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February 2021 members newsletter

DONALD’S GONE BUT AMERICA IS STILL POPULAR

Not the country perhaps, but our best course certainly. The heart of all golfing activity right now with Asia and Europa sidelined. January newsletter’s ink was still fresh when the hard core swung into action again on Tuesday 2/2 in sunny weather spoiled a bit by a frisky wind but Mary Madigan will not have cared too much. After her prolonged absence she will have just been glad to be in the action again.

Mary Evans will not have been unhappy either, her 38 points topping the day’s table for ladies, with Caz Rosselli 37, Connie Maphar-Massar 36, and Jing Kruppa’s dodgy elbow not preventing her registering another good score of 35, to follow the others home.

Caz, the only one of seven prize winners on the relevant parade.

It has been suggested by some closer to Cees Lagerwerf’s beer schedule than this scribbler that golfing form is somehow related. One must assume from that his Monday evening must have been one of abstention, unless he has a magic formula? Certainly 39 points suggests unclouded brain cells and good communication with neurons. Barry Curran’s 37 earned him second place, and Vice Captain Peter Bradley was only diddled out of that position on handicap. None of these gentlemen were available for the photo shoot.

NOT MUCH GOING FOR IT

Only six teams. Last minute format change due to a drop out. Off putting weather forecast. Very cold wind. Quite a few self isolations pending tests, including all four of the Captaincy. Campo America on Saturday 6/2 was really not the place to be.

Caz Rosselli, appointed Deputy Organiser on the day, got through checking the cards at a speed commensurate with her more official role as Club Treasurer, the prize giving over in record time too. Only four photos so most people were heading home ultra early for a change. In keeping with the occasion this report is brief! Winners were:

1st 112 points l/r Sten Valentin, Susanne Valentin, Annamaria Van Anderlecht, Dirk de Koninck.
2nd 101 points l/r Martin Dawkins, Corinna Dawkins, Vera van der Veken, Hugo Verheyen.
3rd 94 points l/r Simon Buddery, Adrian Reading, Barbara Reading, missing drop out.

SICKNESS AND SADNESS

Surrounded as we are by a pandemic of fluctuating statistics it is hardly surprising that some members have been troubled by the virus. Fortunately most have tested negative, which is perhaps not too surprising when you consider how strictly advice is being heeded by the members and policed by the LCR team. Popular Danny Rees was poorly for a while after contracting the disease from a Mijas GC member but, thankfully, pulled through the unpleasantness and is now home and smiling again. The number of fatalities is frightening and the restrictions on funerals makes it even more of an ordeal for family and loved ones left behind. These are truly troubling times, forecast not to end in the short term, so let us keep our distance, wear our masks, stay home as much as possible, and make life as difficult for covid as getting an eagle on America’s 4th. (Or even more difficult in the light of subsequent happenings?!)

Talking of eagles one should mention that mighty Mike Fisher chalked one up on the 18th recently. Giant drive down the friendly, flattering hill, 80 metre chip in, and a 5 metre putt. Chuffed is an English word that comes to mind, and he wasn’t too unhappy about being dubbed “King” Fisher either. Strength isn’t everything though. One of his partners described Mike’s swing as being like a man with a wasp under his shirt, his pants on fire, trying to impale a butterfly on the end of a scythe.

TRUISM

If you watch a game it's fun. If you play it it's recreation. If you work at it it's golf.

NOW THERE’S A FUNNY THING

The first three names on the time sheet for Tuesday 9/2 were Adrian Reading, Brendan Walsh and Simon Buddery who, having doubtless enjoyed an unexpected lie-in courtesy of an unusual 10.50 tee off, finished in the same sequence in the Medal and at the top of the score list. Amazing? Adrian, building on his growing reputation, and Geoff Thompson’s bete noir, handed in a nett 73, Brendan a 74, and Simon a 77. Only 17 men took part in windy conditions and 6 earned a DQ or similar.

