Tag Archives: eagle

RYDER CUP – Could the BLUES stop singing the Blues?


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!


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.


STILL ARGUING about handicaps on the 1st tee?

Actually, arguments on the course break out often when there is no full understanding of stroke advantage in handicap play. This happens too often especially on the holes rated most difficult (holes 1-7) because this is where golfers with higher handicap get 2-stroke benefit.

Using FULL HANDICAP is quite straight forward. A golfer with 18 handicap gets a stroke benefit on EVERY HOLE. Someone with 25 handicap gets 2 stokes on holes rated 1 – 7. In a skins game, a par gives the 25-handicapper an eagle (on a par 5 less 2 strokes).

Using STROKE DIFFERENTIAL gets a little bit more confusing even for our SUNNY guys! Why is that?  Somehow, they confuse individual play against foursome play. When four players are competing against each other, it is important to fully understand on which hole each player is awarded a stroke advantage. For example, on the highest rate hole (1) when 3 players (out of 4)  have a stroke advantage and when one of them gets PAR (and the other two get 1-over par), they often say “NO, IT’S A TIE because I get 4 strokes from you.” Are you confused?    

So who is correct? And how is that dispute resolved? In order to solve this dilemma, here is a pictorial illustration:



Let me explain. Using “fictitious” names and handicaps above, four friends decided to go out and play skins at Mayfair Lakes. Their handicaps are as follows:

ED – 17; ERNIE – 19; HARRY – 22; SUNNY 23

To demonstrate clearly, let us assume everyone shot PAR. As a test of accuracy, here are the results:

DIFFERENTIAL PLAY – You will note that ED (with 0 handicap) ends up with 71 (par); ERNIE gets 69 (2 better than ED); HARRY has 66 (5 better than ED); and SUNNY gets 65 (6 better than ED). Notice that all the holes are TIED except on hole #15 (6th most difficult) where SUNNY has the only hole advantage.

FULL HANDICAP PLAY – Notice that all the net scores are correctly adjusted for each player’s handicap.  HOWEVER, look at where the STROKE ADVANTAGE is recorded. Since SUNNY has the highest handicap (23), he gets a stroke on HOLE #9 (5th most difficult).


In the above case, the difference between the highest and lowest handicap player is only 6. Under differential play, the hole won is #15 (easier); whereas in full play, the hole won is #9 (harder). With full handicap play, the reverse happens. Tougher holes are won (because of 2 stroke advantage by the higher handicapper).


This is where some people are confused. Refer to the chart above. If on hole #3, ERNIE scores par and HARRY and SUNNY both shoot bogie (net 4), ERNIE wins the hole (with a net 3). It is not a tie even if ERNIE gives SUNNY and HARRY a stroke advantage. Why? Because in group play, the lowest (ZERO handicap) player, ED, gives all three a stroke advantage! TO BE ACCURATE in scoring, mark all the tough holes where each player gets a stroke advantage AGAINST the (ZERO handicap) golfer and deduct the corresponding stroke against the gross score on that hole. Then compare all 4 scores to determine if there is a TIE or if the hole is won. DO NOT COMPARE individual scores!

Hopefully, this will remove all misunderstanding and misconception about DIFFERENTIAL or FULL HANDICAP play!


083010_2159_SANDBAGGERO2.jpgWhen JOHN came in with a net 61.1 on his first game at Riverway, it became apparent that he only needed to play within his course handicap to claim title to this year’s BBC MASTERS. Everyone else had to shoot lights out for any chance to catch him.

Not that the rest of the field did not do their best to catch him. MILES came the closest with his net total of 136.3 but it was still short a few shots from JOHN’s net total of 132.4. CHANG and ED posted low scores at Kings Links but their two-game total was not even close.

HAN is the only other player who has yet to play his 2nd round this week at Point Roberts but he would need to card a 73 to beat JOHN.

Formal crowning of the 2013 BBC Masters Champ and celebrations will not commence until Thursday’s game (September 19) completes.

20121101_145019Ex-BBC Masters Champ KING KONG is shown here with 2013 (virtual) MASTERS CHAMP JOHN….

…..and below with 2012 BBC Masters Champ MR. LUCKY* (VINCENT).

*The SB#1 crown has now been passed on from one SB to another in three successive years. Any bets on who MR. LUCKY would be next year?



Happy New Year to all Birdiehunters!!!

