Jan 11 til Jan 15, 2021

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Jan 222021
 
Monday, January 11th
Bangpra
1st Les Cobban (9) 39 points
2nd Peter Kelly (16) 37 points
3rd Tony Robbins (18) 35 points
Near pins Peter Kelly X 4
Despite at least six regulars unable to play for various reasons, we were still able to muster up a decent field of twelve for the game at Bangpra. The course was in good shape but looked very untidy. Due to the strong wind, leaf matter was everywhere, on and off the fairways, greens, and even in bunkers. The wind also proved a challenge during play.
The monkeys were again out in force and as mischievous as ever, one alpha male with the biggest set of equipment you could see was particularly confrontational and showed absolutely no fear whatsoever, even making a mock charge at one of the caddies. As always the best course of action was to steer well clear of them wherever possible.
In a very rich vein of form, Les Cobban took first place with a stylish thirty-nine points. Peter Kelly making a welcome return to the Bunker Boys after a long absence took second place with thirty-seven points, he also joined the elite “all four club” taking all the near pins. Normally this only happens about once a year, but this year we have had it happen twice in three weeks with Myles Knowlson also achieving this rare feat two weeks ago. After a week out with a medical issue, Tony Robbins returned to take third with a not too shabby thirty-five. The Gordon Melia hole proved a real challenge for the second group with four balls in the water, five actually but Geoff Parker claiming a trick shot with his second managed to get his ball to skip out of the water and up onto the fairway, he declined to repeat the trick.
Wednesday, January 13th
Pleasant Valey
1st Geoff Parker (18) 33 points
2nd Jay Babin (23) 32 points
3rd Steve Durey (22) 30 points
Near pins Steve Durey, & Jimmy Carr X 2.
On arrival at the course, we found the place a hive of activity, several people dressed in PPE were riding around in pickup trucks or walking with backpacks of disinfectant furiously spraying all the traffic area both outside and inside the clubhouse in a very big anti-COVID exercise. Clearly, this is one course that is taking every possible measure to maintain the safety of patrons and ensuring they are not forced into lockdown again. As with every other course, the changerooms and showers were off-limits.
Conditions were very tough today with an unseasonally cool temperature and a very blustery wind blowing in all directions or so it seemed. This had a very detrimental effect on scores which were disappointingly low, nobody really got to grips with the course or the conditions. Today’s game was originally scheduled to be rainbow format but was changed to Stableford as we already have another rainbow booked at Parichat next week.
After a solid front nine, Geoff Parker had a major stumble on the early holes of the back nine but composed himself enough to take first place with a modest thirty-three points. Jay Babin made his second appearance in the winners circle in a week with a second-placed thirty-two points, whilst Steve Durey is making steady progress and took third place with thirty points, his first winner’s circle visit since before his illness, he also bagged a near pin with Jimmy Carr taking two.
Currently, the trip back to Pattaya from all the courses north of Laem Chabang interchange presents a major challenge with the frontage road southbound undergoing major widening and resurfacing work which results in significant delays forcing people to take the alternate route down Sukhumvit road which has its own share of roadworks and holdups.
Friday, January 15th
Mountain Shadow
1st Myles Knowlson (11) 35points
2nd Les Cobban (9) 35 points
3rd Peter Kelly (16) 35 points
Near pins Myles Knowlson & Bob Innes
Another decent field of fourteen for the last game of the week at Mountain Shadow. The day was bright and sunny, with a nice even temperature and no wind. The course was a bit shabby in places but overall acceptable. We seemed to be the only people on the course for most of the round but by the closing holes some locals turned up.
In quite a rare occurrence all three people in the winner’s circle finished on equal points and were separated on countback as listed. It sometimes seems unfair that there has to be a second and third I guess there has to be some system. Only two near pins were taken with Bob Innes and Myles taking them.
In another first for the Bunker Boys as the clubhouse was effectively closed, we had the presentation at a local coffee shop called the Python, we are nothing if not adaptable.
In the fashion stakes, Bob Innes has officially replaced Peter Kelly as the best dressed Bunker Boy currently playing, always very stylish and coordinated, Keith Hemmings and Roger Tuohy take note, you will have to lift your game when you both return to these sunny shores.
A very good week for Les Cobban
 
 
 
 
 
