Welcome to the January edition of your favourite organ
Wild scenes in Double 6 as crowds gather to celebrate the end of 2020
To misquote good old TS Eliot, “This is the way the year ends, not with a bang, but a whimper”. New Year’s Eve ended here on that note – I did my usual cunning trick of watching the Sydney fireworks on TV at 9pm (thanks to the 3 hour time difference) and was free to go to bed feeling I had done my festive bit. I didn’t miss anything here in Paradise, as we all had an 11pm curfew, the fireworks on the beach forbidden, and no crowds.
Our golfing calendar, however, remains very healthy, with a number of excellent performances rounding off the worst year of our lives. Our Board, led (in exile) by our Captain Tony Brandenburg lightened our cumulative perspective greatly, providing us with a second half of the year filled with initiatives designed to make our golf exciting and less expensive to boot. We had many Member’s Trophy Days, two keenly contested Eclectic events, an inaugural Raffles Matchplay Championship, sponsor Lucky Day’s Masters and a host of “normal” events.
Importantly, all events were conducted with health in mind, with single-player carts and one-tee starts to avoid large congregations in the locker rooms and bar. We all miss the camaraderie of the Apres-Golf and look forward to shotgun starts and gathering together at the end when it is safe to do so, but until then, most are understanding of our need for caution.
Like everyone else, I am hoping for great advances in vaccinations this year to rid ourselves of this plague on our houses, and looking forward to welcoming you all back to Bali, and to Raffles Golf Club.
Dear Fellow Members,
Firstly, I hope all of you enjoyed your festive season and were able to do so with your family members. Lots of us, including myself, were unable to do so. Secondly, let us hope that this year we rid ourselves of the Covid-19 problem either through vaccination or by accepting we have to live with it or indeed, any bloody thing. We are all sick to death of it (some literally!).
Next, the most boring aspect of our Club arises again – our AGM, which will be held in the middle of February 2021 on a date to be confirmed. It will be a Zoom meeting.
We have four vacancies to be filled for Board positions. Mike Barber, Hugh Brown, Tony Brandenburg, and Ron Fletcher’s tenure on the boards expire at the AGM; and if they wish are eligible to stand again for election. I am hopeful that they all will. Those directors of the Club whose tenures still have one year to run are myself, Mel Lange (our Treasurer, and a treasure!), and Howard Otten.
If you are interested in becoming a board member, we are interested in having you stand for election. Whilst it is not a glamorous occupation it is a fulfilling role that you will hopefully enjoy. You get to meet other members more easily and you certainly become fully aware of the activities of our Club and become part of the steering of it. During these Covid-19 times a lot of difficult decisions have been made and are still to be made. You will learn of these in detail from my President’s Report for the AGM, which you will receive shortly.
Please consider standing and especially so if you are a Bali resident. However, residence is not essential. We now hold all our meetings by Zoom so you can become a director from your living room no matter where you are in the world. For those of you who have been members for a significant period of time and been active, now is your opportunity to give something back to the Club – your time and expertise. All of us would appreciate that.
To stand for election you will only need to have someone nominate you and get a seconder. In these Covid 19 times we have taken the view that no signatures will be necessary. Just ask another member of 2 years standing to fill in the nomination form, that comes with the AGM notice of meeting, with your name and his/her details and send it to Raffles using their registered email address. The seconder does the same and you send in your consent in the same way. All the forms are provided. It could not be simpler.
The AGM will be done by Zoom; and we will be sending Zoom invitations to all members. For quorum purposes we will consider a person who attends by Zoom as being personally present.
The Board has decided that it will wind up the Caddies’ Support Appeal Fund. The Committee has worked extremely hard on this project; and especially Mel Lange and our Club Administrator, Peter Manz. My sincere thanks to all who were involved. We did raise a substantial sum (well over IDR325million) and the last of our funds will be distributed shortly. We consider that given that the numbers of caddies have reduced somewhat at every Club and that at the same time the numbers of rounds being played have somewhat increased, that the caddies are now in a better position than they were last April. For those of you privately supporting caddies I would also like to thank you for your generosity and respectfully request that you continue your support.
My next monthly Rag communication will be in the form of my President’s Report for the AGM.
Raffles Golf Club
Welcome to Raffles Golf in 2021.I delayed my article this week so that the 7 day trial period for 2021 had expired, so you are stuck with all of us at Raffles for another year.As this is the first 2021 Captain’s Corner I thought I would recap the 2020 year from a data perspective.
