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March 2020 MEMBERS NEWSLETTER

A MESSAGE FROM THE CAPTAINCY

Written on Sunday March 22nd it is only right to lead off with this update.

To which was later added the following postscript:

SCRIBBLER’S BLUES

There are times when writing this newsletter gets to be a burden, a real challenge. It is now the middle of the month and not a word has found its way to paper. Why, when the countryside around us is glowing with glorious mimosa, the kestrels are back, the lorries and cement mixers have at last left the Los Altos area, signs are that golf clubs’ dress code is to be lessened, and the weather has been great through the first two months of the year, apart from the wind. You would think that such things would lead to a happy and creative mind but so far inspiration has been as slow arriving as waiting for Bryson DeChambeau to putt.

D9 welcomes the youngsters again.

The immediacy of social media is a constant threat. We had a picture of Erling and Marta leaving the church at five o’clock on Friday – and it came from South Africa before the guests had left for the reception here! Then there is the absence of Tuesday winners at weekend prize giving’s. Match reports are rarer than rocking horse droppings. Responses of any kind are virtually nil. It could all be so different.

Having said which such editorial low points have a habit of passing and this month we could devote the whole newsletter to the Wedding of the Year, a joyous social marathon of happiness, friendship, enjoyment and indulgence, about which more anon.

Let us instead begin with a cri de coeur from Asbjorn Wangerud on behalf of the struggling Bridge Section. New players would be more than welcome. If you play the game and are interested please get in touch with Asbjorn on asbjwang@gmail.com (ED. Now temporarily overtaken by the isolation clamp down.)

DAFFODILS BUT NO LEEKS?

Social golf got underway on America, Sunday the first, and headlined as a “Leap Year Carnival – St. David’s Day Bramble. Entering fully into the spirit of things came Arthur O’Connor, Roy Davies, and Julie Naidu, with your Scribbler getting his sweater colour right in support.

Inspired by sight of his national flag was Arthur O’Connor whose three person team came home with 102 points to claim the main honours.

L/r: Flag(!), Arthur, Monique Peters, Sten Valentin.
Second on 99 were l/r: John Brooks, Felima O’Callaghan, James Reid.
Third with 98 were l/r: Peter Penney, Wendy Fretwell, Wendy Hinds, Richard Hinds.

In addition there were male and female prizes for nearest the pin on four holes, and the happy recipients were:

Caz Rosselli & Mike Tunnel.
Peter Edstrom & Karen O’Connor.
Dorothée Schmidt & John Brooks.
Wendy Fretwell & Richard Hinds.

MOVING TO THE LESS SERIOUS STUFF

The competitive action began this month on Asia, Tuesday the 3rd, with Vice Captain Peter Bradley organising for the first time. Nice to see him armed with a working microphone at prize giving time.

There were some good Stableford scores in, none better than Connie Mapher-Massar’s 39 which saw her drop to 10.9

Connie.

Second was the 37 of Caz Rosselli, now down to 17.9

Caz.

Isabella Rippinger, not available for picture taking, came third with 36.

Les Wicks is now back in England for a spell but said au revoir with a sound 37, a cut of 0.3 and a new handicap of 13.5. Rob Garner 36, and David Evans 35 followed him on the leaderboard but not in the clubhouse on Sunday when all three were in self imposed camera isolation.

Come the following weekend when Peter Bradley, a quietly spoken man, was denied the assistance of a microphone. The poor chap had only uttered a few words when there were cries of “Can’t hear you” from a gathering of members never backward in coming forward. New to the job and, one suspects, not a person who likes being up there on a pedestal, so to speak, he was not helped by there being a temporary buffet sharing our space with a constant flow of hungry morning golfers trotting there and back.

L/r: Kate, struggling Peter, sympathetic Felima.

- - - - -

Much has been made of INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY in national media all over the world and the Soft Bramble played on Sunday 8th, operated under this banner but without a lot of emphasis? Conditions were very good, and so were the leading scores.

1st 106 points l/r: Roy Davies, Jill Davies, Felima O’Callaghan, Peter Edstrom.
2nd 105 points l/r: Thomas Widegren, Maddie Brooks, Richard Hinds, James Reid.
3rd 102 points l/r: Rob Rosselli, Libby Robinson, Damien Murphy, Caz Rosselli.

Good to see our Captain, Damien Murphy, back in action again after his knee surgery. By the way, Damien is responsible for our team in the Mens’ Interclub matches so, if you haven’t already responded to his personal email, please get in touch. There are a few matches before we go to press but plenty to come in the summer ahead.. Players can sign up for these on the members’ app, and the same applies for the Mens’ Senior league. (ED. There were to have been a few matches but, obviously, there were not.)

Mention of which leads nicely into a decent match report submitted by Roy Davies, who is to be congratulated, and thanked, for more than padding out the scoreline.

A week has swiftly elapsed so already Roy is able to give us details of the return fixture.

The “new management” to which Roy refers is Francesco Ammerich, a player in their current team but with previous administrative experience at a number of local clubs. His plans include course improvement, alterations in the club house, and providing accommodation. The investment is sizeable. We wish him well.

