Welcome to the Q3 edition of your favourite organ
“You’d Better Start Swimmin’ or You’ll Sink Like a Stone,
For the Times, They are A’Changin”
Yes, as that Nobel Prize winning New Age philosopher Robert Zimmerman proclaimed, things are not what they used to be, and the Winds of Change are blowing everywhere, not least of all in our beloved Bali at the moment. Meteorologically, Medically and Metaphorically we are beset by these pesky winds of change, which is making for an interesting time on the course and in the short history of our great club Ramah International.
Meteorologically first, the mid-year strong Trade Winds are giving us all problems as the 3rd, 7th and the home stretch of 16-18 become so much longer, and the shortening of 2nd, 9th and 14th are cold compensation. Those of us who grew up golf wise on the wind tunnels of Scotland or Royal Fremantle laugh at such mild zephyrs, but for the rest more attuned to the benign breezes of Bali, it is a challenge indeed.
Medically, you will all be aware, no matter where in the world you are reading this, of the sudden and devastating wave of the pandemic sweeping Indonesia, and particularly Java, our most populous island, at present.
Judging by the somewhat hysterical media reports from Australia and elsewhere, Bali is in deep crisis. I can say that although that is true of Java, where the situation is desperate, Bali is coping very well indeed at the moment. Our infection rate has soared to over 600 new cases per day, from a very much lower rate of 40-50, but thankfully our fatality rate remains low.
Bali has just been recognised as the leading island in the archipelago in the administering of vaccinations, with now reportedly more than 80% of people having received at least their first jab, and approaching 30% fully inoculated. If the US and UK experience holds here, where more than 99% of Covid deaths are now confined to the unvaccinated, Bali should emerge from this latest setback well.
We are under a semi-lockdown at the moment, but thankfully still able to enjoy a game of golf, so life is… careful but not too bad.
As for Metaphorically, Ramah International has felt the winds of change in its face strengthen this year. Both Robert in his report and Tony in his will discuss Change and its impact.
Our forced name change from Raffles to Ramah has been completed without too much fuss, and in time the new name will trip off our collective tongues with that same facility.
More importantly will be the challenge of our hard-working Board to continue meeting the needs of our members under the fast changing “New Normals” which feel anything but normal and change as fast as we adapt to them.
More change… the departure of our Captain Tony Brandenburg who has been the driving force behind all our very successful initiatives to provide golf and golfing fellowship for our members during the Pandemic – and all from 4000km away! Tony’s term has ended a little before time – brought about by his enforced isolation from Bali, and by a major health scare a few weeks ago.
I’m sure you all join with me in wishing the Board wisdom and success in filling the great hole created by Tony’s absence. Their biggest task, as always, will be in keeping the most important part of Ramah firmly in their sights. It is so easy to to forget that our purpose is the enjoyment of golf and the fellowship it brings. Whenever we lose sight of that, it is good to watch the 2 minutes of the link below. In these days of almost robot-like golf pro’s it is good to remember the goal – to enjoy it!
On a personal note… Change has visited its fickle self on your Humble Scribe on the course of late too. A week ago, the planets aligned, a golden ray of sunshine burst through the windswept clouds and bathed me in its light when I stepped onto the first tee to blast off into the gale. Some 38 shots and 24 points later, I turned onto the back nine contemplating an application to join the Super Seniors Tour…
Three days later I stepped from the 18th green having again amassed 24 points – sadly this time it had taken 18 long long holes to secure them. Ah… the Winds of Change.
Dear Fellow members of Ramah International Golf Club,
As you may be aware our Ramah Rag is now a quarterly one. Once Covid is over, Ramah Rag will resume, hopefully, to become monthly again. Should matters arise during this time, of which I, or the Board consider you should be aware of, you will be written to on a direct basis by myself or one of our Executive Directors.
