LIGHT SHINING IN THE FOREST
It is Easter Sunday here in Liphook, Hampshire. The sun is bright above us, the sky blue and cloudless, the temperature rather better than in La Cala according to reports. A bit late in the month to be starting work on the newsletter but this has been a demanding time, starting very much in the deep end of visits and visitors and only just allowing Lilian and I to get our heads above water. To be truthful it would be rather nice just to open a bottle wine, read the papers, watch some soccer on television, have dinner and go to bed early – but duty calls. Time is running out and we start the journey back next Friday!!
Somehow the creative juices, if there are any, are keeping themselves well hidden today. The blame, in my mind, lays at the feet of Paul Torday whose book (see paragraph heading) is enough to kill off most senses. Encouraged by his “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” paperback, investment was made in another of his works, only to find it dull, slow moving, filled with troubled characters, very wordy, and with a theme centred on abducted children and family misery. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the initial temptation to add it to the next Cudeca delivery was overcome by a desire to know the outcome which, 344 pages on, was a bit anticlimatic. So, apologies in advance if this scribbler’s April mood is less than cheerful.
A pity because this is a month of change, a month in which Dorothée Schmidt joins the production team. We, your Captains and Committee, have been looking for somebody to take over the marrying of text to pictures, and editing/cropping of the latter. Dorothée has kindly stepped forward and is experienced in such skills.
It is a further shame that her start should coincide with me being away in England, thus causing some logistical problems. We have yet to agree on a routine so please bear with us if this is not the best newsletter ever! We will get there. One of the benefits will be the freedom to include bigger pictures and more pages if needed.
Finally, whilst in excuses mode, being here when all the activity is there doesn’t help much in terms of content. Everyone can look up the scores on line but they don’t tell the story of the day, related incidents, conditions, etc. Added to which, last moan, promise, very few of the prize winners showed up this month so we are short on pictures despite Judi Lentelink’s camera readiness in my absence.
WE MAY HAVE STRUCK GOLD
This paragraph is written towards the end of the month in which, with the considerable help of Dorothée, we appear to have achieved our objective and become more independent. The newsletter's format has been changed as (hopefully!) you will see as you read on. There is a small price to pay in that the page turning facility is no more. Old fashioned scrolling returns but with it comes larger pictures plus the ability to make them bigger with the simple click. It has been a real pleasure working with Dorothée, even at a distance. Her responses have been frighteningly quick so, said he with measured optimism, the future looks quite exciting.
PETER EDSTROM'S BIRTHDAY EVENT
Let us change the mood and start with a happy occasion, even though the report doesn’t appear in chronological order. Peter, who was Captain in 2017, celebrated his 60th in great style by inviting 100+ members, guests, family and friends to play in a golf competition on Europa, on Thursday 18th, followed in the evening by a buffet meal and much merriment.
Unfortunately the Rain Goddess decided to gatecrash the party, disrupting things but not daunting the majority. Let Judi give us a personal take on the proceedings:
“Yesterday started off with heavy early morning rain, which petered (is that a pun?!) out at around 09.00. This meant that golf on Campo Europa could go ahead, though some had already cancelled off the list 1-2 days before, and even that morning. It was not a full shotgun, but groups went as far back as the 7th. No buggies on the fairway though, but I decided to go ahead anyway so as not to disappoint my playing partners! It was tough but I managed to keep my ball relatively buggy friendly to start with and managed 18 points in 8 holes until the heavens opened again, after which the blobs started!
Louis and I, along with Cees and Mary, started out on hole 15 and the rain started as we left the 4th green. Rain gear was donned, plus woolly hats for the ladies, and being at the end of the course furthest from the clubhouse we plodded on just to see how the rain would pan out. The forecast was for a quick shower, then sunny skies again. This turned out to be true, but unbeknown to us the rest of the course had heavier rain and half the field went in totally soaked! We did finish 18 holes in the end, but I did resort to 90’ from the path when the going got tough as the fairways were surprisingly dry!
The Buffet Dinner in the evening was well attended by both the members and Peter’s numerous family and guests. (111 in total it should have been, but a few were unable to make it.). As the weather was cold the location was moved up to Salon Picasso where we were nice and cosy. We were entertained by 2 nice musicians and enjoyed a 3- course buffet menu. Dean had organised a surprise cake, which was presented by Francesco.
The Ladies came in with some great scores, none better than Sonya Foster’s 42 which deservedly won her first prize, Ursula Wetzel’s 38 was next best but only on handicap, two others registering the same score.
There were two competitions for the Men, one off the Blues and the other off the yellow tees. Manfred Wetzel proved triumphant over the shorter distance, his winning 35 including an eagle on the par 5 17th.