L/r Adrian, Simon.

The ladies were even less represented in terms of numbers, seven being the total, but none failed to complete the round and their card. 78 was the best and was registered by Caz Rosselli, on handicap from Lilly Lagerwerf Dobbelstein, and a 79 from “Mrs Consistency of Late”, Jing Kruppa.

Caz with trophy.

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

The long awaited re-opening of Europa course guaranteed a good turn out on Saturday 13/2, no less than ten 4-balls responding to Captain Damien’s romantically worded Sign Up sheet. Some of these included husband and wife on the same buggy, which was rather nice, even if a day early. Cupid, son of Venus the Goddess of love, was of Roman extraction, his counterparts being Eros, Greek, and Amor, Latin but whether they were watching the ten o-clock starters is not known. They might have seen evidence that a man, standing up to a ball armed only with a club, undergoes shortage of breath, tightness in the chest, curling of the toes, back ache, clenched teeth, locked knees, muscle spasms and paralysis. In short he is ready to hit.

As is the way of things some hit better than others. None more so than the winning team which included the German/Chinese duo with a passion for sun glasses so you may not recognise them in the following photograph.

1st 115 points l/r Brian Garvey, Peter Penney, Jing & Michael Kruppa.
2nd 112 points l/r Achim Schmidt, Dorothée Schmidt, Sonya Foster, James Reid (at last!).
3rd 111 points l/r Vic Hilliard, Pauline Hilliard, Peter Edstrom, Pat Reid.
4th 107 points l/r Barbara Reading, Adrian Reading, Roger Harman, Marjan Harman. (All seated at same table so excused masks).
Jing Kruppa with her recently won Medal trophy belatedly presented.

The prize giving tables were strewn with gentle nudges reminding everyone that this had been a St. Valentine’s Special competition. Peter Penney looked pretty in a slightly stained pink Gant sweater and is looking forward to seeing his photograph in the newsletter – again, Peter! Hugo Verheyen and Vera Van der Veken boasted suitably embossed light sweaters...

...whilst organiser for the day, Captain Damien, opted for a muted presentation, almost whispering his words as if to create an intimate atmosphere befitting the occasion. Spoiled somewhat by a joke from ancient archives, the reception to which left him with a wry smile on his face.

Thanks go to Brendan Walsh for going home early thus freeing up a seat on his team table for four and allowing Scribbler to avoid a lonely location. One way and another organisers and members had a most enjoyable and rewarding day.

Brendan did get his medal trophy later though.

MANY A TRUE WORD

REMEMBER THIS ONE?

Bernard Langer and his famous tree recovery in the 1981 Benson & Hedges International. Vaguely similar but less life threatening stances have been observed on our courses over the years.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE GREENS MAKE

After weeks on America the general consensus following the return to Europa at the weekend involved the comparative slowness of the greens on our youngest course.. The fact that 16 of the 35 men scored 30 points or more in the Stableford held on America 16/2 would seem to suggest that the course was in a friendly mood, with greens in a “slick and readable” condition. Mike Fisher, AKA KingFisher, headed the scores with 39 points but, as is the way with golfers, bemoaned a couple of blobs which would have made his round more memorable. Los Altos neighbour Brendan Walsh handed in a 38 but only on handicap from Roy Davies who, believe it or not, got a hole-in-one on the 4th, considered by some to be the Resort’s most difficult. As this was Roy’s second on the hole he probably doesn’t agree? Not backward in coming forward on such occasions he modestly described the event thus:

“3rd hole in one & the second one on the 4th hole on America. Used a 9 iron, hit it over the tree on the left hand side, landed softly with some 'side spin' and we all waited patiently for it to appear in view, rolled gently along the edge of the green before slowly rolling down the green into the hole. A '1' for 5 certainly helped my score !!.”

Michael Kruppa notched up a 38 too and is now down to 16 handicap, which serves him right after playing every minute that God allows him.

