REPORT TO FOLLOW
30 YEARS OLD
This month’s main event, and rightly so, will be the celebratory competition and dinner coming up on Friday 12th. Today’s Management team were unheard of when the Resort could only boast one nine hole course and a modest clubhouse (see below).
Now, as those of us lucky enough to live in the Resort, or be members of the thriving golf club, can testify, standards are being upgraded all around. New properties, extensive improvements to the three courses, better menus in clubhouse and hotel. The future is bright indeed but let’s not get ahead of the Big Day. Ordinary life goes on meanwhile.
EAGLE EYES ABOUND
The last issue contained a photo of three veterans sitting at a table having just done friendly battle. Attention was drawn to the fact that there was no sign of alcohol. Unfortunately such a claim appears to have been an editorial lapse because, as a former captain was quick to point out, a pint of what appears to be beer can just be seen behind the menu rack. What he didn’t know, of course, was that a) this was not ordered by any of the three; b) was a mistake on the part of the waiter and; and c) should have been a half.
In Tuesday 2/7 Stableford, played out on America, both the Men and Women produced headlines. Three men came in with 38 points but it was Chris Slattery’s score which left him in pole position on handicap, and, at 4.1 now, 0.2 less than he was. Phillip Unwin was second in theory but not in fact, still being of Guest status. This allowed Mike Fisher to ease into the runners up spot and be punished by a 0.6 cut down to 17.7. Third on 35 was Terry Morgan.
However, it was from the other side of the gender fence that Sylvia McGarvie grabbed the spotlight with a remarkable 45 points. Remarkable because, believe it or not, her round began with an air shot! Which was followed by a series of “scalffs, duffs and mishits before picking up for zero, nada, nil points.” By the end she had not only recovered her composure but earned a handicap reduction of 5.1 now down to 19.4. Many years ago Lilian came home with a 5 cut. Those were happy days.
On any other day Liisa Lindstrom’s 40 would have seen her capture top spot on the leaderboard but she had to settle for a cut of 1.6. Her downward route continues. Mary Evans, missing of late, came in with 38, third place, and a reduction of 0.8 to 22.5
It is a matter of some disappointment that only one of the six prize winners was at the clubhouse when Vice Captain Loraine Murphy handed out the rewards on the following weekend.
AS IF ONE WASN’T ENOUGH
Most would claim all three courses present enough problems for the average player. On Friday evening 5/7, five men and nine ladies decide to challenge a combination of America and Europa. They called it a Cross Country Cross River competition. 63 balls were lost but, amazingly, all raved about the enjoyment factor.
Each team, of which there were three, played eight holes from either side of the river. The most difficult challenge proved to be getting from Europa’s 15th tee to America’s 5th green. Only two men managed to score.
Afterwards everyone retired to the clubhouse for the prize giving, supper and, yes, a few drinks! The final scores were close but the winners with “a fabulous” 56 points were Gerry Rippinger, Anne Hannam, Kate Bradley, and Loraine Murphy.
PENSIONERS v YOUNGSTERS
From the moment the “work in progress’ Start Sheet mistakenly appeared online, raising any number of queries, this was bound to prove a testing competition. Fortunately in one sense, but disappointingly in another, the turnout was less than usual. Seven 4 balls and one 3 ball.
It is fair to say that Loraine Murphy’s “creation” was easy enough to follow if read carefully and studied for an hour or so the previous evening. Thanks to some administratively minded team captains only one team got things wrong, interpreting one rule differently to all the other teams and thus earning themselves a friendly but unavoidable disqualification. Regrettably the final result hinged on this one decision, enabling the Youngsters to claim victory 4-3.
Iain Macaulay, Captain of the Pensioners for the day, courteously handed the trophy to Tracey Ledgard, his counterpart for the Youngsters, who rose admirably and entertainingly to shouts of “Speech Speech”. Indeed, being of lesser stature than many, she responded willingly to the offer of a chair on which to balance and, by the end of remembering all those to thank, she appeared reluctant to exit her lofty position. Well done Tracey.
