Welcome to the December edition of your favourite organ
This Photo is a fake!! I simply cannot, and will not, believe that Santa is a Left Hander…
The worst year in our collective lives is finally coming to an end and it seems, if the world’s bourses are any indicator (and they usually are), there is a scent of optimism in the air as the hopes for an effective vaccine grow in all of us.
Golf here in Paradise is far from over however, as our Monthly Medal, the end of the second Eclectic and various competitions are yet to be played before year’s end. The rains are here, but are still to treat us to their usual deluges.
The only thing missing is… most of you. We are hopeful that some time this coming year will see you all back again. To be honest, despite the daily statistics, we feel pretty safe here if we are following the directives, and enjoying as close to normal a life as possible.
All the Georgie Best for the holidays!!
Well I am now back in Bali, albeit “voluntarily” isolating as best as I can. My two weeks is up at the end of this week. The Covid 19 situation here, whilst statistically appearing not too good, does not seem to have thwarted the resident ex pats here from living as normal a life as they can. Weekend jaunts have become a norm with hotels and leisure resorts offering almost ridiculous prices in order to attract whatever custom they can get.
However, the people are obviously struggling; you see on major roads where people who are obviously struggling to feed themselves have set up stalls selling anything they can get their hands on. A dollar feeds them and their family for a day. These are exceedingly difficult times for them. For the ex-pats it is difficult too. They are doing what they can but a lot of them are also suffering and having to be very careful to protect their savings. All I can say is that if you can help and an opportunity arises please do what you can. The Balinese people are gentle, friendly, and caring people overall and deserve to be helped if we can do so. If you want help finding a place to give please let us know and we will provide you with a selection of choices.
On the golfing front, we are now in our last month of our financial year which ends 31st December. Elections will be held at our AGM in February and there are 4 vacancies to be filled. At this time, I do not know what the intentions of our retiring directors are going to be, but we are always on the look out for new directors. If you think you can contribute to our Club, we will welcome your standing for election to our Board. We have a board of up to 8 persons who are elected for a two-year period with half retiring each year but of course being eligible to stand again. Please give this matter some thought and if you think you can add value to our Board take the decision to let us know and stand for election as a candidate.
I will be writing to you in January advising you all of the date of the AGM. Your board has taken the decision that the AGM will be held by Zoom. Accordingly, we are hopeful of getting some good numbers.
Finally, I would like to thank Robbie Goodwin on behalf of all of us. Robbie, as you all must know if you are reading this, is our editor for the Raffles Rag. He has been doing this job thanklessly for probably three years now. Rob’s wit, use of the English language and sharp mind together with his maturity has provided us with, what is in my opinion, a world class editor. He is known in the Club as “the wordsmith” and most justifyingly. (Hmmm. “justifyingly”… Not a word I have ever used, so I looked it up in the OED – sure enough, its there… and its first recorded use?? “earliest use found in John Goodwin (?1594–1665)” Good old Uncle John got there before our President! Family honour is intact – Ed).
His wry smile when he cracks a joke using his command of the English language as his source to do so is now almost legendary. He is one of our popular members and has been active within the club for a long time. He is also our current Match Play Champion so he can play golf to a good standard as well. Robbie owns a restaurant called Yanti. Named after his lovely business and life Partner, it is located in Double 6 , is beautifully decked out and has excellent food and live music. Unfortunately, it is closed for the “Covid period” but I thoroughly recommend it as a destination to have some cold ones and good food when it re-opens.
Until next month.
Yours in golf
By my nature I am not a good planner! I am the type of person that has an ‘all nighter’ to write a paper or prepare a presentation, I put myself under pressure, I make myself stressed and then I manage to get the job done. (In my uni days, I also resorted to alcohol and such, though age has made me wiser in this matter). The approach is most likely not great for my health nor my state of mind, but that is me, that is how I am. I know this can stresses others as many don’t deal with the approach, so in a serious attempt to have members of Raffles stress free and comfortable, I have changed my behaviour and have worked on the calendars for 2021 and 2022. (Thanks Peter Manz for putting up with me on this!)
The hope is to help with planning and hopefully those of you in Bali, or Australia or elsewhere in the world will see we have tried to help you plan your return to Raffles if you are away. The basic premise for our planning was/is, 2021 will not be a ‘normal year’ and 2022 will be ’normal year’, if there will ever be one again.
So some dates: Between the 2nd and the 17th of May 2021 we will hold a mini tournament. Not as many events as normal but a series of events. (Monthly medal, Pandawa 36 holes, an event at Bali National, a couple of team events, an Ambrose and a staff appreciation day, etc) In September of 2021, between the 17th and 26th we will hold a modified tournament week, including the club championships on the 23rd and 24th. (One criteria for holding the event is that at least 50% of members could visit Bali if they desire!). The Raffles 2022 Tournament dates are May 13th through 22nd with the Raffles Club Championships (men and women) to be held on the 19th and 20th of May 2022. In all cases the tournaments will finish with an Ambrose event on the last day.
On another matter the Raffles treasurer has asked me to remind members that membership fees are now due. $AUD50 deposited into one of the Raffles Bank accounts or a credit card payment is all you need to do. Invoices were posted to members by email around 11.30 am on the 1st of this month. Looking at what I pay here in Australia, I can’t help thinking its not a bad deal!
