Readers may be interested to learn that La Cala member Neil Millar has been appointed to the R&A Rules of Golf Committee. This is the committee that, in consultation with the USGA, writes and administers the Rules of Golf worldwide. Neil lives and works in London but is a regular visitor to Spain. He’s been a member at La Cala for about 20 years (but, of course, compared to his father David, this still makes him a ’new boy’).
This is quite an honour and we hasten to offer Neil our congratulations. It is also good for the club’s standing to have someone of international status in our golfing ranks.
LAST MONTH’S LEFTOVERS
Whilst other parts of the continent complained about changed weather the players in the Stableford on Asia, Tuesday 29/9, might have been content with less wind and a few more degrees of warmth. Even so the leading scores were more than acceptable and the achievers will have gone home satisfied. It was good to see missed faces back again. The Gilchrists (prolonged) and Rippingers (relatively brief) coming to mind. Both making their mark felt too.
The Ladies’ finish was a tight one with just two points separating first from third. Gerda De Brouwere, appearing regularly of late, handed in a 37, Alison Kirk a 36, and Wendy Fretwell 35. All qualified for minor handicap adjustments.
Cees Lagerwerf had been on a bit of a roll leading up to the day but even so his 39 will have pleased him for the cut which took him to 11.7 with plenty of golf life left to reach the magical single figure category. There’s a challenge for you, Cees? Gerry Rippinger will have been a bit frustrated because his own 39 lost out on handicap only. However, Gerry had the biggest cut of the day at -0.9. In third position with 36 was David Gilchrist who was not dissatisfied with his efforts.
It looked like a lovely day once the sunshine had overcome darkness, and it was. Through the window. Outside, watering the plants, it was distinctly ‘nippy’ but, later, at the prize giving in the afternoon, few complained about the weather. Thoughts that sweaters may have been needed were ill founded.
Unfortunately it was much the same old story as far as Tuesday winners were concerned. Only two ladies and one man were in attendance, and photos will have already been looked at after the relevant earlier report.
The competition, on Asia, Saturday 3rd., was billed as “Oktoberfest” but the variety of drinks being consumed after play looked much the same as usual and there was certainly no band playing as Loraine presented the results and prizes in her inimitable way.
There were awards for the highest individual scores, Ladies and Men, and these were won by Wendy Fretwell, enjoying a very fruitful day, and Thomas Widegren.
Robert Mitchell, our Director of golf, had this to say in a recent memo to members:
“In these turbulent times, we have some positive news to share with you. Firstly, we have been ranked in the Top 3 Golf Resorts in Spain by Golf World, an internationally recognized golf rankings publication. And for the first time, all 3 of our courses are in the top 70, with America and Europa making the top 30 in all of Spain!”
COULDN’T BE CLOSER
When did we last see three ladies finish equal with 39 points each? Answer = don’t know but it happened on America in the Tuesday Stableford 6/10. All will have been delighted but, on handicap, it was Liisa Lindstrom who stole the honours from Sylvia McGarvie and Loraine Murphy. Well played, ladies.
The entry list ran to two full A4 pages, 15 x 4 = a field of 60 which included a once very familiar figure in the shape of Greg Bacon. Still a very useful golfer, always a keen competitor, and good company on the course. He was not to feature in the winners’ parade though. Doubtless due to his DQ !!
Another very determined and successful player is Past Captain Peter Edstrom who also manages to be light hearted and ready with a humorous remark. He had plenty to smile about afterwards when his 43 points saw him well clear amongst the men and got him cut -0.9 to 15.2 Hans Linderborg (38) and Richard Hinds (37) followed Peter home and both saw their handicaps cut.
TEXAS PAIRS ON AMERICA
As one would expect of the organisers? Saturday 10/10 saw the welcome return of big hitting Bob de Boef who, not at all surprisingly, went home with a prize. He was partnered by Sylvia McGarvie and finished 3rd with 61.3 points. Next up were Karen O’Connor and Gerry Rippinger (59.2) but clear winners, and probably the bookies’ favourites, were Sonya Foster and James Reid on a very creditable 58.1.
Unfortunately severe aches and pains led to me crying off from camera duty at short notice but Dorothée Schmidt stepped into the breach in more ways than one, getting the prize winning couples to assemble on the steps! Those readers spotting that there are 12 players appearing, but only half have been mentioned, will be relieved to read that there were six awards this week, the other three pairs being Alison Kirk & Barry Curran (63.1); Monique Peters & George Kirk (63.2); and Mike Fisher & Peter Edstrom (64.9).
A martyr is a person married to a saint.
A NEW STAR IN THE MAKING?
