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Making this world a better, happier, and peaceful place through friendship, camaraderie, fair play, and goodwill to everyone anywhere and everywhere.

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A FABULOUS GOLFING NEW YEAR 2015

As the year draws to a close, 20130509_083103_1we reflect upon the great year of golf we have had.

 

There are many outstanding achievements during the year. Probably the most impressive one is the incredible year HAN has had.020101_000000_import_002

From a barefoot stance a few years ago with a 14 index, he has risen to the top with a 9! He used to be even with Joe. Now he must spot Joe 3 strokes. How’s that for a great leap! No one could come close to his UPS lead for the year!

20120214_185139_We woke up a “sleeping giant”!

Could this merely be a coincidence? Take a look at this:

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The guy who is always clamouring for “more strokes” in a Nassau and skins game is often “quietly” (that is an exaggeration) counting his winnings in most matches. He does not want to call attention to his scoring ability and often clings to his “I’m just lucky” expression, which of course, we all know as BS. Oh, we should reverse that and call him Mr. SB#1! In case you are wondering who that is, let me provide you a little reminder:

020101_000000_import_005Maybe it has something to do with the “hugs and kisses” he receives before going out to a game of golf:

100815_183158_importThere is another event that is worth mentioning in order to motivate the “guys singing the blues” to take lessons from Sean Foley (now that Tiger has fired him) or Hank Haney. The BLUES have now lost more than 3 times in a row in our RYDER CUP MATCH PLAY. Their new 2015 CAPTAIN DANNY, has his work cut out for him. He may have to do something about one of his players who plays like he sings (the blues):harry

harry-1Could 2015 be the year that he would soon “come out of the closet” – (now stop thinking like that!) – and live up to his King Kong potential?

Calvin and Hobbes Laughing(This is no laughing matter at all!)

Another significant event in the year is one that pertains to the loss of one of our members to Cebu Country Club…or is it the Pueblo…Riviera? The latest news is that he is now clamouring for dual citizenship – Philippines:

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In a recent PAL INTERCLUB captain’s meeting, we are told that he had provided touring services to ED and others visiting Cagayan de Oro!

Is it true that he now owns a few condos in the Island? Condos as in buildings; not Durex! Although I am certain he must have a supply of those, too!

One thing we will surely miss in the new year is our participation in the interclub. The event has always been a lot of fun…a lot of food … entertainment…. and the IMG_0105IMG_0100spoils. Below is how HEE JEAW explains it.

There are a few issues about this. There was delay in announcing the event. What usually take place on the 1st Thursday of October was held more than a month later – November 13 – which is so close to the event itself. What this meant was that there was little time to plan. On a long (13 hour flight), it takes months to make sure of reserving flights at preferred rates.
EL KAPITAN did not receive the international (preferred) flight package for the event until the middle of December – which is way too late. Now a new directive to all Team Captains is that the venue has been changed from Cagayan to Cebu! Imagine the hotel and transport bookings that now have to be cancelled! Imagine scrambling for hotel reservations in Cebu this late in the game! So much for the GOLF EXCURSION!

IMG_0608But that does not mean that we have abandoned the idea of an exotic golf excursion somewhere. We are now working on our 2016 golf excursion. Announcements about this event will be made early in the year – before the summer 2015 golf start. PREPARE TO JOIN US!

I am sure you have other recollections for the year….SHARE THEM WITH US! You can easily do that by adding your comments below.

Finally, let me share with your our family Christmas Card below!

 

 

 

 

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2014 BIRDIEHUNTERS CHAMPIONS

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MILES is our 2014 Masters Champion

One of the longest off the tee, Miles posted the lowest number on record on the 2nd day of competition – a 74. It is no wonder that Bubba Watson above sits in admiration of MILES’ accomplishment. Sometime before the year’s end, it would be quite fitting to organize a dinner affair to allow the past Master’s Champion, JOHN, to hand over his trophy.

HORANGI, 2014 UPS CHAMPION

At the start of the year, HAN, had a 14+ handicap index. He recalls that he had a most painful experience playing in Thailand last year. He says that he was “just horrible”! It was then that he decided to work on his swing. He replaced his driver and he re-shafted his irons. He persevered through a couple of months trying to find his rhythm. His hard work started to pay dividends as he got more distance out of his Taylormade driver. He started dropping those putts. By summer’s end, his index dropped to 9.2.

