PINCH PUNCH START TO ANOTHER MONTH
Europa on Saturday 1st saw the shotgun start revert to 0930 with a goodly turnout and decent playing conditions. There were a few absentees due to the lure of cruises or a different sort of sunshine in South Africa, and at least one, me, because of my recent fall. The punishment looks like being lengthy but not permanent, in golfing terms that is. The steps down to the clubhouse were beyond me so Caz Rosselli kindly worked her camera and by mid afternoon they appeared on my computer. Thanks Caz.
America’s par 3 came in for further critiscism after The Stableford competition played on Tuesday 2nd. Confusion and wrong decisions eventually led to 12 players being disqualified but, as Captain/Organiser Damien Murphy philosophically said later – “these things happen”. When the scores and leaderboard finally arrived on line only one player could boast a significant handicap reduction. George Kirk, still tasting haggis no doubt, shot a 41 to better by five shots his nearest rival, male or female. For that he was cut 1.4 and now stares single figures in the face on 10.7. Chris Slattery, again, played to his enviable handicap with 36 points, while Michael Kruppa, recently returned to Los Altos and showing no signs of his advancing years, was one behind in third position.
Maddie Brooks showed that you don’t need to be a colossus to play good golf, her 36 pushing Jill Davies, on handicap, and Alison Kirk, into 2nd and 3rd places both with 33.
If a river divides into two one could use the above little seen word but as a heading to a golf article it was a bit puzzling. Until you read the piece which dealt with the looming division between golf’s authorities and manufacturers. The core disagreement springs from the increasing distances the ball is being struck by the professionals, the possible need for longer courses, and the boredom factor for spectators. It will be nine months or so before the current research announces its findings, and suggests solutions. A clear division between the professional and amateur markets is forecast by some, but can you see such as Dean Moore buying anything other than the best available, for example? He is not alone, of course. Such as Cameron Champ are to blame. He currently heads the average driving distance this season with 343.4 yards.
TIME FOR A CHANGE?
There were only 22 players taking part in the Greensomes played on America Sunday 8th. What is it about this format which makes it so unpopular, which evidence over the years and from different countries suggest it certainly is. The main mumble is usually based on it being only half a round in terms of strokes made. It surely has nothing to do with the equality of the sexes much ranted about in the media? Diversity even? Numbers have been declining here in recent times. Time for re-consideration perhaps?
Anyway Ciara kindly decided to play no part in the day which was almost good enough for Lilian to suggest a BBQ. In fact she partially prepared for al fresco dining before the breeze dropped a couple of notches and she had to change culinary direction.
Just to show there is a strong equal rights attitude in these columns, and that differing opinions are welcomed, it is a pleasure to include a more detail account of the proceedings, kindly submitted by our lady Captain who, coincidentally, was 50% of the winning twosome and thus may have seen things through slightly different coloured glasses to some?
“Saturday was one of those beautiful winter days when it was more than obvious why so many members have chosen to live full time in La Cala. There are not many places in Europe where you can play golf in teeshirts and shorts in February. There was a small but select field this weekend for the Greensomes (Alternate Strokes) competition. It is a great format and was good fun. 2 members play together as a team with Standard Stableford scoring. Both players drive off and then choose whichever drive they prefer - Players then play alternate shots to complete the hole. Most people when looking at the start sheet felt they could easily tell who would win and what the winning score would be. They were all wrong. With the top score of 38 points was Lady Captain Loraine Murphy with ex-Captain Peter Edstrom (previous partners in the Joan & Peter Stock Competition) - which is coming up at the end of May. Just pipped into second place with a score of 37 was Alan Jewett with Alison Kirk whilst Peter Penney with Karen O’ Connor on 36 points eased into 3rd place. Given the format a 4th place prize was given to Michael Kruppa and Tina Garner on 34 points".
Those who played throughly enjoyed the format except one non married couple who were talking about divorce (not in the prizes !).