The French Open Golf at the Roland Garros (where my late brother Peter and myself once played half a set before being ejected by a steward!) is mostly blessed with good weather and a rather sophisticated atmosphere. This year was quite different. No spectators for a start. No clinking of wine glasses. Cold and damp conditions. New, heavier balls, and a surface just built for drop shots. At which the 19 year old Polish girl, Iga Swiatek, was a faultless exponent. A great performance from a relative newcomer to many tennis fans, even though she did win at Wimbledon in the Juniors last year. A face of which we shall see much more seems certain.
Twenty Grand Slam wins is a wonderful achievement by Rafael Nadal but thirteen on the same court surface detracts a fraction when comparing him with those who have won in all four major countries. Mind you, he was in great form this year, to the extent that Djokovic looked somewhat bewildered for two sets, and although there was a bit of a spark in the third it was too late. Rafael was never going to lose.
We’ve had two full moons, blue at that, also called Hunters Moons. There was World Space Week, and World Animal Day. It began on the 1st with International Day for the Older Persons, shared with International Coffee Day and World Vegetarian Day. Gandhi Jayanti had me scratching my head for a moment or two but, cutting out the repetitive “Day”, there followed International Non Violence. World Teachers. German-American. Indian Air Force. World Post Office. World Mental Health. International Girl Child. International Natural Disaster Reduction. World Standards. Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance. Global Handwashing. World White Cane. World Students. World Food. Mole (!!). United Nations. World Development Information. World Thrift. Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity.
No mention of Halloween, born in the time of Pope Gregory 3rd in the 8th century, but about which this newsletter will have something to report in due course.
Nor, although perhaps not quite qualifying for world wide recognition, any mention of Peter Penney’s 81st birthday on Sunday 18th.
WOE IS ME, FOR I AM UNDONE
It was Job, of biblical fame, who first came up with this some 3200 years ago. Shakespeare latched on to part of it in Hamlet with Ophelia’s help in 1602. Past Captain Thomas Widegren will probably have muttered something similar on Tuesday 13th after playing in the last qualifying Medal of this season. Talk about the last chance saloon? The story goes like this.
Playing well Thomas inadvertently played the wrong ball. Shame on you Thomas, but most of us have done it. He finished the round with a nett 68 but then had to add what he and his playing partners thought was a one point penalty. Later, at home, doubtless boasting to Helena, he thought to check and discovered that the punishment should have been two shots. His mood changing swiftly he didn’t hesitate to do the honourable thing, immediately contacting Loraine to admit the fault, and was immediately disqualified! From top to bottom of the list and thus denied the pleasure of Finals Day which now looms large. Mind you his golf was not without some reward. A handicap cut of 0.6 !
Stepping gratefully into the breach came Louis Lentelink with his own 68, followed by Campbell McGarvie (70) and Johns Brooks (70).
There were some good returns in the ladies sector with three very dependable golfing stalwarts close together at the end of the action. Few more consistent than the remarkable Connie Maphar although her 72 only got her into yet another Finals Day on handicap from Isabella Rippinger, and by one shot from Alison Kirk.
It was actually Isaiah who said “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”
A WARNING MESSAGE
The following comes from Judi Lentelink, with her permission.
“I have been inundated recently by fraud emails purporting to come from Hacienda ( the equivalent of HMRC), the Ministerio del Interior (equivalent of DVLA) re a traffic fine and Burofax Online to do with something that had a file of 128kb to be downloaded! All of these I have had confirmed, by both Trafico and my lawyer/accountant as being fraud emails. It has taken up quite a few hours, with trips into town to my lawyer/accountant plus going online to decipher the website of Trafico, and trying to get an answer over the phone with Trafico too. Sooooo... Just in case some of our other members, who are permanent residents here, get the same fraud emails, perhaps you can let them know and warn them to just ignore any links and to investigate themselves before they get hacked?”
Is the title of a book written by an Englishman, Jason Webster, who came to travel around Spain, fell in love with it, settled here, and has now produced a whole range of books. Murders, to travel, to one devoted to flamenco. All based in Spain, down to earth reporting, and worth a read if, like many of us, the country has become another home. Most of his works are available from Amazon at silly prices and immediately available at the press of a button!
WHO NEEDS A LITTLE WHITE BALL?
Our Ladies Section are a lively bunch and full of initiatives off course. Like on Monday 12th when fourteen of them assembled on the beach in the village for a yoga session guided by enthusiast Maddie Brooks.
Then came the tough bit. A 12 km boardwalk ‘stroll’ from the La Cala Tower to Cabopino. Well 12 for some. Two made it 14 by being so busy chatting they missed the agreed turn off! After a light lunch at the chiringuito La Luna they returned a little more slowly, claiming that the beautiful weather encouraged sight seeing ahead of demanding exercise. The day was not done though. Most of the group headed for a bar and coffee – spelt VINO according to one who would know.
