In the absence of golfing activities, and the inability to socialise in the manner to which we are all accustomed, there was a mental temptation to “take a holiday”, at home of course, but duty prevailed in the knowledge that we would be dependent on pictures and solicited contributions of which, as will become evident, there was a trickle rather than the hoped for flood. We did get quite a few pictures though so it is reasonable to look on this as a stop gap edition, largely unrelated to our core game. News that the hotel is to re-open on June 15th suggests we are creeping towards normality so, who knows, perhaps we shall have some scores and prize givings for the June issue. Said he hopefully. Meanwhile, to open this month's proceedings, let us give space to our captains.
BITS AND PIECES
The name of E.D.Sandison was unheard of in wider golfing circles until he got a hole in one with the first ball on the first hole on his first game for eight weeks. What would the odds be against that happening?
The new golfing restrictions inevitably prompted new ideas for complying with them, as this picture illustrates.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO ALL THIS TIME
Under the heading of ‘Isolation Achievements’ an email was recently sent to a goodly number of club members inviting them to tell us if and how life has changed over the last eight weeks. It was not expected to embrace feline activities but ‘Gucci’ submitted a photo indicating his new Hawaiian style embellishments. Further research revealed that he was not named after the handbag but because it means “spirited” which, we are assured by owner Sonya, he is “definitely that”, and probably a lively house companion for Amelia, nicknamed “Millie”. Both of them recruited from the P.A.D. rescue centre.
Michael Kruppa claims not to enjoy practising, a statement viewed with a degree of editorial disbelief, especially in the light of this photo. Michael explains that “this is not straight putting, as you may think. No, there is also a line to feel, which you cannot see, and some awkward green defects ... but when I was out for golf first time last week at our course in Hamburg, my putting really had improved. Finally I understand why working at home has some advantages.”
Of course, some have taken a more serious approach to the extra time available, and Lady Captain Loraine had this to commendably report:
“I have completed a 4 week online photography course. Now waiting for the garden centres to re-open so I can buy some plants to brighten up the garden pots. Herbs and veggies already in. I have made a return to baking and got to grips with yeast! Have brushed up on my Spanish – one hour every day.”
Not only that but Loraine was the first reply in. What do they say? “If you want a job done, give it to a busy man.” Or, in this case, woman.
Regular exercising pays scenic benefit, as Sonya reports.
“On our daily walk, James and I went towards Europa golf course. We came upon this lovely turtle (I think it’s called turtle or terrapin)? Basking in the sun down by the ravine on the fourth hole. Also, the river bed was teaming with fish. It would seem that wildlife is flourishing as they are not being disturbed by ball collectors and golfers rummaging for their lost balls! “
At time of writing nobody comes close to Richard in terms of physical exertion.
Thomas and Helena Widegren have been at their home in Ystad since taking the last flight from Málaga to Stockholm on March 27th. They have been enjoying what he describes as “a life in freedom”. A rather lazy life by the sound of things. Thomas be-moans the absence of live sport on TV and certainly wasn’t enthused by the Bundesliga soccer played in empty stadiums. He and Helena have enjoyed the virus period by playing golf, doing jigsaw puzzles, eating, drinking and seeing old friends. Video conferences with children, grandchildren, and other family members.
Ystad is not a town with which one is familiar but it sounds rather nice. 60 kms from Malmo-Copenhagen, only 33,000 inhabitants, a lovely stretch of sandy beaches, and home of a giant sized jazz festival every August. Not least amongst the attractions is the Widegren home, dating back to 1789 and set in a very peaceful street.
Included in the photos Thomas was kind enough to send were two related to cars. One shows the transporter which took seven days to deliver the family Volvo whilst they flew home in a matter of hours.
The other shows an Austin Healey Mark 111 BJ8 which was ‘born’ in 1967 and spent most of its formative years in California. It was brought back to Europe, restored rather badly, came to the notice of Thomas who quickly dubbed it ‘the five metre car” because from that distance the problems could not be seen. However, its life is to be different and for the better henceforth. Mechanical restorations, new gaskets, new dashboard, instrument controls, check motor breaks and clutch and rubber sealing’s then, finally, the paint protection scheme. Thomas and Helena hope to be on the road again by mid June, the wind in their hair, a smile on their lips, and a sense of adventure in their hearts. Good luck to them both.
Former Hon. Secretary Geoff Thompson has clearly put in a lot of work on his rotundity diet, evidence of which can be clearly seen at short or long range. For those interested it can be revealed that Holland’s Pies, Brains, Faggots, Buttered Tripe and lots of Corona beer are essential. In addition, with the assistance of internal mechanisms, he has transformed his facial image. This may be something to do with his forthcoming 70th birthday (Sunday June 7th but keep it secret.) and the feeling that he should look the part more? Unkind rumours that he aspires to be a George Clooney look-a-like have got wife Laura all of a dither.
It is also reported that others have been seen in more hirsute guise.
Monday May 18th saw golfing action in the Resort again. Inevitably there was a very healthy turnout of golf starved members. It would have been much busier, of course, had so many owners and members not been locked down in their home countries. Play was mostly in fourballs but with each player in a buggy of their own. The transport was sanitized before setting out. Flags were not allowed to be touched and a little plastic thingy in every hole prevented the balls from dropping right to the bottom, to save too many hands exploring the usual cavity. It also caused balls to bounce away if struck too hard, we are informed!
