Golf as we know it in the time of the Corona Virus…

Welcome, all to the April Edition of your favourite organ.

I’m sure you all do not need to hear from Your Humble Scribe about the state of golf or anything else in Bali. The Captain’s Corner and President’s Message will fill you in on what is (or is not) happening here – I suspect much the same as wherever you are in the world, Dear Reader. The photograph above I think sums up the moment…

If you can tear yourselves away from sorting your sock drawer, weeding the rhododendrons, building a life-size lego model of the Eiffel Tower and counting the number of times Tolstoy uses the word “bollocks” in Anna Karenina*, just take a few minutes to soak up the joys of this, your favourite organ. We will be suspending the Raffles Rag for the time being, until we are playing golf again and have something to write about!

Check out also in Captain’s Corner an initiative of Mark Wiggins and friends to start a free Food Kitchen for the people here who are getting very desperate without any support…

In the meantime, stay safe, stay home, look after your caddy, and come back when you can.

* zero

Captain’s Corner

“Beam me up, Scotty, this place is unreal…”

My childhood hero, Spock of Star Trek fame said “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” (1980) I have been reminded of this many times in the last 30 days.

Last month in this column I mused on what brings Raffles members together, suggesting it was the mixture of our social and our golf worlds being well balanced and this mixture meeting the needs of members.  Well,  the last month has sorely tested this, with the advent of the Covid-19 virus and the impact it has on, not only our golf and social worlds but on the entire world.  As Captain of your club the decisions to firstly cancel our participation in the Asia Cup, then ‘Raffles The Championships’, then to modify our weekly events and then subsequently to cancel them, was extremely difficult.  I took advice from many, and I especially thank our President Robert Nelson for his wisdom, logic and advice.  Eventually the criteria for the decisions were apparent.  

 It wasn’t about playing golf, at all!

It was about the social aspect of the club and the importance we place on this, and hence the safety of all members, the caddies, and all those involved with the club, became the highest priority.   I probably annoyed some members as it took away their competitive golf rounds for the foreseeable future.  Everyone loves a Championship, an open Ambrose event, or the Friday morning comp. 

Our club age demographic is interesting, as more than 50% percent of our members are over the age of 60 while 60% of our weekly domestic players are over the same age.  Medical reports from around the world suggests that although this is not a high-risk category, people of this age and above need to be careful and hence so did our club.  

 The decision making became more complicated as Raffles Golf Club doesn’t manage a golf course and the golf courses in Bali remained opened. They still are, though as I type, all Australia golf courses have been asked to close.

 Of interest we also found that by being pre-emptive in our actions and decisions we supported the local Bali golf course administration teams in their own decision making.  New Kuta Golf Course has implemented ideas that our members suggested, and I thank Peter Manz for his tireless work representing Raffles with the course admin teams.  It will be interesting to see what processes remain after Covid-19 has dissipated; as there are some very good ideas!

And, one of our members, Mark Wiggins has started up a food kitchen in Bali to help those who need help! I will write to you with details very soon and commend this initiative to you

I sincerely hope the next time I write this column; Raffles is back in full swing with not only its weekly games but preparation for the August and November events. That said, we may vary the times of the future 2020 major events as we look at the long-term impact of the Covid-19 virus on our golf program.

Tony Brandenburg

Captain – Raffles Golf Club Bali
ABN 60 750 059 835

President’s Message

As our Captain, Tony Brandenburg has rightly pointed out in his Captain’s Corner,  we are a Club carrying out an activity in Bali because of the comradeship and love of golf, and because we love Bali.  As you all know the golf aspect of that statement is not happening for an indefinite period because of Covid-19.

My topic, therefore, this month is Bali, and how we can help during this pandemic period.  As you all must know or have surmised by now,  the “Island of the Gods” is vacant of tourists.  Tourism is effectively its only enterprise that earns the local people a living directly or indirectly.  Their produce is sold to tourists in raw or cooked form, their handicrafts, clothing, artefacts etc are all industries which now will have no income.  Similarly, the tourist attractions, beach vendors, street vendors, taxi cabs, restaurants etc etc no longer have any customers at all.  Bali is in trouble.  A consequence of this is that Bali is in shut down, no matter what the Government says or does – because the tourists, Australians in the main, are no longer there, and what’s more could not even get there if they wanted to. 

