Welcome to the February edition of your favourite organ

Jalan Raya Seminyak last Tuesday evening

So… I decided I needed a project and one very rainy evening inspired me to build a boat in my garden. Still in its infancy, this projected Dreadnought of the seven seas will be 300 cubits, long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Egyptian Standard Cubit, it is about the same length as an Abyssinian Pic). Once finished, I plan on stocking it with two of everything we need – two boxes of Bordeaux, two of Burgundy, two of Glenfiddich etc…

Yes, it has been raining steadily here for what seems like 15 months. Thankfully most of this has happened at night, which has allowed us to continue to enjoy golf , albeit on fairways a bit soggy in places. This has necessitated a lift, clean and place ruling, as balls are often plugged, and almost always covered in mud. Mine sometimes assumes the size and appearance of a Bowling Ball. 

I must say, the greens drain very well indeed so any passing deluge quickly disappears and greens are playable in no time.

Actually, as the sun is now once again almost overhead on its way back to the Northern Hemisphere, the cloudy days are pretty welcome in keeping the temperature down – as we discovered this week when they cleared in time for our Sunday golf, and it became just a tad warm…

Some great golf played in January, as you will see later in the Rag. We here trapped in Paradise hope you all elsewhere remain safe and healthy, and can come back soon to Bali and Raffles Golf Club.   We miss you all…

I found this photo of Noah, who apparently first came up with my idea for a boat…

President’s Report

Dear Fellow Members,

I have the honour and privilege to present to all members my  President’s Report to the 2020/21 Annual General Meeting of Raffles Golf Club.

The year 2020 was a worldwide disaster.  However, because of the efforts of some within Raffles it was not such  a disaster for our Club.  It could and would have been without our Captain, Tony Brandenburg, our Treasurer, Mel Lange, our Secretary, Hugh Brown, and the support we all got from the rest of the Board.  Our hard-working Club Manager/Administrator Peter Manz continued on what he has been doing for longer than I have been the President – to  run our Club.  We now have the task ahead of us  to try and  keep this team together and I believe that we can be  successful in doing so.

Our Captain, Tony Brandenburg, left Bali in February 2020 for Ballarat not knowing he would still be there one year later.  He has done a magnificent job, in absentia, and has been responsible for some wonderful innovations within our Club, including everyone’s favourite, the Eclectic.

Mel Lange has barely missed a beat (and certainly not missed a cent) as our Treasurer and as a Bali resident she has been brilliant, reliable, and always there for all concerned.

Hugh Brown reluctantly took over the role of Club Secretary.  Hugh is a perfectionist, a deep thinker and a person who considers things from all angles.  He has been a superb help to me in particular. and to all of us as members.

We are losing Mike Barber as a Director.  As you all know Mike is our past Captain and brought so much to the party in his role as Captain and also as a Director. He has been an achiever for our Club.  The Board will miss his astute observations and comments in the role of mentor that he has played in the past year.

The other members of our Board are Howard Otten and Ron Fletcher.  Ron is our newest Board member, and he is becoming a gem. Although he is a  keen Docker supporter, he does not permit his superiority in sporting preferences  to in any way interfere with his objectiveness as a director!  Seriously though, Ron is finding his feet and has become a reliable and  valuable board member. Howard has been particularly helpful to me in our attempts to resolve in a positive manner the dispute with Raffles International (as has Hugh Brown) and his comments and suggestions at Board level are always listened to carefully.

This year we have been facing a challenge in the form of the use of the word “Raffles” as part of our Club’s name.  Along with over at least  30 other enterprises in Bali alone it seems we are in breach of the ownership by trademark of the word “Raffles”  by Raffles International.  Raffles International  own the trademark in Indonesia for the word “Raffles”.

The latest in this saga is that Raffles International  are now claiming that we are claiming in Australia that we are associated with them and in breach of their copyright there.  The advice I have is that we are on solid grounds but whilst that is important the answer to these problems  is to reach a mutual agreement.  We are both trying to achieve that.

I am on behalf of Raffles Golf Club at the point where we  will hopefully reach an agreement with them as to the use of the word Raffles by our Club. I must emphasise the word “hopefully”.

