Raffles Rag October 2020
Welcome to the October edition of your favourite organ
Golf in the Time of Covid…
Things are going not too badly here in Paradise. The weather is great, the golf is…fantastic, and the spirit amongst Raffles members, especially in supporting those in need of it, is truly heartwarming.
Despite all we read or watch in the Australian media, NO – we are not all falling dead in the streets, nor tripping over less-fortunate souls placed outside by relatives like in some ghastly Monty Python sketch.
We certainly have a lot of reported Covid cases now, and more than the average number of resultant deaths following the decision to allow Domestic Tourism to Bali (in fairness, it was an attempt to ease the desperate plight of our decimated tourist industry), but the population soldiers on with an acceptance of the situation which could (and, I think, should) be a model for elsewhere in the world. I know things are bad for everyone at present, but a lot of eye-rolling goes on here when we see images of well-fed, well-clothed, well-housed, well-cared-for souls in tears from being kept from the beach or their pub, or (oh, the horror) being forced to wear a mask preventing them from broadcasting their sputum to the neighbourhood. (“It is an infringement on our rights!!” … Hmmm you have the right to remain stupid…)
We still need assistance to help ease the unbelievable strain the population is suffering without a Social Security net, on an island whose sole source of external income is the now invisible tourist, but most of us remain healthy, and the local population accepts stoically it is what it is – and await some sort of deliverance. Through the generosity of you, our great membership, our Bali caddies have had their load eased a little, and for that we are so very grateful.
As you are probably aware, thusfar three of our members have contracted the virus, (none of them at the golf course) but I am delighted to report that thankfully all have recovered or are recovering.
OK, that’s off my chest …
On our golfing front, things are going pretty damn good right now. We have completed the very successful Eclectic and are now deep into the next initiatives of our very active Board – the Uluwatu Open Teams-of-Four Stableford. A couple of rounds have now been completed, and leading teams are starting to emerge (or fade in the case of ours).
The Laguna Match Play Championship is just beginning, and our Inaugural Champion Men’s and Ladies’ winners will be known next edition. Watch this space
For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere now entering the winter tunnel, you will be pleased to know that we in Bali are at last leaving Winter behind. Yes, Sol is back in our half again, and has brought us from the depths of 23C nights back to 24C. Daytime is also more bearable, with temperatures climbing back from a frosty 32C to a more habitable 34… The SE Trade winds, which make a regulation par on the 3rd seem like the impossible dream, should ease off in October, and be replaced by lovely NW Monsoons, turning the 16th into child’s play, the fairway bunkers on 7 more than just a distant decoration, and green, lush rough a danger again.
Of course, as there seems to be a local ordinance which insists monsoonal rains almost always occur in the evening, our rounds should be umbrella-free.
Dear Fellow Members,
As a lot of you are already aware, I am isolating in Perth at the moment. This has meant that I have been playing my favourite sport in Perth, and in particular with David Kirkwood, my fellow Bali resident also isolating in Bali with his family. David is a low handicapper and a very competitive individual. I am a ‘in the teens” handicapper and also very competitive, especially when it comes to my mate David.
We have been carrying on a fierce competition between us since about April this year. All very boring for others of course, but last Friday it all changed a little. On the 14th hole, a par 3, David took out his 8 iron and landed the ball on the green. It proceeded to run about one metre and popped itself into the hole for an ace! David is in his sixties, has been playing golf since he was about 30, and despite his low handicap had never got a hole in one before.
His feat earned him 4 stableford points (a one for four). I had been leading him on handicap by 2 strokes up to this point. He was ecstatic and after his hugely and justifiably euphoric celebration he pointed out to me that he was now 2 points up on me. However, I had landed my shot on the green about 20 feet from the pin. I also had a stroke on this hole. Yes, I putted it straight into the hold for a birdie two, but more importantly a four pointer for me as well (a 2 for 4). David’s joyful high turned to dismay when he realized I had shared the points with him and was still 2 stableford points up. His euphoria was somewhat dampened by my 4 pointer and he expressed his disappointment in me spoiling his wonderful achievement.