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Jan 4 tl Jan 8, 2021

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Jan 222021
 
Monday, January 4th
Pattaya Country Club
1st Geoff Parker (18) 40 points
2nd Geoff Atwell (22) 36 points
3rd Michael Brett (16) 35 points
Near pins, Bob Paine & Geoff Parker.
We were due to play Bangpakong Riverside today, but several decided the travel was too much for them so we canceled and played Pattaya Country Club instead. There is so much remedial work being done on this course that when it is finished it will be a very desirable golf course. The fairways that have been re-turfed and settled in are quite superb, lush green, and beautiful on which to play. The greens are also very nice also, no doubt when things get back to normal green fees will be much higher than at present.
Taking a trip back down memory lane Geoff Parker returned to his best form with a superb forty points, a clear winner. Geoff Atwell took second place with thirty-six points, the third Geoff (Cox) was down the field. Michael Brett took third with thirty-five and suffered a similar fate as Dave Ashman last week, hitting the pin with a short put and the ball staying out, (slow learner). Only two near pins were taken with one each to Bob Paine and Geoff Parker.
Today we had the pleasure of welcoming another new member to our group with the arrival of Mark No straight out of quarantine, a twelve handicapper playing his first game with us, we hope more will join in the coming months.
Golf is looking increasingly uncertain around Pattaya with all the Rayong courses and some Chon Buri courses closed, we are not sure if or how long we can continue to play, as long as there are accessible courses to play we will continue. We have added to our injury list with Jimmy Carr and Tony Robbins joining, not sure how long either will be out, hopefully not too long. We are also missing Myles Knowlson and Steve Durey, both of whom have Thai partners that are seriously worried about the prospect of them catching the dreaded lurgy
Wednesday, January 6th
Khao Kheow A & B
1st Mark No (12) 35 points
2nd Michael Brett (16) 34 points
3rd Paul Smith (3) 31 points
Near pins Paul Smith, Mark No, & Michael Brett.
Another change of venue for today’s game originally scheduled for Eastern Star which is in the province of Rayong where all courses are closed. A new game was arranged for Khao Kheow which met with universal approval as Eastern Star hasn’t been kind to us in the past.
We were pleased to welcome back today the ebullient Barry Murnin to our ranks following his confinement in quarantine for two weeks in Bangkok, how unlucky can you be, come out of isolation into semi-lockdown. We also welcomed back a regular in the form of the portly Paul Smith, who obviously has been enjoying a bit of comfort food during his stay in the UK and his lockdown in Bangkok.
Stricter than normal COVID protocols were in place with the locker room closed so no after golf showers. Fortunately, the day was not too hot and a blustery wind blew so conditions were reasonably comfortable.
In only his second game with us Mark No showed some very fine touches to his game and took first place with thirty-five points, in particular, his putting was of a very high standard. Michael Brett took second on thirty-four, a missed short put proving costly again. Paul Smith was a bit rusty at the beginning of his round but eventually found his touch to edge out Barry Murnin on countback for third place. Three of the four near pins were taken with one each going to Mark No, Paul Smith, and Michael Brett. Jimmy returned after a layoff with an injury, we are still waiting for Tony Robbins to return.
The Bunker Boys owe a huge debt of gratitude to Tony Robbins and his lady friend Gik who negotiated a six-month extension of the storage arrangements for the lockers with the new lessee of Woody’s Bar. Not only does Tony look after finances, and scheduling of courses, he also arranged for all the lockers to be opened and emptied so they could be moved downstairs to be refilled, labeled, and locked up again, quite a job. Some questions were raised about some of the curious things people keep in their lockers most notably that of Mark Stanley who had everything including a kitchen sink, well almost in his locker, one has to ask, how does a golfer use a frying pan on the course?. The marvel of it all was how he managed to cram so much stuff into one locker, he must be a member of the storemen and packers union. All our overseas guests can rest assured that all their belongings have been well looked after. There will be a small increase of five hundred baht levied to cover the increase in rental costs from the new lessee, worthwhile given what airlines are likely to charge in excess baggage charges for transport of clubs post COVID.
Friday, January 8th
Pattana Resort & Country Club A & B
1st Jay Babin (24) 41 points
2nd Bob Paine (19) 38 points
3rd Mark No (12) 36 points
Near pins Jay Babin, Geoff Cox, & Paul Smith X 2.
A decent field of eleven given the circumstances for the last round of the week at Pattana where we were allocated the A & B nines. As there was a big group ahead of us we decided to start on B1, one of the more difficult starting holes in Pattaya. The day was nice and sunny and if it were not for a stiff breeze, hot as well.
Having laboured in the low to mid-twenties for months Jay Babin brought his A-game today and took the honours with a fine score of forty-one points. Bob Paine may have thought thirty-eight would have been enough to take the chocolates, alas not so and he had to settle for second. Mark No has shown in the last two rounds that he is one to watch and took third place with thirty-six. All the near pins were taken with Jay and Geoff Cox taking one each and Paul Smith taking two. Shot of the day went to Bob Innes who managed to hit a water monitor on one of the par-three greens.
One of the drawbacks of playing Pattana is that the clubhouse is closed and the outside bar at the back of the clubhouse closes at three pm so no drinks were available except for Coke. No showers again and no complaints, people are just happy to be able to get a game.
Mark No, winner at Khao Kheow
Jay Babin, big winner at Pattana
 
 
 
 
 