Covid 19 is something we are alI getting tired of hearing about and getting boring numbers all the time.  But it is present, and it is real, and it is probably the biggest interference in my lifestyle since I was born.  The same with our Club.  Whilst most of us, if not all, have been able to cope with the lifestyle adaption, a lot of people in Indonesia have struggled and are continuing to struggle.  We initiated assistance by way of a fund we called the Raffles Caddies’ Support Fund which we launched in April.  We raised about IDR 400,000,000 which we have now disbursed in full directly to the caddies.  With the numbers of players in Bali having been dramatically reduced the caddies found themselves in dire financial straits, with their loss of earnings  also seriously affecting their dependents, being their parents, grandparents, and siblings.  Whilst we have helped in a small way, their struggling is ongoing, and we need to do as much as we can to help not just the caddies but the millions of people suffering through poverty in Indonesia.  Indonesians are wonderful people, who have provided a lot of happiness to those of us who live in Bali and to the rest of you who are all regular visitors.  Please keep up your support of the caddies on a direct basis.

I am now in my sixth year as President. I believe I am past my sell by date.  It is time for me to be replaced and for someone else who is fresher and more enthusiastic than myself coming to the fore and taking over my position.  This person can present new ideas and approaches which will benefit our club.  I have to advise I am actively seeking that someone.

Unfortunately, we are in Covid 19 imprisonment on a worldwide movement basis.  This means that in practical terms probably 70% of our members cannot visit/leave Bali and/or visit/ leave Australia. My replacement therefore has to be found from Bali.  At this point of time, I have been unable to find a person willing to take on the position, but I am certainly looking hard.  Anyone interested in taking on the role please contact me or any board member at your earliest convenience.

It is election time at the same time as the AGM.  I have nominated Ron Fletcher and Hugh Brown to be re-appointed to the Board.  Captain Tony has seconded them.  I must advise that Hugh is organising himself geographically in that he can return to live in Australia later this year and will in all likelihood resign from the board upon his departure from Bali.

Tony Brandenburg, our Captain, is not standing for re-election.  However, he cannot be Captain if he is not a Director under the terms of our Constitution.  We have resolved this problem in the following manner.  We have a vacancy for one person to be appointed by the Board.  That vacancy is for the balance of the term expiring at the AGM in 2022.  As soon as the AGM is over, if that vacancy is not filled at the AGM,  then Tony has agreed to fill it for the one-year period.  If he stood for election at the AGM,  he would be appointed for 2 years.  Tony does not know what the future is for him because of Covid 19 and the need to care for his elderly mother and has very generously offered to continue on as Captain but with a view to only doing so until a replacement is appointed. Tony intends to spend some considerable time in Bali when it is permitted again.  He will then reassess his role within Raffles. He will not abandon Raffles.

I hope all of you remain healthy and fit  and that this year will see the end of the pandemic and enable our Club to get back to its business as usual.  Meanwhile, I urge all of you to renew your membership with Raffles.  We need to stay liquid and to be able to continue on without any concerns about  finances.  Whilst we are in good financial shape now, it is because of the work done by Melanie, but most importantly your support and willingness to continue on your membership despite, for those of you now outside Bali, not being able to get all the benefits of membership. I ask you to please make the effort.



Robert Nelson


Raffles Golf Club


Captains Corner

I thought for my Raffles Rag article this month I would look back at my year as Captain, as I won’t be standing for Captain in 2021.  The Captain of  Raffles can’t be 4308 km from the course for an indefinite period of time.

Other than Covid and all that came with golf in a global pandemic I have learnt much about golf. Firstly, I needed lessons on handicapping and world handicapping.  https://www.golf.org.au/whs/ ,  very quickly followed by local rules and why we have them.  We needed some Bali-specific local rules on things like Bunkers, and I needed to be on top of any changes’ effect on complying with Handicapping issues.

Secondly, and I am proud of the fact,  our women members now have their own events as part of the monthly event program.  We always had a women’s champion during golf week but now the Matchplay Championship and the women’s Monthly Medal have been added.  For weekly events the women play as part of the members field but on specific occasions they have their own event.  I do hope that as our women’s membership numbers continue to grow that a women’s captain will one day be appointed.

