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December 2020 members newsletter

A NEW YEAR DAWNS ON SUNNY LA CALA.

THE LAST MONTH OF A YEAR TO BE FORGOTTEN QUICKLY

21 women and 37 men played Campo America in excellent condition on Tuesday 1st and, judging by the overall scores, enjoyed themselves immensely. Well, most of them. One, who shall be nameless because she is a lovely person and normally a great golfer, had a nightmare round. Probably unprecedented (a much heard word these days?) and, like the paragraph heading, to be erased from the memory box with maximum speed.

Some ladies did rather better as the top four shows below:

1st l/r Loraine Murphy 33, Pauline Hilliard 37, winner Ursula Wetzel 37, Karin Luxon 31.

23 or the 37 males scored 30 or above, further indication that the course was being friendly, with the top four finishing:

37 Rob Garner; 36 Damien Murphy; 36 Derek Steele on handicap; 36 Seppo Jaaskaleinen on handicap.

L/r Damien & Rob only.

However, in the words of Vice Captain Peter Bradley, “they were all blown away by a proper golfer playing as a guest who squeezed out a stunning 45 points!!” None other than Flavio Pápa Quesado, normally part of the local furniture, and a very popular member of the LCR team.

Flavio to the left!

AMERICA RE-VISITED

Four days later, on Saturday 6th, eleven 4 balls ventured out in a soft Bramble. Vice Captain Peter Bradley has it that “The day was bitterly cold and didn’t warm up before play ended. One of the seasonal reasons Kate and I are usually in Florida at this time of year. To make matters worse there was nobody on hand with a shot of Jameson’s!. A calculation error initially placed the team of Gerda, Annemarie, Dirk and Jan in first place with 127 points but a chorus of gasps prompted a return visit to the score card and the removal of 10 points. Even so they finished runners-up”.

The final placings, approved by the assembly, were as under:

118 points l/r Marc de Jonghe, Carla Stoops de Jonghe, Pat Reid, invisible James Reid (said to be saving up for a mask).
117 points l/r Dirk de Koninck, Annemarie van Anderlecht, Jan Slaets, Gerda De Brouwere.

NEXT UP BUT ON ASIA

Things got rather more serious on Tuesday 8th when the dreaded monthly Medal was the challenge. This month’s organiser, Peter Bradley, is a man of few words, but has contributed some of them to set the scene. “Myself and one of my partners had run up an early eight without reaching the green so it was definitely pick up time for us. Most others soldiered on but to ensure finishing before dark, having started at 10.00 many balls were trousered so no complete medal card was returned. Only two of the ladies succumbed but eleven men earned DQ or DQR, including Garrett Mallon, a guest playing off scratch, who would have needed 15 pars and 3 birdies to match his ranking.”

The ladies leaderboard had a familiar look about it with Captain Loraine Murphy, enjoying a brief respite from her normal monthly activities, notching up a nett 71, followed by Alison Kirk, now back in Scotland and wondering why, on 73, and Caz Rosselli on a similar score.

L/r Caz, Loraine, Jing.

Star amongst the male contestants was Roger Harman who “produced a stunning 78 gross off a handicap of 12 to win by a mile, no handicap playoffs or count backs needed”. Barry Curran, a regular visitor to the prize giving rostrum, registered a creditable 70 and was cut 0.7 while Vic Hilliard also accepted a cut, but of 0.6 with his 72.

L/r Barry, Roger, Vic.

AMPHIBOLOGY

Shortly after this newsletter came under my wing some years back, Gordon Edwards took me on one side and warned me against the use of long words. “They will lose you readers” he claimed. If used pretentiously (!) this scribe would agree but every now and again one crops up, is intriguing, and proves irresistible, as indeed is much of the content of Bill Bryson’s “The Mother Tongue. English and how it got that way”, a fascinating, educational, and interesting book which has just been thoroughly enjoyed. Despite a love of words it must be confessed that the meaning of the paragraph heading was not known until Mr. Bryson explained that it referred to phrases or sentences which were deliberately grammatically ambiguous. Examples? “She sees more of her children than she does of her husband.” Or “Customers who think our waiters are rude should see the manager”. Or “Thank you so much for the book. I shall lose no time reading it” Doubtless heard in many a member’s home early each month.

