Bro Hof Slott Golf Club is a golf course located in Upplands-Bro, Sweden, northwest of the capital Stockholm. There are two 18-hole courses, both designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The Stadium Course opened in 2007 and is considered one of the longest golf courses in Europe at 7,357 metres. Next year, in June, Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam will co-host “The Scandinavian Open” which will be a Mixed event! Male and female pro’s of considerable calibre will compete on the same course but off different tee’s. Should make interesting viewing?
In this issue we cover what the Club advertises as the Member’s Festival Week. Forgive me being pedantic but should it not be Members’ Festival Week. Feeling reasonably sure we checked with Wikipedia who had this to say:
• Use an apostrophe + S ('s) to show that one person/thing owns or is a member of something. ...
• Use an apostrophe after the "s" at the end of a plural noun to show possession. ...
• If a plural noun doesn't end in "s," add an apostrophe + "s" to create the possessive form.
ONLY TOO TRUE
A few years ago, the then European PGA CEO Sandy Jones, when asked what the most frustrating thing about golf was, replied: ‘When you join a club, the first thing they do is give you a long list of all the things you can’t do.’ This concept is lost on millennials whose expectations are more along the lines of, ‘What can I do?’ This is why the golf industry, in all its guises, must continue to evolve. However, while statistics go up and down each year – attendance often depends on the weather – the number of people in England aged 16 and over who play golf once a month has increased from 1.09 million to 1.31 million, the highest figure since 2012.
DON'T WE JUST KNOW IT?
"Despite its conservative and mannered surface, golf is a brutal sport mentally."
Since the beginning of my involvement with the newsletter is has been a practise, and pleasure, to “introduce” new members to the club at large. Most are happy to be thus highlighted and co-operate gladly. Some are reluctantly forthcoming after a gentle nudge or two, and less than a handful have opted out. Some not wanting to be featured, full stop. Some claiming “too busy” and, occasionally, no reply has to be taken as disinterest. This month though we have a new twist because it was my pleasure to meet up with Jan Slaets and his wife Gerda De Brouwere for a face to face, thereby supplementing the facts already received.
Firstly the basics. They have been married for 44 years and live in Antwerp, Belgium, along the river Schelde. Their son Bert lives in Varese, Italy, with his wife Francesca. For 35 of the 44 years their first love was sailing, mostly along the Belgian and Dutch coastlines, southwest England, and Brittany. Both had interesting and responsible occupations. Jan as supervisor of an oil refinery, whilst Gerda was very hands on as a paediatric physiotherapist, a career path she “loved very much” for 35 years. They participated in a variety of sports with Gerda being a more than useful 5-10,000 meter runner. When they both retired five years ago, like many of us they started looking for a second home in which to spend the winters. Spain was their target and, after a narrowing down period, the Miraval community here at LCR became their base. That decision made, there came another life changer. The boat was sold and golf embraced. Their first lessons with Fabian Lozano were in September 2016. For the usual reasons they were hesitant about joining in our competitions, Gerda being the first to break the ice. However, it was Jan who burst into prominence, stealing the headlines by winning the Mens’ Singles at the recent Owners’ Day event!! His first ever competition of any kind!! What a way to start? It can only auger well for the future and it was clear from our conversation that the golf bug has very definitely bitten them.
ROB GARNER SHINES AGAIN
There were six single figure handicap players on Campo Asia on Tuesday the 1st when the first competition of the month took place. Rob was playing off 3 yet still managed 42 points! A wee way back, but understandably delighted with his own performance, was Claus Ramer (36) followed by four on 35 of whom sturdy Peter Bradley claimed third place on handicap.
My partner in crime or, perhaps better put, my co-producer of the newsletter, Dorothée Schmidt got herself cut 0.3 to 17.9 with a tidy 37 points. A step further towards her self imposed targets. Lively Liesbeth Guise and Kate Bradley each had 32 and finished as listed, second and third.
It made a nice change for me to be in the team with Mike Fisher, neighbour and friend, as well as John Youngs still hitting the ball well but driving himself to distraction with his putting. There was even talk of giving Tuesdays a miss until his feel could be found again. Peter Bradley was the only one of us to glimmer, if not quite shine. By coincidence the four of us were together the following week! So much for John’s intentions?
Captain Monique Peters, not for the first time in her organisational golf career here, got the pre-play car park discussions going at a lively pace. It was my privilege, and pleasure, to have been invited to partner her so there was no need for me to worry about the rules of the day. Just do as I was told. Some had difficulty in understanding what ”30% of the combined slope handicap to be deducted” actually meant! Campo Asia, Sunday 13th was our battlefield, for the record.
Mike Robbins, he of the encyclopaedic mind when it comes to numeracy and golf rules, and irrepressible Pearl Fisher made up our squad, and what a jolly, lively group we were too. Pearl just steps forward and whacks the ball, which she did with considerable consistency, but it was her putting which caught the eye. It was very good. Unfortunately our combined efforts were to go unrewarded, as the following pictures will show.