1st l/r 39 Mike Fisher, Brendan Walsh 38, Roy Davies 38, Michael Kruppa 38.
Smartly attired for the special occasion is Roy Davies.

38 was a popular figure on the day with Susanne Valentin’s version earning her pride of place amongst the Ladies. Karin Luxon scored well again despite her very low handicap, and will not have been unhappy with her 37, whilst Connie Maphar-Massar, soon to leave us and return to Holland, did what was expected and played to her handicap with 36 points. Caz Rosselli tailed in fourth on 35. In percentage terms the ladies bettered the men with 18 of the 20 scoring 30+ points. There should be a vote of thanks to Campo America?

L/r Karin & Susanne.

GOTTA HAVE A FRIEND IN JESUS

Captain Loraine took the photograph. Norman Greenbaum wrote “Spirit in the Sky”. As far as is known they don’t know each other but it was an intriguing picture, worthy of inclusion especially when there is a news shortage.

THE SUN SHINES ON THE RIGHTEOUS

Especially was this sentiment true on Thursday the 18th when lady members assembled to pay a farewell tribute to Connie Maphar-Massar. This was not your ordinary Thursday RollUp!

Family circumstances have dictated a return to Holland for Connie and husband Raúl, where they will be closer to family. A sad decision to have to make but Connie, in her inimitable positive way, offered to organise the day, did so in some style, and was rewarded by the most wonderful weather. As Scribbler shares a birth date with her, coupled with the needs of the newsletter, he found himself the only male amongst so many lovely ladies, an enviable and enjoyable position. There was no invitation to play, understandably, but a mid morning home made custard tart did somehow enter my hand en route to a lower region. Thanks to Connie and her ‘team’ – Julie & Lynn – there was food for the 5000 pre and mid golf. Nobody starved or dehydrated. Some played better than others but it didn’t matter, there were prizes for everyone! Apart from my own camera there were other clicks from all directions so the report, being written by RollUp Organiser Janice Marler, will be well illustrated. Captain Loraine Murphy has contributed an appreciation of Connie’s membership, and Dorothée Schmidt is editing the pictures and putting the following insert together.

All in all a special day for a special lady.

KEEPING A DAILY EYE ON SCRIBBLER

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Back in this month’s driving seat Captain Damien Murphy’s style has been quickly recognisable. For the Round Robin held on America on the 20th in the shape of Stableford Pairs it took an A4 page and a half to print out the rules of the day! Not that that or the chilly atmosphere did much to spoil the enjoyment factor. Especially if you happened to be Corinna Dawkins, of whom more anon. It is interesting to note, meanwhile, that there were three 3-balls in action. Only an Irishman could organise that in a competition for pairs? Fitting perhaps that the Emerald Isle was to the fore when it came to distribute the wine?

1st 95 points l/r Michael Kruppa, Jing Kruppa, Kate Bradley, Peter Bradley.
2nd 29 points l/r Roger Harman, Loraine Murphy, Marjan Harman, Damien Murphy.
3rd 91 points l/r Peter Edstrom, Caz Rosselli, Mike Fisher, (guess who was missing?).

Now back to the day’s headline, the smiling wife of a husband who has been playing 40 years without a single Hole-in-One to show for it but happily dipped into the family kitty to buy everyone a glass of cava or two! Quite amazing that it should be on Hole 4 again? Perhaps not quite the terror it was before being re-shaped and polished up a bit? Never going to be easy though so congratulations Corinna, well done, but be kind to Martin?

