THAT WAS THE MONTH THAT WAS - FROM A DISTANCE
In the total absence of anything meaningful emanating from La Cala Resort, other than reports of temperatures touching the 40C level locally, this already has the feel of an unusually light scribbling month. Being in Hampshire instead of at the hub of things doesn’t help much either. There have been two significant social occasions since we headed north but these were invitational events so the privacy has to be respected, understandably and rightly. Pity though, said he with a nose for such gatherings, because reports and pictures suggest the most colourful and “different” celebrations.
So, instead, let’s start with a photo of Roy Davies, the honour earned for his performance on Tuesday July 30th, but showing him in solitary isolation because none of the other prize winners were present as Judi Lentelink, deputising with her camera, stood at the ready.
Moving even further back in time we could give pride of portrait place to David Wilson for his 40 points 23/7 but as this has already appeared we can move swiftly on to the ladies, always much more viewable? Same date.
Another to deserve a bit of publicity is Paula Lansdowne who got a Hole-in-One during the Ladies RollUp on Europa, Thursday 1st. Exact details are awaited but reports have it that Paula was less than happy about starting on the 10th which, as we all know, is a short par 3. Steeling herself she stepped up, just hit the ball, and watched in amazement as its destination dawned on her. Nor was she the only happy golfer because her team had nominated the hole as a double pointer! 20 points cheered them no end, as did the wine kindly hosted by Paula later. Her subsequent reluctance to reveal which club it was is rumoured to be fear of embarrassment, it being a 3 wood!
Nor must we forget Mary Evans who wasn’t available for shooting after she won the last Medal qualifier.
Continuing down this pictorial route we come to a picture about which little is known other than a) it is unusual and b) raises speculation as to its reason? Alcohol may have played a part? Or maybe it was a vape joke?
Campo América was the scene of a 4BBB thinly supported competition on 27/7 which, in the end, became a simple matchplay tournament, the five prizes going to Derek Steele and Joseph Berbner, Iain Macaulay & Louis Lentelink, Paul Roebuck & Susanne Valentin, Dina & Estelle Berbner, and Tina Garner & Joss Morgan (Guest), all of whom were present for the group photograph afterwards.
WHY MAKE LIFE SIMPLE?
It would appear likely that Loraine Murphy has very similar genes to Monique Peters. Not for the first time recently she introduced a final twist to the Hidden Partners competition played on Sunday 4/8. Technically it was an “Easy Pairs Betterball Bramble” but, come clubhouse time, prizegiving time, it was revealed that the pairs would be linked together to form a team (Hidden Partners?) with cards being drawn from a hat. Alan Jewett was helping Loraine with the paper work and it takes a lot to confuse him. Some friendly barracking was heard before the following winners, unbeknown to each other just minutes earlier, were revealed.
Best pair of the day was Karin Luxon (3.9 handicap) and Govind Naidu (26.9) who registered a staggering 50 points, evenly divided. Peter Bradley and Dorothée Schmidt earned 40.
MIKE ROBBINS SHINES
1.7 to 24.8 was the handicap adjustment after this stalwart golf addict came off Europa’s 18th with 40 points on his card. Tuesday 6/8 a day to remember? Chris Slattery followed him with a 37 shaving him to 4.0, whilst his buddy Chris Park’s 36 left him where he started in terms of handicap. It came as no surprise that only two were there to be photographed.
In terms of camera attendance the ladies were worse. Only 36 point winner Kate Bradley on parade to smile into the lens. Gerda de Brouwere matched Kate’s score whilst young Estelle Berbner was cut 0.9 to 14.4, an excellent level for someone of her age.
JOAN & PETER STOCK MEMORIAL WEEKEND
This is coming up later in the month but has already led to older members recalling the early days of this long established competition which used to occupy most of the week! The picture below was taken in 2006 when, for the first and only time, father and son pairings occupied the first three places.
Centre stage is Joan Stock, by then long a widow who supervised the whole week, as it was, with an emphasis on doing things properly, mannerly, traditionally, with etiquette and dress to the forefront. Our Ladies Vice Captain, Loraine Murphy, has been around since the conception and has provided this insight into a rather remarkable character.
“I suppose one of the main ones (from earlier than 2006) is related to the fact that when Joan originally set up the competition it was a private event and invitation only. You would receive a handwritten note highlighting something personal or a reference to the competition from the previous year with your invitation - and it was one of the biggest competitions of the club with 36 pairs taking part and people flying in from everywhere. The evening event was always a time for ladies to get dressed up, with men required to wear jackets and ties, sweating away as they waited patiently for Joan to utter those immortal words - “Gentlemen may now remove their jackets”. Lots of fun nights, usually not finishing before 02.00hrs, with dancing and singing and general merriment.