In the year we welcomed 56 new members.
Many members have already renewed for 2021. Of those renewing 25 are from the original list of 2009. We have 2 longest serving members, Jon Dean and Craig Steeples who joined in August of 2009. Interesting, for those who like numbers, of our total membership, 208 members have a Raffles Golf Link generated number while 379 have a golf link number generated from another golf link affiliated course.
In 2020 we had 10 different Monthly Medal winners. Gavin (2), Paul, Francisca (2), Peter, Howard, Mark, Alain, Melanie, Trevor and Alan.
Peter Manz played the most events and had the most wins. 131/16, followed by Ron Fletcher with 109/7.Of the international members Kevin Horne played 38 events with myself second with 14 events and 1 win. (Pre covid).
In the year the best GA handicap drop was Yanti Djae losing 8.8 strokes. The largest blowout in handicap will remain a secret! The average men’s GA handicap in the club is 17.67 and the women’s is 24.38. Your captain is still in the top 20 but that’s now a struggle!
The lowest GA handicap in the club is James Isaia with -1.8 followed by Charlie Stephenson on -1.1. The highest handicap is also a secret!
We also had 9 different people win the Player of the month award.Terry, Iputu, Alan (3), Ron, Mark, Peter, Rhonda, Howard and Ira .These numbers would suggest that Alan is the more consistent player in the club over 12 months
We only offered one championship for the year due to Covid regulations and precautions. The Match Play men’s champion was Robbie Goodwin and the women’s was Raima Gaden
And finally, again for the number aficionados: in Covid 2020 we played 3446 rounds of golf compared to the previous year of 5349 rounds. As a comparison in 2017, the year of the great volcano, we played 3490 rounds while in 2014 we played 3005 rounds. In between the low years, 5349 in 2019 has been our best year with 4316 in 2018 our second best year.
Raffles Golf Club
Favourite and/or Unusual Golf Courses
OK, I give up…there appears to be no-one willing to share their favourite or most unusual golf course, so I will finish this segment with a brief description of two of my favourites.
Back in the day I was invited by a client to join his group playing a few of the courses on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain. I was quite familiar with the area and was happy one of the courses on the itinerary was Torrequebrada near Malaga, one of my then favourites. Nothing, however, prepared me for the centrepiece of the visit – a game at Real Club Valderrama, near Gibraltar.
Valderrama has hosted the Ryder Cup, and is touted as the “European Augusta”, and it is simply wonderful to play there. Tee times were 15 minutes apart so you feel like the only ones playing, Handicaps were limited to 18 or better, and a white-overalled mystery man accompanied each flight, presumably to ensure no-one tried to nick one of the beautiful, mature cork trees dotting the course.
Apart from the scariest, fastest greens I have ever experienced, two holes stand out in my memory. One was a fairly ordinary Par 3 which required a shot over dense scrub presumably inhabited only by dying elephants. Ordinary, that is, until one looked up, and in the distance, rising up from the morning sea mist of the Mediterranean, was the awesome Rock of Gibraltar. It really did take one’s breath away.
Word got around I was playing that day, and a small crowd gathered…
I laid up.
The 17th took one’s breath away for a different reason. It is a long Par 5 where for the longer hitters, the choice was to go for the green in 2 with a long iron or fairway wood over the water hazard in front, or lay up and pitch. In the Ryder Cup there, most players opted to lay up, as a ball at the back of the green necessitated a downhill putt. (Putting downhill at Valderrama was like putting down the shower wall and trying to stop the ball beside the soapdish). Tiger Woods, however, could not bring himself to lay up… hit a great shot onto the green, and rolled up to the back… putted back downhill, past the pin… and into the water.
Another course on my favourite list is Los Cabos on the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. Baja is that dangly bit south of San Diego. A resort course and, like all such courses in desert areas, it consists of beautiful green rivers of fairway, surrounded by stony, cactus-strewn desert, rattlesnakes and gila monsters. Any shot not on the fairway is like a bunker shot.
Running partly by the ocean, no relief is offered from the sand, as the entire beach is in play should one slice in that direction. One of our number was inches away from needing low tide to play his second…
I well remember the 8th, a Par 3 about 150m to a green perched on a ridge over the ocean, with the top of the flag just visible. My shot looked ok, but on arrival we looked for it in vain amongst the cacti… until in desperation I looked in the most unlikely place, and there it was, snuggled against the pin at the bottom of the hole.