It’s always interesting to know how such pleasures are created so we asked, and this is what we learned:

“Actually it was my first ever hole in one. I used an iron 8 with the intent to hit the green or just stay short, hit it beautifully 1.5-2m next to the flag and it rolled into the hole (left to right). Martin is very jealous since he has played Golf much longer than me and never had a hole in one himself. But we are hopeful that next time we play with Roy and Jill, that him or her will continue the series.... ;-) “

WORTH A VISIT TO THE LIBRARY

On one of my shelves, in search of another title, I came across “The Book of Golf Disasters and Bizarre records” published in 1985, compiled by Chris Plumridge, with an introduction by the late Terry Wogan, hugely popular radio presenter and lover of golf. Instead of the planned scribbling my attention was seriously diverted by the content of this find. Not that every word was read, of course, but dipping in and out there were some fascinating tales of nigh on unbelieveable golfing incidents. Food for many a future newsletter was an early reaction but soon dismissed, all of them being a minimum of 37 years old already, and mostly older. “Indeed”, as the author admits, “as millions of golf shots are struck every year, it is quite likely that many of the records have been broken even as you read this. Also, many of the stories have no doubt been embellished as they have passed through the folklore of the game and, while every attempt has been made to establish authenticity, poetic licence may be claimed in certain areas. Above all, this is intended to be a light hearted book which seems appropriate since without a sense of humour golfers would populate and dominate most of the mental institutions in the world”. Worth a read though when the rain stops you playing.

SURE, WOULDN’T YOU BE KNOWING IT, BEGORRAH

Damien continues at the organisational wheel as was evidenced by the SignUp Sheet for 23rd drawing ** attention to the first tee time being 0930 and then listing players at 0920 and 0940.

LOSS OF AN OLD FRIEND, MEMBER AND NEIGHBOUR

Although they moved from Los Altos more than six years ago Ian and Meredith Mather were very well known club and community members from the very early days. It is with some sadness that news of his passing has reached us and we are pleased to have the opportunity of including this message from his wife.

TWO SUBJECTS OF IMPORTANCE TO MEMBERS

We have three rare contributors this month and would invite all members to click on the link below and read what they have to say. David Rogers and David Wilson are experts in their chosen fields and the club is lucky to have their knowledge and experience at its disposal. Thank you gentlemen.

Our third contributor is also rare but not in the same sense of the word. Captain Loraine Murphy announced yesterday, to members assembled for prize giving, a significant change which will doubtless please those who have lobbied for it whilst confusing others. Along with much else of the WHS systems. This is what she has to tell us all:

Welcome to the Gårdemyrs

It’s always nice to see new names on the SignUp sheets, and even nicer when they respond so helpfully to the traditional newsletter invitation extended to all new members/owners. In their very own words then, says Scribbler as he rests his fingers for a paragraph or two:

“We are happy to have La Cala as a home away from home! Both of us, Gunnar and Maria Gårdemyr, are from Sweden and raised a family with two (golf playing ) sons in Malmö, a town in the very of south of Sweden. Gunnar has been working in the pharmaceutical business for 40 years and Maria has been working at KPMG (an audit-, tax- and advisory firm). Gunnar's work took us to Switzerland and Zürich in 2011. A perfect spot in the middle of Europe that allowed us to enjoy things like, skiing, hiking, playing golf, travel etc. When we moved from Sweden, we were looking for a new place to bring the family together. Since we all play golf, Spain and Costa del Sol is ideal if you love golf, sun, fantastic scenery, food, culture and outdoor activities. We have been really happy with our choice! We bought a townhouse in Monte Alto 2013 and have since spend many wonderful vacations both in summer and winter playing the La Cala courses many times, where Gunnar made a HIO on America's 14th a couple of years ago. We have now moved back to Sweden and Malmö and are since last month "semi-retired". Both of us hold different board positions today. Gunnar in biotech companies and Maria in various non-profit organizations. Especially the Swiss charity organization GreenLamp (www.greenlamp.ch), that Maria is a cofounder of, is close to our hearts. In Sweden we are members of a golfclub called Bokskogen (where Maria currently is the vice president). A club that has two 18 hole courses and has been hosting some European tournaments over the years. Last year Bokskogen was supposed to host the ParaGolf World Championship. We moved from Monte Alto down to La Cala de Mijas last year, to have a bit easier access to restaurants and the beach . We hope to spend a lot of time primarily during winter in La Cala and are looking forward to seeing you all on the golfcourse!"