I report two matters this edition. The first is the ending of Tony Brandenburg’s term as Captain of the Club. Tony’s relinquishing of the role is not surprising, as he has had to run the golf of a golf club from 5,000 kilometres away on a daily basis, without having any firsthand knowledge of almost anything, and not having had the physical ability to look at any of the courses nor having even the pleasure of playing on any of them. Despite this his approximate 16-month tenure has been one packed with innovation and care and attention.
He has effectively, innovatively, and efficiently run golf at Ramah for this entire period from a distance. Not only that, but he has also introduced the immensely popular eclectic event; and a whole range of new golf championships/competitions for us the members. He is keeping us all informed on a weekly basis in detail. He has dealt with numerous complaints in a professional and efficient manner and in difficult circumstances, as on almost every occasion he was not in a position of having firsthand knowledge of the subject matter of the complaint.
Tony has revisited the entire golf calendar of Ramah and reconstructed it. He has looked at our rule book and effectively re-written those parts of it that needed attention. On top of all of that he has been available, despite the 2 and 3 hour time difference, to all of us who needed to contact him. He has done a wonderful job, and I am able to say to all of you that he is going to be missed enormously. I cannot thank you enough Tony. You have been a gem, and your successor, yet to be identified, is going to have a very difficult act to follow. Having said that it will also be a lot easier given all the procedures and administrative procedures you have introduced.
I am pleased to say that Tony will continue on the Board in a non-executive capacity until at least the expiration of his present term, which will be until the next Annual General Meeting of Ramah.
Tony recently has had a serious health scare. Whilst he is recovering well from it, he will no longer have the stress and pressure which is felt and experienced by every Golf Captain. We wish you well Tony.
I have already written to all Members seeking candidates for the now vacant Captaincy position. I again urge you all to consider applying. I have already had response and suggestions from my letter but use this opportunity to remind you all of the need. It is likely that the Board will constitute a committee to administer the Captain’s duties pending a formal appointment being made. I will separately report on this following our next Board meeting.
The second matter I wish to raise is that of our name change. We have almost totally completed our transition now from Raffles Golf Club (in Bali) to Ramah International Golf Club. We will be retaining our name in Australia indefinitely as well as our associated email address. However, emails sent to the old address will be re-addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. At this point of time, I wish to thank Thomas Linane and Rob Goodwin (our Editor in Chief of the Rag) for their excellent work in the changeover of the name with respect to our website and other related matters. They have saved the Club significant monies. The costs involved in the changeover have wholly been met by our Club, we did not receive a positive response to our request for financial help from Raffles International, which was disappointing. I do not believe they have realised what a wonderful marketing product we could have been for them given the quality and financial standing of so many of our members being at the top of any tree.
The sooner we all think of our Club as Ramah the easier it is going to be for the administrators and the sooner the public at large get to know us by our new name. I therefore ask of you all that you desist as much as you can from using the old name here in Bali and adopt for common usage our new name of Ramah. I am sure by now that all of you are aware that Ramah is an Indonesian language word meaning “friendly”.
A couple of minor matters, I have received several notes and verbal addresses from members concerning the wearing of sleeveless shirts at post game gatherings. Our current rules require that all shirts be “with sleeve”. That has been the situation since before I became the President in 2015. However, I have asked Peter Manz to enquire from the golf clubs here in Bali as to what their standards are; and in particular, that of New Kuta. I believe that whatever their standards are, we should, being probably the most regular “guests” of all at the club now adopt that standard of address. It is being discussed at our next Board meeting. If you differ with that opinion, you can of course write to me. I will ensure that I write to you all advising as to the outcome of the Board meeting in this regard.
A small final matter, it is interesting to note that, despite Covid 19, our local (Bali) number of members is now the highest it has ever been. This is certainly a compliment to the management of Captain Tony, our Treasurer Mel, and the reliable work of the Club Administrator, Peter Manz. It also shows that Ramah must be doing some good here in Bali! We are also at record levels with Lady Members. All good! Indeed, on Wednesday, the last day of June, we had some 12 ladies competing. Again, a club record.