Peter Stock was a man with a wicked sense of humour (quite Dick Emery like) and he loved his golf. Every day on the first tee he would say “Another Day in Paradise” which has been used on the board for the competition slogan from day one. Joan Stock was the epitome of an English Lady, old school, who you could liken to a school head mistress but who also liked a good joke or story .. I suppose a “Jolly Hockey Sticks” sense of humour. One of the few photos we have of Peter was taken on what is now the first tee of Asia during the prize giving for the very first Interclub Match held at La Cala. It was against a team from the original El Chaparral Golf club..
Of course, at that time the Peter Stock Memorial competition was always played on the North Course on day one (América) and the South Course on day two (Asia) - Europa had not been built - as it allowed the leading couple on day one to finish the tournament on the 18th hole on day two in front of the clubhouse with everyone on the terrace watching and waiting to hear their scores and to see if they were in the money from the “runners & riders” book.. run by Damien Murphy & Merv Coombes - I’m sure I have a photo of Damien sitting in the clubhouse with just a tie when the bookie had literally lost his shirt! (In those days on the old terrace the tables were set up right along the green railings so you could comfortably watch the last hole being played.) Any profits from the bookies went, as they do today, some 27 years later to Joan’s charity of choice Cudeca.. and it was Joan who first set up the Cudeca Cup fundraising event. The first competition week ..and it was a week of competitions ...with a Texas Scramble on Monday (sponsored by Damien and I), the Coombes Plate on Wednesday (sponsored by Merv & Maggie Coombes) a Greensomes Competition (sponsored by Ranchos Reunidos) on the Thursday and the Peter Stock on Friday and Saturday.”
Thanks Loraine. Brings back a lot of happy memories.
NOW FOR SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT
Readers will know that kestrels are written about from time to time, pictures appearing at irregular intervals, and it is true to say Lilian and this Scribbler get a lot of pleasure from watching these birds in action over Los Altos. Today though, the subject is boars. Baby boars. Three of which crossed Europa recently headed for the reservoir area. Now we have photos taken of another family which has made its home in Torrenueva and appears regularly on the pavements of a road lined with property opposite the dried up river which is quite overgrown and thus offers some protection for the animals who have become something of a tourist attraction it seems. Certainly they appear relaxed enough in these pictures.
BACK TO GOLFING MATTERS
The first team event of the month was way back on the hot and sultry 2nd, at Marbella GC where the six clubs regularly competing in the Mixed Club League gathered for the penultimate “battle” of the season. As many will know Marbella is a tricky course but was in good condition. Our representatives fought valiantly to defeat the elevated greens and blind shots, but failed. Fifth of six is better than bottom though? Our best performers were Dean Moore & Sonya Foster with 38, whilst the marital pairing of Steve & Dianne Tomlin managed 36, both happy to accept prizes afterwards, as seen below.
Our other team members were David & Paula Lansdowne, Mike Fisher & Julie Naidu, Alan Jewett & Loraine Murphy, Peter & Kate Bradley.
These are testing times in which we live, for some of a certain vintage more so than for their younger brethren whose ability to retain new knowledge has yet to be ravaged by time and indulgence. 5G and IRL herald a new world of communication, it seems, with internet speeds 100 times faster than most of us with fibre optics enjoy now! For big companies with a need to move information in bulk and as quickly as possible it will be of benefit, no doubt. But for, say, Pearl Fisher, photo distributor extraordinaire, can the same be said? Getting home from a social event to find it already pictorially described on your computer is unlikely to stop you collapsing happily into bed? There is a wealth of email exchange between Dean, Monique, Loraine, Dorothée and myself at a current speed which is more than fast enough. Speaking personally 5G and IRL are as unlikely to impinge on my life as is West Ham winning the Champions League Cup before I depart in my claret and blue coffin.
IN THE BEGINNING
It has already been documented that Pat Reid was involved when LCR was first conceived, and contributed to its early development, before departing for a lengthy career spell in the Middle East. His orbit and mine were fused shortly after he joined the club as a member, took up full time residence in Fuengirola, started playing regular golf again, and was looking for a partner in the doubles. He drew the short straw and we played just the one match together! However, the time spent was enough for me to recognise a man of rusty skills, a sound knowledge of the game, a good sense of humour, and an ideal buggy companion even though seat space was a bit of a problem. He is now playing three times a week mostly and, as readers may have noticed, his skills having been polished, and he is never far from the prize rostrum at the weekends. Few have had their photo in the newsletter more often in recent weeks. This time for chalking up his first Hole-in-One. It happened on Europa’s 10th, during the Captains’ Choice event, Saturday 10/8. A playing partner had this to say:
“He hit a smooth 9 iron from the blue tee and the ball never wavered. Right on line, hit about a metre short of the flag, took a short bounce, and rolled straight into the cup! He scooped all the golf balls from the 2’s, about two dozen, and also picked up the tab for a drink with all the members present. Very generous and appreciated by all.”