Cheers, Gunnar and Maria.

BEWARE THE INJURED GOLFER

Jing Kruppa is Chinese, the only member of that origin to our knowledge. She and husband Michael are what might be called golf addicts and have probably played more courses world wide than most of us have had hot dinners. They are also neighbours in Los Altos D and just 2/3 weeks ago we bumped into them in the garage. Jing looked and was woeful, insisting on showing us her bandaged elbow and seeking advice on where to go to get urgent treatment. Two days later she played better than her already good handicap. Since then she has never been out of the winner’s circle!! As a team member or, as on Europa Tuesday 23rd when her 38 points cost her a handicap drop of 0.7 and won her first position amongst the ladies. As far as we are informed no treatment has yet been undertaken!

Next back, but by some distance, was Liisa Lindstrom on 33, alongside Loraine Murphy but separated by handicap, and Corinna Dawkins on 32, making the most of her recent spell in the spotlight.

L/r Liisa, “Sleepy”Jing, Loraine.

On the other side of the gender fence Louis Lentelink proved yet again that he is not a force to be forgotten, his winning 37 points also being rewarded with a handicap reduction of 0.7 and the opportunity to try and work out how it got there. Adrian Reading was again sniffing around the wine rewards with 36 and second place, while Cees Lagerwerf and Derek Steele each registered 33

L/r Adrian and Louis.

A GOOD MONTH FOR FRESH FACES

Some are a bit reluctant. Some shy. Some slow out of the traps. Most eventually co-operative. Then, from time to time, a few happy to share their story and, indeed, lighten the editorial load in so doing. As is the case this month with two more relative newcomers to introduce.

“We are Ed and Ineke de Kloe and come from the Netherlands. We have a house in Breda, about half an hour from Rotterdam. We also have two children (38 years and 28 years) and two grandchildren. Ed started a company for himself at the age of 18, in the printing industry, and later Ineke also joined the firm.. Later, when the company had grown to 2 production locations (Rotterdam and The Hague) with over 40 employees, we decided after 38 years to sell up. We have always been very sporty, including running, tennis and now we spend our time walking, padel, spinning and of course playing golf. In the Netherlands we have done volunteer work at the tennis club for a long time, Ineke as competition leader and Ed for 7 years as chairman and cook on special occasions. Hobbies of ours are cooking, music, walking, eating and drinking. After we both stopped working, we started playing golf 5 years ago and are now kind of addicted to it. After taking many lessons in the beginning and becoming a member of golf club Crimpenerhout, near Rotterdam, we started taking part in competitions and so our handicap dropped quickly. This resulted in Ineke becoming 2x stroke play and match play club champion. Our current golf club in the Netherlands is Bergvliet, near Breda. This course is much more difficult and more fun than the one we started on, with many players with good handicaps, from whom we can learn a lot.

How did we end up in Spain / Andalusia? Friends of ours had decided 3 years ago to emigrate to Alhaurin el Grande to start a Bed & Breakfast. After we started helping them a number of times with various jobs, a few things had to be painted and rebuilt, we came into contact with this environment for the first time. Especially the climate, the beautiful surroundings and the beautiful golf courses made us decide to buy a house here. After a few days of viewing, our choice fell on a Townhouse on Horizon where we have been living for 1 1/2 years now and enjoy peace, beautiful views and the sun. We are now a member of the golf club at La Cala and make use of the other facilities, sports, spin lessons and the Spa. Unfortunately, Ineke has been injured in her shoulder for a long time and has only started again with careful chipping, putting and she hopes to be able to participate fully in activities of the golf club soon. We will be here for about 6 months a year and because we really like it, we are considering becoming residents.

We hope to meet you all, to the extent that this has not happened yet, on the golf course or off it.”