Of course I dutifully reported this to all and sundry but having thought it over considered that David deserves for everyone to know about it first hand from his only witness. A mutual friend of ours quickly replied with the advice that I should keep this sort of pressure up on David. I certainly intend to. In any event well done David… but I have to say I won the match!
Until next month.
Yours in golf,
In ‘normal times’, if there is ever such a concept as ’normal times’, the Captain of a golf club answers queries regarding handicaps, rules, event types and the meaning of life! He/she also confronts the questions around cold beer, caddies who are geographically challenged, starters who believe that any group of players can play in the middle of a field and why the golf club doesn’t play more events from the black tees.
Covid has brought to the role various other questions mainly focused on member safety and Indonesian health rules, though many queries over the last few months have been about the planning and timing of future events. In the past few months, as Captain I really haven’t found a satisfying answer to any of those questions, though, I do seem to be able to, with a smile and a wise look, answer the meaning of life…* (see below)
That said, I can tell you that Raffles Golf Operations will plan and be ready when ‘normal times’ reappear, whenever that may be. We have advertised next year’s tournament, and club championships, for September, 17th through 26th. We have also advertised dates for the following year, May 13th through 22nd, 2022.
We are still providing events for members in Bali and I think providing them with a variety of choices. As you can imagine, Bali golf is a competitive market, and it would be fair to say that in these ‘non-normal’ times the market is more competitive than ever. We walk a fine line: supporting courses, supporting caddies and golf course staff, pleasing members, trying to attract sponsors and continuing to build Raffles reputation as an efficiently organised, social golf club.
This year we have offered one championship event, The Raffles Match Play Championship, (very kindly sponsored by Laguna, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa) though I am aware that many Raffles members don’t have the opportunity to compete due to the ’non-normal’ times.
I do believe, however, that Raffles Golf Club needs to continue to offer major events for those in Bali now. We will continue to do this over the next few months, regardless of members access to Bali, though tournament and club championships will continue to be planned for times when most members have the opportunity to attend.
Many thanks to all those members who have played in One Day in September somewhere in the world. The response has been excellent. I hope that all those who won the wonderful accommodation packages supplied by Bali Garden Beach resort have the opportunity to use them in the near future.
I also hope that members do feel connected to their fellow members no matter where in the world they presently reside.
Raffles Golf Club
September Monthly Medal
Sunday September 6th saw a small but highly motivated and talented field compete for the Monthly Medal. In the end the podium was almost Ladies Only, with Melanie Lange, our redoubtable beancounter extraordinaire continuing her form which won her the Eclectic last month to take the winner’s position. Her score of nett 70 from her reducing handicap of 40 was just enough to relegate 18 handicapper Fransisca Boedilistriati into second place on 71. In the interest of gender balance, Barry Lyon took the third place on the rostrum with an even par 72 from his 28 handicap
Gross winner on the day was the ever-improving Tony “Moose” Colley with 76, nudging out (finally) Alan Legg
Player of the Month
Our Player of September was none other than the colour-coordinated and freshly ironed Howard Otten on 90 points, who is becoming one of the most consistent low handicappers in Raffles. He was pressed (as in “challenged” not as in “ironed”) by Mr Consistency himself Alan Legg, and the very competitive Rhonda Golby-Smith in third place.
Howard with his best shot of the day
Some of you will remember the young, talented Meva Schmit who won the Ladies’ division of our Club Championships a few years back. Meva went on to even dizzier heights than that, representing Indonesia in Junior and Senior amateur events. Meva is continuing to do well in College in the US, as a valued, and successful, member of the Women’s Team at Kennesaw State University down the road from my old stomping ground in Atlanta, Georgia.
Meva is now on a +5 handicap, so is an elite golfer indeed!
And of course, we cannot let the moment pass without another Honourable Mention to Left-Handed-David (don’t call me Dave) Kirkwood on his first ever Hole-In-One at Collier Park in Perth recently. Statistically speaking, he should be getting his next in 2050, so maybe ease off on the HIO insurance, David. Well done!!
World Golf Rankings