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Dec 28 til Jan 1, 2021

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Jan 022021
 
Monday, December 28th
Burapha A & B. White tees
1st Myles Knowlson (12) 40 points
2nd Michael Brett (17) 38 points
3rd Les Cobban (9) 37 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Les Cobban, Geoff Cox, & Michael Brett
A free green fee courtesy of vouchers from PSC was enough to entice the Bunker Boys back to Burapha where we played the A & B nines, we still had to pay caddie and cart fees, but it was still a good deal  The course was in nice condition but several felt the greens were too slow. A decent field of eleven on a course that was very busy, but the speed of play was good with no holdups. The weather was also nice, not too hot.
On a day when scoring was of a high standard, Myles Knowwlson took the honours with a very well compiled forty points. Both Michael Brett and Les Cobban had plenty of opportunities to do better but missed at crucial times, nevertheless finished second and third respectively. All the near pins were taken with one each to Les (of course), Jimmy Carr, Geoff Cox, and Michael Brett. The unlucky stroke of the day went to Dave Ashman who hit the pin with a short put but the pin was leaning towards him so the ball stayed out, maybe it’s better on short puts to play with the pin out or at the very least straighten up the pin.
Wednesday, December 30th
Emerald White tees
1st Myles Knowlson (11) 41 points
2nd Michael Brett (17) 36 points
3rd Geoff Atwell (23) 32 points
Near pins Myles Knowlson X 4
The last game of the year was played in bright sunny conditions at the Emerald Course. A blustery wind blew all day which helped to keep the temperature down but wasn’t much help to most golfers with most of the scores very poor. There was one exception however with Myles Knowlson having one of those memorable days taking first place with forty-one points, he also joined an elite club taking all four near pins, a feat only about six others have been able to achieve. Michael Brett took second with thirty-six and Geoff Atwell closed out the scoring with thirty-two.
Time to find the golfer of the month again and this time it was easy. Jimmy Carr set a cracking pace early in the month with a forty-two pointer and was never headed. Les Cobban had a chance to challenge but didn’t play the last game, even Michael Brett could have taken it with forty points on the last day, alas it was not to be so Jimmy was duly crowned winner.
Friday, January 1st
Plutaluang, North & East
1st Michael Brett (17) 35 points
2nd Bob Paine (19) 33 points
3rd Jay Babbin (23) 27 points
Near pins Geoff Atwell, Michael Brett, & Geoff Parker X 2.
Today the Bunke Boys were scheduled to play Pattaya Country Club, but at the last minute, the club decided to gouge us on the price of two thousand baht all in so we decided to cancel and play elsewhere.  Instead, we paid a visit to Plutaluang at one thousand baht all in, a much more reasonable deal. The course was busy so we played the North and East nines where we had no holdups. The course was in decent condition and was good value.
After an indifferent start, Michael Brett got back in the game and took first place with a moderate score of thirty-five points. Bob Paine had a solid nineteen on the front nine but fell away on the back to take second place with thirty-five. Jay Babin finally found himself on the winner’s list in third with twenty-seven points.
Geoff Parker is now the leader for the year in near pins with two, with one each to Geoff Atwell and Michael Brett
 
                                   The year in review
The year began like any other in Pattaya, with crowds everywhere and a good time to be had by all. The Bunker Boys had their usual hoard of visitors and the golf and the company were very enjoyable. Whispers of a virus outbreak in China were heard but nobody paid much attention. One, however, did raise a concern when the wily old Irishman Eddie Kelly was overheard to say  “Jaysus boy this could be serious”, how prophetic his words turned out to be.
The first tangible evidence of a problem for us was the cancellation of the Honda Classic at Siam. As news of an imminent pandemic emerged many of our guests began to panic with the threat of closed borders and lockdowns so the rush to the airport was on with many cutting short their time in Pattaya.
Our last game before the lockdown was at the Emerald course at the end of March where we found out after the round that we were about to endure the dreaded lockdown and suffer one of the weirdest periods in history. Curiously it was at the same course for the last game of December that we found out that history was about to repeat itself with another lockdown of a less severe type than before to be implemented immediately, maybe we should stay away from this course. To add to the misery the Bunker Boys found themselves homeless again with the imminent closure of Woody’s Bar.
Despite all the challenges a core group of residents tried to keep the Bunker Boys afloat and continued on as normal with reduced numbers, (on average six to twelve). We did however pick up several new members throughout the year with Geoff Atwell, Bob Paine Jeff Crossthwaite, Jay Babin, Myles Knowlson, and Bob Innes all joining the team. Our numbers were also reduced with a couple of our local members afflicted with long term medical issues, Steve Durey is back playing again whilst the Brown Snake is still battling back to full recovery.
We enjoyed several away trips to Kabin Buri as well as bigger trips to Kanchanaburi and Khao Yai. A much-anticipated trip to Chiang Mai didn’t eventuate as all our Aussie mates were unable to come.
We crowned a new Club Champion this year with Mashi Kaneta taking the honours. Stuart Tinkler was crowned Memorial Champion whilst Daryl Vernon won the inaugural ” Iron Man” competition. Jimmy Carr played every game a total of one hundred and forty-one, he also shared the most golfer of the month trophies with Michael Brett with three each. Most near pins went to Michael with seventy-one.
Without doubt, it has been one of the strangest years ever and one can only hope that the new year will see a return to a more normal situation where our overseas visitors will be able to return again and enjoy all that Thailand has to offer.
 
