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January 2020 MEMBERS NEWSLETTER

NEW YEAR’S WALTZ

Forty members and guests gathered on Saturday 4/1 to kick start the golfing season. There weren’t too many shorts to be seen but at least it was dry. Overcast but dry. Later it did warm to the extent that Mike Fisher, my buggy companion, did discuss the possibility of taking our sweaters off. We hesitated for a couple of holes, the pale sunshine withdrew, and the opportunity was lost, but not regretted.

Organiser Loraine Murphy was of a gentle mind when setting the rules for the competition. Gone the first six, second six, third six formula, replaced by everyone playing their own game but marking the team’s card with one, then two, then three scores, ad infinitum. Well 18 holes anyway. No arithmetic involved other than the final total which, in the case of our team, was inadequate. Janice Marler and Peter Edstrom made up our four and together we enjoyed the day but had to drink our own wine when we got home.

Those who fared rather better, and won the three prizes, were:

1st 97 points l/r: Elaine Hume (guest), Joe Hume (guest), Laura Thompson, Geoff Thompson.
2nd 86 points l/r: Mary Madigan, Brian Farmer, Achim Schmidt, Verena Haas.
3rd 84 points l/r: Pat Reid, Wendy Hinds, Darren Fadden (guest), Declan Grey.

Other pictures taken on the day, but relating to the previous Tuesday, were of Sylvia Robbins and Derek Steele, two stalwarts and regular trippers to the wine bottle table. The other four potential recipients were not to be seen. A growing trend unfortunately.

Sylvia - Derek.

The prize giving was a protracted affair this weekend, at one stage it appearing as though there might not be one. Then there was a financial hiccup of some magnitude concerning the 2’s income. Things were not helped by our normal area being half occupied by non-members who, very understandably, but irritatingly, were more interested in their own conversations than listening to Loraine, who would have struggled without a microphone at full throttle.

This, by the way, saw the birth of our cost of living increase, the fee per competition now at 4 euros instead of three, as voted for at the AGM.

LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDOURED THING

Do you come here often?

As might be imagined the ladies were not well pleased by the positioning of the blocks. The duty greenkeeper, having shown an affectionate side of his nature, did well to stay in his hut afterwards.

A-MAY-ZING?

There was something of a golfing miracle on Campo America, Tuesday 7th. at the heart of which was a relative newcomer, Gerda de Brouwer, whose memorable 47 points was duly rewarded with a handicap cut of 8.5 Repeat 8.5 !! It must surely be a club record? Judi might know if she hasn’t already left for her exiting holiday. Meanwhile, congratulations to Gerda on a day never to be forgotten, and unlikely to be repeated off her new handicap of 25.5. Rather overshadowed but still scoring satisfactorily came Laura Thompson (35) and Jill Davies (34)

L/r: GERDA & LAURA.

Does Pat Madigan ever play badly one wonders? He never seems to drift far from his enviably low handicap, as 35 points playing off scratch, seems to emphasise? Peter Penney matched his points total but was ushered into second spot on handicap. Thomas Widegren came third with 34.

L/r: Peter, Pat, Thomas.

Gerda’s achievement brought back memories of a late afternoon at Shoreham Golf Club, in Kent, where Lilian was my walking partner together with another couple. We are talking 30+ years back when we were both relative beginners and strangers to the course. Details have faded now but Lilian enjoyed her “Gerda Moment”, gathered in all our signatures, took her card to the club secretary for approval, later to her own club where she was cut 6+. We went on to play a lot of golf together, on various continents, and she had worked her way down to 20 when, on that fateful February morning in 1996, she was so cruelly stricken on the first tee of her home club, never to play again. She had a beautiful swing. How one wishes she could take more advantage of the golfing environment in which we now live.

ALL IN A GREAT CAUSE

This report comes from Lady Captain Loraine Murphy.

“The amount raised between the Cudeca Day in June (9,061€) and from the 2s contribution “(2,238€ ) totaled a magnificent 11,299€. Cudeca are going to use the funds to increase their home care visit teams which are a vital link for the patients.