We have some fabulous golf expeditions this year! But first, here is a brief collection of year-end gallivanting. Now, how would you like to be playing here:


…and be staying here:

(Have we got you salivating just yet?)

With the dreary, gloomy, winter days at home, a few of the hunters have been all over the place. A few invaded Sonny’s retreat at The Trilogy in Palm Desert just before Christmas.
Alan has not yet provided any news of Costa Rica and Las Vegas. King Kong hibernated in New York (what else is there to do there, anyways?).

El Capitan visited with Gerry at Mountain Lakes Country Club! We also played at

Cathedral Canyon and Indian Canyon Golf Resort.

While visiting, we discovered why, as soon as the sky darkens in Vancouver, Gerry packs his suitcase to head south. Let me use one sentence to describe this snowbird’s sentiment:
“What a life!”

Well, with his home on the golf course, a typical day would probably be enjoying breakfast at the backyard fronting the 15th fairway and then heading off to the first tee on his own golf cart. Swimming at the clubhouse or a friendly game of tennis would be optional, of course!  I would imagine the same thing with

Sonny at The Trilogy!

Carol has no complaints! She, too, loves to play golf!

BRAD succumbed to the thrill of golf in full sunshine. He, too, descended at Palm Spring. I understand he and Gerry are to play a couple of games together.


Property values have plummeted to incredible proportions and Palm Springs, Palm Desert, and surrounding areas had been greatly impacted. Mansions upwards of $1 million are on the market for less than $700m. Very recently built single homes selling for more than $600m in 2005 are now “on sale”, some below $200m. There is little signal of recovery in 2012. Is it any wonder that Vancouver/Richmond residents are planning retirement there?

It would not surprise me if the number of Birdiehunters heading south would grow in the years to come.

65th BEST GOLF EXCURSION in the WORLD on Feb 11

Final preparations are now underway for our team to head to Davao City to enjoy the “Best Golf Excursion in the world” – 65th PAL INTERCLUB TOURNAMENT.

BRAD and a few others want to enjoy an extended stay. Most of us will leave Feb 11, Saturday, to arrive at Davao City on Monday the 13th for a terrific outing.


This Thursday, there is likelihood the sun will peak through the clouds at RIVERWAY. We start at 8:44 am. Renee tells me that the course is holding up well and that the greens are terrific.



Golf Warm up

It is a bit colder this time of year and you just can’t get on the tee and whack it, guys! You have to do a bit of stretching and warm up!

It appears that RORY did just that last Thursday to capture 1st place. However, a big cheer for HOWARD for claiming 2nd spot as he again tees it off with the boys after a long sabbatical. He claims ‘beginner’s luck” but shooting a 79 is hardly considered lucky – it is sound, solid, golf in my books.

HAN’s consistent play assures BBC of a strong performance in February, 2012, at the 65th PAL INTERCLUB. For the 2nd week in a row, he is in the winner’s circle. The week before last, he took 1st place from EL CAPITAN by the narrowest margin. Actually, the Riverway winners (HAN, EL CAPITAN, LITTLE JOE) were separated by less than 1 point. Apparently, had JOE made his putt on the 18th, he would have been in 1st place.


It was a soft smooth buttery glide from 32,000 feet as the huge Boeing 747 touched ground at Davao City International airport. All of PAL’s international (to and from YVR) and domestic flights were just as incredibly silky. Their pilots must be some of the world’s most proficient. (But don’t ask me about the food. That is another story.)

I am glad I made the decision to arrange our team’s lodging and other arrangements in person. It was a big mistake to rely on “internet servings” and hype. Instead of being at a “new” Inn in bunk beds amidst schools, we are staying at The Pinnacle in February. It is a

short walk across the street to Gaisano Mall right downtown – Davao City’s entertainment center.


I did not participate in the Captains’ tournament following the meeting because I traveled light and did not bring my clubs. ROGER was begging me to complete his foursome but I decided to take it easy instead.

As you are probably already aware, it is warm and balmy year round although February in Davao City could be cool at night. Hence, umbrellas are essential paraphernalia in a golfer’s bag. You’d look odd carrying your own umbrella, though! 🙂

It was a short trip for such a long flight but nonetheless, my mission – making sure the hunters would have a great time in Davao City – has been accomplished.