"A word of advice this month on how not to get disqualified". Please remember that ALL Tuesday competitions, as well as Board & Trophy events are ALWAYS played from the discs/plates UNLESS the competition organizers have specifically advised prior to the start that there is an exception on a certain hole.
The other thing is to run through the scores hole by hole before SIGNING your own card and SIGNING your playing partners card... unfortunately cards presented with only one (or no signatures) are disqualified.
CAPTAINS’ AWAY DAYS
Most members will have received notice of this annual event direct from Damien & Loraine but, just as a reminder, we repeat the link here:
Venue Jeréz. Dates April 21 & 22 with option to add 20th.
An area of California explored more than once by car and unfailingly enjoyed. We never got to play Pebble Beach, unfortunately, because we left it too late to book. Like the Blue Train in South Africa you need to get your name down a year in advance. We did have breakfast in the clubhouse though, and bought a few expensive souvenirs in the pro shop, afterwards watching 4 balls going off at strictly timed intervals and at frightening cost. As always it has been nice to watch some of the action on TV recently. Brings back memories of what might have been!
ASIA’S MEDAL POSES PROBLEMS
Almost 30% of those playing on Tuesday 11th earned an NR or DQ. Whether self imposed out of frustration or later earned on administrative grounds is not clear from the result sheets but certainly they have been been delayed of late. Loraine’s words a bit earlier in this issue come immediately to mind. However, some managed to stay out of trouble with some familiar faces appearing at the peak of the Ladies’ score sheet.
Laura Thompson’s 69 (and cut of 1.2 to 19.1) rightly won her a place in October’s Finals, with Mary Madigan (72) and Isabella Rippinger (75) also doing well.
Switching gender it was nice to see Gerry Rippinger stepping out of the shadows to claim Best of Day with a 68 which saw him lower his handicap 1.3 to 17.2. An excellent performance. Pad Madigan was at it again. 71 of a playing handicap of -2 deserves a medal to himself? Third was dogged Alan Jewett’s 74.
A rare photographic occasion. All six winners on hand the following weekend. Long may it continue.
DAMIEN BACK AT THE HELM
With Loraine away baby sitting in France for a well deserved holiday (?) it was our Captain who presided over the post golf score card checking, and prize presentation, both of which tasks he accomplished with welcome brevity sprinkled with relevant levity. All the players came in praising the weather and conditions on Europe. It was Saturday 15th with ten groups on parade. The top three on the day were:
It was good to see increased support for the 2’s. Extra good to be part of the weekend scene again, and made most welcome too. Thanks.
A RE-INTRODUCTION MAKES A CHANGE?
Spotting the surname Dawkins on recent time sheets prompted your scribbler to make contact, only to be reminded that Martin and the newsletter were not strangers to each other, having played at least once together here 5/10 years ago! However, he and his wife Corinna are now retired, still living in the resort and determined to play more golf. In response to the usual invitation they have responded in splendid fashion, making editorial intervention less than necessary, as will become obvious:
“Corinna and I met 23 years ago in Tokyo when we both worked there for the same Company. Bayer as you correctly remembered! During Martins 33 years he worked in many commercial operations and executive roles across the medical and chemical business areas within Bayer after starting in sales in the UK in 1986. Corinna has built her 24 year career in Bayer around Controlling, IT, Finance and HR after starting with Bayer in Japan in 1996. During this time we have worked and lived in some wonderful countries and cities including New York, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Raleigh NC, Windsor UK, Lyon France and Cologne in Germany. Martin holds a UK passport after being born and schooled in the Bristol area before moving to the USA with work in 1994. Corinna holds a German passport after being born and schooled in Mannheim before moving to Japan in 1996.
Martin has played squash, golf and enjoyed skiing since he was a teenager and Corinna volleyball and swimming before adding golf when we were living in Japan! We have kept active Golf Club memberships everywhere we have lived but now focus on Koelner Golf Club and La Cala. We also plan to continue to play Badminton and paddle tennis so would be very happy to meet other players in Spain.
