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:
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.