A big week for Myles Knowlson with two superb wins
 
Golfer of the Month Jimmy Carr

Dec 21 til Dec 25, 2020

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Jan 022021
 
Monday, December 21st
Bangpra
1st Michael Brett (16) 35 points
2nd Myles Knowlson (13) 32 points
3rd Geoff Parker (18) 31 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Michael Brett, & Les Cobban X 2.
A very strong unseasonally cool wind bordering on chilly made for difficult conditions today on a course that is already difficult enough. The course was in excellent condition and the greens are now back to their treacherous best, however, some of the pin placements bordered on unfair, the greenkeeper clearly has a wicked sense of humour. The sixth green used to be seen as the most difficult, shaped like an upturned saucer but now the eighteenth with its speed and very steep slope has people tearing their hair out, that is those with hair. One of our best putters Les Cobban had four puts on this green whilst Myles Knowlson completely lost his cool, causing him to later apologise to his playing partners.
The monkeys were out in force today and anyone not paying attention was in danger of losing items from their bag or golf cart. Even the ladies in the drinks stations had to have pellet guns to keep them at bay.
First place went to Michael Brett with thirty-five points despite a wipe on the last hole. Myles despite a sleepless night took second place on thirty-two with Geoff Parker bringing up the rear. Les managed to hold onto two of the three near pins on which he had his name with one each going to Jimmy Carr and Michael Brett.
Wednesday, December 23rd
Pleasant Valley
1st Bob Paine (20) 35 points
2nd Michael Brett (16) 32 points
3rd Bob Innes (31) 32 points
Near pins Bob Paine, Bob Innes, & Dave Ashman X 2.
Near pins Bob Paine, Bob Innes, and Dave Ashman X 2.
After a long absence, the Bunker Boys made a return to Pleasant Valley. The course was in excellent condition and the caddies were amongst the best we encounter anywhere, professional, polite, and good fun. The course was just about at capacity today, reminiscent of former high seasons, very welcome for the course management and testament to how good the course is in its present state.
We had a rare instance of club throwing today from someone who shall remain nameless, but somebody who should know better, perhaps another apology is forthcoming. We may have to implement a penalty for anyone throwing a club, perhaps a compulsory ring of the bell. Two of our members were seen playing off the ladies tee on the twelfth without being appropriately attired, as it happens both were playing their third shots having failed to cross the water.
After a mediocre start, Bob Paine got it together to post the best round of the day with thirty-five points. In contrast, Michael Brett did the opposite, starting well but tailing off through the round with a mixture of poor options and bad luck. Bob Innes playing of a more realistic handicap for a beginner was beaten on countback for third. Dave Ashman was on fire on the par threes with his name on three flags and keeping two.
It was suggested after the round that this course might be ideally suited to the Rainbow format as the short hitters are severely punished on the holes where a longer drive is required, food for thought.
Ominous signs of another lockdown loom large at present, for now, its just
whispers, fingers crossed it won’t materialise particularly if  recent outbreaks in Bangkok and elsewhere can be contained.
Friday 25th Christmas Day.
Parichat, Rainbow
1st Tony Robbins (17) 29 points
2nd Bob Paine (20) 28 points
3rd Michael Brett (16) 28 points
Near pins Bob Paine, Michael Brett, & Dave Ashman X 2.
All things considered, a field of ten was a decent roll-up for our Christmas Day game at Parichat where as usual the format was rainbow. The fairways were not as good as we have come to expect and several  players experienced substandard lies, some areas should have been designated G.U.R. while some of the pin placements on the greens were extremely difficult. To add further to the difficulty the wind was up again, consequently scoring was of a low standard.
Another reason could also be that some may had overdone the seasonal festivities on Christmas Eve.
A lowly twenty-nine points was sufficient for Tony Robbins to take first place. Four golfers finished on twenty-eight, so a countback decided second and third with Bob Paine and Michael Brett taking the honours. Once again Dave Ashman got two near pins for the second time this week, where was Les Cobban?, Bob Paine and Michael Brett got the other two.
Bob Paine, winner at Pleasant Valley.
Tony Robbins, Christmas Day winner.
 
 
 

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Dec 14 til Dec 18, 2020

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Jan 022021
 
Monday, December 14th
Pattana Resort & Country Club A & B.
1st Jimmy Carr (16) 42 points
2nd Michael Brett (16) 33 points
3rd Tony Robbins (18) 33 points
Near pins Bob Innes, Jimmy Carr, Alan Sullivan, & Michael Brett.
Due to heavy overnight rain, the first fairway was sodden so it was decided to play pick, clean, and place, as it turned out the rest of the course was fine so it became unnecessary. The strong wind of recent time had abated so no problem in that regard today. For much of the round, we seemed to be the only people on the course, in the afternoon it started to fill up, one feels there may have been a special rate for late starters.
Enjoying one of those golden days one sometimes has on a golf course Jimmy Carr had a memorable round with forty-two points, streets ahead of everyone else. Second place was decided on countback with Michael Brett edging out Tony Robbins. All the near pins were taken with one each to Jimmy Bob Innes, Alan Sullivan, and Michael Brett.
Curiously Jimmy didn’t have a birdie today despite his spectacular score, he left that to his playing partners, he did, however, win all three sixes so a very good day for him.
Wednesday, December 16th
The Vintage Club, Bangkok
1st Les Cobban (9) 38 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (14) 36 points
3rd Michael Brett (16) 33 points
Near pins Les Cobban X 2 & Michael Brett X 2.
A special treat for the Bunker Boys today with a round at the beautiful Vintage Course in Bangkok, one of the more accessible city courses from Pattaya. Opened in 1996 and featuring an English Tudor-style clubhouse the course was in super condition. Fairways were like carpet and the greens excellent for putting, a good speed, and running true. Designed by Arthur Hills every hole offered a different challenge, and at a hard to refuse green/caddie fee of twelve hundred baht was well worth the extra drive, travel time from Pattaya was about one and a half hours. If there is one positive to come out of the COVID 19 pandemic it’s that some courses not normally available to us are now open for visitors at very good rates.
Picking up where he left off on Monday at Pattana Jimmy Carr playing off a new fourteen handicap shot twenty-two points on the front nine before throwing out an anchor on the back to finish on thirty-six in second place thereby not doing any further damage to his handicap. A superb round from Les Cobban of thirty-eight saw him take first place, clearly back to his best again. The most ridiculous round of the day had to go to Michael Brett who opened with a par, followed by three wipes in a row and a one-pointer before collecting himself up to cobble together a score of thirty-three, one more wipe on the back nine. He did however collect two near pins with Les Cobban taking the other two. The general consensus is that while this pricing exists we should make a return visit
and also explore other options in the area to add variety to our roster.
Friday, December 18th
Mountain Shadow
1st Les Cobban (9) 35 points
2nd Michael Brett (16) 28 points
3rd Tony Robbins (18) 27 points
Near pins Les Cobban X 2.
The last game of the week was played at the Mountain Shadow Course in very windy conditions. Scores were adversely affected with only Les Cobban putting in a decent score, the rest were not worth mentioning. The course was in excellent condition apart from the bunkers which would benefit from some attention. A previous problem at this course was dogs digging holes on the greens, for the time being, they seem to have conquered this issue.
In a rich vein of form lately, Les Cobban took first place with thirty-five points, he also managed to snag two near pins. On a completely different path, Michael Brett took second place with twenty-eight points with yet another round laced with wipes. Tony Robbins took third.
Yet another victim of COVID 19 with Woodys Bar due to close on January tenth so the Bunker Boys will be homeless yet again. It’s becoming a bit tedious every couple of years finding a new residence made all the more difficult by needing space to accommodate lockers, so the search is on again.
Jimmy Carr, a big winner this week
Les Cobban, 2 time winner
 
