64th PAL INTERCLUB – SPECTABULOUS!!!

To describe our team’s first experience at the PAL INTERCLUB, I had to invent a new word to coin the words “spectacular” and “fabulous”. Oh, yes there are other suitable adjectives but these words do tell it all.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE TEAM PARTICIPATION

Before sharing with you the details of our first interclub participation, let me go over some of the logistics.

With so many teams applying for participation in the SENIOR and REGULAR MENs Divisions, the Pal Golf Secretariat’s task was daunting. What team to accept and what team to keep on the waiting list.

There were already seven (7) teams from Vancouver. Another one would bring the total required individual participation to 64! Really? Could there be “that many” golfers in Vancouver?

For our team to be granted participation represents the goodwill some of us have established over the years. This is the fourth team I have helped established and captained with the interclub over the last 15 years. It will be the last one.

The Team Captain’s responsibilities are horrendous. Just to give you an example, I was awakened by a knock on my hotel door at 6 am with one of our team members sounding so desperate. “How can I possibly get a ride to my hometown when my ticket indicates that I am booked on the 5:15 pm flight and my buddy who would give me a ride is taking the 11:40 flight?”

Does it make sense that something like this is left to the last minute? Should it not have been coordinated long before arriving at Cagayan? Oh, but what the hell is the captain for right? Yeah right!

And there are others:

  • How do we get to the hotel?
  • Where are we going for dinner?
  • How could we get to the golf course that is 1.5 hours away for a 6 am start time?
  • What is the best place for a therapeutic massage?
  • Where can we go for entertainment?
  • Where can I get my clothes laundered?
  • Why is it that my Outlook can’t send messages out?

Oh, and there are myriads of demands for answers and assistance. The team captain has to be an expert in land transportation logistics and air bookings. He must be a professional hospitality agent, a software engineer, a public relations expert, a food, drink, and entertainment connoisseur, a messenger, slave, and banker. He must also be an accountant. Oh, and he must also carry a “Senior Citizen’s Card”. It comes in handy when dining out. A senior citizen is entitled to a 20% discount on food in the Philippines. And since he has the senior citizen’s card he also ends out paying for the bill.

Here is the funny thing. If the senior eats alone and spends P1000, he is billed P800. But since he is with a group of 4. 5, or 6, he MUST SHARE this discount with everyone else because the bill is divided amongst everyone!

That is not really so bad since most of the boys do appreciate that joint common expenses must be shared and most do willingly pay their share. How wonderful it is if everyone appreciates this.

In short, the team captain is the all around Joe who solves problems and makes everyone happy. If this is a paid job, the team captain’s honorarium for such job would be in thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, the BirdieHunters does not have a bank account; does not collect annual dues; does not withhold a portion of weekly winnings. The club has no money period. Thus, when expensive Lacoste Golf Shirts are imported and embroidered with team logo; when embroidered golf hats are given away, guess who shells out the dough?

It was a tough year preparing for this tournament. It was expensive. It was very demanding. And one would be crazy to do it again next year.

AND NOW FOR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

You have already read how our 1st team (REYES, TRINIDAD, RAMOS, LAZUARDI) were soaked at Del Monte. They had a tough time under miserable conditions.

Our 2nd Team (MENDOZA, CHANG, NG) got a great time slot at PUEBLO – 10:30. CHANG led the scoring with 48 points aided by a couple of birdies.

ERNIE started slowly and got his rhythm in the back nine with a string of pars and birdies. He was 2-under for the two monstrous par fives. A double bogie on the 18th marred what could have been a great round – much better than 36 points for sure.

HARRY held his own against his opponents and contributed 31 points. Our team started 25th out of 40 teams in the International Division with opening points of 65, and moved up to 22nd after the 2nd day – 115 points. We settled back at 23rd position with 377 points on the final day (tied with Mabuhay SF and SF Heritage) . Three other Vancouver teams occupied 3 of the last 4 spots (Greater Vancouver-303; Par Breakers-299; Filcansa-292).

Imagine if we had RORY, HAN, and JACK, or maybe GERRY and ALAN. Wow, we’d be right up there.

FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT

We went to a Seafood restaurant by the sea – twice! That’s how good the food and entertainment was. The music was fabulous and HARRY was a star, singing alongside a pretty gal.

We also had a chance to go to a piano bar and a large hotel. The lounge was right in front of the swimming pool. A pianist could play just about anything. While enjoying the music, a fairly large man introduced himself to us saying that he is with the team from Hawaii….AND…..he owns the place! Ahem! Yup, this guy is the owner of the joint. He sat beside the pianist and belted a few Matt Monroe ballads. Well, it was enough to trigger HARRY vocal chords. Thereafter, there he is, our KKK – KING KONG of KARAOKE.

ERNIE was also forced to take the stage. Suddenly, the pianist wondered if we were “pros” – titutes…that is.

Ah, we had a wonderful time!

PARTY AT THE ATRIUM

Here is a short video of the Senior’s Award Night Party at the Atrium:

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