Kind regards to all my fellow Club members,
My last Rag article! It brings mixed emotions. Though it does give me the opportunity to ‘wax lyrically’ for a few hundred words.
As I sit here I smile at a twitter post of yesterday, where a golfer had proposed the British Open be moved to Florida by the PGA, because the weather, the courses and all four major events could be then in the United States. My smile was not because of the absurdity of the comment but more about the many things that were incorrect in one twitter post. 1. It’s the Open, not the British Open, 2. The PGA has nothing to do with it. 3. Golf is an all weather sport (tell someone who is in Ballarat, Australia it’s not!) 4. Golf is a global sport. 5. And this is the question, why would you even think this?
Occasionally, in my time as captain, I’m sure I met this golfer! And you know, like the above, I smiled and in my mind I wondered how you could even think that? I presume many have had a similar experience. By the way, I learnt very quickly that it was better to think the thoughts about the golfer than to speak them.
I had a quiet time as Captain in 18 months: a pandemic, including course closure and caddies/course staff losing their jobs, a club name change, the initiation of new annual club events, and being Captain from afar. Not to mention a couple of health issues. A challenge but, I think, we managed to get through, though in the case of the pandemic, it is far from over.
I used the word ‘we’ on purpose in the previous paragraph because as you all know the administration of a golf club is not about one person. The Captain has the responsibility, it’s where the ‘buck stops’, but it is the members that make a club what it is. The Club Board, through the president and directors set a vision and hold everyone accountable though without the many member working together little would be achieved.
So my thanks to everyone who wrote to me during my tenure as Captain with ideas, support and comments, my thanks to those who played in events and those who supported me from afar. My special thanks go to Peter Manz, Robbie Goodwin, Howard Otten, Alan Legg and Robert Nelson for their support of me in the role.
I wish Ramah International Golf Bali well and look forward to a game of golf in the future.
Results, Results, Results
Our Monthly Medal turnout the first Sunday in each month has been outstanding, with fields of sometimes over 50 participants, and a growing female contingent, a very welcome sign.
Best Nett and Men’s Medallist Chris Neale on a steady 72
Best Gross Alan Legg with a “Trombones” 76
Best Nett and Women’s Medallist Ira Septiantari on nett 82
Best Gross Ira Septiantari 0n 95
Best Nett and Men’s Medallist Karl-Heinz Schmelzer on 70
Best Gross Alan Legg, with “Trombones” 76 (again)
Best Nett and Women’s Medallist Yanti Djae on 78
Best Gross, Women was Fransisca Boedilistiati 98
Best Nett and Men’s Medallist Jeff Tyson with a fantastic 65
Best Gross Howard Otten on 81
Best Nett and Women’s Medallist Amanah Aliasari 71
Best Gross Women Amanah Aliasari on 89
Best Nett and Men’s Medallist Putu Mahendra and a mighty fine 69.
Best Gross David Kirkwood on 78
Best Nett and Women’s Medallist Yanti Soemurni on 72
Best Gross Women was Yanti Soemurni with an excellent 88
Player of the Month
Consistency (and frequency of competing) is key to this prestigious recognition, as you will see from the quality list below…
March Howard Otten
April Alan Legg
May Karl-Heinz Schmelzer
June Alan Legg
Member’s Trophy Day
Just the one MTD was held during the quarter, but a very special one indeed, the Vic Linane Memorial, hosted by his proud son, Thomas Linane. Vic would have turned 100 in June, and spent his long life an Essendon Bombers fan. In recognition of that allegiance, many members wore startling combinations of the Red and Black colours of the Bombers, and Men played of an intriguing combination of Red and Black tees. Women played off the Whites on all Par 3s (Not doubt to pay homage to the old-time umpires who were always very understanding to the Bombers)
52 players turned up to compete for the two fine bottles of Glenfiddich – one to take home and the other to share in a toast to Vic at the presentations.