 
 
 
 
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Dec 7 til Dec 11, 2020

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Dec 122020
 
Monday, December 7th
Crystal Bay C & A.
1st Tony Plummer (18) 35 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (16) 35 points
3rd Geoff Parker (18) 34 points
Near pins Geoff Parker, Tony Plummer, & Michael Brett
Since our last visit, the Crystal Bay course had turned brown and dry in many areas, nevertheless, it was still fine for play, in particular, the greens were in very good shape. A very strong wind blew all day long and made what is a relatively easy course quite a bit more difficult.
A first-time winner in today’s round with Tony Plummer edging our Jimmy Carr on countback, both on thirty-five points. Geoff Parker took third with thirty-four points. Geoff, Tony, and Michael Brett got near pins with one unclaimed.
A few away trip dates to keep in mind.
The Ally Ellison Scholarship Fundraising Golf Tournament will be held at the Kabin Buri Country Club on January 11th and 12th with accommodation at Serenity Hotel and Spa. This is a very worthy cause and should be fully booked out with the lure of a quality golf course and top-class accommodation at bargain basement pricing.
The Bunker Boys annual trip to Soi Dao is tentatively booked for Monday 8th & Tuesday 9th February, this is always a very popular course and resort so even with lower than normal numbers it should be a very enjoyable trip. We will miss Keith Norman’s organisational ability and his quirky playing format unless we can convince him to send us a new suggestion for these two games.
Wednesday, December 9th
Khao Kheow A & B
1st Michael Brett (16) 35 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (16) 31 points
3rd Les Cobban (9) 30 points
Near pins Les Cobban, Mashi Kaneta, & Michael Brett.
The midweek game was held at Khao Kheow Country Club on the A & B nines.
This is another course starting to turn golden brown and would benefit from a good shower of rain. A swirling wind, sometimes up to three clubs’ worth in intensity blew all-day and made for low scores. It seems no golf report is complete lately without some mention of the wind. Pattaya is enjoying/enduring a cool windy period of weather lately.
After a prolonged period in the wilderness, Michael Brett bounced back into some sort of form today with thirty-five points to take first place. Some distance to second place where Jimmy Carr had thirty-one points with Les Cobban a stroke further back on thirty. Both Les and Mashi who fought out the club championship last week were well below their best. It goes to show the importance of timing, bring your best when it matters most. Three near pins going to Mashi Les, & Michael.
Friday, December 11th
Treasure Hill
1st Geoff Atwell (23) 33 points
2nd Dave Ashman (21) 31 points
3rd Les Cobban (9) 30 points
Near pins Geoff Atwell.
As is often the case in Thailand when business is down people put their prices up as did Treasure Hill recently. The caddies were certainly not happy as now they have even less business than before. Today the green/caddie fee was higher than the price agreed at the time of booking which almost prompted a walk-out, it took some fast talking and cajoling before everyone could be convinced to play. It also happened to be yet another holiday this week so more justification for the price increase, curiously one of our group was charged two hundred baht less than the rest. Only seventeen golfers had signed in to the men’s changing rooms by three thirty pm.
The course was in great condition but even more difficult than normal. The fairways are being allowed to grow narrow and in some places are no more than seven to ten yards in width, the greens are also being reduced in size making it now, without doubt, the most difficult course on our roster, needless to say, scoring was adversely affected.
Geoff Atwell was today’s winner with thirty-three points, he was also the only one to score a near pin, a very poor reflection on the rest of the field. After a week’s sabbatical, Dave Ashman returned to take second place with thirty-one points with Les Cobban a further stroke back. Our newest member Bob Innis sporting a brand new full set of Taylor Made SIM clubs playing only his third game in three years showed a much-improved performance over his previous round and is a name to look out for in the near future. He also has the most favoured mode of transport with a new Merc.
 
 
Geoff Atwell winner at Treasure Hill.
 
Bob Innis, our newest member.
 