UPSCHAMP

When he scored 76 on the 2nd day of the 2014 UPS CHAMPIONSHIP, he continued to lead the tournament. DANNY, was trailing HAN by only -80 point; CHANG was -300 point behind.

However, on the final day at Point Roberts, HAN continued his superb play to capture the 2014 UPS CHAMPIONSHIP. He also is acknowledged to be The Most Improved Birdiehunter of 2014.

BILL, stole a bit of the highlight last Thursday. He pitched and putt like Jim Furyk. On the difficult Par 3 – 15th, his tee shot sailed right. With the pin tucked pretty closed to the bunkers right leaving a tough approach with a small landing area, BILL did not hesitate to flop his next shot 4 feet of the pin. He made the putt for his par. It was the winning “shot of the day” that captured 1st place of the week’s tournament.

MELTDOWN

There was a heartbreak story last week. With 5 holes to go, SIMON was -4 for the day. He had been playing pretty good golf since the 1st tee. Unfortunately, the demons were everywhere down the stretch. On the 14th hole, one of the monsters hiding 80 yard left, grabbed his tee shot. Attempting to safely chip the ball out, another demon got in the way. When the cursing was over, he surrendered 5 strokes on one hole. The Halloween goblins and monsters were not through with him as they forced a horrible 7 on the par 3 15th for another 4 strokes lost.

FINAL 2014 UPS STANDINGS

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BIRDIEHUNTERS prepare for INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT in 2015

The 68th PAL INTERCLUB will be held at Cagayan de Oro, in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. A few years ago, when the tournament was held in Davao, some BIRDIEHUNTERS had a fabulous time.trio2

This year, we anticipate an even more exhilarating experience as we also plan to enjoy “pristine golf courses” north of Manila two weeks before the SENIOR TOURNAMENT.

The CLARK GOLF TOUR 2015 has been organized by a Canadian golfer retired and living in the Philippines (and married to a lovely Filipina) to provide us and other participating teams with an opportunity to get acclimatized and limbered up to tackle the tropical weather.

It should boost our chances to compete for the Championship.

Visit the FABULOUS GOLF EXCURSION page:http://clarkgolftour.wordpress.com for a full particular about the 14-day tour.

There is also a FACEBOOK PAGE that provides updates about the CLARK GOLF TOUR:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fabulous-GOLF-Excursions/724581520963464

Our club is deep with golf talents: DAVID, CHANG, MILES, HAN, JOE, HOWARD, DANNY, RORY, ED, MARIO, and some with great attributes and luck: HARRY, VINCENT, JOE, CHRIS, JOHN Of course, if “charm” counts, we got CHANG L, SUNNY, and well…..El Kapitan!

Imagine, with this calibre of golf talent we have, what are our chances of bring home a trophy? Top notch!

TIME TO PLAN YOUR GOLF RETREAT in FEBRUARY and JOIN US at the CLARK GOLF TOUR 2015 and the 68th PAL INTERCLUB.

GOLF IN DECLINE?

Improving-area-of-intended-

According to the National Golf Federation, “USA has lost more than 5 million players over the last decade and that more golf courses closed than opened in the U.S. in 2013 for the 8 straight year”. Dick’s Sporting Goods rid itself of more than 500 PGA professionals who used to work as customer consultants.

“Foot golf” (kicking a soccer ball into an oversized hole) is gaining popularity. Redwoods Golf Course introduced a larger hole (8 inch in diameter) instead of the usual 4-¼ inch hole. In Southern California, Mark King, CEO of TaylorMade-Adidas Golf, installed oversized holes (15-inch) at a country club, reducing playing time one hour less than the normal time it takes to play 18 holes.

Investors are wary of golf-related businesses and have caused declines in stocks of Callaway.

So what is this negative uproar about golf? Some call it “The Tiger Effect” – that interest in golf has declined, as Tiger Woods’ dominance of the game appears to have ceased. Others believe it is “too-expensive” to play golf. And then there is the big complaint about golf being an “elitist” sport with “rules that are too difficult to learn and follow”.

But why do people play golf in the first play? And what makes them give up the game?

