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September 2020 Members newsletter

STABLEFORD KICK STARTS THE MONTH

Loraine is back from her baby sitting break in France and managed to play well enough to finish in third place by virtue of her 36 points and a .2 handicap difference between Pauline Hilliard and herself. Fronting the Ladies section was Janice Marler with 37. However, mention deserves to be made of recently returned Carla Stoops de Jonghe who had 1.7 shaved off her handicap but just didn’t manage to win a prize.

L/r Pauline, Janice, Loraine.

One sensed that it was only a matter of time before Barry Curran’s name appeared on high and, rabbits rabbits rabbits, today was it. 41 points is enough to make any player smile? Vic Hilliard matched his beloved by finishing second with 38, whilst Geoff Thompson’s 37 just got him on the podium again.

L/r Geoff, Vic , Barry, Roy (4th).

Loraine has rightly pointed out that September 1st marked the world wide Womens’ Golf Day which was due to be held on June 1st. Unfortunately, for reasons with which we are now all very familiar, it had to be postponed.

“It had been set up as a 4 hour experience, happening globally, where women and girls can experience golf for the first time or where current players can play and engage with other women interested in golf. Locations that are taking part in Women's Golf Day provide a minimum of two hours of golf-related activities and two hours of socializing.

• Golf activities can be playing 9 holes, lessons, chipping & putting, product demos, ete. so long as the sport of golf is being actively played.

• The socializing can include drinks and food at the bar/restaurant, informational talks, corporate networking, pro shop discounts, and more.

This year, given the strict protocols necessary due to Covid 19 the full golf related activities and socialising had to be limited, however, the Ladies at La Cala were provided with a glass of pink, sugar coated cava, after their golf game. Cheers to Women's Golf worldwide!“

Thanks Loraine. We have two colourful pictures to illustrate your piece.

Members of Resort staff.
Ditto plus l/r Laura, Loraine, Pauline, Mary, Lilly.

VERY APPROPRIATE

As if written in the stars Pauline Hilliard AKA The Rain Goddess was one of the winning squad in the Captains’ Choice event, played on America, Saturday 5/9, and formatted as a Rainbow Scramble. Helping her were husband Vic, Derek Steele, and Simon Buddery who has been seen on the podium quite a bit of late.

“This type of competition allows everyone from very different tee positions – White Discs/Yellow Logs/Blue Logs and Red Logs, which certainly sorts out the men from the boys” writes Loraine Murphy. ”The nine teams that took part certainly seemed to enjoy the format – although the white tees did prove to be quite tough for the ladies, whilst the men found the red logs – interesting! It appears that Pat Reid almost had a heart attack and nearly jumped out of his buggy at the shock of the shouts of FORE coming from his right on the 18th while he was driving up the hill from the 14th – something completely unexpected – sorry Pat.”

1st l/r 56.8 points Vic,Pauline, Derek, Simon.

In second place with 58.6 were:

Roy Davies, “Zorro” Lindstrom, Seppo Jaaskelainen, and Richard Hinds.

(Sorry, Liisa, just couldn’t resist it.)

3rd l/r Peter Robinson, Marjan Harman, Brian Farmer, Roger Harman with 59.7.

”A little snippet of information which you may wish to put in the news letter relating to the Rainbow Scramble last Sunday. Liisa & Seppo were in our 4 ball. On the 4th hole on America, Liisa managed to get & keep her tee shot on the green. Having played at La Cala for 13 years , this was the very first time she had managed to do so. Her reaction was 'priceless'!!. She could not have been any happier if she had managed a 'Hole in One' !!. Couldn't stop talking about it. She was 'Over the Moon'!!”

WHAT AN EASY GAME?

Again we are indebted to Loraine for the following report:

“It was back to America again for the Stableford on Tuesday the 8th but looking at the scores that came in – the course was well and truly taken apart by the members. Welcome back to Val Wicks, and congratulations on her great score of 43 points which saw her handicap cut by 2.1. On any normal Tuesday Marie Wilson’s more than steady 40 points would have won the day but, instead, it just dropped her handicap a fraction, In terms of improvement Marjan Harman stole the headlines with a mere 39 points but a dramatic 3.4 reduction in handicap. Jill Davies, despite some muscle problems, is having a run of great play and posted a score of 38, a cut of 0.6 and fourth place. Exactly the same as Liesbeth Guise Smits who, unbeknown at the time, was on the edge of La Cala golfing fame".

Marjan minus three.