NEAR ENOUGH

Our Captaincy clearly decided that Saturday December 12th was worthy of a festivally titled competition so 12 four balls and just the one 3 ball gathered together on Asia to celebrate the ‘Christmas Bramble.’ Whilst the subsequent photographs, kindly taken in my absence by Dorothée Schmidt, reflect a colourful approach to the occasion one would hesitate to report a prize giving bedecked with mistletoe. Vic Hilliard made the effort by showing his respect for Rudolph but then we have come to expect colourful attire from this past Captain.

Anyway, the players were blessed with a beautifully sunny and warm day, which probably explains why the organiser, Vice Captain Peter Bradley, didn’t miss Florida one bit and instead “scampered round” with Derek Steele and Pat Reid, his 3 ball mates, in 3 hours and 20 minutes, unfortunately to no great end. “Speedy golf doesn’t win prizes” was later heard. Indeed there were even mumbles about the visitors ahead of them. The eventual winners started as hot favourites but had to pull out all the stops to earn their prizes.

1st 120 points l/r Mike Fisher, Monique Peters, Jing & Michael Kruppa.
2nd 119 points l/r Brendan Walsh, Thomas & Helena Widegren, Jan Debrauwer.
3rd 119 points l/r on handicap Jill, Annemarie, Roy and Dirk.

Not considered worthy of reward were Pearl Fisher and Maddie Brooks who each registered three 2/s ! One suspects with a little team assistance?

Due to have played was Janice Marler who unfortunately broke her wrist the previous day and will thus be out of action for a while. We hope not too long, Janice.

LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

Loraine Murphy is always of a cheerful disposition and kindly has this to contribute: "The Corona Virus Pandemic, believe it or not, has had some benefits for golfers... more time to practice and lower handicaps! Our own Flavio Pápa has been able to join in some of our Member qualifying competitions, as a guest, and on December 1st he had the perfect game when all the practice paid off.. the result .. 45 stableford points and a -2.1 cut to his handicap taking him down from 14.3 to 12.2 in the process.!

Well done Flavio !

Unfortunately our golf operations supervisor has been on ERTE (furlough) along with approx. 140 of his colleagues since the Spanish Government brought in the State of Alarm on 15th March... and it is unlikely that they will all be able to get back to work before Easter.

La Cala Golf Resort is dependent on tourism for its clients and, as all members are aware, the travel industry together with all ancillary services has been badly hit by the pandemic."

Pause for mood change. Back to Loraine.

“The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Spain plummeted 87% year-on-year to 1.02 million in October of 2020, the eighth consecutive monthly fall, after authorities reimposed travel restrictions to curb a surge in coronavirus infections.

Main declines were registered in arrivals from France (-57.2 percent to 381,857) the UK (-91 percent to 148,540) and Germany (-92.7 percent to 82,509). Considering the first ten months of the year, only 17.9 million foreign tourists visited Spain, well below the 74.7 million counted in the same period of 2019.

We are all missing out this year but hope to return to normality, whatever that is, for 2021.”

MOTHER NATURE CHEERS US ALL

Thanks for the photograph and for lifting our spirits. The eye need not always be on the ball?
From the same observant camera came another example. Moonlight golf from a perfect blue sky.

BACK TO ROUTINE BUSINESS

The 16th on America will linger in my mind forever, but those playing on Tuesday 15/12 will have been otherwise mentally occupied, especially former Captain Thomas Widegren who received a 0.7 punishment for chalking up a winning 39 points. He was closely trailed by Captain Damien Murphy, 38, whilst in form Michael Kruppa, and Barry Curran (again!), could be satisfied with their 37’s.

L/r Thomas, Damien, Michael and Barry.

The leading ladies were equally close but with no significant handicap changes.