Many of us enjoy the challenge that the sport of golf presents. We enjoy the competition of trying to score lower than our handicap index. We consider it a great way to exercise and walk more than 15,000 steps in a game. But probably one of the best reasons is that we simply enjoy the camaraderie, friendship, and kibitzing before, during, and after the game. Strong friendship amongst competitors develops that makes the social aspect quite appealing.

However, like most other clubs, we have had our own share of “golfing decline”. For some yet unknown reasons, some familiar faces are no longer anywhere to be seen, in weeks, months, …and years.

So to what could this be possibly attributed?

Time maybe. Work demands? Health and financial issues? Family? Or could it be an occasional “snag in social interaction” – a disagreement on the course? About something so trivial. Maybe even a horrible score on a hole!

What is probably one of the greatest causes of golf’s decline and disagreement (player quitting the sport) is about rules. Some of us have become paranoid with the “strict application and interpretation of complex rules”.

 HE WHO HAS NOT SINNED CAST THE FIRST STONE……

For example, who is not guilty the following “strict rules’” violations:

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TEN MOST COMMON GOLF RULES INFRACTION

 

  • Marking a ball on the green at 90 degree angle from a straight line to the hole and then returning it perpendicular to the hole, OR marking the ball properly and then returning it a few centimeters closer to the hole
  • Lackadaisically backhanding a very short putt and missing the ball completely and not counting the missed stroke
  • Lifting a ball to identify it in a “summer rule” play
  • Dropping a ball more than 2 club lengths in a lateral water hazard
  • Grounding a club within a clearly marked hazard (with red stakes) (such as when searching for the ball using a club)
  • Teeing the ball up a few inches ahead of the tees
  • Picking the ball up as a “gimme” in tournament play, or striking the ball in disgust for a missed putt and not finishing the hole
  • Hitting a similar ball from the rough and then discovering it is not the original ball you played
  • Hitting a ball after taking a drop (from a presumed “lost” ball) without declaring it to be a “provisional ball”, and then finding and playing the original ball
  • Ignoring the stroke and distance penalty on a lost ball

Padraig Harrington, Camilo Villegas, Tiger Woods, Michelle Wie, Craig Stadler, John Daly, and Chella Choi, all professional golfers are just some of the victims of “TV golf rules junkies” who call to report rules infractions.

Thank goodness, as an amateur club, close circuit TV zoom cameras do not follow the Birdiehunters closely. SIMON would have an easier job with unsigned scorecards, disqualifications, and multiple rules infractions.

If we are to prevent contributing to the malaise of declining interest in the sport, isn’t it about time to be more humane and accept that the sport is ONLY a pastime for all of us; that it is OK to be an expert in the complex rules of the game, if one chooses, but quite another to be so draconian about them that we are ready to send a jihadist to anyone who commits an infraction?

Perhaps we should be more “rules friendly” and less “rules paranoids” because, I am 100% sure that all of us at one time or another, have been guilty of some of the TEN MOST COMMON GOLF RULES INFRACTIONS.

MILES IS 2014 MASTERS CHAMP

BREAKING NEWS:

MASTERS-LEADER

No one came close to upsetting a torrid score by MILES at Kings Links last week. Minus 8 bolstered from a gross score of 74 was just a mountain to climb for the Birdiehunters.

VINCENT joins EAGLES clubs041511_1807_NoJIMMYSWAG4.jpg

Long overdue is the recognition of “Mr. Lucky’s” 2nd shot at the 9th hole at Kings Links several weeks ago. He is now a member of the elite group.

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CHANG HJ did not qualify for the MASTERS tournament, but he won the day’s big prize. VINCENT came 2nd and CHRIS took 3rd.

 

 

FANTASTIC FINISH TO 2014 RYDER CUP MATCH PLAY

GOLDs DOMINATE

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For the 3rd year in a row, the GOLDs got to raise their thumbs up at the conclusion of the singles at Point Roberts last Thursday. Much could be attributed to the strategy that Team Captain MARIO devised for the three matches.

CHRIS has been stellar in all three matches as he posted a 3-0.  The GOLDs’ team captain also contributed to the routing of the BLUEs with a 2-0-1 record.