The buggy park and book in stand outside the pro shop had been clearly and helpfully marked out so there could be no arguments about how far 2 metres actually was, and players were welcomed by Sean and Robert, which will have done much for team spirit. All players were given a fly sheet with a list of to do's and not to do's.
Amongst the early starters were John and Vivienne Youngs, Peter Penney, and Mike Fisher, the Youngs being able to share a buggy!
After play, and because the clubhouse and pro shop are out of bounds still, there was a bar on a buggy.
It proved very popular because the temperature had been in the high twenties much of the day. The aforementioned Geoff Thompson, who is not averse to refreshment, was to be seen some while after play, in the company of fellow imbibers David Evans and Cees Lagerwerf, all exercising social distance. Not that scores were taken too seriously on this first outing but rumour has it that Laura Thompson chalked up 39 Stableford points, while Derek Steele, a reet good lad, started with a birdie and only dropped a handful of shots overall.
In response to a request for comment on this first day back Heiko and Maria Winter had this to say:
“We had a wonderful day on the golf course yesterday. Our tee time was 10 o’clock. A few flights started ahead of us. We had to wait a little bit until our flight partners arrived. While waiting we were the only players at the buggy desk. During the round we did not have to wait for the players that had started before us. The flight behind us was not seen until the end of the round. Perfect, but that I only had forgotten about how to play golf.
Today we played again and we shared the tee time with two non members. Altogether we had the impression that fewer golfers were playing than yesterday. The team at the buggy desk was also reduced to two guys.
Enclosed please find some pictures I took today and last week. They show the area around the clubhouse (ED. See earlier.) and the greens of „Europa“ as they look now.”
Roy and Jill Davies had this to report:
“Played Monday. Not too busy. Not too slow once we had played hole 5 when the pace improved considerably. The course was in excellent condition. The golf was, as you would expect after a 9 week lay off, very variable but it was nice to be out and about again. The greens have been slowed down by letting the grass get a bit long which was not a bad thing bearing in mind how fast they were prior to lock down. The fairways were 'Lush' and excellent.”
From Dorothee Schmidt came another enjoyment tick:
“Playing golf for the first time after ten weeks was lovely yesterday. Robert and one of his team made us welcome in a very professional way. We were given a flyer with the rules, the buggy was disinfected while we chatted to Robert, and then we were ready to start. Asia was in great condition (except the greens which were freshly sanded). I expected a high score but it was OK for the first time after such a long break. We saw some other members but all in all it was very quiet. Still, great to slowly come back to ‘normal’.”
David Wilson and Janice Marler, responsible for the Male and Female weekly RollUps, have both been in touch with regular supporters of these Thursday competitions which will, we are told, resume from May 28th. If you are in Spain and would like to participate please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The following letter from organiser Monique Peters has gone to those who have already expressed interest, but now she needs alternative support if the date mentioned is firmed up.
Pearl Fisher “celebrated’ the opening day of Phase 1 by returning to a favourite haunt in the village, for a late breakfast and a look at the English newspaper.
Lilian and Scribbler “escaped” to the local promenade for a short walk followed by our first cup of coffee since lockdown. Noria’s was the venue and very busy with golfers.
David Moody appears in the next photograph as he risks life and limb whilst “scrumping” fruit from his neighbour’s orchard.
As a spin off from this activity comes a short quiz. Who knows what fruit is in the bowl to the right of this next picture?
The person seemingly trying to gain unlawful access to a property is our Captain for next year, Peter Bradley. However, it seems he had in mind to paint all the wrought iron gates where he and Kate live but, after posing for this picture, he decided to call in the professionals.
Someone who deserves a special mention for her contribution to the corinavirus defence movement in England, is Paula Lansdowne, who is seen below sitting at her sewing machine on which she has been non-stop busy making protective clothing and masks, somewhat more colourful and stylish than the standard products.
Mike Fisher, with his height and power, is known to hit a mean ball, but seldom if ever with the following result.
It doesn’t take long for socialising to renew its grip on members as these few pictures will testify.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Having mocked Geoff Thompson earlier on it would be cowardly not to admit to a similar weight gain situation. Four kilos being factual. The difference being that my diet has not changed and there has been daily activity in the torture chamber (AKA the locker room gym) to compensate for the closure of the physio clinic in Fuengirola. Lilian thinks my exercise has led to more leg muscle but in fact, as the doctor confirmed yesterday, the explanation is water retention. Two daily intakes have been prescribed and an appointment with the cardiologist arranged for next week. Will golf ever enjoy my company again?
AS WAS AT THE BEGINNING
From her considerable archives Loraine has un-earthed this shot of Asia's 5th in its original layout.
SHAGGY? BUSHY? JUST HIRSUTE?
Not too surprisingly some male members enlivened their isolation by not shaving. When word leaked out the Scribbler had visions of hairy humans like these two characters
but in fact the growths were quite modest.
BLESS 'EM ALL
VE Day passed most of us by out here but it was interesting to see footage of socially distanced street parties in the UK. Up in Cummings County, where John and Lilian Crombie live, was no exception. In fact, unbeknown until now, John is an exponent of the accordion, an instrument not much seen or heard these days but quite popular 75 years ago. A fan of the late George Formby, it was John who not only provided the music but actually led the singing of a song almost on a popularity par with Vera Lynn's other hit "We'll meet again".
John is a man of many parts. Good and keen golfer, planet lover, nice sense of humour, and a countryside enthusiast as these photos of him midst the wild asparagus and rape depict. He also has a fondness for animals as the one with the crocodile reveals.