The 8th Green and 9th fairway
December Monthly Medal
A richly deserving winner for December’s Monthly Medal by two shots was Mr Consistency Alan Legg – no doubt smarting from his defeat in the previous month by wife Cisca. Alan shot a fantastic one under par round of 71, giving him, on his 1 Handicap, a nett of 70. In contention all the way was second placed Ira Septiantara on 72, nudging Karl-Heinz Schmelzer into third place on a count back.
Best Gross is becoming a hotly contested title now, as a number of players are now on low handicaps, however Alan won this with 71 by a country mile, with Don Skipworth the next best 10 shots back.
Player of the Month
As always, consistency is the name of the game when it comes to the Player of the Month, and this month, that player was Ira Septiantari. Rara played just 6 events, but was always up the leaderboard and finished the month with 78 pts, holding off a charge by Mark Wiggins (77)
Our President with Rara, practising “socialising” rather than “distancing”…
This is the second time we have run this event, and a really popular one it has been. NK members were invited as guests, everyone enjoyed reduced Green Fees, and as an addition to our normal Wednesday Stableford event, it added much to our day.
Run over 6 weeks, this time, we added a two-division trophy, as it was suggested that perhaps higher handicappers had a significant advantage. This proved to be debatable, as top 5 in each division were similar. We also added a Best Gross Eclectic for the best players to contest.
The winner of the A Division was the irrepressible Howard Otten, who consistently improved his best scores over the 6 weeks to win with an impressive 19 under par nett. This great score was also enough to comfortably win the Best Gross with -14, over Alan Legg on -9.
B Division was well won by newcomer to Golf, and Raffles, Yanti Djae. Yanti played her first ever game of golf on a Championship course in the first week of the Eclectic, and scored an ordinary 22 points from her 45 handicap. From there, however, she learned quickly with a couple of 35 points, made her first birdie (on the 8th), and bookended the good scores with another ordinary 22pts! Yanti finished with a great -22, holding off Mark Jones on -20.
Well done to you both!!
Member’s Trophy Day
This month was an especially celebratory MTD, and the donor was our youngest yet! Sonny Nairn was our donor, but was unable to attend as it was his nap time. His place was taken by proud Dad Shane, whose weeks-old son’s birth was celebrated.
Sonny’s trophy was a great bottle of Glenfiddich (bought for him by his Dad), and an enthusiastic crowd gathered for the contest.
Thirstiest was Karl-Heinz Schmelzer, who took home the prize by the narrowest of margins, his 39 points being enough only on a count back from Mark Wiggins. Third on 38 points was Mr Always-In-The-Hunt Howard Otten.
Thank you Shane, and welcome to the world, Sonny!!
A short while ago one of our first juniors, Meva Schmit, visited from her University in Georgia, USA where she is on the Varsity Golf Team. December saw another visit from the first product of Raffles Junior Program, Andrew Mulyadi.
Andrew was the A Grade winner of our first Club Championship, a relatively low-key affair celebrated at Sambo’s Restaurant down the hill. Since then, Andrew has made golf his life (just as we all have albeit a lot earlier). Andrew (RGB0208) has progressed his golfing career and is now working as a Golf Professional with Paul Wesselingh, an 8 time European Seniors Tour winner, at his Golf Academy in Switzerland. Andrew was born and raised in Bali to a Balinese father and an Italian-Australian mother. At 18 he moved to a Golf Academy in Melbourne, Australia called BannLynchMcDade, a very well established coaching group in Victoria. He worked and studied under their supervision and guidance. Andrew played amateur events around Australia and South East Asia, including China.
Andrew now lives in Switzerland with his wife and daughter, whilst pursuing his dream to become a touring professional and is now a Qualified PGA Golf Professional with the Swiss PGA. Andrew is now a key member of the Paul Wesselingh Golf Academy in Switzerland.
“I forgot how grainy the greens were here, but the layouts are still absolutely amazing, I miss playing challenging tee shots! We are lacking mounds, bunkers and length in Switzerland!”, Andrew said after a couple of rounds at NKGC and BNGC.
(Andrew’s swing is very reminiscent of my own – same number of hands – Ed)
Welcome back, Andrew
World Golf Rankings
To end the festive season, two of our long-standing members Paul (PJ) and Annie Marriott, regular attendees at Raffles Golf Week, sheltering from the bitter cold (40 degrees C) of Dubai at Christmas, huddled around their Mexican chiminea, sent us this…