The yellow winner was Rob Garner with 36 points but only just squeezing ahead of Brendan Walsh on handicap. Unfortunately Brendan’s picture does not appear as he was a late entrant following a cancellation and couldn’t be with us in the evening.
All three winners spoke nicely and appropriately in thanking Peter for his generous hospitality, and Captain Dean Moore wrapped things up by presenting him with a card signed by most and an El Corte Ingles voucher for 400 euros as a token of members’ gratitude.”
ED, Peter has asked for “a big thank you” to go from him to Dean and Judi for all their help in connection with his birthday arrangements. Also other people, especially staff, “who made the day so memorable for me and my family”. Happy to oblige, Peter. Sorry not to be there.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT PERSONIFIED
Chris Park is a relatively young man of many talents, both on and off the golf course. As President of Los Altos Community he was instrumental in bringing all the owners together, not just for their AGM but for a social event which sets new standards each year. Neighbourliness is the name of the game and it is a pleasure to include the following report:
“A busy day started with our AGM at 9am at the La Cala Clubhouse. The 56 golfers that took part in a fun Texas scramble of 18 holes on Campo Asia were made up of current and previous community owners, guests, friends & club captains.
A notable guest of the day and sponsor of the event was Mr. John Walsh. Owner and Managing director of Sagesa / Owner Upkeep., the company that runs most of the property administration at La Cala Resort.
Goals, footballs, snooker cues, and teddy bears on the fairway added to the complications on the back nine. The injured Anne Hannam was designated to choose the one and only club each player could use on the 500m up hill 10th hole. 60 degree wedge was a popular designation.
Beat the Pro (our community head gardener) was the entertainment on the 3rd hole. The joke being that Juan Pedro although looking the part never plays golf and would be pleased to simply get the ball off the tee in any direction. The 3rd hole and drinks table were marshalled by Yolanda and Anita from Owner Upkeep. Juan Pedro eventually beat 7 of the 14 groups with his amazing / lucky tee shots!
The golf was quickly followed by drinks and tapas in the club house until late ...
Mr. Mike Zelley, our first community president returned as a special guest to present the “Mike Zelley Memorial Shield” to Brian Farmer for nearest the pin on the 17th. (Not often you get to present your own memorial award!).
Winners of the tournament were the Atterby family with a score of 52 (Richard, Des and Cassey with Master Charlie Park making up their 4 ball) 9 year old Charlie was playing his 1st ever 18 holes and sank a 20 ft putt on the 13th for a team birdie. Des chipping in from 30 yards on the 18th also helped to produce the winning score!
Another fantastic day"
This welcome report came with permission to re-word it if need be, especially any scouse-isms which might present language problems for some.In fact there was only one amendment needed, Chris. We say “were” and you say “where”.
We could at this stage bring the newsletter to an end by including all the myriad of photographs which came with the text. There is temptation, this issue especially, but also editorial will power so please just enjoy the following selection:
David Moody’s prolonged absence in the UK has deprived this scribbler of considerable subject matter so it is good to hear from him in response to our recent enquiry. Never a man for wordy missives, our David.
“First impressions are good. My prostate was removed and no serious complications recorded. They won’t know if there’s any residual disease and have the nuclear blaster ready if the results show some rogue cells. Just returning from Guys after having the catheter removed. What a relief!”
Since we saw them last David and Pauline have become grandparents for the second time, daughter Clare having introduced her daughter Alana into the world to become sister to Auriel. Congratulations all.
PAR THREE COMPETITION
It is not often, like, never before, we get three “reports” on the same event so the first par 3 challenge of recent times deserves special treatment. First up is Arthur O’Connor:
“Monique has provided you with the bare statistics of the competition. Not sure that I can add to this other than to say how good the weather was, hence the sunglasses and caps in the photo (nothing to do with sponsor obligations).
The par 3 course itself, which few members ever visit, was in really good condition with greens playing as well as any of those on the course. I am told that it is in the plans to extend this back to a 9 hole Par 3 course in the future.
The Lady Captains, Monique and Lorraine did a great job of organising the competition with prizes for practically everyone. The prize giving being back at the clubhouse.
The majority of players stayed on afterwards to eat in the clubhouse. An excellent afternoon an evening which is to be repeated in October.
The only disappointment was that only 16 members, more ladies than men, took part. Hopefully the turnout will be better next time around.
Much as I have tried to find something controversial (true or otherwise) to say I have struggled to do so.”
