd Robby Watts (😎 38 points
3rd Craig Dows (4) 31 points
Near pins, Robby Watts, Craig Dows, Les Cobban, & Hubert Stiefenhofer
Chiang Mai is a venue that has eluded the Bunker Boys for many years so it was with great expectations that a strong group made the trip to the Northern City for a week of golf. This was not the easiest trip to organise for a variety of reasons and unfortunately, one member of the group was unable to board the plane and had to return to Pattaya, all note that even for domestic air travel within Thailand a passport is required.
The first game of the Chiang Mai trip was played at the Mae-Jo Course, a layout that most described as tricky. Whilst in good overall condition there was absolutely no run on the fairways and the greens were the slowest that anyone can remember for a long time, someone described them as like putting on velcro, consequently for the most part scores were poor. This did not apply to Hubert Stiefenhofer who flew in all the way from Southern Germany to participate and top scored with forty-one points, he must have been practicing hard since our last away trip to Nakon Nayok, will he join LIV ?. Following a week off with a back injury Robby Watts took second place with a fine thirty-eight points, clearly, some Thai lady with healing hands worked her magic on his back. Another Aussie Craig Dows took third place with thirty-one points, a good couple of days for the antipodeans with Cameron Smith winning the Open at St Andrew’s. All the near pins were taken with one each to Robby, Craig, Hubert, and Les Cobban.
Day 2.
Highlands, Chiang Mai
1st Craig Dows (4) 37 points
2nd Kob Glover (19) 29 points
3rd Jimmy Carr (18) 28 points
Near pins Kob Glover, Hubert Stiefenhofer, & Les Cobban.
The Highlands course was in exceptional condition today, a big step up in quality from Monday. The greens were normal today, unlike yesterday’s velcro greens. The rough however was brutal so anybody going in there was seriously punished.
The course was universally liked but off the blue tees at six thousand five hundred and thirty yards it was a serious examination of golfing ability with only Craig Dows passing the test with a fine score of thirty-seven points. A full eight strokes back to second place where we find Kob Glover on twenty-nine points with Jimmy Carr a further stroke back in third place. Three of the four near pins were taken with one each going to Kob Glover, Hubert Stiefenhofer, and Les Cobban. Without dressing it up too much Les Cobban’s near pin was the shot of the day resulting in a hole-in-one, can’t get any closer than that. Les is a bit of a master of this aspect of the game, his second that I recall in recent time, and also the third this year so far for the Bunker Boys. To mark this one a round of free drinks was available courtesy of club funds later at O’Malley’s Irish Bar
Day 3
Gassan Panorama
1st Bill Richardson (12) 40 points
2nd Craig Dows (4) 37 points
3rd David Prior (19 ) 36 points
Waterworld might be a description best suited to today’s course Gassan Panorama. Not only is there a lot of water on the course naturally, but heavy overnight rain meant a lot of casual water also. Whilst there was no game scheduled for today those who believe that too much golf is barely enough, a round was added at Gassan Panorama which does not count in the week’s competition.
The course was the most difficult so far with long water carries on most holes either off the tee or in front of greens, even both on some holes, also there was a lot of lateral water on most holes. With so much water to negotiate lost balls were common, one individual admits to eight, Geoff Parker owned up to losing ten. Sleeves of golf balls were the prizes for near pins and one winner lost a whole sleeve of brand new balls to a watery grave, ouch!!!. A competition could have been run for the person losing the least number of balls, or maybe it should be the one who lost the most balls
As the round was not part of the week’s competition no near pins were awarded today. Bill Richardson clearly found no difficulty with the course returning a card of forty points to take first place. Clearly, without the distraction of Pattaya nightlife, Craig Dows is getting plenty of sleep at night and is in good shape for golf, with consecutive rounds of thirty-seven and a three in a row in the winner’s circle he certainly has his game dialed in and has his eyes firmly fixed on the prize which incidentally he had a big influence in selecting. David Prior made his first appearance in the winners circle taking third place with thirty-six points.
Day 4
Gassan Legacy
1st Niall Glover (12) 37 points
2nd Robby Watts (😎 33 points
3rd Craig Dows (4) 32 points
Near pins Craig Dows, Hubert Stiefenhofer, Jay Babin X 2.
The Gassan Legacy Course was in nice condition with the greens the best so far this week. Once again a course with plenty of water carries, not as much as Gassan Panorama but still enough to get people’s attention. The lost ball count was way down on the disaster of yesterday so people were relieved on that score.
The ever-consistent Niall Glover was today’s winner with a very steady thirty-seven points. Robby Watts kept himself in the hunt for the player of the week with thirty-three points, whilst the leader for the week so far Craig Dows took third place with thirty-two points and remains two ahead of Robby in the overall standings with Hubert seven back from Craig, who will take the prize tomorrow. All the near pins were taken with Craig and Hubert taking one each and Jay Babin taking two.
Day 5
Alpine Chiang Mai B &C.
1st RobbyWatts (😎 34 points
2nd Alex Sala (19) 34 points
3rd Les Cobban (😎 31 points
4th Niall Glover (12) 31 points
Near pins Niall Glover X 2, & Les Cobban X 2.
The winner for the week, Robby Watts, 132 points, 2nd Craig Dows,127 points, 3rd Hubert Stiefenhofer, 123 points
Despite heavy overnight rain and rain falling for at least half the round Alpine was rated the best of the week, in particular, the greens were far superior to any of the other courses played. It was disappointing having waited so long to visit Chiang Mai that the week could be dogged by bad weather.
Some of the closest scoring yet today with Robby Watts edging out Alex Sala on countback both on thirty-four points. A countback for third and fourth also with Les Cobban taking it from Niall Glover. Two near pins each to Niall Glover and Les Cobban. With Craig Dows failing to add to his score the way was open for Robby Watts to step up which he duly did with his thirty-four points to be nominated the week’s winner. No doubt he will be back to the lady with the healing hands in preparation for the last week of the month to see if he can add the golfer of the month trophy to his display cabinet.
Looking forward our next away trip is provisionally penciled in for September to Hua Hin with a game at Suwan on the way there. No specific week has been identified at this stage so anyone interested in joining the trip should watch this space.
After a long absence of almost three years were reliably informed that one of the Bunker Boys’ favourite sons Gordon Melia will pay us a visit next month, the welcome mat is already out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sean Murphy and 1 other
 