We found La Cala in 2002, drawn to the resort by the Leadbetter golf academy initially, and were so taken by the scenery, challenging and varied golf courses we decided to buy one of the new apartments that were under construction. We moved into Real Alta Vista Golf fase 1 in 2004, and 11 years later we upgraded to a three bedroom apartment in Miraval.
Since we met in Japan in 1997 we had lived and worked in different Countries and had weekend cross border commutes for 17 years, both pursuing our respective careers as “DINKs”. To try and catch up on all that lost time together we therefore recently decided to stop working at the same time with Martin at the age of 59 and Corinna at the age of 49. Hopefully with good health we can now look forward to spending many years of active time together playing sports and enjoying life in general. For the time being, we will keep a home in Cologne, but we will definitely spend a large part of the year in beautiful La Cala.”
OUR LADIES IN ACTION
Añoreta were our opponents for the opening Senior League matches of the campaign. First away on the 4th when we lost 1-2 and then at home on the 12th when the scoreline was reversed. Honours even but it was a bit chilly at Añoreta, and very misty, as this photo of Gerda De Brouwere teeing off illustrates rather nicely, if a bit eerily? Golf is difficult enough without having to guess where you are aiming at and what are the risks if you get it wrong? Lunch is described as “delicious” and the Añoreta ladies are a friendly bunch.
Weather for the home encounter was quite different, a lovely day for golf but America proved too difficult for our visitors who, in the nicest of ways, suggested they would not object if next time they could play on one of our other tracks. Lunch here earned a “light” adjective but was enjoyed with “lot’s of fun”.
CHEST PUFFING TIME AGAIN
Congratulations to Sean Corte Real and all his team for yet another prestigious award.
PLATES DAY ON ASIA
After recent confusion it befell Captain Damien to emphasise that on Tuesdays, 18th on this occasion, on Asia, everyone plays off the plates AKA discs. Not logs. One suspects that Laura Thompson needed no such reminder. She just went about her business, talking to herself as she does, and chalked up the day’s best score. 39 points left her well clear of Val Wicks (34) and Jill Davies (33) but also earned her a 1.1 cut to 18.0.
Hans Linderborg pops up from time to time with a score worthy of a better handicap, which he now has! 21.5 to be exact, a reduction of 0.8 after 38 points won him The Best Man title for the day. Geoff Thompson (35) and Thomas Widegren (34) handed in respectable cards too.
Not a good weekend for visiting prize winners. 2 out of 6 is a bit flat?
FAREWELL MICKEY WRIGHT
“The Californian who was born Mary Kathryn, but whose nickname never left her, is second on the female all-time list of majors won (13) and of LPGA Tour titles won (82). Yet the truly incredible fact was that she achieved all of this despite being forced to retire from full-time golf at 34. By any token, Wright is a sporting legend.”
Memories of her in action are now a bit dim but certainly one can recall reading about her when she dominated the womens’ game. She never really got the media coverage she deserved, and her recent passing went almost un-noticed, but not by this scribbler.
A TROPHY EVENT ON EUROPA
England v Rest of the World has a Brexitish ring about it and certainly there seemed little enthusiasm for the battle this time round. Sunday 23rd was a bit misleading weather-wise, it being quite chilly at times despite dry conditions. Not that those who didn’t opt to play knew that at the time of decision making. So, only nine confrontations to decide the immediate future of the silver salver shown above. In the absence of Captains and Vice Captains it fell upon Caz Rosselli to make the announcements and allocate the prizes. The result was 3 wins each and 3 draws, at which point there was some hesitation over who should take the salver. Someone suggested that the holders should hang on to it so John Brooks, Captain of England for the day, smiled happily when accepting the familiar prize from a slightly downcast Pat Reid, neither of whom took up much of the audience’s time. Just as well because more than a few were keen to get home in time for the rugby on TV.