There was a similar story on the male front where Roy Davies posted a fabulous score of 44 points and a cut of 2.1, while David Evans finally earned a trim of 0.9 as reward for his 41. Cees Lagerwerf must have fancied his chances with 40 points but had to settle for a 0.5 step down. It’s always good to see new names on the scoreboard, Jan Slaets being another whose handicap is currently heading in the right direction. 39 and 0.7 down. However, the story of the day involved Marc de Jonghe who also had 39 points but a massive slash of 3.5.

Roy and same equation.

It is certainly going to take a while to get used to the new WHS and these handicap changes.”

As a matter of statistical interest 17 of the 19 men scored 30 or more whilst 14 of the 17 ladies did likewise.

TRUISM

If it goes without saying, let it.

NOT QUITE WHAT WAS PLANNED

This should have been the highlight of the year for the Resort. It is usually a day on which Management say “Thank you” to Owners by organising a prize strewn day of golf, followed by a party bordering on the edge of indulgence. It was not to be, as Arthur O’Connor reports:

”The annual Property Owners Championship was held on Wednesday 9th September on Campo America. However, due to changing Covid restrictions, the format of the day had to be altered after the initial invitations had been issued. A shotgun start was considered not to be possible and the 60 participating owners on the original list teed off, mainly in 4 balls, between 9.30 and 12.00 but not before enjoying an excellent buffet breakfast on the clubhouse terrace. The staggered start meant social distancing at breakfast created no difficulties.

Despite the obvious problems created by Covid, the weather conditions for the day were perfect for golf as was the America course. Some mutterings were overheard, not about social distancing or the wearing of masks, but the more serious issue of competitors being paired in buggies with their own wives or husbands. It did not go unnoticed that there were exceptions to this for those who may be more influential (or possibly be more resourceful!)

On completion of the round, rather than the evening prize presentation and social gathering which is always one of the highlights of the La Cala golf calendar, Covid restrictions had made this imposible. Consequently players were greeted at the recorder's desk as they finished their round by Resort Director Sean along with a glass of Cava.

When the full results were published it was interesting to see that this year the prizes were dominated by La Cala golf members who, more or less entirely, were in possession of RFEG handicaps.

The well deserved overall winner, with an excellent 40 points, was Liesbeth Guise Smits. As Prize giving was virtual (collection from the Pro Shop) she was spared the pleasure of making a winner's speech. It is a pity though as rumour has it that husband Maarten has one that he wrote 15 years ago which he keeps in his golf bag just in case!

The victorious Liesbeth.

In the Ladies competition, first was Val Wicks with 37 points, and Gerda de Brouwere second with 36 beating 3rd place Ana María Van Anderlecht on handicap.

For the Men it was nearly a clean sweep for the Welsh boys with Arthur O'Connor the winner with 38 points and Les Wicks edging out Roy Davies on handicap with 37 points each.

The guest prize went to Heidi Doughty with 24 points.

Nearest the pins on the 8th and 16th holes were won by Elizabeth Ward and Connie Maphar for the ladies and Mike Fisher and Flavio Cassina for the men.

In the absence of the usual formal presentation, thanks go to La Cala management and staff for an excellent day organised and played in difficult circumstances.”

It was a good day for the club because no less than nine of the top ten scores were by members.

NO SHORTAGE OF COLOUR

It has been a great year for the prolific oleander, or adelfa as the locals say, but on a smaller scale it has been the finer, fragile, short lived hibiscus which has stolen our hearts domestically. We have several in pots on our terrace and have been constantly amazed by the number of buds on show most of the summer. Hibisco in Spanish, it is just a pity that these delicate flowers only last a day, or two at most. Very welcome though and a source of joy.

WALTZING ON ASIA

Cometh the weekend cometh the fun formats. Nothing new about the non qualifying 1-2-3 0930 shotgun start competition on the 13th, a date which is familiar to Scribbler for reasons which will unfold.

The weather was fine and not too hot. The two active courses are both in excellent condition so scores were of good order and amazingly close. Indeed four teams registered 84 points and were separated only on handicap and then back nine count back! Unheard of before?

Liesbeth Guise rounded off a week to remember by being in the winning group along with:

l/r Pat Reid, Liesbeth, Louis Lentelink. Handicap 71.
2nd l/r Dorothée Schmidt, Achim Schmidt, Jean Piere Arcq, Monique Vermeiren Handicap 75.
3rd l/r Roy Davies, Jill Davies, Janice Marler, Brian Farmer Handicap 76.
4th l/r Peter Penney, Philip Shute, Pauline Hilliard, Barry Curran Handicap 76.