Then from Monique came the results:
The brave and fit, her description, contested this all walking test on the Academy course, twice round indeed. The overall winner was Manfred Wetzel with a highly commendable 25 points from the 12 holes. Nearest the pin prizes went to Robert Mitchell on hole 1, Wendy Warren 2, Anne Mills 3, Karen O’Connor 4, Sonya Foster 5, Monique Peters 6.
28 points were racked up by the winning AM/AM team of Caz Rosselli, Sonya Foster, Anne Hannam and Dorothée Schmidt.
Finally we come to Anne Hannam’s contribution:
“Do hope that you are enjoying the warmth in Liphook whilst we shiver (I do exaggerate a little) in not so sunny Spain. Monique asked that I send a brief note to you about the Par 3 competition.
I didn't really want to play in it at all but merely volunteered to play if they were desperate for another player. I dug out the small carry bag from the depth of the garage and trudged off to play. I enjoyed it so much. 4 ladies playing together and we had a good time. The 6 holes are really quite difficult and if you are slightly off line or just short or long, bye bye ball. I was so proud of my 2 for 4 points. The second round is in October and if I can be in Spain at that time, mine will be the first name down.”
Well said, Anne, but one suspects there will be a better turn out next time round. There was a suspicion in the ranks that this was a Ladies event? Or did we get that wrong?
RESULTS IN BRIEF. PICTURES IN SHORT SUPPLY
Tuesday 2/4 Qualifier
Ladies: 39 Anne Mills, 34 Eunice Muir, 34 Laura Thompson.
Men: 42 Louis Lentelink, 37 Peter Penney, 36 Sten Valentin.
Sunday 7/4 Four Clubs & Putter
Tuesday 9/4 Monthly Medal
Ladies: 71 Connie Maphar, 77 Isabella Rippinger, 79 Arlene Dahl.
Men: 72 Damien Murphy, 74 Manfred Wetzel, 76 Chris Park
Sunday 14/4 England vs. Rest of the World Trophy
Ladies: 36 Ursula Wetzel, 36 Monique Peters, 35 Mary Evans.
Men: 38 Arthur O’Connor, 37 Roy Davies, 35 Rob Garner
Sunday 21/4 Easter Rainbow Scramble
Tuesday 23/4 Qualifier
Women: 35 Carol Rees, 35 Karen O'Connor, 34 Cathy Gulya.
Men: 35 Alan Jewett, 35 Matti Kaarnakari, 34 Rob Garner.
Amazing that the results should be identical?
JOHN MILLS’ LOST VIRGINITY
Oh! For more captains like Arthur O’Connor to whom we are indebted for the following report on the Seniors’ away match at El Candado.
“After last week’s win on Asia the away fixture at the quirky El Candado provided an entirely different challenge.
There was an enforced change in the team due to Damien’s knees finally refusing to carry his expanding body around the course in the absence of a buggy. Peter Edström dragged himself out of his sick bed as replacement to partner El Candado virgin, John Mills. Despite his long standing support of the match teams, John had never previously played at EL Candado, an experience that every golfer should have at least once in their lifetime! John has ticked that box now!
Whilst losing pairs of Arthur O’Connor and George Kirk and Peter Edström and John Mills were enjoying their beers on the terrace Alan Jewett and Roy Davies managed to secure a valuable point for the team with a win on the last hole.
Although their golf course has its shortcomings the hospitality of the hosts was as ever excellent. George Kirk ably stood in as translator, in the absence of Damien, once we managed to prise his nose away from his mobile phone.”
ED. Arthur leaves for England on May 2nd. In his absence matches will be organised by Peter Marler and/or George Kirk.
WELL DONE THAT MAN
Whilst difficult to embrace as a person it would be churlish not to admire Tiger Wood’s recent Masters success. To overcome years of physical and mental problems it was a truly remarkable performance.
CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE
No longer should we of a certain age complain about the demanding slopes here at La Cala. We should instead spare a thought for those living on the steepest road in England?
SEEN ON LA CALA BEACH
NEW RULES DOUBTS
By coincidence newspapers from Ireland, Germany, England and South Africa have recently come this way, sports pages raising concern about some of the changes much vaunted earlier in the year. Knee height ball dropping drew a lot of question marks, Not a natural posture? Nor an easy one for those of the creaky bone brigade. Search time is difficult to apply and can lead to acrimony at our level. The level of criticism was surprising. Observation thus far suggests that few of the new rules actually speed up play, which was the intention?
NEWS FROM AFAR
Michael Krupa is a neighbour of mine in Los Altos and a much travelled man. Also a very fit one thanks to a daily exercise routine, early morning, and tiring just to think about! He is a bit reticent when it comes to age but one can almost hear him knocking on the door of the Octogenarian Club. If he hasn't already slipped in un-noticed. This is mentioned because of photographs to follow. Meanwhile, and un-edited, comes the follow mini-report on his current travels.