 
 

Nov 30 til Dec 4, 2020

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Dec 122020
 
Monday, November 30th
Pattaya Country Club
1st Jimmy Carr (16) 37 points
2nd Dave Ashman (22) 36 points
3rd Tony Robbins (19) 34 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Dave Ashman, & Bob Paine X 2
A fireworks festival drew massive crowds to the city for the weekend. Crowds filled the beach and beach rd, traffic chaos was everywhere and we had one of the best fireworks displays one could wish for to entertain the public. One would expect they had seen everything fireworks had to offer but this display had some new effects not seen before. It will be heartening for all our usual overseas visitors unable to come this year to hear how readily the city sprung back to life again rightfully reclaiming its reputation as “The City of Fun”. There have been many claims that Pattaya will never be the same again but people may have to revise their thinking on that in light of this weekend.
A dull overcast unpleasant day weatherwise for the last game of the month, with a strong cool wind and occasionally spitting rain. The Bunker Boys decided to stay close to home with a round at Pattaya Country Club which was in excellent condition. A lot of repair and maintenance is currently being carried with several fairways returfed all along one half lengthwise, designated GUR so anybody on that side was required to lift and drop on the unrepaired side. This would appear to be an exercise to eliminate the coarse grass and when completed will make the course superb.
Today’s winner was Jimmy Carr with a solid thirty-seven points, a very good performance under the circumstances. Dave Ashman took second a stroke adrift whilst Tony Robbins brought up the rear with thirty-four. All the near pins were taken one each to Jimmy and Dave and two to Bob Paine.
A record of two hundred and twenty-eight points saw Tony Robbin’s eclipse Robby Watts previous record as the runaway winner of this month’s golfer of the month, his second win in three months In this form, he could easily claim favoritism for the Club Championship this week, with Jimmy, Bob, and Dave the most likely challengers.
Wednesday, December 2nd
Pattavia
Club Championship Round 1
1st Les Cobban (8) Net 68
2nd Mashi Kaneta (16) Net 71
3rd Tony Robbins (19) Net 72
4th Bob Paine (20) Net 72
5th Myles Knowlson (13) Net 72
Near pins Kevin LeBar, Geoff Cox, Mashi Kaneta, & Jimmy Carr.
The first round of the Annual Club Championship was held at the Pattavia course in very windy conditions. Apart from the greens which had recently been cored and sanded and were a bit variable in speed and a bit bumpy the rest of the course was in excellent condition.
Due to travel restrictions and a couple of our regulars out through illness we had a smaller than usual field with only twelve participants, nevertheless competition was as keen as ever. With a round of net sixty-eight, Les Cobban set a cracking pace and will take a bit of catching on Friday at Greenwood. At least four others are in a position to challenge with Mashi Kaneta only three strokes adrift and a group of three, Tony Robbins, Bob Paine, and Myles Knowlson all on seventy-two also close enough to mount a challenge. Geoff Parker would have also been in the frame but for a disastrous nine on the eighteenth.
Today we saw some light at the end of the tunnel in regard to travel restrictions with the arrival of our first overseas visitor in the form of Paul Lanzetta recently out of quarantine having traveled from Taiwan. It is now clear to all those wishing to travel that there is a way, you just have to jump through the hoops and endure a bit of frustration along the way, lets hope Paul is the first of many to make the trip in the near future, Pattaya is ready and waiting to roll out the welcome mat.
Friday, December 4th
Greenwood
Club Championship Round 2
1st Paul Lanzetta (8) 40 points
2nd Mashi Kaneta (16) 36 points
3rd Geoff Parker (19) 35 points
4th Geoff Atwell (24) 34 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Jay Babin, & Paul Lanzetta X 2.
Club Champion Mashi Kaneta
The biggest field of the year so far (sixteen) was on hand for the second round of the Annual Club Championship held at Greenwood, but not all were eligible to compete for the prize.  As always the course was in excellent order but a very strong wind made for difficult playing conditions.
Playing his first game with the Bunker Boys since his return from Taiwan Paul Lanzetta showed the field a clean pair of heels winning by a margin of four with forty points. The ever consistent Mashi Kaneta steady as ever took second place with thirty-six points, one ahead of Geoff Parker on thirty-five. Geoff Atwell rounded out the scoring with thirty-four. All the near pins were taken with one each going to Jimmy Carr and Jay Babin with Paul Lanzetta taking two.
In the race for the Club Championship Les Cobban lead by two going into the back fine but had disastrous closing holes allowing Mashi to come through to take the prize. No doubt Geoff Parker will rue the disastrous nine on the eighteenth at Pattavia on Wednesday, otherwise, he would have been in the frame
 
Jimmy presents Mashi with the winner’s trophy
 
Paul Lanzetta, forty points at Greenwood.