There were bonus points if two members of the team reached and stayed on the fairway. Playing off the new pink tees proved no source of easy points, at least not for the team of which one was a member. Overall the final outcome could hardly have been closer. 488 points for the Pensioners v 481 for the Youngsters. Unfortunately not only did the Pensioners’ disqualification change the face of things but their errant team had the best score of the day!
LONELY BUT NOT LAST
James Reid was an understandably frustrated Captain and Organiser of our Mixed Doubles team at El Chaparral on Friday 12/7. Partly because it meant missing the Big Birthday Competition and occasion. Partly because he couldn’t get a full team out. What his report doesn’t mention is that he scored 31 points on his own!
Our team members, apart from lonesome James, were Dean Moore & Sonya Foster; Roy Davies & Dorothée Schmidt; Steve and Dianne Tomlin; Derek Steele & Pearl Fisher; Brian Farmer & Judi Lentelink. Best performers were Steve & Dianne with 37 points; Derek & Pearl 36.
“It was a very good day and although the course was overwatered it was otherwise in good condition. Lunch was also very good together with the company. It was a victory for the home side but close all the same. The final team scores were:
My personal thanks go to all those who turned out to support the club.”
Once the life and soul of parties and golf courses John has now returned to England but health problems prevent him from playing now. However, they do not stop him coming over once a year to see old friends, have a drink or two, and illuminate his memory box. We are pleased to include two pictures of John. One taken very recently with “old mate” Iain Macaulay, and the other from many years back but currently appearing at frequent intervals on the clubhouse’s new screen.
WHAT A WONDERFUL SPORTING MONTH?
Cricket is a game little understood in certain parts of the world, whereas in others it is almost like a religion. English worshippers may well be still celebrating as my keyboard vibrates, after their quite extraordinary victory over New Zealand in the Final of the World Cup. A drawn out competition but a very satisfying result.
America’s ladies triumphed on French soil in the soccer World Cup as they were expected to by the critics and betting fraternity. Even so they had to produce their best more than once in the run up to the final, a well supported, colourful, and tense at times game. England, after all the hype, rather disappointed, both in the semi-final and play-off for third place. A trade mark missed penalty didn’t help?
Then, of course, there was Wimbledon. Not a drop of rain the whole fortnight. Almost unprecedented. A wonderful Grand Slam with history, tradition, well behaved spectators in the main and, not least, some outstandingly good players. Those who chose to watch the Mens’ Final instead of the day long cricket were rewarded with some unbelievable tennis, including one 35 stroke rally, and moments of drama and magical play from the best two players ever, some would argue. The highlight of the month for me, thus far anyway, has been the performance of little Simona Halep who somehow managed to make Serena Williams look ordinary. Winning her second Grand Slam in under an hour against probably the best woman player ever will stay in my mind for a long time.
Portrush, Ireland and Shane Lowry are now entwined in golfing history and all our memories. What a final afternoon? What fantastic golf under so much pressure and in such un-friendly conditions? Reading the press this morning (the one after) has been quite emotional. We all have Irish friends and could not be more happy for them right now. For such a small island the output of talent, be it sporting, musical, literary, acting, or story telling, is immense.
Within the club ranks took place a Sweepstake which collected in 330 euros. The lucky winners were Chris Park > Lowry 165; Rob & Tina Garner > Fleetwood 99; Salvador (buggy desk) > Finau 66, to whom go congratulations from those, like myself, who drew names never heard of before, during or since!
WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE GRASS MAKES?
Cees Lagerwerf and Loraine Murphy will testify to this because both produced handicap reducing scores on América Tuesday 9/7. Both were complimentary about the course, especially the fairways where the grass is being allowed to thicken, or so it would seem. You may lose roll but you can get your club under the ball. Time perhaps to thank Rafa Linares and his team who have worked very hard on improving all our fairways over the last few years. It isn't just a case of just letting the grass grow!
The first three Ladies were Loraine 39 (cut 1.2 to 24.1 and a very happy bunny thereby); Laura Thompson 36; Isabella Rippinger 35.