Two things caught the Scribbler’s eye. The acceptance that playing in competitions led to the lowering of your handicap? Not everyone’s experience unfortunately? Secondly, combining Chairman with Cook, an unusual combination of responsibilities, and one often fraught with different objectives? Whatever, a very refreshing report from an obviously positive couple. Welcome to you both.

As the light crept into another Sunday, heeded by low lying cloud and chilled by a lively wind, it was a rare thought not to be envious of those scheduled to tackle America on the last day of the month. Especially those who hadn’t checked the SignUp sheet so didn’t know the ShotGun start time had been put back half an hour! All this on a day renowned for Hope and Peace in Andalusia.

Nocturnal difficulties found Loraine at an early morning desk the following morning so it is to her we are indebted for the following report.

“Quite a different day today as the threat of rain saw many of the bright green and white colours worn for the Día de Andalucía covered up with a selection of both wind and rain proof jackets! The slight chill in the air however did not stop Keith Luxon from displaying his bright neon green shirt and sparkling white trousers on the tee .. and staying that way for the whole day the green and white perfectly copying the Andalucían Flag colours.

L: Keith concentrating. R: The flag of the day behind l/r Jill, Roy, Kate and Peter.

It may have been a case of “Hope springs eternal” but the 4th hole was not being generous today with only Loraine, Barbara, Liisa, Rob and Richard achieving pars and Marjan being the only person to have a 2 out of the whole field! The Nearest the Pin (NTP) winners were Caz and Seppo. Hole 8 gave up pars to the majority of the teams with James and Jing taking the NTP honours and Micheal providing the only 2! Hole 11 proved more difficult today with only Isabella being NTP and converting her drive to a 2... while Simon Buddery had the only other 2. Hole 14 saw Laura and Adrian claim NTP prizes with Pat and Vic claiming their 2s. Hole 16 was slightly more generous with Sonya and Roy NTP. Pat claimed his second 2 of the day with Geoff, Laura, Peter P, Adrián, Vera and Libby also sinking their putts for their 2s. Hole 15 - index one, par 5 held true with only Hugo making a par while the 18th hole - index 11 was the easiest giving up a total of 17 birdies for the teams!

The prize giving table looked different with a selection of balls, tee-shirts and golf shoe bags for the NTP prizes all with the Andalucía logo and, instead of the usual wine, bottles of Sherry from Jerez were presented.

Typical Andalucían biscuits were served and went well with the round of drinks provided by Barry Curran in celebration of his first ever Hole in One!

How amazing is it to get a hole in one and to be the 3rd on America in only 12 days!“

Thanks Loraine. When asked about his HIO Barry freely admitted to a 9 iron but when asked about his strategy he looked unusually bemused. “Just trying to get the ball on the green, Jack” he eventually conceded. There’s an honest man?

There were three prizes up for grabs in the day’s team competition with little to choose between the recipients, who were:

1st 106 points l/r Erling Johnsen, Jing Kruppa, Michael Kruppa.
2nd 105 points l/r James Reid, Pat Reid, Monique Peters, Peter Marler.
3rd 104 points l/r Vic Hilliard, Pauline Hilliard, Damien Murphy, Loraine Murphy. Masks not needed as seated at table for 4.

STABLEFORD LEAGUE TABLES

These statistics appear for the first time and include 28/2’s results. The stage has now reached the point where the league becomes more interesting as each week players arrive at their required minimum 12 qualifying scores. From now on each point counts and position in the league table can change quickly as higher scores are posted and lower scores drop out.

The top twenty are tracked but this month only the top ten are listed, starting with Ladies which is only proper. In all 47 ladies currently participate and 71 men. All are automatically included so if you want to know how near the bottom you are the information is available!

Qualifying rounds are usually played each Tuesday with some additional Trophy events during the year also counting. To be more precise the Top Twenty will be tracked until the end of July, after which the Top Ten only until the winners are announced at the end of October.

ANOTHER FLAG

A special memory for our Welsh contingent.