Nov 23 til Nov 27,2020

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Dec 052020
 
Monday, November 23rd
Bangpra
1st Michael Brett (17) 36 points
2nd Tony Robbins (20) 33 points
3rd Tony Plummer (17) 31 points
Near pins Tony Robbins, & Michael Brett X 2.
Despite it being a holiday in lieu of Songkran we still had the course to ourselves for today’s game at Bangpra. The course was in as good condition as we have seen it for some time, however, the greens were very slippery with some pin placements making them well nigh impossible. Any downhill put that didn’t go down ended up a long way from the hole.
The day was hot and humid with overcast skies, the rain luckily managed to stay away, but on the drive back we could see where it had been raining heavily.
In spite of an indifferent day with the putter again Michael Brett managed to cobble together a winning score of thirty-six points, with better putting it could easily have been over forty. Second place went to Tony Robbins three back with Tony Plummer bringing up the rear on thirty-one. Tony Robbins took one near pin and Michael Brett got two.
Wednesday, November 25th
Pattana B & A
1st Tony Robbins (20) 39 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (17) 34 points
3rd Michael Brett (17) 33 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Bob Paine, & Michael Brett.
Pattana, the venue for our mid-week game looked a poor choice, as we drove into the grounds the place was completely full with no parking spaces available
anywhere. A conference at the convention center and competition with seventy golfers was being played so parking was at a premium. It looked like a slow day was in store, however, we managed to avoid the big group by starting on the B nine that was not part of their course, and by the time we had finished that the other nine was clear for play so, in fact, we had a very quick uninterrupted round.
The course was in excellent condition however, the greens were a good deal slower than Monday at Bangpra and it took a little time to get used to the difference. The rough was also quite deep and difficult with the ball usually sitting deep and difficult to get out. The wind was up again and with some very long par fours scoring was difficult. Only Tony Robbins managed to master the course and conditions with a first-place score of thirty-nine points. Second, went to Jimmy with thirty-four, and a stroke back Michael Brett took third. Three near pins were taken with one each to Jimmy, Bob Paine, and Michael Brett.
Friday, November 27th
Emerald
1st Tony Robbins (19) 38 points
2nd Bob Paine (20) 38 points
3rd Jimmy Carr (17) 34 points
Near pins Bob Paine, Kevin LeBar, Myles Knowlson, & Jay Babin.
Since the Emerald course had a change of ownership about a year ago it has undergone much work and is now in as good condition as we can remember. Even the greens, some of which had been lost on our last visit have had a remarkable transformation and are now in top shape again. An all-in fee of one thousand and fifty baht makes it excellent value for money particularly as we are in high season such as it is.
One bone of contention today was the caddies who collectively were amongst the worst we have encountered. Rattling clubs, moving carts, and talking while people were playing shots were amongst their sins, Jimmy had one of the worst anyone has seen and had a profound negative effect on his game.
Two firsts and a second this week for today’s winner Tony Robbins who managed to edge out Bob Paine on countback with thirty-eight points. Despite all the distractions of his caddie Jimmy managed to come third with thirty-four points. All the near pins were taken with one each to Myles Knowlson, Bob Paine, Kevin LeBar, and Jay Babin. A brilliant swinging downhill put on the second par three saw Bob Paine birdie his near pin, whilst Jay missed his birdie put from close range.
Due to all our regular overseas visitors being missing this year the Bunker Boys are holding a scaled-down Annual Club Championship this year at Pattavia and Greenwood Courses next week. Will the winner come from our current in-form golfers e.g. Tony Robbins, Bob Paine, Dave Ashman, and Les Cobban, or will someone rediscover their best to take the prize?, only time will tell, either way by next week we will have a new club champion.
Two-time winner Tony Robbins
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Nov 16 til Nov 20, 2020

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Nov 232020
 
Monday, November 16th
Parichat, Rainbow
1st Jimmy Carr (17) 36 points
2nd Dave Ashman (22) 35 points
3rd Geoff Parker (19) 35 points
Near pins Jay Babbin, Bob Pains, & Dave Ashman X 2.
Parichat is becoming a regular venue for the Bunker Boys with an attractive deal of twelve hundred Baht all-in on a course that is always in good shape. As people play it more and become familiar with its quirks it is slowly becoming a favorite for some. Today there were no complaints other than we ran up against a very slow six-ball late in the round and had to jump holes to avoid delays and then return to play the holes that were skipped.
As always we played a rainbow format and again as people play this format and the course they work out the best way to proceed, consequently scoring was decent. Jimmy Carr took first with thirty-six points and Dave Ashman edged out Geoff Parker for second. Dave also took two near pins with one each going to Bob Paine and Jay Babbin.
How good was it to see Steve Durey back on the golf course again after a prolonged illness, we now expect him to play regularly as his strength and stamina improve
Our next scheduled visit to Parichat is Christmas day where last year Daryl Vernon organised Santa hats for his playing partners in what turned out to be a team event, what will this year bring without the regular flood of visitors?.
Wednesday, November 18th
Royal Lakeside
1st Bob Paine (21) 42 points
2nd Tony Robbins (21) 39 points
3rd Geoff Parker (19) 35 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, & Bob Paine.
A smaller than usual group made their way to Royal Lakeside for our midweek game at one of the better courses we play, and as always it was in fine condition apart from the bunkers. It looked like some bunkers had not seen a rake in quite some time, full of footmarks, and even amongst those that had been raked a very poor job had been done, some had sand piled up in mounds in places with big depressions either side, the rest of the course was flawless, very neat and tidy. A few greens were being repaired in small areas but this didn’t cause any problems.
As a local six-ball hit off before us the marshal put us out off the fifth tee so we had no holdups all the way to the finish. In keeping with the quality of the course, scoring was of a high standard with a couple of exceptional scores. Bob Paine topped the list with forty-two points, clearly he is a much better player than his twenty-one handicap suggests. Another higher handicap player Tony Robbins took second with thirty-nine with Geoff Parker rounding out the scoring on thirty-five. Only two near pins were taken, one each to Jimmy Carr and Bob Paine.
Friday, November 20th
Khao Kheow Country Club A & C
1st Myles Knowlson (13) 34 points
2nd Michael Brett (17) 34 points
3rd Bob Paine (19) 33 points
Near pins Geoff Cox, Myles Knowlson, Les Cobban, & Michael Brett.
The Khao Kheow course was busy today as you would expect for a holiday just like normal high season and play was slow, made all the more so by the ubiquitous Thai six-ball. As a result, the whole course was held up by one group, and of course, the marshal was nowhere to be seen, even the caddies in the following groups became frustrated with the situation.
As always the course was in good condition, the rough was playable unlike many courses, the fairways and bunkers were well maintained and the greens were a good speed and ran true.
Despite missing all our regular overseas visitors for this time of year and some of our locals taking time out we still managed a decent field of eleven, our numbers boosted by two ladies, Khun Ratchanok (Nok) on debut, and Khun Chamanut (Nu) in only her second game with us. Scoring was below average for Khao Kheow probably because of frustration with the speed of play. Myles Knowlson took first place on countback from Michael Brett with Bob Paine a stroke back in third. All the near pins were taken with one each going to Myles, Les Cobban, Geoff Cox, and Michael Brett, who finally got to sixty for the year. This was a significant milestone as Jimmy Carr promised ten thousand Baht to the first to reach sixty near pins, when Jimmy delivers on his promise there will be one hail of a party at Woody’s Bar but nobody is holding their breath.
Bob Paine winner at Royal Lakeside
Khun Nu
Khun Nok
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Nov 9 til Nov 13, 2020