And finally, appreciate this time of the year and enjoy and celebrate the festive season. I leave you with an Irish blessing …. May your swing be straight and the ball fly far, may your round be blessed with no worse than par!
Raffles Golf Club
Favourite and/or Unusual Golf Courses
I have been absolutely underwhelmed by the huge response by Dear Readers, clamouring to share their recollections of their favourite or most unusual golf courses they have experienced. I can only assume that the pressures of BHP Board Meetings, open-heart surgeries, solving Climate Change, and wild horses have kept you from your keyboard to dash me off a Pulitser-worthy account for the delectation of our members. Soooo… whilst I am waiting for that welcoming “ding” from my inbox, I will describe another for you – this time more in the “unusual” than the “favourite” category.
The newly built Clubhouse, Guilin
A few years ago, I was invited to give a speech at a client convention in the city of Guilin in the centre of China about an hour and a half flight north west(ish) of Hong Kong.
Guilin has an amazing landscape, with huge (maybe 100m high) limestone karsts rising vertically from flat plains like ancient canine teeth. These karsts are much loved by water colourists, and you have all seen them in Chinese paintings.
Anyway, I was invited by the Client to play golf at the only course in town. My choice was that, or participating in an off-site dinner with some of them. I played golf… (and lucky for me, as a dinner participant told be later he could now tick “rat” off his list of things to eat).
The amenities were minimal (they are not minimal now!!), however the course was actually jaw-dropping – and with some unique surprises.
Par fives were not long – as the crow flies- but given that one was nota crow and played around a 100mhigh canine tooth rising straight up from the fairway, cutting the corner was not an option. It was truly beautiful to see, but in the absence of an ability to fade or draw around the limestone wall, it was necessary to hit as close as one dared to the sheer cliff, and not so hard you would run off the fairway on the other side.
But the best was to come… One Par 3 was an island green, (TPC or Bali National style) with no visible means of access. I hit first, and just as I did so, the clouds parted and a beam of golden sunlight bathed me in its aura, and choirs of heavenly hosts could be heard. My 4 iron shot sailed over the troubled waters onto the green 10-12 feet from the pin.
As the ball rolled to a stop, the whole circumference of the green erupted into vertical columns of water activated by someone hidden from view. I kid you not.
My playing partner, the President of my client company, hit next. His ball landed ignominiously in the lake and was consigned forever to the depths.
No columns of water erupted…
We were then led by our caddies to a small jetty where a punt awaited us, and a punter (?) poled us serenely across to the green – and to the drop zone for my friend.
That should have been all, but it was not. After completing the hole and being punted ashore, I asked where the next and final tee was. My caddy pointed to the towering karst beside us. “Up there, follow me”.
Behind the karst was a funicular railway, like Hong Kong’s Peak Tram. I kid you not, again. This vehicle ground its way up to the top, where a tee had been chiselled out, offering a wonderful view of the course, including our target fairway far below.
Not my favourite golf course, but one I will long remember… as I will the 50 Yuan I won from my client.
Coincidentally, I’m sure, knowing my interest in, and love for wine, the President that night presented me with a bottle of Chinese wine (surely an oxymoron) with a dead snake coiled in the bottom, and insisted I try it. It tasted like there was a dead snake in the bottle.
(Surely you all have a favourite or just plain quirky course somewhere in the world. Write me something about it and we can share it with others. firstname.lastname@example.org)
November Monthly Medal
Once again, our Monthly Medalist has come from the Legg household, but no!! Not Mr Consistency himself, but the event was won by Cisca Boedilistiati, Alan’s talented wife. Playing off a fast-shrinking 16 Handicap, Cisca blitzed the field with a 5 under Nett 67 – (her gross score just one behind her husband’s 84).
“Anything you can do, I can do better…”
Second place was another good score from Ron Fletcher on 70, pipping Hugh Brown on a count back.
The “grossest” player of the day was one of the crop of excellent low handicappers in our club – Raven Dunk. Raven now plays from a 5 handicap, equalled that on the day to finish with a steady 77.
Well done to all, especially the winners Cisca and Raven!
Player of the Month
Consistency is the order of the day when it comes to winning the Player of the Month award, and Howard Otten is certainly that. Howard was there or thereabouts all month, and when the scorecards were eventually returned to us from NASA’s astronomical Super Computer section, he won with a very creditable score of 78.5 (Errors and Omissions Excepted). This was plenty good enough to hold off the bridesmaid in the Monthly Medal Ron Fletcher on 76 points.
Well done that man Howard!
Raffles Matchplay Championship
Another great initiative from our Board was the Inaugural Matchplay Championship. Starting from the Monthly Medal day early October, players were seeded according to their finishing position, then played a knockout Matchplay format over the following 4-5 weeks. We don’t get to indulge in Matchplay very often, so it was a popular event indeed.
Coming out on top in the Ladies’ Division was one of our relatively new members, Raima Gaden, who defeated Melanie Lange 3 up with 1 to play (3 & 1). Raima had to overcome a handicap differential of 25 shots, finally prevailing on the 17th green.
In the Men’s Division, your humble scribe met “Giantkiller” Kevin Horne, who reached the final after defeating Alain Bronner, Tony Colley and Alan Legg along the way – whew! Robbie Goodwin was the very relieved winner on the day, however – again on the 17th green – winning 2 & 1.
Well done to all participants and of course to both winners
World Golf Rankings