ALSO ON THE SAME DAY
Little detail is to hand about the Golden Ball competition, the post game proceedings overshadowed no doubt by the Hole-in-One news. We can show you the prize winners though, in order of merit:
MARIE WILSON TO THE FORE
How nice to see this friendly lady romp home ahead of the Europa field on Tuesday 13/8, her nett 67 earning her a trophy and a place in the Medal Finals Day later in the year. Well done indeed, and worth the 1.6 cut taking her down to 20.6. She has made a lot of progress, doubtless with the occasional tip from husband David.
Konsistent Kate, was two back on 67, and trimmed 0.8 to 19.6 thus booking another familiar trot up to the prize rostrum. Isabella Rippinger was 3rd on 73.
Having enjoyed the company of Hugo Reichle on many occasions, and knowing how keen he always is to score better than he does, it was a delight to see he came close to providing the shock of the season by scoring a nett 70, only to be squeezed out of a medal win by Captain Dean Martin on handicap difference. Well played, Hugo. Only one point further back was Chris Park who seems to be enjoying a run of form at the moment.
SUMMUM’S SUMMER TOURNAMENT
This competition took place on Campo América 9/8 and demonstrated yet again why Flavio enjoys his job so much, surrounded as he was by a field of ladies, all giving him their undivided attention.
For those who don’t already know Summum organise golf events at clubs throughout Spain. They are renowned for the depth and quality of their prizes and it is doubtful anyone went away empty handed. Half the bounty hunters were La Cala members and it is particularly pleasing to report that Dorothée Schmidt’s Nearest-the-Pin on the 16th won her and Achim (presumably!) two nights at the 5 star Hard Rock Hotel in Teneriffe.
The clear winner was our very own Dina Berbner whose 42 points off a 25 handicap left a string of very healthy scores spreadeagled behind her. Amazingly it was her 11 year old daughter Estelle who finished closest, her 39 off a 16 handicap being almost a better performance than her mother’s? However, it was Mum who took the main prize of the day, a round of golf and lunch with Nuria Ituurioz, three times winner of the European Tour, winner of the LPGA Symetra Tour, and currently number one on the European Tour. Should be quite an experience.
This is clearly an “outside” event for which members should watch out in future?
END OF AN ERA
After five years at the administrative helm of our team James Reid has decided to quietly retire. Not perhaps in the blaze of glory he might have wished for the club, but certainly with a host of friends and admirers along the Costa del Sol. He deserves a rest and all the thanks that were forthcoming at the post match lunch. Meanwhile his final report follows.
“The last game of the 2019 Summer Mixed Interclub competition was played at El Paraíso on Friday August 16th. A typical hot summers day and the course was in excellent condition. The hospitality from the host club was well worthy of a final. Coffee on arrival, picnic box on the course, cava reception afterwards, then a lovely lunch with prize giving after, and taking into account the green fee and buggy with all this for 40 euros!
We started in a very tight position both at the top and bottom of the league and on the day the results were as follows:
The two best pairings from La Cala were Roy Davis and Loraine Murphy with 39 points, and James Reid and Monique Peters with 38 points. Overall the winners this year were El Chaparral with 29 points with Atalaya and Marbella G & CC tied on second with 26 points each. Sadly La Cala defended their position from last year and pocketed the wooden spoon. Nevertheless a most enjoyable season which has flashed by and I am passing the baton to Monique Peters who will manage matters next year and hopefully pull us out of the relegation zone.
Many thanks to all who have supported the club this year.”
DECISION MAKING REDUCED
“Four clubs and a putter” was the name of the game, and all that the players were allowed to use on Sunday 18. Loraine Murphy had this to say afterwards:
“Decisions, decisions, decisions.. when you can only have 4 clubs and a putter in your bag.. what do you choose? Driver, fairway wood, rescue ? What irons, and then what to chip and pitch? Actually, maybe 4 clubs are too many? Maybe it should just be a drive, chip, pitch and putt competition? Anyway, this was the second 4 Clubs and a Putter event in the club calendar. The first one was held back on April 7th (scores and teams in Results). This time, with the heat still playing its part, so apparently warming up the bones and weary muscles, the scores were better and the 85 top score from April would only have got you joint 4th place on this time. Whatever club was chosen - the winning team played better than the rest!“
X1 TORNEO PADRES E HIJOS
Technically incorrect I believe? (Pause to allow Flavio to shoot me down). The “outside” competition held on America 15/8 is ever described as “Father & Son” but in fact should be “Parent & Child”? Unless it is a gender entrance qualification with “Mother & Daughter” a more precise title. Either way members did very well. Outright winners, with an excellent score of 53 points, were Pier Bernardo and his son Nick.