Thanks to Dorothée Schmidt for the threads of this report, and the two lunchtime pictures below.
ESCUELA DE HOSTELERIA
The second lunch of the week came on Friday 16th when Sten “Put me amongst the Girls” Valentin accompanied 15 ladies for lunch at the catering school in Benahavis. No detailed report is to hand but we are told Sten enjoyed himself.
GENTLE WARM UP FOR MEMBERS’ FESTIVAL WEEK
Most of the “regulars” were on parade on America, Sunday 18th, for the Autumn Bramble but with thoughts on the busy week ahead. The weather was kind on the day but forecast to be wet for the main events to come.
The outcome was a clue as to the future with 108 points earning first place for:
TOURING THE WORLD BY CAR
One web site which did attract interest enabled one to drive round a whole range of the world’s capital cities, at a speed of your choice, with or without musical accompaniment. London was an obvious target especially as it covered the parts of the city in which most of my working life was spent. The filming was very good. Might be of some interest? Some 50 international locations to explore.
After two seconds of "snow" you choose your favourite city, speed and music and off you go.
MEMBERS’ FESTIVAL WEEK
Rumours that the Rain Goddess had retired were shot to pieces when Tuesday 20th broke and it was raining across the resort. Quite heavily for a short spell but then, just as the first to start were trying to put on a brave face, it stopped. The clouds remained dark and threatening but kept the taps turned off for the rest of the day. The same thing happened on Wednesday, the second of the competitions. Come Thursday and the clouds really came to life, bucketing water down for most of the day. Great for the green keepers and farmers and of no concern to the members because it was a rest day! Come the Millennium Trophy on Friday and the Rain Goddess relented. All was back, almost, to what we expect here in Spain.
It has to be admitted that MFW proved anti-climatic this year. No sense of occasion. No meaningful social activity. Weather disappointing and, at times, testingly windy. From Scribbler’s angle it was a non event, my indisposition having worsened and not even allowing fringe participation. Very frustrating indeed. One felt especially sorry for the LCR staff who put in a lot of hours and tried their hardest to make it an acceptable event. The odds were against them, but thanks for trying team. Thanks also to LCR for sponsoring the three days.
Rob Garner and Karin Luxon emerged as Club Champions, the latter playing off 2 and finishing 14 ahead of her runner up! The full list of prize winners is as follows:
To which can now be added the Millennium Trophy best three:
1st with 44 points Arlene Bewley Doyle & Stuart Bewley.
2nd 42 points James Reid & Sonya Foster
3rd 42 points John and Anne Mlls
TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC
“The Waltz” format, on Sunday 25th , played on Asia’s dance floor and coinciding with the start of the 18th series of “Strictly Come Dancing” was reasonably well supported but clearly quite a few members had had enough golf for one week! Dorothée stood in for me again and produced the following pictures:
1st with 94 points Caz Rosselli, Monique Peters (it is believed?), Achim Schmidt and, not again surely, Pat Reid.
2nd on 87 points came Peter & Janice Marler, Mike and, rarely seen in action these days, Pearl Fisher.
3rd and just one adrift came two marital couples in Richard & Wendy Hinds, Vic & Pauline Hilliard
The latest controls are understandable and, it is hoped, will be observed by the majority. There is hardship on every hand, disappointments galore. For us October ends with the cancellation of the annual Phillip Fitzsimons Memorial Trophy and Dinner, but doesn’t stop us remembering what a good job he did as CEO of the Resort’s holding company. Finally comes news that the Halloween party has had to be scrapped. The partygoers will be distraught, and there are quite a few in our ranks, but it’s a small price to pay when weighed against all the depressing daily statistics?
Having said which life is not without miracles so it was a delight to see Carol Rees back in action on Tuesday 27th. She has fought considerable adversity during the past year or so. It doesn’t matter about her score, just being there, club in hand, is a bonus for us all. Welcome back, Carol.
Less dramatic perhaps, but David Moody’s name at the head of the leader board was both overdue and welcome reward for all those lessons, garage training, and leg pulling... We played a lot together until circumstances dictated otherwise and, in my role as Scribbler, few friends have contributed more to these pages than he. Well done, David.
2020 Medal Final - Invitation Only
Tuesday 27-Oct America
This will be a week to remember for Stuart Bewley but he, and other top three-ers must now wait until the Dinner in December for their trophies and “official” recognition.
Another age defying performance from Connie but only just good enough to ease out the Lady from Liverpuul on handicap difference.