Jul 11 til Jul 15, 2022

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Jul 212022
 
Monday, July 11th
Pattana B & C.
Bill Richardson (13) 35 points
2nd Jay Babin (20) 33 points
3rd Jimmy Carr (18) 32 points
Near pins Bill Richardson, Graeme Mullins, & Craig Dows X 2.
A very soggy Pattana course for the first game of the week where we were allocated the B & C nines. The B nine had been closed for several months so it was a nice change to play again although the first is one of the toughest starting holes of any course with water on both sides of the fairway. After a big outcry following our last visit when we played off the yellow tees, today we played from the whites. With the added distance, a very strong wind, and no run on the fairways this was the perfect cocktail for low scores which most were. It was curious that some played pick, clean, and place, whilst others didn’t, a little clarity before the start of play would have been useful.
Bill Richardson took the honours today with thirty-five points, Jay Babin got second on thirty-three points with Jimmy Carr rounding out the scoring on thirty-two. Craig Dows was in a winning position on the back nine, however, he committed the cardinal sin of taking his phone onto the course, got distracted in pursuit of after-golf entertainment, and subsequently fell away, no doubt Paul Smith would have a few choice words to say about that. He did however grab two near pins with one each going to Graeme Mullins and Bill Richardson.
Wednesday, July 13th
Greenwood A & B. Stroke.
1st Craig Dows (4) Net 70
2nd Niall Glover (12) Net 70
3rd Geoff Atwell (22) Net 75
Near pins Niall Glover X 3.
A dull and dreary day for the medal round of the month at Greenwood where we played the A & B nines. The threat of rain was ever-present and a few drops did fall, but luckily we got in dry, on the way back to Pattaya the rain hit big time with some flooding in places. The course was very wet in places so we played pick, clean, and place from the get-go. Very few people on the course meant a speedy round, with everybody back at the bar in time for “The state of Origin” for the rugby league aficionados.
Craig Dows must have learned his lesson from Monday by not bringing his phone onto the course, consequently was able to give his full attention to his game and top-scored with a very good net seventy beating out Niall Glover on countback. Niall had a sparkling game with puts dropping from all angles, a measure of how good he was today can be seen by the fact he got all three near pins with one unclaimed. Geoff Atwell claimed third place with a net seventy-five.
Friday, July 15th
Eastern Star
1st Gerry Cooney (18) 38 points
2nd Kob Glover (19) 35 points
3rd Michael Brett (14) 34 points
Near pins Niall Glover, Craig Dows, & Geoff Atwell.
Eastern Star was scheduled to be played at the end of the month but with a shortage of caddies at our appointed venue Silky Oak we swopped them around. The course overall was in excellent condition, the greens were very quick today. We had a couple of blow-ins today, Luc Albert from Ottawa and Aaron Hankins from California who seemed to enjoy the day very much and got into the spirit of Thai golf.
Just like a good red wine getting better with age the same could be said of Gerry Cooney who took first place today with an excellent thirty-eight points off an eighteen handicap on a course where anything over thirty-six is a very good score. Gerry is now the oldest Bunker Boy still playing, and clearly doing it in style. Kob Glover took second place with thirty-five points, whilst Michael Brett had a good front nine but the putter went cold on the back finishing with thirty-four in third place. There is a bit of a conspiracy going on in the near pin department where one particular player seems to constantly be edged out despite getting close, today only three near pins were taken going to Craig Dows, Niall Glover, and Geoff Atwell.
The Aussies are lining up for the departure lounge with Mullows (Graeme Mullins) the first to leave this weekend soon to be followed by Craig Dows and a bit later Robby Watts, fortunately, all will be returning before too long, the first will be Craig as soon as he finds a home for his dog, is anybody in Melbourne looking to adopt a dog?.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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