To which Loraine has added:

“There was an impromptu round of applause and a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" when it transpired that our newsletter editor and erstwhile scribbler Mr. Jack Perry was actually celebrating his 88th birthday!"

Unfortunately due to the COVID 19 regulations there was no competition prizegiving possible for the Property Owners Championship but we congratulate everyone for a great performance and gave overall winners Liesbeth Guise Smits a round of applause and and well earned bottle of wine.”

MISTER ROLL-UP MISSING

David Wilson, Handicap Secretary, Rules Expert, and long time organiser of the Mens’ Thursday Roll-Up competition, has returned to his Swiss home for medical attention and is unlikely to be back amongst us before the new year. The newsletter has never covered Thursday’s because they have their own weekly report, amusingly written and sparing no punches. It has become a “must play in” event, a fun but competitive gathering which calls for skill, a good memory and/or team captain, numeracy and ends in the winning team taking all the prize money. We wish David well and meanwhile the spotlight shines on Geoff Thompson, who will deputise for him and is not afraid of including some mild industrial language in his match reports.

BIG SEVEN 0

To quote Judi Lentelink herself as she set out to celebrate the special occasion with some “pulled lamb”. Don’t ask. We repeat our congratulations on reaching a milestone in life, and hope her dinner party in Mijas went well.

Judi celebrates the special occasion with husband Louis - and friends off camera!

CYCLING FROM HOLLAND TO ROME IN CORONA

Some will have read the piece last month about Johan and Ria van Westerhoven’s ambitious trip. Now it is over. This is how Johan summarised it in his daily blog, in itself a fascinating read and something of a challenge after a day in the saddle.

“After 24 days, 2156 km, more than 12000 meters of climbing, more than 120 hours in the saddle, 5 countries, only 1 flat tire, two injuries and without Corona (as far as we know) we are standing in St. Peter’s square where the route in the book officially ends. We did it. This trip has been on our to-do list for years but can now finally be crossed off. It was worth the effort. You see so much more on a bike than in a car."

POEM

QUIET ON ASIA

In the sense that little or, to be precise, no general comment has been forthcoming. Which is unusual. Especially as the Medal was a tight fought battle judging by the scores. The “worst” of the top six was nett 74. The best lady and gentleman notched up 73. Handicap changes were tiny and somehow, under the new World System, less interesting?

Top three ladies were Sylvia McGarvie 73, Marjan Harman 74, and Jill Davies 74 also.

L/r Marjan, Sylvia, Jill.

Cees Lagerwerf won a place in the forthcoming Final Day with his 73, but only by a whisker from Peter Edstrom and Maarten Smits who had the same tally. Later, and with some reluctance, Cees had this little personal piece:

“As always we had a super day on Tuesday and among us, we had our usual match that ended up all square. I was happy with my net score of 73 but never expected this to become the winning score. If I recall correctly, it is only the second time for me to win a medal over the last 6 years. I have noticed it was all very close with four players having a net 73 and I was just lucky to win it on handicap. To put it in perspective, in August I managed a 73 as well but this was then only good for 5th place and the winning score was then 68."

FUN TIME BECKONS

Ever mindful of the needs of party lovers Ladies Captain Loraine Murphy draws attention, and not for the first time, to the following events:

“These are the social events that are planned - so far - for the month of October and the information below has been sent out on the Ladies What's App group and is also on the sign up sheets on the member system

2 0 2 0 - R E B O O T E D !

Monday 12th October

Social Event. Meet by the La Cala tower at 10:40hrs

Ladies, the summer is over and we have to kick start some healthy habits for Autumn! Caz Rosselli is our team leader and day organizer to keep us in line on our (approx.) 10kms "Brisk & Bracing Boardwalk" from La Cala to Cabopino. Maddie Brooks is going to ensure we set off on the right foot by hosting a 15 mins yoga beach warm up. It is suggested that you wear comfortable exercise outfits and proper walking shoes - please have a hat (in case it's hot and sunny) as well as a light rainproof jacket in case the weather has turned a bit chilly by October. A backpack (so your hands are left free) to carry everything - with bottle water - is recommended. Once we get to Cabopino we shall have a "Break for Brunch" at La Luna Beach (please note: this location may have to change if they are unable to accommodate us in which case an alternative will be arranged). After Brunch - and a "Bathroom Break" - we will stroll leisurely back to La Cala... where those who have the time can then relax with a coffee (spelt vino in Spanish).

It will be fun!

Booking is now open on the sign up section of the member system.