Save the Date

The 2020 Cudeca Day is being held on Saturday 6th June and the committee and Cudeca Fundraising Team are hard at work planning the day. Already confirmed is the main raffle - hosted by Judi Lentelink - The Tombola - hosted by Derek & June Steele. The Beat the Pro Competition - hosted by Damien Murphy Jr. and the Auction - hosted by our Men's Captain Damien Murphy. A few other fundraising items are in the pipeline and if anyone has any ideas or wishes to assist the committee and fundraising team please let us know.! Private or Corporate Sponsorship of the tees are an integral part of our fundraising efforts and our new Treasurer Caz Roselli is the contact person this year. All the committee members will be able to accept donations of items for the Tombola, Raffle and Auction should the host not be available so the call is going out now for everyone to have a look for items to donate for the day. Please talk to your local restaurants, hairdressers, beauty salons, service providers etc. and ask them to assist our fundraising actions by donating a voucher or item that can be raffled or auctioned on the 6th June. - If you don't ask... you don't get! The Cudeca Sunflowers will also be on sale in the month prior to the event so make sure you have some loose change in your pockets when the team comes calling!“

THE DAY OF YOUTH IS AT HAND

There is hope for the future of the game we all love. The decline in interest is being arrested, albeit slowly. However, the following extract offers hope.

“Of far greater import, is the number of young boys and girls being lured into the sport, as well as the number of females per se. The ridiculous disparity between the prize funds in the professional game should be addressed by some sort of unified taskforce that does not yet exist and much must still be done to alter the perception of dusty old clubhouses with even dustier old members. As much as the golf unions and federations can and do help, it is the clubs itself, certainly within the UK, that must rid themselves of the damaging clichés”.

KEEPING UP WITH TECHNOLOGY

How many times does one hear “Oh, if I have a problem with my device I get my grandson to sort it out.” Bringing back still clear memories of school days without even the aid of an abacus! Mental arithmetic was the name of the game then. Now, just as our generation is getting familiar with search requests via Google, or whoever, come stats showing that 65% of people in the 25-49 age range use voice activated devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Googles Assistant. SEO (Search engine optimisation) (!) is on the decline. Easyjet already have customers using the “Speak Now” feature on its app. What with all this and global warming?

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

We’ll get back to golf in a minute or two but it was staggering to read that “more than 1500 private jets are expected to swoop into airports around Davos for the 50th annual gathering of the WEF.” No mention of emission? We have a few members who live in Switzerland for parts of their year and it looks like we might become closer neighbours after the UK exits the EU. Both feature amongst each other’s top 10 trading partners now, and both are home to Europe’s two biggest financial hubs. A London-Zürich axis could create a very robust economic alternative to any EU equivalent. But enough of politics? Remember what you said recently, Jack!

A TROPHY EVENT

What wonderful weather for January and golf? Conditions were near perfect on Europa, Saturday 11th when the traditional “enemies” faced up to each other to do battle for the silver plate on which the winners names appear. ‘On guard’ Residents of La Cala. ‘Have at you’ Rest of the World.

In the interest of journalistic honesty it should be said that both sides were more than somewhat depleted. Must have been a nightmare week for organiser Loraine Murphy, our Lady Captain. Homeland absentees coupled with victims of the dreaded lurgi bug conspired to prevent accurate team selection but eventually eight groups of four swung into action. Each an individual matchplay ‘war’ on a better ball basis.

My partner, my team mate in the Residents’ red colours, and my buggy companion, was Margaret Fotheringham, freshly arrived from the frozen wastes of northern Scotland and without golf for five weeks. We didn’t play badly but were swept away by a rampant, on fire, Sten Valentin and his wife Suzanne. We were all back in the clubhouse at least an hour before anyone else and were quite relieved when Loraine only announced names later, and not scores.

Being of the RoW side of the fence Loraine derived obvious delight from reading out the names and results, indulging in a solo high-5 each time RoW chalked up another win. Which was topped up by a little dance when a 5.5 v 2.5 winning margin became evident. A very happy girl is what she was, and nice to see, because the RoW don’t have a great track record in this event!! As the trophy confirms.

The presentation was a modest affair, Erling Johnsen and Richard Ledgard having been invited at short notice to represent their teams. It can hardly be said that the “ceremony” overwhelmed them but, the main thing, the better team won on the day.

L/r: Joyous Erling & Wistful Richard.

Our personal victors, the understandably cheerful Valentins, celebrated with a basket of chicken wings and a bottle of white wine!