The BLUEs did not surrender easily, though. Although down 3 points to start the Championship match, DANNY, HARRY, SUNNY,  JOE, BILL, JOHN, and Team Captain VINCENT gave it their very best. KING KONG played like a devil possessed, playing -9 under with his index. His long undulating downhill birdie putt from about 27 feet on the tough 7th hole was enough to deflate his adversary’s confidence (EL KAPITAN) who himself had barely missed a birdie putt. EL K’s birdie on the 14th hole was too little too late as he surrendered a point to the BLUEs.

DANNY scorched DAVID in the 1st match and the most surprising is BIG JOHN handing SIMON a loss!

BIG PARTY TO CELEBRATE

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In the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie, the GOLDs were treated to a nice lunch at the clubhouse after the game.

In the end, in spite of the outcome, the friendship within the group prevailed. We were happy that all stayed for the drinks, the laugher, the kibitzing after the game including BILL and SUNNY who often sneak away after games due to their obligations.

LU, LU, LU

That is how LU was often greeted at our games two years ago. An old BIRDIEHUNTER, LU is in BC for a three week visit from Beijing. He made sure that his first stop is …. a game with us! WELCOME, LU, LU, LU!

He tells us how much he missed Canada, and US, that it is a lot more pleasant here….although there is “more money” in Beijing! 🙂

2015 RYDER CUP

Everyone is pleased with the consensus reached – that DAVID and DANNY will be the next TEAM CAPTAINs.

2014-TEAM-CAPTAINS

Could the BLUEs break the trend? Can DANNY call on his team to reverse the course of Match Play History within the Birdiehunters?

NEXT THURSDAY – RIVERWAY – AUGUST 14 @ 8:30 AM

 

 

 

2014 MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP UPSET?

BLUES WERE FAVORITE TO WIN 2014 RYDER CUP MATCH PLAY but……

In spite of timely “birdie binges” by HARRY and MILES to wrestle 1 point for the BLUES with the first match of the day, the GOLDS take the lead at the conclusion of the 2-ball, best ball at MAYFAIR LAKES adding another point to their 1st game lead. GOLDs are now up 3 points with the Championship Singles matches scheduled for Thursday (August 7) at Point Roberts starting at 8 am.

KING KONG rolls in a 25 footer on the #1 handicap hole par 4 3rd for a net 1 birdie on the hole. It wipes out HAN’s birdie on #2. With GOLDs down by 2 going into the 8th hole, EL KAPITAN brings the GOLDs even with superb play starting with a net 3 on the 7th hole. On the 10th and 11th hole,  ERNIE/HAN duet pulled away 2 up only to lose them on the remaining holes as KING KONG nearly holed a chip shot on the difficult par 3 15th. MILES’ birdie on the 16th  sealed a 1 point lead for the BLUES.

However, that was it for the BLUES! CHRIS and DAVID were fabulous together as they steamrolled BILL and DANNY. DANNY’s gross 78 was all for naught against CHRIS’ brilliant game as he shot 41 in the front 9. They coasted the rest of the way. Match is even!

GOLD’s captain MARIO and SIMON took on BLUE’s CAPTAIN VINCENT and LITTLE JOE. Two birdies propelled BIRDIEHUNTER’s “Ben Arda” MARIO to a 2nd place finish for the net tournament of the day (behind CHRIS).

GOLDs take 1 more point into the tournament finals next week.

2014-RYDER-CUP-2ND

WOULD A 3-POINT LEAD BY THE GOLDs GET THE BLUEs SINGING AGAIN?

Well, they have a great Karaoke star in their team – KING KONG. I hear that HE and VINCENT are preparing to do a duet cover of BOBBY VINTON’s “Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely“! MILES apparently would be playing the guitar to accompany his teammates!

SCOTT missed today game but his return next week might be good new for the BLUES. Long-hitter Jin had expressed interest in joining us soon, too. He could be drafted for the singles’ championship. HOWARD, SUNNY, SHUBASH, RORY, GERRY, CHANG L, (who knows who else!) might make the final matches up quite interesting. It all depends on the two captain’s strategies.

A big turnout should certainly help the BLUEs as they need to win at least FIVE matches to have a chance. The GOLDs only need to win 3 matches to close out the 2014 RYDER CUP MATCH PLAY in their favour.