As mentioned earlier the 09.39 crew was the same as last week, which was a bit surprising in view of John Youngs “decision” to give Tuesdays a miss for a while. His score was better on America, Tuesday 8th, but unfortunately his putting had not improved so it was a rather distraught John who muttered away to himself as he left the 18th.
Fourteen players managed to avoid any handicap change but one who deservedly did “suffer” was Chris Slattery whose 36 took him down to 3.9 It is too early to speculate but he has had a great season and it would be a surprise if he was not in contention for the Stableford League title. Les Wicks and Roy Davies had the same score but no status change. None were available for picture taking.
Isabella Rippinger keeps popping up at prize giving after a bit of a quiet spell and this week her 39 points cost her a reduction of 1.0 to 17.8. She always appears a little surprised by her success but few can better her for concentration and application. Handicap difference earned Caz Rosselli second place ahead of Karen O’Connor, both finishing with 37 points and new handicaps of 17.3 and 19.6 respectively. Well done ladies.
PAR THREE CHAMPION
The second leg of the innovative short course competition took place at the Academy on Friday evening the 11th. The six holes were played twice and the female dominated event saw Isabella emerging as winner with 31 points. Sonya Foster managed 28 and Anne Hannam 24. Afterwards everyone retired to the clubhouse for well deserved food and beverage. It is not often many of the participants will have walked twelve holes, even in the cool of the evening.
Come prize giving on the following Sunday it was revealed that the overall winner, two scores combined, was Isabella with 42 points. Sonya 38 and Anne 36 obviously have good short games too.
TWO BALL BETTER BALL Y vs X
An intriguing title for the Sunday competition on Asia and, coupled with the rules of the day, a confused start was guaranteed on the 13th, a lovely day for golf otherwise. Guess whose design? Right first time. Step forward Captain Monique Peters. Colour coded dress wear. Self allocation of mental age. Gender decisions. Avoirdupois input. Prizes for the six best pairs. “Clear as mud” was heard in the car park. Unkindly. Challenging, yes. Bit of fun, certainly. Weekends are not supposed to be serious? My French reference to weight may have further confused readers, but that was my intention. Monica required personal weight details at check in only to find a certain resistance in some quarters to revealing such private statistics.
Unfortunately Monsieur Le Twinge decided to visit my framework after a few holes so I parted company with my unfortunate partner George Kirk, who was playing with his usual steadiness, at the clubhouse turn. Kate Bradley always puts in a performance, as does Libby Robinson, she of the pink balls. Her first hole would have daunted most from playing the second. Not Libby. Always good humoured though, and a tryer to the last.
Monique handled the prizegiving with her customary aplomb, set in the over warm quadrangle of stripes, to a faint background of jovial barracking and hearing problems. She admitted defeat on the weight issue, partly due to not knowing what stones were, and explained that Richard Ledgard had not “come out” but had been drafted into the Ladies team, some still being unclear that overall this was a team match. Hopefully getting this right it would seem that the Ladies beat the Men by 42.1 to 40.54, figures which had even Mike Robbins shaking his head but apparently were the average scores of the two person pairs. So there. Again six prizes were up for grabs and went to:
ARTHUR O’CONNOR IN FULL FLOW
"With just a little friendly pressure we were able to wangle a very welcome update on the activities of our Senior Males, and are pleased to include it more or less un-touched by editorial hands.
It has been a busy end to the Men’s Seniors League season with 4 matches being played in the last 3 weeks. A ban on the use of mobile phones at the matches to prevent George Kirk checking his investments every 5 minutes means that pictures are not as freely available as usual.
Miraflores (Home): A narrow victory for La Cala by 2 matches to 1 with all the individual matches finishing 2 &1. A defeat for the front pair of Arthur O’Connor & Damien Murphy was turned around by wins from David Wilson & Roy Davies and the final pair of Alan Jewett & Peter Marler.
Miraflores (Away): Another 2-1 victory for La Cala. A narrow win secured by Arthur O’Connor & Rob Garner was pegged back when George Kirk & Peter Marler lost their match, only for the reliable David Wilson & Roy Davies to secure the winning point.
Alcaidesa (Home): A win for the first pair of David Wilson & Peter Marler provided an encouraging start but subsequent losses suffered by Arthur O’Connor & Philip Shute and George Kirk & Mike Fisher resulted in a rare home defeat for the La Cala team.
Baviera (Home): Incentivised by the bribe from Los Arqueros of a large beer per team member at the Grand Final if we could take one point from Baviera which would prevent them from overtaking Los Arqueros and winning the Seniors League, the La Cala team strode to a 3-0 victory.
The first pair Arthur O’Connor & David Wilson made sure that the trophy went west to Aqueros and was followed by further wins from George Kirk & Peter Edstrom and then Peter Marler & Philip Shute. The highlight being non drinker Peter Edstrom’s tee shot on hole 4 on America. Picture below.
We now need to find someone to drink Peter’s free beer at the Grand Final! Any takers? An international incident on the course during the first match was only overcome with the assistance of the google translate app at the dinner table along with the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, by which time both sides had forgotten what had caused the problem!"