LOVELY DAY FOR A MEDAL

Some will have headed for the La Cala beaches, so enticing was the weather, but not golfers. A goodly number of members graced Campo Asia on Tuesday 14th whilst a few disgraced their card by failing to better the local beaches, AKA bunkers. A 15 was recorded and your Scribbler chalked up two successive 9’s due to his inability to get out of the sand. On a day when there were 12 DQ’s Erling Johnsen, with whom my buggy was shared, took pleasure from the fact that he finished the round, as did we both. A small comfort.

It should also be recorded that our enjoyment factor was enhanced by being paired with Pat & Mary Madigan, the former playing off -2 handicap. He finished with fourth place and a nett 74 whilst expressing self criticism for his back nine which, to Erling and myself, looked like text book stuff! Mind you Pat only drinks tea, and water, so there is a price to be paid for such ability.

Elsewhere ever youthful Liisa Lindstrom continued her run of form with a 76, first place, and already a finalist for the play-offs next October. 77 was enough to get Ursula Wetzel second spot, whilst Karen O’Connor’s 78 rounded off a very satisfactory day’s work for the leading ladies.

L/r: Karen, Liisa, Ursula.

Derek Steele, a reet good lad from oop north, doesn’t let things rattle him. Denied a prize in last year’s Medal Final he registered a nett 71 to ensure he gets another bite at the cherry later this year. Well done, chook. Mind you a 1.4 handicap reduction won’t help his chances much. There was almost a great surprise because just one point back finished Jan Slaets, a rank outsider in betting terminology. Well done indeed. A 2.5 reduction is no less than you deserve, Jan, Stuart Bewley’s 74 saw him in third place and cut 0.3 which will bring yet another smile to his ever cheerful face.

' Art lonesome, lad?

CAPTAINS’ DRIVE IN

As the lightning sparkles on high, the thunder sounds more menacing, the once grey clouds now black and threatening, it is nice to be casually attired in track suit, warm, dry, and at the friendly keyboard whose keys respond willingly to the lightest touch. Time to reflect on last Saturday’s event which began on Asia’s 18th before transferring to America for the golf competition. The weather was not good. My decision to wear shorts quickly proved an error of judgement as one waited patiently on the forward tee for the stars to arrive at the announced hour. Mañana came to mind more than once until Loraine, our Ladies’ Captain, finally appeared accompanied by her predecessor, Monique Peters, armed with Loraine’s camera. They seemed surprised to see me but equally so not to be greeted by Damien Murphy, husband of Loraine and our Captain for the year ahead. Three balls were struck, two of which went a fair distance but were not of further consequence, there being no betting on metre-age this year.

Then, as we were about to pack up and retreat to the club house, Himself arrived, driven by friend Declan, and carrying two drivers, one of enormous proportions. Actually it was a brave effort on Damien’s part because it is only five minutes since he had a new knee fitted. Certainly there was further delay whilst he fitted his removeable support strapping. My heart was nearer my mouth than usual as he swung determinedly, first with the giant and then the normal club. Full marks for determination, Mr. Captain. At least we got some pictures for our readers.

In recent times breakfast has been provided on the clubhouse terrace but this year feeding arrangements were changed. Coffee and tea were available to those watching their Captains in the far and drizzly distance. There were ripples of light applause from those gathered on the terrace but then a scramble as players headed for their appointed shotgun start tees ready for the 10am kick off, which few achieved. The Captains were not competing but had their own busy and generous programme to organise.

In the forecourt of what is still called The Halfway Hut an awning had been erected. Beneath it groaned a trestle table bearing every kind of goodie a hard working golfer might crave. To say nothing of the liquid refreshments, stock of which occupied every other bit of reachable and available space, wall tops included. In charge of the Thirst Department was Loraine, whilst Damien sat centre table creating bespoke rolls. Tuna, cheese, ham, salad, you name it. In addition, should the visitors accept Loraine’s invitation, hubby turned his hands to a real, genuine, Irish Coffee, rightfully decorated with a shamrock symbol. It is reported by the Organisers that more than one team visited their stall twice, it being very conveniently situated.

For your humble scribbler it was to prove a day to remember. For contrasting reasons. In conditions which constantly threatened but never progressed beyond the light drizzle stage, our team was spearheaded by Pat Madigan and embraced the doughty Allan Fotheringham, he of the pugnacious swing and healthy distance, plus, my buggy companion for the round, ever consistent Isabella Rippinger. Mike Fisher made us favourites before the off, which is something one never likes to hear? Anyway, we all played quite well, starting on the 14th and slipping into some decent form, which brought us 10 points on the 16th!! Here ended the good news.