Monique Peters 36, Ursula Wetzel 35, and Verena Haas 35, on handicap, led the way home. Good performances in a healthy female field of 23 players.

L/r Laura, Verena, Ursula and Monique.

WELCOME BACK CHRIS SLATTERY

Although seldom seen on the social scene the club is fortunate in having a player of Chris’s ability, one who seldom turns in a poor score. By our standards anyway. Tuesday 22/12 saw him back in action and, as usual, setting the pace. However, he was to be denied the ultimate objective by lowly Jan Debrauwer, using the adjective in handicap terms only, whose 38 points made life difficult for all and reduced his handicap by 0.7 to 24.1. Adding strength to Loraine’s earlier comments came cheerful Flavio, minus bandit puppet but happy enough with his 34 which, on handicap, eased him just ahead of Thomas Widegren.

L/r Thomas, Jan and Pat.

Flavio understandably is not often seen at prize giving’s, nor Chris either, but what happened to the others is less than clear!

The same must be said about the leading ladies who, on this bright, sunny Tuesday were Marjan Harman 35, Pauline Hilliard 33, Suzanne Valentin on handicap 33, Jing Kruppa 32.

L/r Marjan and Pauline (other two not available unfortunately).

ALL OF A SUDDEN THE YEAR HAS GONE

Considering the traditional demands of Christmas Day nine 4 balls are to be complimented for their devotion to duty by turning out for the Boxing Day (in UK) Christmas Bramble on Asia. It is almost boring to report that yet again the December conditions were lovely for golf, and especially for the Kruppa’s who have had a pretty good month. Today was special for Jing though because not only was she part of the winning team but it was her birthday, a landmark celebrated by a glass of cava for all, kindness of husband Michael, also in the winning squad.

The happy couple.

The winning score looked outrageous until some of the other cards were unfolded. Then it didn’t look such a runaway victory.

1st 182 points l/r Roger & Marjan Harman, Jing & Michael Kruppa.
2nd 179 l/r Vic Hilliard, Pauline Hilliard, Monique Peters, Bob de Boef.
3rd 177 l/r Thomas Widegren, Erling Johnsen as should have been, Helena Widegren, Barry Curran.

TRUISM

Practice makes perfect except when it comes to getting up in the morning.

ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE

Captain Loraine, spending the changeover of years with her family in Cannes, has thought fit to widen our knowledge in preparation for the months immediately ahead.

“As we enter into the start of our “winter” season here is a quick reminder of the Winter Rules in place at La Cala. You may double check them at any time in notes in the sign up section on the members App.

Winter Rules/Preferred Lies/Lift, Clean & Place are now applicable in all La Cala Member Committee arranged competitions until further notice. Are you fully aware of the Rules in relation to preferred lies?:

A ball lying on a closely mown area through the green may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, it must be placed on a spot within a scorecard length of, and not nearer the hole, than where it originally lay, that is not in a hazard and not on a putting green.

A player may place his ball only once, and it is in play when it has been placed (Rule 20-4). (Under Rule 20-4 when a player drops, places or replaces a ball, it’s deemed the ball is in play once it comes to rest). If the ball fails to come to rest on the spot on which it was placed, Rule 20-3d applies. (Under Rule 20-3d, if a ball will not come to rest on the spot where it originally lay, it must be placed at the nearest spot not nearer the hole where it can be placed at rest.)

If the ball when placed comes to rest on the spot on which it is placed and it subsequently moves, there is no penalty and the ball must be played as it lies, unless the provisions of any other Rule apply.

If the player fails to mark the position of the ball before lifting it or moves the ball in any other manner, such as rolling it into position with a club, a penalty of one stroke is applicable."

PETER BRADLEY REPORTS

“Saturday was another excellent day for golf, if a little chilly. Just to test the resilience of the teams on Boxing Day, especially their scribes, a “Soft Bramble Plus” was the chosen format with complications, those being three double up holes, one par 3, one par 4 and one par 5, the best doubled hole scores were two 22’s! Anyone following the evolution of the format over the previous week will have noticed that an additional complication was included, this being the multiplying of all four stableford points on hole 10 bearing in mind anything multiplied by zero is zero!! After multiple death threats the organizer had a rethink.