Cees clocked up 40 points, was punished by 0.8 and now plays of a daunting 10.6. Paul Booth is a guest so his 36 didn’t affect the three top spots in which Derek Steele and Sten Valentin both had 36 points, to finish in that order. As is getting to be a bit disappointing only two prize winners were there to collect the rewards – and be photographed.
BREVITY RULES OK?
Bramble on Europa. Saturday 13/7. Only six teams so only one prize. No report.
Support was probably low because of many having played the previous day, plus there was a private social event at the home of the Hilliards. A couple of interesting pictures have surfaced but no report – as yet.
Quite a few owners and members are relatively new to golf when they settle in La Cala Resort for varying lengths of time each year. Now it makes a change to welcome two people who clearly know their way around a course, are familiar with the area, and have very respectable handicaps. Marjan van Wijk has this to tell us:
“We both live in the UK, Roger is English and I am Dutch but been living in the UK since 1991. Roger is still running his accountancy practice. We’ve both been playing golf for quite a while, Roger for more than 40 years and I took it up in 1991 after moving to the UK. Roger is a member at Wentworth Golf Club and I play at The Wisley Golf Club, both currently off handicap 15. We’ve visited the Málaga/Marbella area regularly over the past 20 years so know the area and golf courses reasonably well. Whilst staying with a friend in his villa at the La Cala resort in 2017, we saw the advertisements for the Horizon Golf development in the buggies and out of curiosity went to have a look at the show apartment, even though we had no plans at all to buy a property in Spain. We were so impressed with the location, beautiful views, and the 3 courses that we bought one of the penthouse apartments on the spot. We got the keys in November 2018 and now come over roughly every 6/7 weeks for 2 to 3 weeks and are enjoying it very much! We’re looking forward to taking part in the club activities and meeting other members.”
FREDDIE’S BACK AGAIN
These are somewhat frightening times. Unsolicited photos and messages arrive via mobile devices and the internet. Some are of interest and trigger thoughts. Others are best not even thought about. In the former category one can happily place the Garden Party at Villa Romanza on July 13th when the main attraction was a younger Freddie Mercury Tribute singer, organised by Vic and Pauline Hilliard, supported by two young Swedish girls, aged 15 and 16 who appeared as The Dancing Queens. No prizes for guessing whose songs they sung. Reports suggest that the entertainment was of the highest order, greatly entertaining the attendees as well as golfers on the 18th America and, as they got into their stride and surreptitiously increased the volume, us up here in Los Altos.
MEDAL TUESDAY – AGAIN!
Where does the time go? How often do you hear people say that but it only seems five minutes since the last medal? America hosted the competition on 16/7. Nothing special about the day other than it was Iain Macaulay’s 88th birthday so, first of all, MANY HAPPY RETURNS Old Man! Iain celebrated with a 12 on the 6th which rather spoiled his card and ultimately led to a NR. This category gained further names when Erling Johnsen and myself accepted that winning was beyond their orbit, and that suffering was not what they were looking for when they got out of bed. In stark contrast Derek Steele, a very pleasurable man with whom to share a buggy, and highly considerate, stuck to his guns which seemed to be working much better than the rest of the group’s artillery. All aspects of his game were sound, and if a handful of putts – pronounced “puts” where he comes from – had dropped he might well have won the day. It will be interesting to see how close his nett 73 came.
Weatherwise the morning was more than warm but cooled by a most welcome breeze which, from time to time, stiffened and made a mockery of one’s intended shot! Come the end of the day 17 our of 30 male participants had been disqualified, or handed in NS or NR so something must have made life difficult? Also Derek’s 73 had become a 71 to earn him third place, on handicap behind Captain Dean Moore, but both trailing Joseph Berbner’s excellent 69. This led to a minor adjustment of his handicap by 0.6 down to 9.5
In the ladies sector the dominant figure was Mary Evans who left the field behind with a wonderful 65, followed by Miss Berbner, known to her friends as Estelle, and Judi Lentelink, both with a highly commendable 70. This has been a summer of major handicap changes and now Mary’s turn for the axe. 3.7 reduction to a new low of 18.8.