As we left the 11th I tripped stepping from the sloping exit route to the buggy path, and fell very heavily. In fact it is very difficult for a body weighing about 95 kgs to fall any other way than heavily? Everyone was very attentive, made me lie there for a while, but it was to be the end of my day. A passenger in the buggy for our last two holes, and then into the car and home, leaving Monique to deputise for me at the prize giving, in which one would have qualified for a photograph and bottle of wine, a rare occasion.

It seems there was an administrative error when announcing the scores. Coincidentally it was Mike Fisher and his team who were declared winners, only for it later to be amended when the same score appeared from Pat Madigan’s squad. Diplomacy led to a sensible solution. First place was declared shared.

1st 106 points - shared winners l/r Govind Naidu, Pat Madigan, Carol Rees, Mike Fisher, Isabella Rippinger, Allan Fotheringham, Sonya Foster.
3rd 104 points l/r: Pat Reid, Liisa Lindstrom, Danny Rees, Janice Marler.

Statistics play an important part in all sports these days so it is disappointing to note a decline in support for The Two’s. Only 19 participated out of 57 entrants. Reasons could be many but it is perhaps worth reminding members that 50% of the proceeds go to Cudeca, a more than worthy cause with which most of us are more than aware.

The other point of interest arising from my fall is the need to report such incidents to Flavio, or one of his team, the very same day. Isabella was aware of this and kindly did so on my behalf. This is to do with the insurance cover which is included in your Spanish Golf Federation membership. Any delay could invalidate a claim. If you were not aware of this it might be worth you checking the SGF site. Or ask Flavio.

GOLF’S STRANGEST ROUNDS

This is the title of another interesting book recently arrived on my desk and helping to fill the time freed up by the weather and my increasingly painful legs. Andrew Ward is the author, although compiler might be more accurate. What he has done is to “research over 100 years of golfing history to uncover some of the game’s most memorable moments and rounds.” The chapters are short and easily readable. For those of a certain vintage many of the tales will bring back memories of having been there at the time, watching on TV at least. The last story is of David Duval playing in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at La Quinta, California, a course with which one has personal experience. He was seven shots behind Fred Funk at the start of the last round and decided he needed a 59 to win. A two metre putt on the 18th achieved his ambition and won him the title by one shot. This and “Extreme Golf”, the book mentioned last month, will be in the back of my car for the next 2/3 weeks if anyone would like them.

OH MY GIDDY AUNT

Beethoven would have been 250 this year and probably knew exactly what this expression originally meant. It cropped up in correspondence recently and prompted me to do a little research, meanwhile guessing that it was an expression of considerable surprise. Which wasn’t a bad try.

“[Oh,] my giddy aunt! is used as a playful euphemism to avoid blasphemy and is thought to have derived from (if not quoted from) the farcical comedy Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas that ran for 1,466 performances on its first production starting December 1892."

Members may also have noticed that the word “woke” has crept into usage over the last year or so. Not as the past tense for “wake” either. The subject is included really as a riposte to Stephen Mason who insisted it was gender related.

In fact woke means being conscious of racial discrimination in society and other forms of oppression and injustice. In mainstream use, woke can also more generally describe someone or something as being "with it."

Heavens to Betsy!!

PAIN AND GLORY

Hats off to Antonio Banderas for his Best Actor Award in the Spanish Oscars recently. Nice to see a local Málaga boy doing well?

Antonio in the centre.

AUSHWITZ 75 YEARS ON

There was plenty of moving media coverage of the 75th anniversary of the closing of this notorious concentration camp, and of the holocaust. It brought to mind an unexpected experience some 40 odd years ago. David was Jewish, a customer, a friend and fellow golfer. He had been invited to visit one of the paper mills we represented in Munich. Once there he surprised me, and amazed our hosts, by asking if a visit to Dachau could be arranged. The two of us went alone and were the only visitors. Not surprisingly, because it was mid winter, thick snow everywhere, and the worst possible time to look round buildings which had been prisons for 206,206 people over the 12 years of its existence. 31951 of whom died there. The gas chambers were still visitable, and walls everywhere it seemed adorned with photographs of heaped naked bodies told a grim story. There was an illuminated Star in the grounds and David wandered off to pray, one assumes. It took a long time for the visions to leave my mind and now, thanks to the ubiquitous television, they probably never will.