BITS AND PIECES

First of all two photographs from February 25th action, not available in time for last month’s issue but worthy of inclusion.

L/r: Dorothee Schmidt (33), Felima O’Callaghan (37), Karen O’Connor (33).
L/r: Mike Fretwell (33), Stuart Bewley (45), Thomas Monaghan (34), Michael Kruppa (33).

Is one alone in finding Jamie Carragher’s dialect difficult to interpret, and his screen on which he moves figures about, boring?,

On the other hand, said he with just a hint of bias, ‘Arry Redknapp’s East London vocabulary and humour, currently available on TV in a short series about Sandbanks, Poole, where he lives, brings back pleasant memories of my younger days. Not of the vastly expensive coastal area but of Essex, where I was brung up!. Lilian’s sister and her husband have recently moved to Poole and share the same fish & chip shop as ‘Arry. Notta lotta people know that.

Hands up all those who know what a “gullywasher” is? There were a few of us at the wedding reception who certainly didn’t. It didn’t take long for ubiquitous mobile phones to appear and spoil the guesswork going on as drinks were sipped. Somebody made a remark which was described as “acerbic” which prompted Peter Penney to enquire what an acerbic was! As one with a life long interest in words it then fell to me to come up with both in the same sentence, which wasn’t easy. In fact Andrea, sister of Pamela Mason, beat me to it with – “Parts of England have suffered gullywashers after cob floaters and the lack of action by the Environment Agency has left a bitter taste in the mouth, she pronounced acerbically.” Being of a twisted sense of humour she went on to add “Apparently a gullywash is a cocktail made with gin and coconut water. Easy to confuse the two after a few glasses.”

ED: Definition of gully washer. dialectal.: an extremely heavy fall of rain usually of short duration: cloudburst.

THE WEDDING

After a lengthy delay caused by bureaucracy Friday March 6th finally saw Erling and Marta betrothed. The service was in the Norwegian Seamens’ Church, Calahonda followed by a reception at Lew Hoad’s Tennis Club on the road to Mijas. Both were well attended and hugely enjoyed. Marta is Paraguayan and was very well supported by about 60 relatives and friends all of the same nationality. Erling’s “team” included quite a few La Cala golf members as well as his own family. There were three professional photographers hard at work from start to finish, plus 90% of the guests working their mobiles, so there will be no shortage of pictures from which to choose in due course!

The pastor spoke excellent English and had a good sense of humour. All the proceedings were in English and “Morning has broken” set the song tone. The organist and harpist provided the music throughout but were put to the test by the congregation’s attempt to get to grips with “Amazing Grace”. The musicians knew the tune, of course, but the assembled voices had a struggle with both words and key.

Not so the Paraguayan contingent later at the reception. They were lively, lovely, and contributed greatly to the evening after dinner when the “party” got into its stride. Erling displays amazing energy and enthusiasm for a man approaching his 88th birthday, and in Marta he has found just the right partner.

Appreciative comment should be made about both the reception and the following dinner. Plentiful drinks and a myriad of creative tapas were provided as we chatted away in groups on the side of the attractive swimming pool. To the extent that dinner was almost un-necessary! However, few could resist the excellent meal, nicely presented, tasteful, and supported by a plentiful flow of some good wines. The waiters and waitresses were friendly, efficient, and added to the atmosphere which was a happy one throughout.

Erling spoke, and was clearly delighted that the day had come at last and was being enjoyed by so many of his friends. Iain Macaulay was Best Man and did his vocal bit well, with a couple of paragraphs in Spanish even. A Paraguayan lady also took centre stage for about five minutes, in Spanish and without notes. Her applause was well deserved. Marta’s daughter, Anagabi Romero, an attractive and confident young lady, made a contribution and there were several musical interventions between courses. Harpist and guitarist at the hub of things. It was quite apparent that everyone was pleased to be present. Erling’s two sons and daughter appeared on the floor together, each with a tribute including, a nice touch this, a warm welcome into their family for Marta, to whom they collectively raised their glasses.

Erling, of course, is part of the fabric of our golf club, having been a member from the beginning and, together with his late wife Siren, one of the early captains. Together they travelled the world building up a very successful textile business, as well as playing golf here and there! They were also good skiers, tennis players, and party animals! Despite the physical limitations of age he is still amongst the last to leave the dance floor.

Marta, as has already been said, is from Paraguay. She has been previously married and her daughter is still studying at university in her homeland. Marta came to Spain 17 years ago and has a Spanish passport. Her life has been working with families with small children, and looking after homes in the absence of the owners. This has led to a lot of travelling. Her parents and one brother still live in Paraguay but she has another brother, and a sister, close by in Fuengirola and Málaga respectively. There are also some twenty cousins living here – and all at the party! They are a very close family and all Spanish speaking. She has been to Norway twice with Erling, to his home town of Bergen, the fjords, a concert and the fishmarket! Marta is a lover of music, opera, ballet, art galleries, museums and gardens. Let us hope she and Erling get to share enough time together to indulge in these pursuits – with the occasional party too!