As with the PGA, it is evident that young tigers are taking over the sport of golf. Here with the Birdiehunters, the early lead of super senior ED and up and coming senior HAN melted away with the final assault of the trio of “young Tigers” EUGENE, SIMON, and LITTLE JOE.

It all started last week when EUGENE went on a rampage at LOOMIS sinking birdies after birdies – the largest number in a single game (5). In early July, EUGENE was 10th in the ranking. Coming up winner in the last two games of the finals got him in top position. SIMON’s gallivanting in Palm Springs during the crucial last game caused him the championship by the tiniest of margins – 10 points.

Meanwhile, LITTLE JOE bolted to 3rd place from 8th. That toppled ED who has missed the finals by vacationing in the Philippines. The Leaderboard (left) shows the final rankings of the 2011 hunters.



You all probably know by now that the 2011 UPS CHAMPIONSHIP does not conclude our Thursday outings.

Like Miles often remarks when someone’s drive sails through the woods into the other fairway: “It’s open there – 24 hours – like 7-11”; well, we play golf 12 months in a year.

It was cold when we tee’d it off during the early part of the year at Riverway. Few believed that we could actually be spared rain or snow. But we did play golf in warm sunshine.

Last week at Loomis, the prediction was 70% shower probability but “El Capitan” did order  a day without rain while we played our 3rd game. He did the same yesterday for our finals at Mayfair Lakes.


The BirdieHunters went to Cagayan de Oro to compete at the 64th PAL International Tournament. There KING KONG almost got discovered by David Foster for his performances at a few entertainment places.

Roger got himself a “personal golf cart and caddie”. Apparently he did not pay much for the service – less than $10. He, however, received a bill later for the replacement of the flat tire.

VINCENT who was with us in the Philippines was a

victim of robbery. Normally, in this club we hunt for birdies and eagles. But tables were turned for VINCENT. At Point Roberts, it was an eagle that victimized him – took his ball away.

The RYDER CUP MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP  was a smashing success. It started in May with the BLUES and the GOLDS fighting for points on every hole.

The battle saw the BLUES leading early but the GOLDS came back to make it very close. Although the BLUES finally emerged victorious, the teams celebrated at the Riverway’s new Clubhouse after the tournament.

There were four Majors during the year. The last one was the Masters won by HARRY, the KING KONG. Other Major winners were BILL, ED, and JOHN.

Here are your other TOP TEN PLAYERS in the 2011 UPS CHAMPIONSHIP:



SIMON got his “screamers” working to post a winning score in yesterday’s 2nd leg of the UPS playoffs. His KP on the 2nd hole boosted his earnings for the day.

The man who “kisses frogs along the way”, CHANG L demonstrates a magical way to play the game. His 2nd outing with the hunters in two months brought him his 2nd consecutive win. Two games – two wins! No wonder many are seeking the help of Anderson Anderson, CAs, to audit his handicap index. Ask BILL what CHANG L gives him as handicap on Sundays. Certainly not 1-1 as their handicap differentials show on paper. That must tell you something.

Well, OK, RORY’s return was also momentous as he took 3rd place. Actually, he could have scored better if not for some rare miscues. He would certainly challenge MILES in a long drive contest. At some holes, he played like his namesake – McIlroy – using merely a rescue at the tee.

The man to watch out for is BRAD. He is starting to challenge CHANG HJ for the title of the “Most Boring Birdie Hunter”. He has that “power-fade” swing almost perfected. It takes guts to aim at the trees left on the Par 4 dogleg left #6 hole to bring the ball back to dead center. He also has incredible chipping and putting skills taking the ball inches of the hole. No triple bogies for this guy.


With two more games to go, all top 10 players have a mathematical chance to win the playoffs.

The 3rd leg of the playoffs at LOOMIS GOLF COURSE in Blaine, Wa. could be pivotal to the chances of capturing this year’s top tournament.


Keep the ball in play. At the first hole, a dogleg left par 4, avoid the bunkers guarding the right side of the green. Take a longer iron. It is easier to save par from the top side of the green.

The 2nd hole is not a long par 5 and longer hitters could shorten the hole by aiming beyond the creek right of the fairway. The safest shot would be way left of the creek. Water hazard right of the green is also very much in play.

The 7th hole is probably the toughest to get on in regulation. It is long. Hole #9 presents a great challenge and two great shots will present a birdie opportunity.

On the 11th hole, a golfer is presented with a choice: a straight drive can yield a good score but aiming left of the trees could conceivably give an opportunity to be on in two on this terrific par 5. Navigating beyond water hazard and bunkers would require a clean hit covering at least 190 yards.