LUNCHEON CELEBRATION

Traditionally, under the spirit of sportsmanship, the winners get a “lunch treat” from their worthy adversaries. To make sure everyone has a good time, Point Roberts is arranging for “roasted chicken” & other goodies for lunch after the game! (Sunny would love that!)

CHAMPIONSHIP COLORS

Let us have a celebration of colours. COME play in your team’s colour! Those without team assignment, BRING two t-shirts: Gold and Blue.  Hehehe!

 

 

 

WILD OPENING DAY FOR 2014 RYDER CUP MATCH

RYDERCUP-2014-TEAMSUnlike the PGA’s RYDER CUP teams in matching colours and outfit, the BIRDIEHUNTERS choose to be colourful, although we have to admit that many of these guys are really colour-blind.

The first match at KINGS LINKS mimics conditions at the British Open as the wind wrecked havoc. Although it was bright and sunny, the strong north wind played a big part in the game as shot making and club selection was vital. Even on the green, most had difficult time judging the speed of putts. Scores on this day tell the story.

GOLDs lead by 2 points

Here is a pictorial account of the 7 matches:

RYDERCUP-2014-MATCHES

 

RYDERCUP-2014-MATCHES---2The strong favourites -BLUES- may need to come up with a good strategy for the next TWO-BALL BEST BALL match. It would be quite a task for the two captains to decide who plays.

THERE ARE A FEW members who may contribute to the tournament. Both teams are hoping that the “reserve corps” of BILL, DANNY, SUNNY, SHUBASH, and RORY would add to the excitement of the next two games.

TOURNAMENT VENUES CHANGE

Our planned trip to NorthView Canal has been pre-empted by 2 tournaments running simultaneously on that day. Hence, we have scheduled the next two games:

TWO-BALL, BEST-BALL – MAYFAIR LAKES – 7:40 – July 24

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – POINT ROBERTS – 8:00 – July 31

AUGUST 1 game shall be held elsewhere (as our game at Point Roberts is advanced one week for the match play championship). Watch for announcements about that.

POST-GAME LUNCHEON

As in previous years, we are celebrating the conclusion of this year’s Championship Match Play with a Special Lunch at Point Roberts. (Yes, there would be “roasted baked chicken”, SUNNY!) Make sure you block that day to be part of a grand occasion!

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RYDER CUP – Could the BLUES stop singing the Blues?

2013 RYDER CUP LUNCHEON 3

With KING KONG having the microphone (hugging the mic is more like it), he led the BLUES last year in singing – the blues, that is!

RYDER CUP MATCH PLAY begins

Could the BLUES escape the curse and get their revenge this year?

The GOLDs, on paper, would appear to be the underdogs this year. Why? Look at the BLUES’ members! JOHN is a MASTERS Champ. ED is a UPS Champ. VINCENT and HARRY are both past MASTERS Champs! MILES is also a past champ. JOE is a multiple winner this year and is now 2nd only to DAVID in gross scoring.

It would seem that the LAS VEGAS odds might look like this: BLUES – 350; GOLDS +350 – meaning that a $100 bet on the BLUES would only net $65; a $100 bet on the GOLDS would win $135!

TEAM CAPTAINS MARIO and VINCENT  could be in for a daunting task to set up their matches.

GREAT GOLFING WEATHER

With the fairways getting firmer, long hitters are starting to flex their muscles. It is a little perplexing, however, that “birdies” were few at Point Roberts. HOWARD and JOE got two each.

EAGLES CLUB

Now there are two members of this elite club. MARIO joins DANNY in this department as he dunked his 3rd shot at the par 5 3rd hole for an eagle. Did he skull a hybrid? Just Kidding. Actually, he has been a “devil chipper” as many of his short approaches on the course have been on the mark!

TOUR #10 – Point Roberts WINNERS

TOUR-#10---Point-Roberts-WINNERS

From left to right: SIMON – 2nd place; JOE – 1st place; HOWARD – 3rd place

JOE has ascended in the gross score leaderboard as he continues to score well. He delights in those firm master-like greens as he apparently has been sinking them from all over the place. SIMON minimized his unforced errors at Point Roberts to claim 2nd place.

It is great to see HOWARD finally make it in the winners’ circle. He may not be as long as the other two but he is probably one of the best in scrambling and putting!