AN HONEST ADMISSION

Talking to a member known to enjoy a sip or three it was interesting to hear him say – “I only drink a little you know, but when I do I become quite a different person, and that person drinks a helluva lot.”

AUSTRALIAN TENNIS OPEN

Some of the play seen thus far has been mind blowingly good. The angles, the athleticism, services at 200_kph+, it is an entirely different game to the one loved by me for most of my more active sporting life. TV coverage is limited for us out here but enough extended highlights have been seen to make each rally precious. Not everybody’s cup of tea, for sure, but Nick Kyrgios has within him shots of power mingled with the most delicate of drop shots, conjured up mid rally. Some say he could be the best in the world if he could control his emotions which, of course, will never happen. If and when he does he will be a different player?

WBA

It had been my intention not to mention West Ham again but their FA Cup defeat, at home, by their visitors’ young, near reserve side, further depleted by having a man sent off, left me little choice. Relegation beckons. The next month is crucial. Coronavirus might be better than supporting The Irons.

WBA = West Bromwich Albion, for the benefit of the un-informed. Managed, by the way, by someone who was a very popular player for us, went on to become manager, but was sacked, unfairly according to most fans. The thought that his team might get promotion at our expense is almost too much to bear.

LORAINE AGAIN

“Please see below image taken after the Rules Presentation on Dec 6th hosted by David Wilson and Alan Jewett. It's just a year since the introduction of the new rules and so we thought it was about time we had a follow up session to discuss how the 2019 New Rules had been / are being applied (or not) on the 3 La Cala Golf courses. The discussion was highly interactive and highlighted a number of "interpretations" of the rules that were not 100% correct and would, in fact, instead of gain advantage in a free drop would actually earn you penalty shots! Simple items like ensuring your ball is marked so it can be correctly identified in the rough, placing the ball - dropping it correctly etc. etc.. It was a very popular session and so as soon as the WHS (World Handicap System) is introduced - currently understood to be end of March in Spain - a presentation on the WHS and a 2020 rules update will be arranged. Keep a look out for the sign up sheet on the Members App!“

BACK AGAIN BUT IN PARTY MOOD

Hard working, fun loving Loraine, reports as follows:

“We had such a great evening celebrating Burns Night in La Cala. 28 people dressed in all types of tartan, ate, drank and made merry enjoying a traditional menu including Mr George Kirk's famous Haggis..specially imported from Scotland for the night. The Selkirk Grace was given by Mr. Iain MaCauley with the Toast to the Haggis ably performed to the sound of a great bagpipe player who had the whole restaurant clapping along and dancing in the aisles.

Iain, left, with old chum and party lover Erling Johnsen.
Anonymous but a high spot of the evening.

The Tam O Shanter was a wonder display of Scottish heritage and Murdo Mccorquodale was outstanding in his performance.

There followed some jokes and poems before the night rounded off with a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne. Unfortunately, the number of photos available are limited so a message will be sent out tomorrow to ask for extra ones from those attending.” (ED. Please send to me and copy to Loraine. Thank you.)

What our Lady Captain failed to record was that the golf competition had to be cancelled because of the terrible weather, hopefully now departed.

The damage done to both my legs, caused by my recent fall, and still being investigated, look like keeping me away from golf for quite a while. Certainly there was no way I could have joined all the others in Tuesday’s Stableford, the last competition of the month, played on America 28/1. Nor has any real report been forthcoming, other than a tale of personal woe from Mike Fisher. Those finishing in happier mood included Ursula Wetzel 34, Isabella Rippinger 34, and Karen O’Connor 33. No handicap changes there. Indeed the only change of the day was to Rob Garner whose 35 saw him trimmed 0.1 to 4.3. Alan Jewett 34, and Roy Davies 32, trailed in behind.

Pictures will hopefully appear in next month’s newsletter.

AN HISTORIC DAY

At midnight hours on the 31st the UK will finally leave the European Union after more than three years of chaotic and frustrating politics. Only time will tell whether this is a good or questionable move. What we do know is that we, as members of a club which houses many nationalities, will press on as before. Friends to the end and understanding of our different tongues and customs. Long may it last.