Probably preaching to the converted but how re-freshingly simple is medal play? In recent times we have been seduced by David Wilson’s RollUp rules which at times challenge even Buchberger’s Algorythym. All you have to do is agree with your playing partner the gross score per hole et voilà! The computer converts to nett, adds up, and spits out the names highest to lowest
LATER THAT MORNING
Unlike the theatre the curtain didn’t rise on the opening act so, free of mental stress, they were able to relax, enjoy their game, and not worry too much about being in the lesser ranks when leaving the stage. As can be seen some revelled in this relaxed atmosphere! Not least our very own Rain Goddess who, by her recent actions, clearly prefers “soft” conditions.
The top three ladies were:
1st 47 (yes really!) points Pauline Hilliard cut 1.6
2nd 38 points Ursula Wetzel cut 0.5
3rd 37 points Monique Peters cut 0.1
The masculine fraternity did well too:
1st 42 points David Moody cut 1.1
2nd 40 points John Mills cut 0.4
3rd 39 points Les Wicks cut 0.2 on handicap from Vic Hilliard.
A SURPRISING MILESTONE
Another member celebrating their birthday this month was Sylvia McGarvie, admitting to 75 which took many by surprise because she looks younger, and confirmed the ballooning of her buggy. The Ladies organised things, including a nice cake, so Campbell later had a very cheery soul mate on his hands.
Happy Birthday Sylvia.
AT LAST IT IS HALLOWEEN
The Ladies especially have been ticking off the days and thinking about what to wear at what was to be the party to end all parties. Denied dressing up 31st October was more than the light at the end of the tunnel. It was hair down night. Urged on by Lady Captain Loraine Murphy until, like a bolt from the blue, plans had to be changed. Not just changed. Abandoned. Nothing to do with the virus, or us, but celebrations were severely truncated. Instead, after golf, there was a lengthy prize giving aimed at those who played well and those who made an effort to reflect the tradition of the day.
It was already a special day in that Iain Macaulay and Erling Johnsen, who created the annual McErling Trophy back in 2002, saw their brain child promoted to club ranks, built into the calendar forever.
Two regular visitors from Sweden, and good supporters of Peter Edstrom when he was Captain, stamped their name on history. Anne Uden and Hugo Verheyen topping their leaderboards with 40 and 42 points respectively.
The top six tables follow:
By way of mid round refreshment three witches were on duty at the 10th tee, distributing the goodies and/or stimulants with gay abandon. Behind their disguises were Vice Captain Kate Bradley, Pauline Moody and Judi Lentelink, keeper of our trophies, records, history, and a consistent part of the newsletter back up team.
At the eleventh hour cometh the Lady Captain’s take on the day, which we are pleased to include because it includes data of which we were hitherto unaware. The peripheral prize winners especially.
“We were delighted to announce the launch of the 1st Halloween McErliain Stableford Classic. We thank both past Captains Iain Macaulay and Erling Johnsen for donating the McErliain Trophy to the Club. Many members will remember that it was first played for in 2002. By hosting the trophy around Halloween we hope to continue the fun day that Iain and Erling always ensured it was for many years to come.
Golf slice and hook take on a different meaning on Halloween - will you dress to impress? Clothes make a statement ... Costumes tell a story ... A day of fun and mayhem - spiders and spooks - who knows what terror awaits - but everyone helped by wearing their Halloween best!
As Anne-Christine has an international WHS handicap her card was processed via the Swedish Golf Federation and the results have been added above. As well as donating the trophy both Iain and Erling insisted on supplying the prizes of Malt Whisky, Aquavit and many bottles of red wine !! All of which were gratefully received.
There was a question asked “Will you be able to survive the witches coven on the turn between the green on hole 9 and the tee on hole 10?“ This of course referred to the half way house that was most ably hosted by chief witch/Vice Lady Captain Kate Bradley with her assistant witches Judi Lentelink and Pauline Moody. Thank you ladies, the blood transfusions (sangria or pink gins) certainly did the trick! Who can say what will happen when the sun goes down - will you be howling at the moon?
*There are some golf stories to be told but as we all had to fly home before 23:00hrs to comply with “el toque de queda” curfew then they will have to wait for another night !
Ghoulish delights and Happy Haunting! Thanks for the memories Iain and Erling !
- Prizes for best Halloween Costumed Golfer! Won by Tom Knuttson.
- Best decorated buggy - Vic & Pauline Hilliard.
- Nearest the Pin Prizes > Hole 4 - the evil sorcerer: Men - Keith Luxon, Lady - Pauline Hilliard. Hole 16 - the watery graveyard: Dorothée Schmidt.
- Overall Winner Prize > Hugo Verheyen - he was absolutely delighted to win a trophy with such great history and sentimental value".