Welcome to the June edition of your favourite organ

“Don’t Panic, Mr Mainwaring!! Don’t panic!” (Dad’s Army)

Well, we were planning on a longer hiatus, but I have to tell you that I was inundated by a deluge of letters from our readers begging me to resume the Raffles Rag – an absolute tsunami of tsupporters… and I have listened to both of you. So here it is again, hours of rollicking fun for you, to help while away the tedium of lockdown, social distancing, the new normal and press conferences with Dan Andrews.

Here in Bali, we are deep in the trough of an outbreak of Covid-19, with which you may be familiar. Our golfing opportunities have been limited, but are gradually increasing as Raffles gets back into the swing of things, the local golf courses’ managements see light at the end of the tunnel, and our much-appreciated staff of caddies and office people get some very welcome work.

I won’t dwell on the crisis, as I am sure that, like me, you are looking forward rather than back, however, I would like to give you a snapshot of the state of play here. I am prompted in part by a very recent “news article” on the Nine network once again replete with dire warnings about what sounds like a yawning canyon of certain death for anyone venturing to Bali any time in the next millennium. Carefully interspersed with (old) shots of crowded Bali streets teeming with Typhoid Marys ready to infect foolhardy visitors, and yet another Talking Head predicting imminent calamity, the “news” reader warned against visiting Satan’s Hole perhaps ever.

Now for reality. The island has been self-isolating since the middle of March, and we are still doing so. We are not forced to stay indoors, but the strong request has resulted in almost everyone doing the right thing. The response by the local residents has been astonishing. The streets are pretty well devoid of pedestrians and traffic, most businesses are closed, the beaches are cordoned off and patrolled, almost everyone wears a mask and that requirement is enforced in many areas by roadside inspections.

Nobody I know, local or expat, knows anyone who has tested positive. None of the now-housebound staff of our (closed) Restaurant, now dispersed to their villages, knows anyone who has tested positive. Social media is full of advice on staying safe, but no one is talking about personal contact with victims.

The results of this outpouring of community spirit are hard to quantify exactly, as we do not have the resources to do mass testing, but so far in an island with over 3m people,  about 500 cases have presented to hospitals, and recently we had our 5th death, an Australian from Canggu, where the expat population has largely ignored the restrictions – go figure!

Now we can support our caddies for longer than we ever dreamt. Thanks to you, we are spreading some hope in this economically devastated, but still hopeful and beautiful island.

So at the moment, we seem to be doing pretty damn good here,  far better than we hoped, and in a whole nother place to the one depicted by some in the Australian media… just saying


Other good news is the Raffles Caddie Support Fund. Wow!! did our Raffles membership step up when asked! The club started off chipping in $5,000 with high hopes we could get a further $5,000 in donations to provide some small relief to our Caddie force who were doing it very tough indeed, as of course were their families. A week or so ago, we passed $30,000. (More from the Prez on this later).


Now we can support our caddies for longer than we ever dreamt. Thanks to you, we are spreading some hope in this economically devastated, but still hopeful and beautiful island.

President’s Report

Dear Fellow Members,

Well, we have resumed our regular golf competitions and our energetic Captain will have lots of news for you in terms of playing golf.  Do not miss reading his column in this edition of our Rag.

Since the last rag in which I urged members to support their caddies during this time of need, a lot has happened on that front.  We formed the Raffles Caddie Support Fund, starting with a donation of AUD$5,000 from the Club, and initially targeted $10,000.  This became $15,000, $20,000, and then $30,000.  I am proud to announce that we reached that final target and more.  Thank you on behalf of our Board, and all the caddies and their families.  We have resolved to put the Appeal on a “ticking over” basis as my fellow committee members and I  all agreed that we had better give you, our generous members, a rest from putting your hands in your pockets.  However, should the Covid-19 extend in Bali beyond a further 4 months then we may have to come back and seek your further support.  Let us for all of our sakes hope that will not be the case.  Again, I thank you all for your wonderful contributions.

I also would like to thank those who served with me on the Committee.  They were Tony Brandenburg, Melanie Lange, Howard Otten, and the omnipresent Peter Manz.  In particular, Peter and Melanie did a lot of good work. 

We do have a problem that has arisen.  We are in correspondence with the lawyers for Raffles International, the big international hotel group, who have written to claim that we are in breach of their trademark.  I have been given the task of ascertaining as to whether or not we are in breach.  I do not think it is right for me to comment at this stage on that vexing legal question other than to say we are presently seeking advice.  It is certainly not, in my opinion as a retired lawyer, a simple matter. I will keep you all informed as matters progress.  Should there be anyone reading this who is some sort of an authority on this matter I would love to hear from you please.

Finally, I welcome Ron Fletcher to the Board of Raffles Golf Club.  Ron has been a member for a number of years, is certainly well known to all of us who reside in Bali (as he does) and is one of our most regular players each week.  I congratulate him also for winning the Player of the Month award for May.  I am certain Ron will be a valuable contributor to our Board as time goes by. 

Ron replaces Jon Dean on the Board.  Jon will remain highly active within the Club and continue to do the wonderful work he has been doing for many years.  Thank you, Jon, on behalf of all of us.  I am confident that you will be back in due course where I think you belong, and that is as a director of our Club.