Thirstiest (and most generous for the day) was Don Skipworth, who worked his way around the unusual tee placements in a very creditable 39 points. He was closely challenged by Simon Yap on 39 also, only to slightly underperform Skip on the back nine. Third place, upholding the women’s contingent, was Yanti Djae on 38
As per the plan, Vic was soundly toasted by all players, courtesy of Skip’s second bottle. Despite vocal entreaties, Skip wisely resisted the pleas to go round again with his other fine Glenfiddich.
Who said Eagles don’t flock? During the quarter, we had no less than six eagles scored. Greedy Howard Otten took away the sleeve of golf balls twice, and one to Nick Martin, Charlie Ryalls, David Kirkwood and… a great result to Fransisca Boedilistiati, with a rare Ladies’ Eagle.
Road to Uluwatu
This was a popular innovation in March and April, where previous rounds gave successful players additional points to carry into the final round, thereby rewarding consistency against opponents, not just a good score…
As you might expect, our “steady Eddies” came through on the last days, benefitting from earlier competitiveness. Winner, and possibly best dressed in the field, was the immaculate Howard Otten with 43 points, narrowly pipping Karl-Heinz Schmelzer (who hasn’t missed a fairway since 2011) on a count back, and very low marker Charlie Stephenson on 42.
Bali Garden Beach Resort 8°S Open Stableford
This was another innovative event organised by our Board, played over Bali National, Pandawa and New Kuta courses which rewarded consistent scoring against the field above one or two special rounds. Winning the outright highest point score over the three events was Yanti Djae with 106 points (34, 30, 42), however the most consistent place getter in the field, and thus winner, was Josip Janes’s 103 (32, 37, 34), narrowly beating Amanah Aliasari’s 103 (36, 33, 34)
(We are still awaiting confirmation from the Mathematical Conundrums Committee set up by RMIT in association with MIT and Princeton – Ed)
Ramah International 36 hole Championship
Truth is… we are sadly missing the annual “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” by our International members and friends each year in May, so we had a “mini Golf Week” to get us by. 36 holes over two days a week apart (we are getting older…) and it was an excellent tournament with some terrific golf played.
In the end, the event was convincingly won by Patrick Gouvernal, who backed up his first round red figure of 71 with a much more impressive round of 64, giving him the run-away win by 5 shots at -9, from a fine effort by Craig Steeples with -4
Men’s Gross score champion was Charle Stephenson, with a 3 over score of 147, very impressive, Charlie!
Our Women’s event was a much closer affair with a very in-form Amanah Aliasari snatching victory by the narrowest of margins (72/77 149) from Yanti Djae (77/73 150). Amanah also took the Women’s Gross with 182.
Bali Realty Ambrose in Fours
This hugely entertaining day finished off our mini May. Sponsored of course by Nathan Ryan’s Bali Realty, a big crowd turned out to spend 4 hours arguing with or abusing their respective team members (in the nicest possible ways, of course) before a nett score of 16 under par by the formidably talented Steve Viles, Howard Otten, Brendan Durkin and Malcolm Manson blew the competition away, celebrating well into the following month.
The grossest team was that of Alan Legg, Alain Bronner, Michael Stevenson and Trevor Kuzio, with a score of eight under par 64 ( coincidentally the same score as Peter Thompson once shot in the British Open, but then, he didn’t have Trevor Kuzio nor Stevo to help him…)
After several years and many editions of the Ramah Rag, we are looking for someone who would like to have a crack at editing the most popular, world renowned Golfing Periodical in the whole of Pecatu – the Ramah Rag.
Remuneration for your efforts is negotiable, and will be a substantial multiple of the present Editor’s Stipend, (perhaps up to ten times!!). Time spent on the Ramah Rag production will be directly proportional to its quality, and you will be required to write uproariously witty articles filled with obscure nuances which nobody will likely read, let alone understand.
Other than that, it will be a total sinecure… we await your interest.