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Nov 202020
 
Monday, November 9th
Pattavia.
1st Tony Robbins (24) 42 points
2nd Dave Ashman (24) 40 points
3rd Bob Paine (22) 38 points
Near pins Kevin LeBar, Bob Paine, Tony Robbins, & Geoff Parker.
Summer must be upon us as today was the first day in months that there was run on the fairways, in fact, quite a lot of run. The course which on our last visit was lush green is already turning brown with even some bare areas. The greens on the front nine had just been cored and sanded and were quite tricky, all but the eighteenth on the back nine were as normal and very different. A stiff breeze blew all day making it difficult particularly for anyone with a tendency to slice or hook.
The birds were in abundance today and not just the feathered type with Tony Robbins opening his account with an eagle on the very first hole followed three holes later with a birdie, in fact, several people got on the birdie trail. Tony would go on to amass twenty-four points on the front nine, no trouble there with the sandy greens. His total of forty-two was enough to land him first place. Who would have thought forty points wouldn’t be enough to win? certainly not Dave Ashman, alas it was only good enough to take second place, even thirty-eight by Bob Paine was a very nice score to take third. All the near pins were taken with one each to Kevin LeBar, Bob Paine, Tony Robbins, and Geoff Parker.
Today was the first time in ages that we had a lady in our group with the delightful Khun Nu joining us for her debut, hopefully, she will become a regular and add a bit of glamour to what has become a bunch of wrinkled raisins.
Wednesday, November 11th
Burapha A, B, C, D.
1st Tony Robbins (21) 37 points
2nd Les Cobban (8) 33 points
3rd Geoff Parker (19) 31 points
Near pins Jimmy Carr, Les Cobban, & Tony Robbins X 2
No, we didn’t play thirty-six holes today but a composite course drawn from all four nines. It felt quite unusual skipping holes with some long travels to the next tee. The game moved along at pace until we ran up against one of the slowest three balls ever seen. After that, it was a case of wait on every shot, one could play a game of chess while waiting on some holes, needless to say, the marshal was no use on this occasion.
A twelve hundred baht all-in fee was the lure that brought us to a course we rarely visit and given the condition of the course, it will be a long time before we return. It has to be said it was in very disappointing shape, the rough was very deep and thick and the greens were as bad as greens get. Many looked like they had been cored some time ago but not sanded or rolled so they were very bumpy, sometimes it was difficult to spot a ball on the greens without being in a depression.
The weather looked threatening on the way to the course and a few drops did fall occasionally, but we managed to stay dry however, what remained constant was the wind which was howling on some holes.
Tony Robbins is well on his way to another golfer of the month trophy with a first-place of thirty-seven points following on from his forty-two on Monday. Les Cobban is now out of rehab and back on his game taking second place with thirty-three points whilst Geoff Parker took third with thirty-one. All the near pins were taken with Tony bagging two with Les Cobban and Jimmy Carr taking the other two.
Friday, November 13th
Crystal Bay A & C
1st Dave Ashman (22) 38 points
2nd Jimmy Carr (18) 37 points
3rd Michael Brett (15) 34 points
Near pins Jay Babbin, Geoff Parker, Tony Robbins, & Michael Brett
The Crystal Bay course was in just about as good condition as any other we play, the rough was playable and fair, the fairways well mowed, and the greens excellent. If there was a complaint it was the bunkers that would benefit from some attention. There was however a slight difference in speed from the A nine to the C nine but not too big a difference.
The weather started off cool but warmed up over the course of the round. As we are now out of the rainy season we go directly into the windy season, again today it was blowing, quite strongly at times.
Dave Ashman with a red hot putter took the honors today with thirty-eight points after a poor start with only a point on each of the first three holes. Jimmy Carr was a close second a stroke back whilst Michael Brett brought up the rear with thirty-four. Jay Babbin and Tony Robbins looked like winners on the front nine but fell away on the back, Jays putting let him down. Once again all the near pins were taken with one each to Jay Babbin, Geoff Parker, Tony Robbins, & Michael Brett.
Two time winner Tony Robbins
Dave Ashman, winner at Crystal Bay
 
 
 
 
 
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