Just out of the prize zone but in fourth position with 47 points were the irrepressible Berbner team of Dina and daughter Estelle playing off their still warm new handicaps of 22 and 14 respectively.
Well done our folk.
Two interesting comparisons have been made recently. Both between men and women. One involved cats and dogs and two comprehensive studies of cat owners, dog owners, and non pet owners. It reached the conclusion that dogs were more loyal, less intimidating and, generally speaking, worthy of their “Man’s Best Friend” title. However, that is not the reason for this little side track and the wrath of our many cat lovers is not what one seeks. Heaven forbid. What caught the eye more, in this month of exam results, was the disparity between boys and girls when it came to preferred subjects. Top of the list was ‘Performing and expressive Arts’ for which 93.3% of girls opted versus just 6.1% of boys. ‘Social science subjects’ had girls on 70.6% - boys at 29.4%. Third was ‘Art and design subjects’ where the gap narrowed a bit to 66.4% v 33,6%. It is only when the bog standard bread and butter subjects are reached that the differences are negligible. Probably because they were compulsory. However, Media/Film/TV studies also attracted similar attention. Way back in my own matriculation days half these subjects hadn’t been heard about!
BEFORE AND AFTER
Never one to miss helping the paparazzi Past Captain Vic Hilliard poses happily either side of his recent prostate operation from which, praise be, he is now home and making sound progress. Long may it continue.
STABLEFORD ON AMERICA
Story in pictures only, sorrow to say. Ten of the men played to their handicap or better, and what a season Seppo Jaaskelainen is enjoying?
The Ladies didn’t appear either! The first three home each had 38 points and were Mary Evans, Marie Wilson, and Dianne Tomlin in that order. Mention might be made that young Estelle Berbner was fourth with 35 points playing off 11 handicap!
AMERICA HOSTS AGAIN
This time for the team event on Saturday 24th when the finish was VERY tight as the following details show.
TECHNICAL ADVICE FOR ALL MEMBERS
The Sign Up System, brain child of David Rogers, has proved a great success after the brief learning curve for those conditioned to scribbling their name on the clubhouse notice board. It has now been upgraded, as of August 12th., plus, we are informed by those more knowledgeable in such areas, that there is now an IOS App available to download for iPhone and iPad for the Sign Up System. Work on an Android system is still in progress. “The Document button gives details on how it works. You can get it by going to the App Store and searching for “La Cala Members” but without the “. Your login details remain the same – Membership Number and Password.” (Ed. Quoted word for word. No responsibility accepted.)
What might be added is that it pays to book early. We are heading for the peak season when it is well night impossible to get extra last minute tee times. The club need the final numbers 72 hours prior to play. Not all Reserves are guaranteed a game unfortunately.
PICTURES ONLY SAID HE HOPEFULLY
There was a Stableford competition on Europa Tuesday 27th. Whether any of the following will be available for the prize giving shoot on Sunday next remains to be seen but, for the benefit of those who don’t know the results already, they were:
Ladies. 35 Isabella Rippinger, 35 Margaret Fotheringham, 33 Marjan van Wijk.
Men. 38 Geoff Thompson, 37 Chris Slattery, 37 Roger Harman
This was the last qualifying event of the month with just the Peter & Joan Stock Memorial event on which to comment. This is a two day competition linking August and September. The format is a two ball betterball Medal with players off 90% of their slope handicap. At time of writing there are 16 pairs doing friendly battle.
TRIBUTES WHERE THEY ARE DUE
Two very well known sportsmen have earned the admiration of many this month and it is a pleasure to feature them briefly in the newsletter. Better known in the wider world would be Rory McIlroy who won the FEDEX Final plus an almost obscene amount of money. With the 30 best golfers in the world playing this was no mean achievement.
In the smaller world of cricket it looked a year or so ago that Ben Stokes was finished following a late night incident which dominated the tabloid headlines for a long time. Criticised, knuckles rapped, he returned to the sport at which he excelled and, this month, against our arch Ashes enemies from Down Under, he produced one of THE great innings to win the match and bring the teams level again.