We were all looking forward to our first taste of golf on this golf tour. For many of us it was our first experience of Thai lady caddies and we all found them brilliant. They read the lines of the putts and within just a few holes, could club you really accurately, in fact no need for our distance measuring kit.
Loch Palm Golf Club provided an excellent starting point for our golf and the “loch” came into play on quite a few holes, as did some of its tributaries.
We started off with a pairs event and the only unfortunate thing was that when Eirik and Jennie pulled their driver head covers off they discovered their shafts broken in transit. Both resorted to teeing off with their 5 woods and the interesting end to the tale was in our 4BBB event they won with 40 points. There is a moral in there somewhere.
Dinner this evening was at On the Rocks for an excellent meal and a great view onto the bay. Day Two Laguna Golf Club – another gloriously warm day and a warm welcome to go with it too. A very interesting layout and as we are now getting used to splendid advice on how to approach each hole, from our fun and well informed caddies. We opted for another pairs event and Eirik kept his winning formula up with 38 points in the company of Bristol Bob. Clearly this losing your driver is showing its benefits.
Day Three Phi Phi Island – Amazing scenery when we got to the island, where Leonardo Di Caprio filmed The Beach. However, I think it put the whole group in one mind that speedboats are not for us!
Day Four Blue Canyon Golf Club – which has two courses and we were on The Lakes today. It is an expansive layout and although we had more room off the tee, the greens proved challenging for the putting and chipping on to them. We had teams of three today and played one of our favourites, waltzing Matilda, so 1 player to count on 1st, 2 on 2nd and 3 on 3rd and repeat. Trish, Bob and Rog dovetailed really well for their 70 points which won the day. This whet our appetites for the return to play the Canyon course on Sunday.
Day Five Laguna GC– We all eagerly anticipated our return to Laguna and were warmly greeted by our caddies from our previous round and an interesting breeze. The course was in great shape again and always good to play somewhere again to see if you can master the nuances. Also with new pin positions that also adds another intriguing dynamic. We had teams of four and format today was a birdie count between the team. On a very respectable 14 under was Barbara, Trish, Rog and Eirik. After a lovely lunch everyone caught up on a few winks on the drive home getting ready for the trip into Patong for dinner.
Day Six Red Mountain – Saying that it was spectacular, doesn’t do it justice. The course was tree lined and worked its way around said mountain. Some amazing views and almost each hole was a picture on its own. The greens were a tad slower than we had been on, which for all of us was a slight relief! We had teams of 3 today and a format of one player to score on the odd holes and 2 players on the evens. This worked out on stableford points as 54 points being par, so with their 68 points the trio of Rog, Bob and Barbara were in effect 14 under par!
Day Seven – Sight Seeing – To the highest point in Phuket Rawai and then on to Chalong Temple. Final stop at Phuket Old Town for a delightful lunch in the back of one of the old houses that could have been a Portuguese house. Wonderful.
Day Eight return to Blue Canyon – but the Canyon course today. The impressive entrance to the clubhouse is a fantastic montage of the 1998 event held here . Many of the top players of the world were there including Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and of course the star attraction of Tiger Woods. Some spectacular holes especially the 13th where we drove over the ravine. Having congratulated ourselves on this feat, putting it into perspective, Tiger not only cleared it, but popped it onto the green in one of his rounds, just the 380 odd yards! Good day all round and in our waltzing Matilda comp Barbara, Eirik and Bob triumphed. In the individual Rog scooped the loot by a point.
Day Eight- Day Off – A great time was had by all with a mix of sun, sea, shopping and snoozing on the agenda. The Amari Hotel with its super sea views out on to the Adaman Sea and attentive staff was a wonderful place to be.
Day Nine Red Mountain – Our second visit to the spectacular Red Mountain today. A nice cooling breeze swept through the trees and certainly around 70 degrees warmer than the “Beast from the East” were hearing about ravaging through the UK. The lady caddies were on top form and reading the tricky greens, is so much easier when someone else is doing it for you!
We opted for an pairs event today. Scoring was very good with Bob and Mike on 40 points only to be pipped by Barbara and Jennie on 41 points. A great day all round and on a couple of holes the sound of bats could be heard, which was interesting along with some tuneful tropical birds.
A nice dinner at the highly rated Sea Hag restaurant finished off a super day.
Day Ten Blue Canyon – Incredibly our final round of the Phuket Tour rolled around at the Lakes Course. Our super lady caddies were there to great us, good reads on the putting, but the tricky part was making ourselves follow their instructions. We went for a pairs event today and as with all our competitions it was a close run thing. Rog and Eirik edged myself and Trish out by 1 point 39 to 38.
Moving on to Bangkok.