Only two out of fifteen ladies earned a DQ.
LA CALAMARI CUP
To give it its correct title, was the brainchild of Iain Macaulay several moons back. Since when it has grown in support and competitiveness, thanks not a little to the present Management who have encouraged staff to get interested in the sport at which they work. They now get free tuition and have a league of their own. This year, on Thursday 18th the following two teams went head to head on Europa;
Ladies Vice Captain Loraine Murphy had this to say later:
“Iain Macauly gave a short but sweet speech in both English and Spanish thanking all those who took part including those staff members behind the scenes but who also greatly contribute to the running of the club which allows us (the members) the privilege of having such great facilities. Sincere thanks to all the staff who, unfortunately just could not quite beat the members and so thank you ... the members win the cup again!!
The club provided a cocktail after golf during the prizegiving with a wonderful selection of cold and hot tapas. It was a great fun day and brilliant to spend some time actually relaxing and chatting to the staff. La Cala have a great team in place and the members are very appreciative. Here’s looking forward to the 2020 battle!“
All being well - Loraine will be Ladies Captain next year! There is some debate about the final score but the Members were victorious by, we think, 6.5 to 4.5 (ED. since confirmed).
The best two male staff members this season were l/r: 1st) Paco Soto (greenkeeper), and 2nd) Jorge Montjoy (caddy master), while the leading lady was María José González (reservations). We offer congratulations and hope their progress will continue.
A bit of property advertising one thought at first glance? Then, attention aroused, came focus on the use of ever popular “bramble” which, on further investigation, appears to have no connection with golf at all?
“Noun: any prickly shrub belonging to the genus Rubus, of the rose family. British: the common blackberry. Any rough, prickly shrub, as the dog rose. Verb: (used without object), bram·bled, bram·bling. British: to look for and gather wild blackberries; pick blackberries from the vine". Mysterious?
“Scramble – as in Texas – fares marginally better but it’s a bit of a stretch? Verb: (used without object) to climb or move quickly using one's hands and feet, as down a rough incline. To compete or struggle with others for possession or gain." Don’t suppose anything will change though?
Meanwhile, getting back to the original subject, Sunday 21/7 on Europa, the results can now be revealed and pictures displayed.
The distribution of rewards and imbibing of refreshment took place in zebra country. Camera work is tricky there but attempts to find a stripe-less area led to a rather shady corner and dull brick background. But, did you notice four sunglasses in the same photograph!! Is this a record?
Also in front of the lens, again, was David Wilson showing off his seventh Hole-in-One voucher, details of which have already been reported.
LATEST ON ROSA
In response to our enquiry about Rosa’s health husband Claus Ramer reports good news. After cranium surgery and a long recovery period she left hospital ten days ago (July 11) and now starts the slow return to normal life again. There will be a further check up in three weeks time to make sure she is fully out of danger. Welcome news for all.
LAST BUT FAR FROM LEAST
Although not appearing in chronological order, and beaten to the punch by SUR, it is probable that this report on La Cala Resort’s 30th Birthday will demand plenty of space, especially for pictorial content. Never before has your Scribbler been faced with almost 350 photographs from which to choose! We are grateful to Iván Martínez for the majority and for being on duty from crack of dawn to well after moonlight. There were some private submissions, courtesy of mobile phone camera’s, especially of the late evening jollifications, when eminent members can be seen rocking, rolling and in a few cases reeling. It will be understood by readers that none of these unsolicited videos are included for fear of legal proceedings. Management will be pleased that overall it will be a day to remember for most, or try and remember for some!
The day began from 0800 in the inner car park where, to most peoples’ surprise, breakfast was available. Very well presented and tempting, but many had already eaten at home.
When booking in all participants were given a bag of useful golfing “goodies”, as well as a picnic lunch. Both kindly thoughts. On the wall of the upper clubhouse, overlooking the area in which buggies stood ready for passengers, and groups were being photographed, the Digital Display screen was making its public debut. An ever changing, ever repeating series of photographs from LCR’s early days were shown on a large screen and in full colour despite competition from the sun. Similar screens appear elsewhere. A very interesting marketing technique.