To assure a decent score, play the 17th hole safely. It is one of the most difficult holes on the course because of a narrow green that is very deceiving. It is shaped like an envelope – long horizontally than perpendicularly; very tough to reach on the 2nd shot.

The 18th requires a decent drive. The water hazard guarding the green often requires an average drive a strong fairway wood to negotiate. Play short and pitch to save par or hit one like King Kong and have a mid-to-short iron for a chance at a birdie.

START EARLY to avoid the tunnel congestion!

2011 UPS CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF – Off to a exciting start

With the days getting shorter, it was pretty dark when the hunters set out to stake their claim on the 2011 UPS CHAMPIONSHIP. Only two groups preceded BBC at the PEACE PORTAL GOLF COURSE, a stone’s throw to the Peace Arch US Border.

Just before the start of the game, I got a call from someone: “I am at the golf course and no one is here. The pro shop tells me we do not have a tee time reserved.” So, I replied, “Simon, where the heck are you?”

Having to communicate through (the speakerphone on) my Tablet with phone calls capabilities, everyone could hear the conversation.

He said, “Here at Point Roberts!”

Everyone suspended practicing their putts and roared. He left in a hurry and was lucky to avoid radar traps on highway 99 to catch up to the last group at Peace Portal. The aerial

mounties, however, clocked him doing 200KPH. They spotted a car with flames coming from its engine.

This is just to show you how dedicated our Tournament & Handicap Captain is.


Two of our top golfers had their A game at Peace Portal. Both LITTLE JOE and CHANG HJ played to a 76. What was fascinating to watch was how CHANG HJ carved his perfect back nine (36). On the par five 11th, both he and EL CAPITAN crowded the pin with less than 36 inches and made birdies. However, on the next par five (13th) CHANG HJ had his errant drive hit trees to the right of the fairway and had no decent shot to move the ball forward. He took his driver hoping to keep the ball low to avoid hitting branches. His tough shot only advanced the ball less than 100 yards. His fairway shot sailed right and almost got into the pond guarding the 16th hole. Trees impeded his 4th shot to the green with more than 120 yards to go. Miraculously, his wedge faded high into the air above the trees and settled within 3 feet of the pin. He saved par!

Meanwhile, BRAD on the same hole missed the green on his approach and chipped way past the hole several feet BUT knocked his putt in – also for a par.

EL CAPITAN had similar predicament on the same hole. He had barely a 6-foot opening between trees with his drive also wayward to the right. With a Phil Mickelson devil-may-care shot, his rescue club drilled the ball right through the small opening to less than 10 yards of the creek. His five wood carried the ball to the green in regulation BUT with more than 50 feet to the pin on an undulating uphill-downhill-sidehill putt. It was perfectly executed to less than 12 inches for a par.


After  gallivanting all over Europe during the summer BRAD comes back and fills in for SONNY…. and …HARRY. We all know how much fun it is when there is humor in the air. Everyone’s mood is enlightened by two of our most gregarious and fun-loving friends. HARRY is on a holiday in Singapore – for a month. SUNNY is enjoying hisnewly born and only grandson in Toronto.

Luckily, we have BRAD. It was a joy playing with him. Not only is he a perfect gentleman on the course, he also plays a decent game. Best of all, he is a “course magician”. On the 17th, his “power-fade” did not fade as much and his ball was hanging oh so closed to the edge of the creek left of the fairway. His 2nd shot was way left of the green and with a blind 3rd shot, he flopped his approach to less than 3 feet and MADE PAR!

If scores were to tell the entire story, BRAD, CHANG HJ, and EL CAPITAN were pretty evenly matched with CHANG HJ shooting the best score and the two playing partners tied at 83.

EL CAPITAN felt like a hamburger patty at Peace Portal – sandwiched between perennial golf buddies/adversaries JOE and CHANG HJ- as he takes 2nd place in the UPS Playoff.

It’s a long way to go yet. Don’t count out MILES, HAN, SIMON, VINCENT, or BILL…and the others. Take advantage of the gallivanting ED, top UPS scorer.


Start time is 8:30. Don’t miss it!