In terms of golf, our caddies have been severely restricted with their earning capacity and it is only a matter of a week or two at most before the golf clubs will close down pending riding out the Covid-19 pandemic.  I believe that presently only a single number of golfers are playing each day at New Kuta.

My concern is not just for everyone in Bali, and what will happen to them, but for the old, the sick and the unemployed throughout Indonesia.  There is, however, a little assistance we can offer… 

Bali, and indeed the whole of Indonesia, operates on an unwritten, traditional family system.  This incorporates the old being looked after by their children and those children looking after their parents.  The grandparents look after the young whilst the parents work.  It is very common for three generations of one family to live under one roof.  Often this leaves the youngest, the grandchildren, to either having to go away from the home to earn money which they send home every month religiously, or go to work locally to earn a living so as to look after their families.

Caddies in Bali are no different.  I am aware from conversations with many of them, and indeed every one of them that I have spoken to about it, that they send home money monthly to look after the family at home, a lot of whom live outside Bali in other islands of Indonesia.  They are not going to be able to do this from now on without our help.  They have no source of income.  A lot of us have established wonderful relationships with our caddies and regularly use the same caddy.  I am no exception; I have used my caddy Ika for probably the last 5 years now.  I have taken the decision, with the approval of my family, to pay her some money every month, knowing that this money will flow through to her family.  We must remember, in most instances, the families when they get ill cannot afford medical assistance, and in almost every case, have no insurance.

So, what am I asking you to do?   I am asking all of you that use a particular caddy on a regular basis, to make a regular payment for a few months to that caddy.  The money will be spread throughout the community and be put to good purposes.  Indonesians, in general, are not panicking but they also probably are not fully aware of what could happen in the next few months.  Please all of you, put your hands in your pockets and pay a sum of money to your regular caddy.

For those of you who do not have a regular caddy,  ask one of your mates to refer you to a caddy, and send that caddy a small sum for the period of Bali’s closure.

If you want help to choose a caddy to support, the best person to consult (as usual) is Peter Manz.  He will help you get one.

Please Please Please help.

Yours in Golf

Robert Nelson

Club President.

Whatsapp  +62 8154 7279 480

March Jenggala Monthly Medal.

A strong field of 35 players came out to play for the Jenggala Monthly Medal, and the keen competition brought out the best in the contenders. Eventual winner was Peter Rozentals from B Grade, with an excellent nett score of 68, holding off strong finishes from Howard Otten and Veronica Bennett one shot back.

Our Best Gross of the day was the ever-consistent Alan Legg with a 74, also earning Alan second place in A Grade, behind Howard. B Grade second place went to the improving-every-month Ira Septiantari on 71, and the C Grade winner was Veronica, comfortably 2 shots ahead of second-place Rhonda Golby-Smith on 71.

Member’s Trophy Days, March

We had disruptions to our home course of New Kuta during March, so two club members, Putu Mahendrea and Peter Manz stood up to offer Trophies at the hastily arranged away games, and visiting Member Robert Carruthers held his day at New Kuta before the course work began. And very successful the days were!


First up was Putu Mahendra, who hosted a day at the beautiful and cooler Handara course in Bedugul. A great round of 39 from Mark Walker saw the rest of the field in the distance behind him. Closest of the followers was Alan Legg on 34


Putu delivers his trophy to Mark as they demonstrate their immaculate taste in boxers…



Next was Robert Carruthers whose excellent trophy of a bottle of 18 Year Old Chivas Regal brought out a strong field of 30 thirsty players. It took another super round of 39 points from Terry Pendlebury to shake off challenges of Raven Dunk (38) and Alan Legg (37).


Robert and his magnificent cockerel congratulate a beaming Terry.

Finally, for the month (and for the foreseeable future, as it turns out),  Peter Manz hosted another big day at Pandawa, putting a generous 1.8m Rp voucher at the Pandawa pro shop up for us to aspire to. As always, it seems, Pandawa put on perfect golf weather for the event.

Once again, 39 was the magic number and Steve Viles took out the prize from the 29 other aspirants. Robert Nelson took out second place on 38 in a countback from Malcolm Manson.


World Golf Rankings

The following rankings have been suspended for obvious reasons…













For those of you still in Bali who care to continue playing and run the associated risks, the following options are currently available.