Monday September 18, Than City G.C.
1st Neil Carter(12) 37 pts
2nd Alan Sullivan(15) 32
3rd Les Cobban (7) 29
Near pins: Les Hall, Alan Sullivan, Jimmy Carr.
Our golf tour of Bangkok kicked off on a bright note at the beautiful Thana City course just thirty minutes drive from downtown Bangkok. Opened in 1993 this is the only Greg Norman designed course in Thailand. Par seventy-two, seven thousand and eight yards the course is set in beautifully landscaped surrounds and provides a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Most holes have water in play somewhere and add to the challenge and the intimidation factor. The clubhouse and facilities although undergoing major renovations were top class and staff and caddies were professional as expected from a course of this standard. As always there were some things whinge about, the greens had recently been heavily sanded and were variable in speed, a late arriving three ball was put out on the tenth tee in front of our lead group and slowed play a little. Planes constantly taking off from nearby Suvarnabhumi were a bit of a distraction. Whilst the course is at least fifteen minutes extra travel time from Pattaya than Bangkapong or Royal Lakeside it is certainly worth consideration for inclusion on the Pattaya playing roster especially at sports day rates. The star of today’s round was Neil Carter but Jimmy Carr was afflicted by a serious bout of a peculiar South African disease, (i. e.) getting lost and a full four hours later Jimmy was still trying to complete a thirty minute trip.
Tuesday September 19, Lam Luk Ka,
1st Mike Brett(15) 31 pots oco
2nd Neil Carter(12) 31
3rd Alan Sullivan(15) 29
Near pins: Les Hall, Les Cobban.
The second day of our Bangkok golfing adventure was at the beautiful Lam Luk Ka Country Club. We were allocated the A/B East (Championship Course). This is a course not for the faint-hearted, there was water on every hole so straight shooting was at a premium. At six-thousand six hundred and thirty-five yards off the yellow tees and well watered the course played to its full length, even our longest hitters struggled to hit the par fours in regulation, so anyone planning to play this course needs to bring their A game. On reflection, we may have had much more success off the white tees as in many cases the yellow and blue tees were in the same place. Our round started off slowly with a five ball group at the front of the queue. They seemed to have little understanding of the etiquette of golf, and no consideration for anyone else and held up the whole course for six holes until the marshal intervened and removed them to another part of the course. Thereafter play was at normal speed and far more enjoyable. Its fair to say that nobody covered themselves in glory today, scoring was on the very low side with only two players breaking thirty points. At the end of the round, Neil Carter and Michael Brett were locked together on thirty-one points and had to be separated by countback, the latter taking the spoils with the better closing holes. One notable incident occurred on the second fairway when a crow swooped down, picked up Neil Carter’s ball in its beak and flew away with it, seen many times on YouTube but never in real life.
Wednesday September 20,Panya Indra,
1st Les Cobban(7) 32pts
2nd Mike Brett(15) 29
3rd Jimmy Carr(16) 28
Near pins: None
Panya Indra, host venue for last weeks Thailand Ladies Masters was next on the list for the Bunker Boys visit to Bangkok. Many of our group were suffering Golf Fatigue and decided to sit out today’s round so a very low turnout. The golf course looked at first glance to be a fairly easy open course, but how wrong can first impressions be. Only two holes were without a water hazard, bunkers were very strategically placed and numerous and even off the white tees the course was long with several parr fours in excess of four-hundred yards. Scoring was difficult with no one managing to return a decent score. Les Cobban after a shocker on the previous day returned to form and looked like posting a decent score only to fall away still coming in first with thirty-two points.
Thursday September21, Subhapruek Course
1st Les Cobban(7) 35pts
2nd Neil Carter(12) 34
3rd Alan Sullivan(15) 33
Near pins: Neil Carter(2), Geoff Parker(2).
The last day of our Bangkok sojourn started on an optimistic note, many of our team who sat out yesterdays round were well rested, full of beans and ready to play. The Muang Kaew course looked fantastic on the drive in and the prospect of a nice breakfast prior to play was enticing. On arrival we found we could not book in for forty minutes which was no problem as breakfast beckoned. A little while later we found our booking had been put back an hour without notice, a little bit of a downer but still no great drama. The sucker punch came when those with girlfriends were informed that they would have to pay fifteen hundred and fifty baht each for their partners to accompany them onto the course with a caddie and cart. This was presented as a non negotiable take it or leave it offer which was a bridge too far for us so we did leave it.
After a quick ring around a new game was organised at the Subhapruek Course., This course was not to the same standard but nonetheless a very acceptable replacement and much closer to Pattaya for the trip home. Although not an easy course it was still much easier than the previous three days and this was reflected in the scoring. Les Cobban continued his good form from the previous day and took the honours.
Of all the courses played the general concensus of opinion was that Thana City come out top in terms of quality of playing surface and layout, the only drawback being the overhead aircraft noise.