Winning with a remarkable 182 were the Harman’s and Kruppa’s. Second with three points less were the Hilliard’s with Monique and rocket man Bob de Boef. Third on 177 were the Widegren’s with Barry Curran and Erling Johnson.

After proceedings were concluded the members were treated to a glass of Cava provided by Michael Kruppa to celebrate his wife Jing’s birthday A fitting end to an enjoyable day.”

RELAX AND ENJOY THE VINO, LORAINE!

It’s great to have contributions, and our Lady Captain is a stalwart supporter, but come on, Loraine! It’s New Years Eve, as the keyboard rattles, and you should be getting in the mood for this evening. Duty calls, it is well known, but this Orwellian contribution doesn’t fit the mood somehow? The advice/instructions are necessary though so, editorial responsibility recognised, here we go:

“During the first week of January you will notice that you will have been signed out of the member system and will be required to log in again. Once you go to sign in a pop up note will appear that requires you to click on "I Accept" in order to gain access. This is part of the required annual Data Protection Act protocols and you are asked to carefully read the updated GDPR notice before continuing."

"Home Club" Member System Update

"Due to WHS requirements our system guru and inventor Mr David Rogers has been hard at work over the last couple of weeks and so some changes to the sign up system will be noticeable for those members who have alternative "Home Clubs" to La Cala and who are not RFEG federated. You will now be able to sign in as normal - no longer required to sign in as a Guest - and you will be required to verify your WHS handicap index prior to each competition.. (a simple click process). Please ask a member of the committee for assistance if anything is not clear”.

"Now, listen very carefully, we will say this only once." This is very important.Ignore the foregoing GDPR article!! For the time being at least. There is more work to be done behind the scenes. More technical input by David Rogers. Bear it all in mind though for changes are definitely on the horizon.

LAST CHANCE SALOON

Hard to believe that this is now 2021 scribbling, the old year having fizzled out a few quiet hours ago. Time to report on the last competition of 2020, a Stableford on Tuesday 29th on America, and commented on in distinctive style by Vice Captain Peter Bradley:

“Another bright but distinctly cool day greeted the relatively large field for this handicap qualifying competition. The ladies scored well with dark horse Vera van der Veken playing to her handicap and returning 36 points. Into second place was Gerda with a very commendable and steady 37, but the cream rose to the top as usual seeing Jill snatch first also on 37 points.

Aloe Vera.

Scoring by the men was quite spectacular with the top nine players making 36 or better. Mike Fisher and David Gilchrist both returned 40 points but David edged out his more senior rival on handicap. The swashbuckling Bob de Boef took second place also with 40 points but with a spritely single figure handicap, but an on form David Evans was the convincing winner with 41 points.

Contented Mike with his new hairpiece.

The effect of the new WHS could be seen with the top six losing between 0.3 and 1.4, none more spectacularly than the afore mentioned Bob getting his 6.9 whacked by 1.4 to 5.5 but still only second!! Seems a little harsh?”

BETTER EARLY THAN LATE

Technically this next report should open the January newsletter but time for scribbling is available, Dorothée is poised for assembly, and tomorrow there is no golf so plenty of time for members to sit around and read. Normally we are under a bit of pressure at this production juncture. Makes a nice change. Just wish the circumstances were different.

Let us pitch straight into Kate Bradley’s report on the NYE Celebration Bramble on America which was well attended yesterday and, again, blessed with fine but chilly weather.

“Today was a lovely sunny but very cold day. In fact our team did not warm up until we were three holes from the end. The bramble was fun and I myself actually played my first 18 holes so am really pleased to be back on the golf course. It felt just wonderful to be with everyone again.