Playing alongside his son in law and brother, Dave and Matt Russell, HARRY carved a masterful round at Kings Links to capture the first 2011 BBC MASTERS TROPHY. His

only miscues were two double bogies on the first and the tough 16th hole. Thereafter, he played like Y.E. YANG, putting together a string of pars and two consecutive birdies on the tricky par 4 dogleg left 5th hole and the par 3 6th. His front nine 38 showed off his course management skills and boasted his golf prowess to his visitors as fourth playing partner ED simply watched in awe.

This year’s final major tournament of 36 holes was held at Morgan Creek and Kings Links. With the courses’ ratings, they certainly presented a very tough challenge to the

hunters.  Although our best single handicap player, MILES, carded a 78 and 77, it was only good for  3rd place. VINCENT made a valiant run for it by shooting way below his handicap for two days, came in second.

With his departure for a month-long sojourn to Singapore, our Master winner vowed to sponsor a celebration sometime upon his return.

Our champ beams with a great smile as he proudly display his memento of the event, a trophy designed exclusively for the BirdieHunters of BC and sponsored by EL CAPITAN.


The conclusion of the 2011 Masters Tournament is by no means an end to BBC’s weekly golfing on Thursdays. Golf on Thursday is only halted by hail, snow, or a natural calamity.  Thus, keep in tune right here to find out about our next golf outing.


….Davao City, Philippines is where EL CAPITAN is travelling during the 1st week in October. He is joined there by ED, ROGER, and a few other team captains to attend the first 65th PAL INTERCLUB CAPTAINS’ meeting and tournament.


It will be an exciting week as it coincides with PAL INTERCLUB’s 1st ever LADIES TOURNAMENT.

Davao has been a favorite destination of golf travelers all over the world. Rancho Palos Verdes, is a scenic course designed by a world renown Andy Dye.

Davao City is one of the richest cities in the country that is naturally endowed with beautiful landscape. One of its golf courses, Mt. Apo, is sanctuary to Philippines’ rare giant brown eagle. It is also known for its exquisite cuisine and great amenities.

Hospitality is the trade mark of Filipinos and many visitors to the area attest to the fine time they experience during their visits. At the golf course, there is a fitness room, a fabulous dining room, and modern golf carts. Accessories are optional. (GPS or lady caddies, that is.) (Aw, guys & gals, I am only kidding!) However, the course’s manager at Palos Verdes and his staff are renown for making sure that golf afficionados will never be disappointed with the game, even when they shoot over a hundred.

You may explore Rancho Palos Verdes here.

Earmark your calendar for the last week of February and join us in one of the world’s best golf excursions.

2011 MASTERS – Leader not Miles ahead

MILES – HARRY neck to neck

MILES leads the 2011 BBC Masters Tournament by a .1 margin as the 1st leg of the tournament concluded at Morgan Creek from his nearest pursuer. In fact, 
10 players are within less than 5.5 points of the current leader.

HARRY is certainly in serious contention as he is a mere 0.1 point behind MILES. ED, the UPS leader by a great margin, is merely 0.6 of the leader followed by VINCENT at 0.7.

The chart below lists the results of the MORGAN CREEK game. With the Championship game scheduled this Thursday at KINGS LINKS starting at 8 am, there are a few holes that could conceivably influence the outcome of the tournament. One of them is the famous 17th short par 4 where a monster jumps from the water to ensnare an errant shot. Another is the 2nd hole – a seemingly harmless par five that could very easily turn a birdie chance into an ugly double bogie. The12th hole has its own Lochness monster guarding the extremely

difficult putting green.

MILES SHOOTS 71 at Riverway

If his game last Saturday is to be a yard stick for his chance to be the next Major Open Champ, watch out. MILES putted for an eagle on 14th and snagged a few birdies enroute to a 1-under 71. SONNY and ERNIE were mere witnesses rather than competitors as they watched in awe how MILES lived up to his name on every drive.


Meanwhile, last Thursday, Morgan Creek was not as tough as it is refuted to be as the BIRDIEHUNTERS assaulted the course with TEN BIRDIES; perhaps a record. ALAN, JOE, CHANG HJ, MILES, ED, and HARRY had one each. KIITCH was the sharpshooter of the day with THREE. The guy who kisses frogs on the golf course, CHANG L also got one.


ED extends his monster grip on the championship with his 3rd place win at Morgan Creek. If successful, it would be his 2nd consecutive title. It would take a surge of good game management for those trailing to overcome their deficit.

Perhaps a great game this Thursday could inspire a few.