While mentioning monthly medal I have also been pleased to sponsor a gross score event at each monthly medal, both for men and women.  I really wanted to call the event the grossest man/woman player of the month but wiser heads talked me out of that type of naming.  I am happy that this event will continue into the future, and hope to be the grossest male player sometime in the future.

Thirdly, and it was a skill I needed to develop, was to listen to members concerns and wishes.  It is fair to say that our members are passionate about their golf and how it should be played.  Ideas come fast and often, and with the advent of WhatsApp phone calls laden with advice and ideas.  4308 km is still very close to Bali.  Believe it or not I have enjoyed the interactions, while sometimes wondering why I was having a conversation about whatever,  I always felt privileged that a member would take the time to write or talk to me.

I also think that the implementation of new events have worked well.  Members embraced the eclectic event, international members enjoyed the Day in September and New Kuta Golf Club (our home club)  benefited from the various new initiatives we offered with increased fields.  The old events, like Member’s Trophy days and blue tee stableford 🙂 have also been very popular.

There have been days when being Captain is difficult but there are so many more days when it has just been the best fun. I could talk more about the year but will leave you with one final thought – that if you ever have the opportunity to be captain of a golf club, take it, go with it and enjoy the ride; it is a worthwhile experience.

Tony Brandenburg

Club Captain

Raffles Golf Club



January Monthly Medal

Who said lefties can’t play golf? January’s Monthly Medal was very deservedly won by our own “lefty”, David Kirkwood. Having recently returned from his Covid-imposed exile in Perth, Western Australia, David has been a regular addition to our field in January.

His practice in the winter conditions of Australia has improved his golf, and he well demonstrated his 7 handicap was well under control with a fine 75 off the stick to win the Monthly Medal with a nett 67, relegating another in-form player in Geoff Wighton to second place on nett 72, from Karl Heinz Schmelzer on a count back.

David also snaffled the Best Gross, and of course the A Grade, from Karl Heinz (72) on the right side of another count back with third place Alain Bronner.

B Grade winner was Geoff Wighton (72) from Hugh Brown (74) and Thomas Linane (76).

The Women’s Medal was won by our frequent podium finisher Ira Septiantari, nett 72, from Rika Maulida on nett 75 and Francisca Boedilistriati (80)

Player of the Month

 As you might have guessed from the previous article, David Kirkwood continued his great form throughout January, to win the Player of the Month on 96 points – in a tight struggle with another consistently in form contestant in Geoff Wighton on 87. Our third place getter was Karl-Heinz Schmeltzer. Good also to see two women up near the top also with Ira Septiantari 4th and Yanti Djae 5th.

Member’s Trophy Day

Last month, Sonny Nairn was the trophy donor at the ripe age of 4 weeks. This month showed our diversity when Alan Legg offered up another fine bottle of Aged Single Malt whisky to help celebrate his 60th birthday.

It was a big and thirsty field who took to the course intent on securing Alan’s Scotch, and a fair bit of on-course lubrication meant many fell by the wayside – some quite literally.

Last man standing (albeit swaying slightly) was Geoff Wighton, whose 36 points were testimony to his staying power. Patrick Somers strove valiantly but staggered at the last on 35, and Hugh Brown nipped into 3rd on 34.

Alan himself did not play well… too many “shots” I suspect.

Well done Geoff, and Happy Birthday Alan!



World Golf Rankings





And Finally…

As mentioned by our President (who’s namesake sits atop a huge column in the centre of Trafalgar Square) in his Report, lots of people are doing it tough in Bali. 

Some of our members are also feeling the pinch obviously, as demonstrated by the distressed state of golfing footwear on show recently. One of our members was reduced to makeshift repairs on a pair of shoes clearly past their “sell by” date. 

Whilst use of duct tape was cleverly employed by the astronauts on Apollo 13 to get their spaceship back to Earth, thereby saving their souls and demonstrating the tape’s universal efficacy in almost all situations, this repair job, whilst sad to see, lasted less than one hole before the shoes succumbing to the inevitable shedding of their soles.

Obviously, I cannot share with you the identity of this faller-on-hard-times, but his namesake does sit atop a huge column in Trafalgar Square…