Friday 16th October

Everybody is welcome to a social lunch at the Escuela de Hostelería (catering school) in Benahavis. The lunch is a tasting menu cooked and served by the pupils of the cookery school, accompanied by wines paired to each course. The cost per person is 32€. The cooking school will strictly observe the COVID 19 regulations that are in place at the time as per government guidelines. Thank you to Janice Marler for her idea and follow through on booking! Please note that transport options will be advised nearer to the time... as soon as we have an idea of the number wishing to go. Booking is now open on the sign up section of the member system.

Saturday 31st October

Halloween Spooktacular Fiesta. Can you believe almost a year has passed since our last Halloween Fiesta! We are going ahead and planning for our evening haunting at last year’s venue. Broomsticks and pumpkins at the ready. Open to everyone, Vampires, Draculas, Witches and Bats. Arrival: 19:00hrs. Menú cost - choice of 2 courses €21 - 3 courses €25. To include half a bottle of wine or two beers or a (ghoulish ) spirit and mixer per person. All Covid 19 regulations will be in force. Looking forward to a possible sighting of The coffin-bangers with their vocal group, 'The Crypt-Kicker Five' :). All are welcome - fancy dress or not!"

Thanks for all that, Loraine.

NOT QUITE THE SAME

It was a fun format for the first day of the look-a-like Ryder Cup Competition held on America on Sunday 20th in glorious weather. Loraine Murphy was at the day’s helm and needed extra secretarial help at the end of play working out the scores. She now reports as follows:

“The final official scores were:

Overall Winners

Vic & Pauline Hilliard - 47 points

Red Team

1st - Arthur 0'Connor & Peter Bradley - 46 points

2nd - Campbell & Sylvia McGarvie - 45 points

3rd - Roy & Jill Davies - 43 points

Honorable mentions went out to:

Sonya Foster & Simon Buddery - 43 points

Karen O'Connor & Peter Penney - 43 points (pipped on handicap)

Blue Team

1st - Peter Robinson & Gerda De Brouwere - 46 points

2nd - Maarten Smits & Liesbeth Guise Smits - 43 points

3rd - Seppo Jaaskelainen & Liisa Lindstrom - 42 points

Honorable mentions went out to:

Peter Edstrom & Loraine Enriquez Murphy - 42 points

Marc De Jonghe & Carla Stoops de Jonghe - 42 points

Barry Curran & Pat Reid - 42 points (also pipped on handicap)

After all the ups and downs of the day - the final team results ended in a Draw! Each team scored 7 points leaving it all to play for on day 2!

The winning pairs on each team were:

Some of the players.

Here's hoping the matchplay next Sunday will be as much fun... and that the 20/20 Quiz afterwards will be entertaining ! 20 Ryder Cup Questions and 20 General Knowledge Questions with James Reid the organiser.”

HALF HEARTED CONGRATULATIONS

Bryson DeChambeau’s fantastic winning of the U S Open whilst setting all sorts of new records has been deprecated in some quarters, and posed some difficult questions for the game itself. Coming on top of the new WHS that’s all the game needs?

“Golf is at a crossroads and with DeChambeau’s bombs flying over their heads, the US Golf Association and the R&A must decide if they at last want to draw a line. A tournament ball would be the simplest fix, although it would mean the pros playing with different equipment to the hackers (in truth, they do anyway) and losing that mythical connection. The USGA and R&A revealed, in a report released earlier this year, a willingness to act and the pressure is on now more than ever before, regardless of any potential legal wars.”

LOVELY DAY FOR GOLF

The flag on the 16th America green hung limp and lifeless as dawn broke on Tuesday 22nd. Dejected almost, but by the time the first 4 ball tee’d off at 0930 the flag’s mood had changed. By then the sun was at work, but not in turbo gear, and the conditions just begged for players to score well – which many did.

None better than Lilly Lagerwerf whose 40 points cost her -0.8 but left her one point clear of Karen O’Connor (-0.5) and two of Monique Peters (-0.4).

Tuesday’s successful players l/r Karen, Monique, Sylvia.

Circumstances enabling him to play regular golf has led to Flavio Papa Quesada becoming quite a force. Part of the first group out, and thus back, he not only “held the lead in the clubhouse” but didn’t let go of it! Trimmed -0.8 was his reward. George Kirk, playing in the sunshine and warmth after a prolonged stay in Scotland, showed that he hadn’t been wasting any golfing time in his absence. 38 points, down -0.6 and second spot on handicap from Peter Edstrom.

Tuesday’s top three. L/r Roger, George, Peter.

There were 15 squads out this day, pleasant evidence of the delayed drift back of members from other parts of Europe. Roger Harman has been back some weeks now and seems to get better every outing. He also had a 38 but a much more meaningful handicap cut, - 1.6 in fact.