Thank you Arthur. Nothing spurious about your witty piece.
EAT YOUR HEART OUT, RINGO!
Mike Tunnel is a boisterous and popular club member, always with a smile at the ready, quips for all occasions, and no mean golfer. What the newsletter didn’t know about him was that he is also an enthusiastic musician. Well, drummer. We asked the question and here, straight from the horse’s mouth, is the explanation.
“I took up playing the drums following my 60th birthday. Fed up with me endlessly tapping out grooves on any available surface, my wife Di presented me with 2 drumsticks, 2 drum lessons at the local music school and a lesson book as a present! Prior to that, I had never played any musical instrument in my life but had worked with several bands in the 70’s.I was hooked, aged rock drummer in the making! Regular lessons gave me the competence and confidence to ‘jam’ with other like minded musicians with similar experiences. A Barbados beach, a few Rum Punches and a newly found lyrical inspiration took over. The first song! Others have followed in further moments of inspiration, sufficient now for a good old fashioned LP.‘The Brexit Blues’ is just one such song (the inspiration is clear along with the frustration!), the lyrics and idea as always were taken up by a guitar tutor friend of mine (our very own Lennon and McCartney!) to form the basis of the finished article. 2Old 2 Rock2, is a group of ‘jamming’ musicians that come together to record my songs. Some of us perform locally. 3 songs are currently on YouTube and we go into the studio again in November to record at least 3 more including my ‘cheesy’ Christmas song! Watch out!“
Thanks to the magic of Dorothee Schmidt’s computer we can include a sound video of a Tunnel “hit”. Warning notice. It is not compulsory to listen to the whole five minutes.The beat may not be to every reader’s taste so perhaps someone will step forward with an André Rieu type piece so we can balance the books next month.
Meanwhile, many thanks to Mike for revealing his hitherto hidden side. “Leftover Man” and “Job Done” may be found on YouTube if this sample has whetted your appetite. We await the “cheesy” Christmas Song with baited ears.
Heavy overnight rain bode ill for the start of this eagerly awaited annual golf-fest but, cometh the hour cometh the sunshine. Thirty-two buggies set forth for Campo Europa at 0930, each carrying two picnic lunches provided by Management. Flavio Papa was in sparkling form, obviously relishing the thought of the week’s work ahead of his team and himself! Players were warned to drive carefully on the still wet paths and only to use the 90 degree rule when the fairways had dried out.
As it transpired pessimistic wet suits were soon being discarded and within an hour of starting, such was the sun’s work rate, traffic was building up on the fairways. It remained cool though so, overall, unexpectedly good conditions for the opening competition of the week. In addition to which the speed of play was considerably faster than normal, one boast being of 3 hours 40 minutes. Certainly the clubhouse was full of refreshment seekers well in advance of the prizegiving. Nor were they kept waiting because there was a free “bar” available and oodles of interesting and colourful tapas being served. All courtesy of Management on whose behalf our Director of Golf, Robert Mitchell, formally launched the Festival week with a nice little speech before handing out rewards to the following, announced in suitably dramatic tones and hand signals, by the inimitable Flavio Papa.
Nearest the Pin winners were?
The person to the right in all pictures is, of course, Robert Mitchell.
On behalf of everyone Pat Madigan gave a short vote of thanks to Management and the proceedings came to a pleasant, enjoyable end.
Nearest the pin winners were:
Last up on the week’s agenda came the 2 Ball Better Ball on Europa on Friday 25th. Breakfast was again available for those in need and the start was a shotgun at 0930. No less than 21 groups of four were in action, including several formidable looking pairs, not least Mike Fisher and Louis Lentelink looking to hold the trophy won last year. Competition was to be fierce. Eventually the first three home were:
1st 44 Lars and Maud Granberg. 2nd 43 Stuart Bewley and Arlene Doyle. 3rd 42 Achim and Dorothée Schmidt.
The week’s proceedings culminated in the usual Dinner & Prize Giving, held in the clubhouse dome area where up-heaters ensured everyone was kept comfortable. Speaking for Lilian and myself we found our chosen courses both tasteful and well presented. There were no adverse comments within my hearing range. Judging by the applause later in the evening it can be reasonably assumed that Food & Beverage did a very good job. Certainly they could not have been more attentive.
Those presenting themselves for prizes jointly handed over by Flavio Papa and Robert Mitchell included:
Stroke Play Champion – JP-Karlsson 157 (80 & 77)
Stroke Play Ladies – Ursula Wetzel 175 (88 & 87)
Stableford Winner – Peter Marler 67 (32 & 35)
Stableford Ladies - Laura Thompson 69 (36 & 33)
In these main categories the Runners up were Chris Park (Stroke) 167; Connie Maphar (Stroke) 176; Anne Hannam (Stableford Ladies) 65
In the separate Stableford Competitions the winner of the 0-15 handicap was George Kirk with 66 points, whilst Patrick Reid won the 15.1 to 36 group with 64. Behind Patrick came David Gilchrist and Peter Bradley with 63 each. Following George were Peter Edstrom 66 and Stuart Bewley 63.