During the period in which we have been effectively closed our Club has been run in Bali by our Treasurer Melanie Lange and our Administrator Peter Manz.  They have worked hard and kept Raffles Golf Club in great shape.  I publicly wish to thank them for their efforts.  I look forward to returning to Bali from Perth where I have been hibernating as soon as possible.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Bali in the near future.

Until next month,

Yours in golf

Robert Nelson


Captain’s Corner

It’s an interesting and humbling experience being the captain of a social golf club.  Interesting, as there is never a dull moment and humbling as you quickly realise there is much knowledge, enthusiasm and passion in the members of your club and that you are only one of many who work for a common goal.  The Raffles Golf Club is a fantastic organization that has the most wonderful presence in Bali.  Our members play golf, they contribute to Bali society, they are respected by those who know golf, and Raffles is a destination for more than 1000 golfers each year.  The global pandemic may have slowed our activities down but it has certainly has not bought them to a stop.  The success of the Raffles Caddies Support Fund, our sponsors remaining with us for this year and next year (and for the Tournament in May) and our playing numbers are all signs of a vibrant club.

I hope to continue this vibrancy with two events I would like to announce.  The first is our first ever Eclectic event to be held on all Wednesdays in July and in August.  This is an open event to which we have invited all our neighbours: the other social clubs in Bali, members of New Kuta and the wider Bali and Indonesian golfing communities.  Why hold this you may ask? The answer is simple, bring more people to New Kuta Golf Course, more golfers means more caddies/staff get work, the restaurant gets more patrons and the snowball grows in size.  Special thanks to two new sponsors that have enabled us to plan this event., Yanti. Bar & Restaurant, and Lucky Day Sports Bar

The second event I only intend to mention at this stage in the hope that I will tease your interest.  In September there will be a  Raffles Members’ Stableford event that every Raffles Member no matter where they are in the world will be able to participate in.  …. Somewhere in September …… with excellent prizes for members!  Again we thank a key sponsor, Bali Gardens,  for their significant support for this event.  More information to come.  Why the event:?  I don’t want 2020 to pass without Raffles members having the opportunity to have a round of golf and a social catch up together!

Congratulations to Mark Wiggins on the winning the May Monthly medal, to Howard Otten for winning the April medal and to Ron Fletcher for his win as Player of the month in May. 

Let me finish by thanking the Bali based members who have shown their captain patience and respect even though he is 4,303 km from their golf game and also let me thank the Bali based Board members: Howard, Melanie, Hugh and Ron for the additional work they do as I am not there. 

I write this from Ballarat in Victoria, Australia,  and yes, its very cold! 

Tony Brandenburg

Captain – Raffles Golf Club Bali

ABN 60 750 059 835

April Jenggala Monthly Medal.

In our first week back to competitive golf (in May), the April Jenggala Monthly Medal was hotly contested by 16 players venturing out to test their rusty skills. The clearly well-lubricated Howard Otten, showing no signs of rust, oozed his way around the course in just 76 liquid strokes, taking out the Medal with a very fine nett 70, good enough to hold off a determined Karl-Heinz Schmeltzer on 74, and Malcolm Manson on 75.

Howard’s 76 was also good enough to win the Best Gross on the day. Well done that man!!

A glistening Howard  proudly holds the April Jenggala Plate

May Jenggala Monthly Medal

Later in the month, we played for the May Medal, and with an increased field of 24 players. At the end of the day, three players headed up the main straight neck and neck, and in the end, it required a three-way countback to determine the podium positions.

The winner was long-time member Mark Wiggins on 71 (off 11), from second-placed Thomas Linane (Handicap 30) and Axel Jehangir Stevens (8) in third.

Well done Mark, in another great testament to our handicapping system!

Player of the Month

Consistency is the name of the game in becoming Player of the Month (POM?) and that was the tale of May, with our winner scoring points (in an impenetrable scoring system understood only by Peter Manz and possibly Stephen Hawking – who doesn’t count by virtue of being deceased). Mr Consistency was our newest Board Member, the redoubtable Ron Fletcher, who amassed something like 1.46 x 10 to the power of Pi points (seasonally adjusted).

Ron just pipped our earlier-lauded Howard Otten in the last game of the month, with the mathematically gifted Peter Manz in third place (apparently…).

Sharing the Joy

A couple of happenings gladdened the hearts of all, especially recipients when Raffles provided food packages to the staff at two of our regular venues this month.

From our existing Charity Fund, Raffles donated about 18m Rupiah’s worth of food packages to the staff at Bali National, which was a very much welcomed surprise when presented by our players.

Shortly afterwards, our Treasurer Melanie Lange oversaw the delivery of some 1,625kg of rice to staff at Handara. This was divided into 10kg parcels and distributed to staff and families of Handara.

And finally… It’s Bali…

I thought I would share with you a couple of photos I have taken during my very occasional jaunts out of the precincts of my villa, to show that sometimes awkward clash of language and cultures which deep down we all love about our home, when we cannot believe what we are seeing, shrug our shoulders and say “well, it’s Bali…”


“G’day mate. Welcome to Bali. Where’re you staying?”

“I’m gonna be in the Shita for the first three or four days.”

“Oh, sorry to hear that, Mate. A word to the wise… lay off the chillies.”


Hair shampoo…