POEM

A FRIENDLY SALUTE

Sharing a birth date with Connie Maphar is my pleasure but didn’t earn an invite to the special “party” the Ladies organised for her to celebrate her 75th this month. An all male affair obviously coming as it did on the 10th tee of a RollUp Thursday meeting. No shortage of pictures by way of coverage, as will be seen.

HAMBURG REUNION

Michael and Jing Kruppa not only live near Heiko and Maria Winter in Hamburg but are near neighbours here in Los Altos. Michael arranged for Heiko to play in his club’s Invitation Day and his guest walked home with the first prize!

A spectator was on hand to witness this triumph.

A SILVER LINING IN THE CLOUD

Not so long ago we were be-moaning the dwindling interest in, and support for the game we all love. Now, thanks to the dreaded virus, things are on the turn. With a vengeance it would seem. We quote the Daily Telegraph.

"Preliminary figures from Sports Marketing Surveys indicate the number of rounds played during August was up more than 60 per cent compared with August 2019. In a word – staggering.

The authorities were astounded when SMS announced in June that the year-on-year figures for that month had risen by 60 per cent. But then July’s came through and it had dropped to 40 per cent; still huge growth, but a little perspective had entered the euphoria.

After all, June was when the majority of courses reopened for business after a near three-month lockdown. There would inevitably be a surge.

How many new faces could golf retain?

Well, to hell with perspective. The ambition must plainly not be mere retention, but rampant accumulation and this applies across the globe. In the United States, golfers played 10 million more rounds in July 2020 than in July 2019, and no, this cannot simply be put down to President Trump’s ever-growing passion for the fairways. Never mind Bryson DeChambeau’s 390 yards from the tee, that 10 million rush is the most incredible and notable golf statistic this year.

Golf Datatech also disclosed that equipment sales in August topped $380 million (£300 million), retail’s greatest single month ever. The Tiger Woods effect had nothing on coronavirus.”

A CAUTIONARY TALE

“Yes, it looks amusing but at the time it was certainly not. However, in the company of Sten and Suzanne, Wendy (Fretwell) and I (piloting) stopped at the lower 11th yellow tee on Asia. I played my shot onto the green and returned to the buggy to travel to the blue/red teeing area but the buggy wouldn’t move.

Switched it off and on a couple of times but still nothing and then remembered that under the seat is a switch that turns all the power off and then back on again in a re-boot scenario. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the newer buggies have an electronic brake and if you switch the power off, the brake disengages. Needless to say, the buggy started rolling downhill but I couldn’t get in and sit down because the seat was up; I also couldn’t hold the buggy with all the weight of the batteries. I had no choice but to let it roll down the hill; it switched directions a couple of times but then plummeted over the bank and into a pile of brambles and bushes.

Fortunately, Wendy and I were not on board but all our possessions were, clubs and all. We both climbed down and rescued our “stuff” in relays meanwhile calling for a buggy replacement. This came very promptly and concernedly but once establishing nobody was injured, we went on our way a little shaken but not stirred into greater performance.

The real thing.

Lesson learned – don’t switch the power off on a buggy with an electronic brake.”

NOT A NICE WAY TO LOSE?

Most of us like clear cut winners on the day and were therefore mildly disappointed when our very own RYDER CUP competition, played over two weekends, ended in a remarkable draw. 7-7 on leg one. 12.5 -12.5 today, Sunday 27th on Asia. Europe, captained by Monique Peters, were declared the winners on the basis that they were the holders. Sonya Foster, captaining the Rest of the World side, took the decision in sporting fashion but was understandably disappointed. Lady Captain Loraine Murphy appeared happy with the outcome though and, as organiser, she will be pleased to know that everyone enjoyed the concept.

Maybe next year, and a repeat has been promised, a Local Rule could be applied to ensure the current players earn the trophy.

Our replica trophy kindly donated by Thomas Widegren.
The two captains show their mixed emotions.
Organiser Loraine with the winning team.

After the traditional prize giving and picture taking most of the players took advantage of a part sponsored snack lunch, and then turned their attention to the Quiz created and controlled by James Reid. For the benefit of quiz lovers in distant countries we are pleased to include the challenge contained in the following link.

With mobile phones rightly banned, memories were genuinely tested, and didn’t do too well! 9.5 was the winning score although how the half crept in has not been made clear. Had there been a prize it would have gone to Peter Marler and his team. For those now wishing to mark their own score sheet, please use this link:

Results will be available in another link at the culmination of this text