Flavio Papa greeted everyone in that cheerful, flamboyant style that has made him a very popular part of such events. He makes sure you know the rules of the day. What to do and what not to do. Explains what the 90 degree rule means, which always gets a titter, and then waves you cheerfully on your way to your appointed tee. The battleground was América on which the 8th is now memorable for having seen a trio of wild baby boars nip across from right to left as we came down the hill.
The conditions were a bit sultry at times but overall it was a nice day for playing golf and everyone should have enjoyed it. Some more than others when the score sheets are studied, and none more so than our very own Richard Hinds whose 42 points won him a three day trip to St. Andrews. This for being the person with the best overall score out of a field, mixed gender, of 107.
Club Secretary Geoff Thompson wasn’t far behind with 39, and Señor Jorge Querol González third with 38
24 Ladies engaged in a search for prize winning scores and three found what they wanted. Patricia Zimmerman Fernandez’s 37 took first place. Dina Zharova Berbner second with 36, and Isabella Rippinger third with 35, both home girls.
It is not allowed to win two prizes in the same competition so Carlos Mena Quero, from Alcaidesa, was adjudged the winner of the Mens’ 0-16.5 handicap category with 38, although third in fact behind Geoff Thompson and Jorge González. Jan-Peter Karlsson was the next highest La Cala member with 37.
In the Mens’ 16.6 – 36 (!) category , excluding Richard Hinds, Lars Granberg, in whose company it was a pleasure to be, and who played with concentration and consistency, scored 38 points and thus won the first prize. Lars goes back to the very earliest LCR days yet is playing better and better. Klaus Koppen is listed as a La Cala member although unknown to the Scribbler. He was second with 37, whilst Señor Antonio Sanchez Marcos was third but on handicap.
These results were not known, of course, until late into the night’s proceedings. There were two shotgun starts. One at 0930 and the other at 1500 so it could have been 2030 before some of the slower players handed in their cards. The actual prize giving started around 2300 but to have checked 107 cards accurately must have been quite a task.
Before then though much had happened to entertain the guests of which there were many. Members and Owners. Local dignataries including the newly elected mayor of Mijas, José Antonio González. Business partners. Tourist and travel representatives. Officials and professionals from neighbouring clubs. Not least Cabell B. Robinson, the designer and creator of our three courses. At their disposal were food and beverage stalls to satisfy every palette, plus a constant flow of distinctive tapas, all to a musical background.
Then came the speeches, of which there were a few, the key presentation coming from the resort’s CEO Sean Corte Real who traced the history of the development, paid tribute to those who had had the foresight and then belief, effort and determination to succeed. One of whom, Pedro Negrette, is still part of the management team.
Prize giving, especially when the audience are unaware of the names to be announced, is an integral part of such celebrations and Flavio duly attracted the attention of a by then cheerful crowd. This was right up his street, needless to say and, as always, he made a good job it all.
Then came time to relax and listen and/or dance to the music provided by an excellent group into the wee small hours of the night. Like all good parties it finally came to an end when many would like it not to have done. Management are to be both thanked and congratulated on organising a very special day indeed.
Some of our oldest inhabitants were invited to tell us a memory of days long gone. The club’s first captain, Iain Macaulay, starts the ball rolling.
“Without doubt, my earliest memory is from the Summer of 1994. Around 40 members of Chaparral left their club, which had become dormant. The vast majority had their own buggies. Can you imagine, we drove them all from Chaparral to La Cala. It was great fun. I also remember one of the Peter Stock Memorial dinners, when just short of 150 turned up. Also we enjoyed a wee competition on the Par 3, one of the biggest discussions was on deciding on the ladies handicaps. Kate Bradley won.“
This month, and befitting a special occasion, the newsletter is delighted to embrace a four minute video, commissioned by LCR Management, which we feel sure those who have yet to track it down online will find highly entertaining. Then, in stark contrast, we include some pictures from far off days before bring July to an early end. By the time reader(s?) get this far your Scribbler will be back in his Hampshire home and thinking about August.