"At present I am in Vietnam, first in Hanoi for some sightseeing including mausoleum of Mr. Ho Chi Minh. Later I went with my friend William to countryside south of Hanoi, very beautiful nature with limestone mountains and wonderful lakes to go by boat. Of course, we have not missed out to play golf in some nice courses both in Hanoi and in Ninh Binh, the countryside place. Attached you will see some photos from us in front of Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and in the golf club. As you can see, we have not just chosen any golf club, but we chose the „outstanding hi-class“ golf club! Anyway, an experience I could recommend to anybody I like, very interesting and for the time being at very reasonable prices, much lower than e.g. China or Thailand. And the nature here also is still intact."
Still recovering from the picture of England's steepest street it is hard to believe that anyone could climb the pathway Michael shows in one of his photos. That he managed it at his age is a tribute to his health and fitness. Gut gemacht, mein Freund!
OLD FRIENDS REUNION
Earlier in our UK travels this visit Lilian and I had dinner with ex-captains Ron and Jenny Chesterton, on neutral ground, a Thai restaurant in Thame, Oxfordshire. A very pleasant evening indeed. It was good to see them both looking so well, and so slimline! They haven't played any golf since last July but have managed to lose 23(Ron) and 30(Jenny) pounds in weight! They have also derived a huge amount of pleasure from their new "jobs" as guides at Blenheim Palace, one of our country's main tourist attractions. Only two days a week mainly but enough to whet their appetite for history and derive great pleasure for the wonderful events staged throughout the year. They asked to be remembered to everyone.
JUST TO BALANCE THE BOOKS
Having drawn attention to Tiger Woods it seemed appropriate to mention another golfing star but of a different gender. Michelle Wie is to "retire" for an indefinite period whilst she sorts out her physical health problems. She seems to have been around for ages but is still a young woman, hugely talented and rich beyond her dreams, but still hasn't quite managed to reach and stay at the top. If she now applies herself as Tiger has done it would be nice to see her finally get there".
ALWAYS EAGER TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW
There is little doubt that this is proving an exciting and "different"one for our lady members. One of the events organised by Captain Monique led to the following report.
"13 ladies joined the tapas workshop with Daniël Peinado, Executive Chef of La Cala. All participated in the preparation of various dishes.The workshop was held outdoors where the tapas restaurant is. The teach-in included tasting of olive oil. Cleaning and preparing the Calamari. Black gloves were provided for working with this specialty. We prepared the croquettes and were surprised that no potatoes were used. Next up came the risotto with ingredients of various kinds. The chef’s favourite desert is the Evoo yoghurt. "We all enjoyed tasting what we had we prepared and came away with copies of the various recipes. If anyone would like a set please contact Monique, who will be pleased withe success of the culinary experiment".
Breaking headlines here in Hampshire tell the story of a hole in one by Brian Farmer. Third hole on Europa, Thursday 25/4 in the RollUp so plenty of thirsty males to satisfy. A pitching wedge off the blue tees brought Brian his fourth such success, two of them here at La Cala. Well done, Brian.
ST. GEORGE V THE DRAGONS
Thanks to Judi it is possible to include a report on this traditional clash as well as the pictures in which she reluctantly (?) appears!
"Loraine at the last minute made Carol the team captain for St George and me the team captain for the Dragons! So I hastily whipped off my sunglasses (bet you’re proud of me!) and squinted for the camera being held by Loraine! Not a pretty sight!
As you may gather St George won....7.5 to 3.5. There were 11 flights, out of which St George won 6 matches, Dragons 2 matches, (all winning pairs got bottles), and there were 3 halved matches (no prizes 😢). The trophy has been played for on 10 occasions, and yesterday’s result brought the tally to St George 3 - Dragons 7, so we are still in the lead in that respect!
Below are photos of the winning St George team, and the last one is of those who won their matches, but two pairs of the St G team are missing as they did not realise they were to have their Piccies taken too."
LADIES SENIOR LEAGUE MATCH VS. BAVIERA
It was a lovely, sunny morning, no wind and perfect temperature when our Ladies Senior League team eased themselves gently into action at the leisure start time of 10.50. The visitors, all the way from Bavieria, appreciated not having to get up early, and everyone was ready for the friendly fray. In fact we won convincingly and by some extraordinary margins. Carol Rees and Loraine Murphy 5&3: Dorothee Schmidt and Janice Marler 3&2; Monique Peters and Anne Mills, on the rampage, 7&6.(!!) Seemingly not saddened by this reversal the Ladies of Baviera left eventually convinced there will be a different story in the return match on May 3rd.