We had closest to the pin on holes 8 and 16 for the Blue, Yellow, plus Red/Green. The Yellow was won by Martin Dawkins, Blue was Seppo and the ladies won by Barbara Reading. On the 16th hole the ladies closest to the pin was won by Monique, the Blue was again taken by Seppo but on the Yellow hole I can attest to the most astounding closest to the pin by Rob Rosselli. He hit what looked like a wonderful shot however was just short and hit the rocks on the side of the water, flew around 200 feet in the air left over to the hill then rolled down to within a foot and a half of the pin. Quite amazing to watch! Lots of 2s though!!

3rd placed team with 113 points were all the old men together, Erling, Mike Fisher and Peter Penney. Very well done to them. Second was Richard Hinds, just out of hospital lately with Wendy and the Dawkins with 114 but the overall winners with a fantastic 122 were John and Maddie along with Monique and Pat Reid.

By the time we got to the clubhouse it had warmed up considerably and we all welcomed in the New Year with a glass of Cava.

The members were advised about how the Staff fund was donated out to those in need and the staff in return thanked the members for their generosity. It was really most appreciated by them all.

The Bradleys’ are leaving it to the Captains for the next couple of months so time for a bit of relaxation on our behalf.”

TO END THE YEAR ON A PERSONAL NOTE

There are a number of kind people deserving of thanks as this dreadful year grinds to a close. Those who have supported Lilian and I during the various changing fortitudes. Those good enough to make contact during and since my spell in hospital from which I was discharged on Christmas Eve in time for a rather different Christmas Day, Lilian and I having written off this festive season. Last, but far from least, Judi Lentelink for her faultless typo hunting towards the end of each month and, of course, the dependable, unflappable, reliable, supportive, friendly, and Apple knowledgeable, Dorothée Schmidt.

Having said which, and to finish on a more relevant note, may attention be drawn to such as Lee Westwood who, despite his advanced years (42?) had a magnificent season.

As indeed did Dustin Johnson who not only won the Master’s green jacket but by a record 20 under score!

Peter Alliss stepped off the world’s golfing stage unexpectedly but in a painless way. It is hard to imagine anyone replacing him and his distinctive broadcasting style, or even matching his Ryder Cup record which tended to get overlooked by many who were just charmed by his command of the English language, his humour, and his bottomless knowledge of the game.

To show that the Scribbler is both inclusive and diverse he turns now to Sophia Popov, winner of the UK Women’s Open, who has, in the opinion of most observers since, been treated badly by the golfing bodies and would probably rather have been playing in the subsequent major events than banking her £540,000 prize money. Or perhaps not? A bird in the hand, as they say?

December 16th marked the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven who, as far as is recorded, didn’t play golf. He did well in his chosen field though and his tunes can still be heard everywhere. He deserves a mention.

Another non-golfing musician, but from a current era, and supported by a huge and talented orchestra as he flies around the world making vast audiences clearly very happy, is André Rieu. Concert tickets cost a fortune but he spares no expense when it comes to venues, clothing, and fan comfort. His accounts would make interesting reading but, meanwhile, both he and Ludwig make us happy.

“Vice Captains Peter and Kate Bradley hand over vouchers to Juan José Anaya, Human Resources Director, Union Reps. Miguel Angel Carrera, Maria Jesús Coca and Pilar Martinez for distribution to all catering staff and servers in La Cala Clubhouse, Buggy Staff and Golf shop to assist workers who have been furloughed during the Pandemic. All four thanked the Members of La Cala for their kind donation in these turbulent times and said they were most grateful to all who contributed. This represents 6,000 Euros of the 7,000 Euros collected. Treasurer Caz Rosselli still has 1,000 Euros in the fund which will be used to distribute to those workers who may still incur problems in the New Year”.

By the time you read this issue, we shall be into a new year, so my final words are to wish all members the happiest and healthiest 2021 that is possible in the circumstances available.

As is only proper the closing words of the year come from the Committee and these are:

"The Captains Damien & Loraine Murphy, Vice Captains Peter & Kate Bradley together with Club Secretary Alison Kirk, Treasurer Caz Rosselli and Handicap Secretary David Wilson wish to send all members a huge big THANK YOU for your support during a challenging 2020 and here’s hoping to the best of health and fun during 2021!"