CHANGE OF THEME AGAIN

Switching back to golf now we can comment on the delayed Medal results, the competition having taken place on Tuesday 10th on Europa. It almost goes without saying at the moment that the conditions were perfect, and for two people rather a special day. Discourteously we start with Michael Kruppa who, together with wife Jing, plays golf almost every day they are here. He also exercises early morning and thus keeps himself in good trim for someone who just recently PASSED THROUGH the Octogenerian portals. His nett 69 (cut 0.9 to 16) will have sent him back to Hamburg in a happy frame of mind. Plus a place in the Medal Finals later in the year. Arthur O’Connor and Richard Hinds followed him home, each with 73 but positioned on handicap.

Stealing the headlines, and not for the first time, was Laura Thompson. Not so much for her 75 score, although good enough to edge out Mary Madigan (76) and Wendy Fretwell (77), but because of her amazing consistency in the Medal competition. Here we break off to quote Captain Loraine Murphy :

“Laura has had an amazing season so far - winner in December (75), February (69) and March (75). She was runner up in November (73) and the only reason she has not another victory under her belt is that she was not able to play in January. Obviously all eyes will now be on her to see if she can make it 3 in a row in April!“

Because both she and Mary had already qualified for the Finals it will be Wendy who goes through this time.

Current qualifiers are listed below.

As members have not congregated since the Medal there are no illustrations again. Pity.

STRANGE AND WORRYING TIMES

As these words appear on the screen before me so should the St.Patrick’s Day competition have been in full flow on America. Instead the country’s state of emergency led to the cancellation of this popular annual tournament and social occasion. Amongst most other things. Unless in hibernation everyone will be only too aware of the coronavirus threat and the consequences thereof so it is not my intention to dwell on the subject here. All owners and members will have been fully informed by LCR and must now face (at least) 15 days in recommended isolation whilst much of Andalucia is locked down. The Blitz was frightening but it wasn’t world wide. This is a scary period in history.

Not a laughing matter by any means although enough jokes are floating along the internet air waves.

The stakes have never been higher...

YEAR OLD GREEN REPORT

In the absence of a report on 17/3/2020 it may be of some consolation to readers to look at the following insert which is Loraine’s take on St. Patrick’s Day 2019.

PLAGARISM GALORE

Golf has not been killed off everywhere but there is no shortage of advice:

“The Irish Times has put together a useful guide. “Put your shoes on in the car park, no cash exchanging hands, keep your distance and, if you want, elbow bump or simply nod when it’s all over … and steer clear of the 19th hole and go home in separate cars.”

It was later added that bunkers should be treated as Ground Under Repair so nobody has to handle rakes, flags should be left in the hole and any putt under six foot should be conceded.

Furthermore, it is advisable to limit it to two-balls and try to marry up your games – as a duck-hooker I have enjoyed entire rounds with a persistent slicer in which we have shared about 18 minutes together.“

ON THE SAME THEME

For a goodly number of years the Paper Trade Golfing Society enjoyed an annual event at Richmond Golf Club, south London, whose membership was of what you might call celebrity status. It was a day with a difference in that lunch came first, and we are not talking pub lunch. The club’s kitchen had a great reputation, deservedly so, and wine with meal was always preceded by drinks at the bar. Pink gins were popular as one vaguely recalls! Those off first in the afternoon were usually well relaxed and often produced some exceptional shots. For a hole or two. Those starting an hour later often had to be woken up but never really did so. All of which brings me finally to the point of this piece.

On the clubhouse wall was a framed version of the Rules applicable during the war.

HATS OFF TO LORAINE

Those lady members on our Lady Captain’s WhatsApp list have been kept very aware of the corinavirus implications and restrictions, plus related stories and advice. Much of it is now public knowledge but mostly Loraine was ahead of the media. She is to be thanked for all the effort put in and the thoughfullness of her very informative and helpful reports. If there are any ladies not on her list and who would like to be, please contact her on lorimur2002@gmail.com

A CLOSE CALL

Most of those who opted to spend lengthy breaks in other countries are now back to base camp, here or in their homeland. At least one couple only just made it.

Vic and Pauline in happier times.

Past Captains Vic & Pauline Hilliard were booked to return in leisurely fashion on the Queen Mary cruise liner. At very short notice the crossing was cancelled. The prospect of being “isolated” in South Africa lacked appeal so fast tracks were made to the airline booking office. They were hoping to get on the same flight as Mike & Pearl Fisher on 17/3 to Istanbul but had to settle for one 24 hours later. When they presented themselves they learned that Turkish Airlines had cancelled the onward flight to Málaga. At heavy cost they were able to get seats on a flight to Heathrow instead. What a way to celebrate Pauline’s birthday? It seems their luggage came through very quickly so an expensive taxi ride to Gatwick enabled them to finish the journey to Málaga on a British Airways flight which was half empty. Interestingly, and very surprisingly, there were no health checks at Heathrow, Gatwick or Málaga!

SAD NEWS

MOTHER NATURE IN COLOURFUL MOOD

To end of a more cheerful note, despite the loss of Bill and the worrying pandemic already spread across 148 countries, despite the rain of the last few days, how nice it is to wake up and see such beauty greeting one outside the bedroom window?