Tag Archives: golf tour

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!

 

 

 

 

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?

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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.

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.

NORTHVIEW RIDGE IN TOP SHAPE

“FREE THURSDAY” AT THE RIDGE

During the last Thursday of each month, we have an “open” schedule. DANNY, a marshall at NorthView, managed to get us our tee times on that busy day. Aside from two foursomes ahead of us, we were the only golfers at the Ridge that day due to a very large tournament by Vancouver Firemen scheduled at 1:00 pm.

BAMBOOZLED by 1st time participants

SCOTT, MELVIN (MARIO’s son) and JASON joined the Birdiehunters at the ridge. The trio are regular members of VAN CITY GOLF (with established RCGA/CPGA handicap indices).  (If you recall, I was named “Honorary Team Captain” of the club at the last PAL INTERCLUB TOURNAMENT, and along with CHANG HJ, represented the team.)

SCOTT has a terrific game. When I played with him at Redwoods, I remember him putting for birdies on many holes. I wasn’t a bit surprised when someone reported that he played a 5 wood to 10 feet of the pin on the signature par 4 8th hole of the Ridge.  His 74 was the lowest gross of the day.

There is no truth to the rumour that as a course marshall. DANNY had a lot to do with the pin placement at the Ridge. He did arrange, however, for all the KP markers for our club. With his updated handicap index and a sizzling 79, he grabbed the top prize of the day from SCOTT.

First time lucky? It would seem that way. JASON took 3rd place at the Ridge.

BIRDIEHUNTERS’ RULE

Revisiting our rule concerning “new” participants to our tournaments is necessary to avoid questions.

When “prospective” new members are invited or accepted to join us, we exercise two options:

1) Allow them to play but not participate in the tournament until they have recorded 5 games, OR

2) Allow them to participate in the tournament, PROVIDED they have a verifiable, certified valid RCGA/CPGA/PGA handicap indices.

There is a stipulated qualification however. During the 1st 5 games, their applicable handicap index shall be THE LOWER of their index and that recorded on our system. For example, in the case of DAVID and DANNY, we accepted their declared index and applied this rule to their subsequent 5 games.

CLARIFICATION OF RULES

michelle wie

At the US OPEN last week, here is what was reported on the Live Update for the LPGA:

“05:04 p.m. EDT Michelle Wie takes advantage of the relief she took from the sprinkler head being in her line of play on the 14th hole and hits a nice chip to two feet. She taps in for par. Three-stroke lead, four holes to play, and her closest pursuer, Stacy Lewis, has run out of holes.”

Actually, she did not chip the ball; she putted from off the green.

She took the relief from Rule 24-2 Immoveable Obstruction, local rule.  Actually, contentious issues also involve Rule 25-1 – Abnormal Ground Condition. You can google these rules for further clarification.  Under Rule 24-2, if a player stance may be impeded by a sprinkler,  or an immoveable obstruction; or if the ball lies within the obstruction, he may drop the ball away from the obstruction without penalty. If the obstruction (sprinkler head) is “in the line” of his target, Rule 24-2 does not permit a “free drop” UNLESS a “local rule” opts to allow the relief.

If Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in North Carolina (site of the PGA and LPGA US Open) adopts the option under Rule 24-2, The BirdieHunters of BC, as a club follows suit.

Thus, under Summer Rules, if any immoveable obstruction impedes your stance, your swing, or the lie of your ball, you may seek relief under option (D) of Rule 24-2!

In case you wish to be technical, be guided by these definitions:

“An immovable obstruction is an artificial object on the course that cannot be moved (e.g. a building) or cannot readily be moved (e.g. a firmly embedded direction post). Objects defining out of bounds are not treated as obstructions.

An abnormal ground condition is casual water, ground under repair or a hole, cast or runway made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird.”

A hole in the ground that was left by greenskeepers or workers (in particular around the green) is also considered as “an abnormal ground condition” whether marked as GUI or not! Free relief is available under Rule 24-2 and 25-1!

TERRIFIC SCORING AT KINGS LINKS

TOUR #8 – Kings Links WINNERS

WINNERS---TOUR#8

1st place – MARIO (center); 2nd place – KING KONG (left); 3rd place – HAN (right)

If you can putt; if you can stay away from the rough; then you can score at Kings Links! Now then, if you add luck to that, then you are unbeatable. That seemed to be the case with our Tour #8 winners. I think we could add a nickname to the top prize winner – “Sneaky long”. Now, now, we are referring to his tee shots, silly! MARIO must have been studying Ben Arda’s tapes. In case you are not aware, Ben Arda was the Philippines best golfer during his time. At only 5’7″ tall,  Ben was the first Filipino to qualify for the Masters and the US Open. Diminutive as he was in stature, he could smash his drives with unimaginable distance earning the nickname “Bantam Ben” and “Toy Tiger”!

Meanwhile KING KONG HARRY erased his 9 on the opening hole par 5 (2nd) by putting together a series of pars.  He settled down after a few holes and kept his “unforced errors” to a minimum to  come in with a terrific score for 2nd place.

Meanwhile, it seems that HAN has contracted BRINKS Security to handle his bank loot from all the tournaments. He has been the winningest member so far. So don’t be alarmed when he shows up at Point Roberts with armed guards.