2008 Archives Nov 11th 2008 The result of the vote on which six Majorca courses we will play in 2009 makes interesting reading, as what was considered a reasonably popular course has not made the top six, and a course that had previously been considered too difficult has found its way back in favour. An ever present fixture since we first played it in 2001, Son Termens was narrowly beaten into sixth place despite Graham giving it maximum points. The course that will replace Son Termens is the somewhat closer but equally tight Andratx, where we have not visited since 2004. The full vote count was (Number of points received in brackets); 1) Son Vida (64) 2) Puntiro (61) 3) Santa Ponsa (38) 4) Poniente (36) 5) Bendinat (34) 6) Andratx (32) 7) Son Termens (29) 8) Son Quint (20) 9) Son Antem E (6) 10) Son Antem W (4) Though no surprises were to be found at the bottom of the list, there was reasonable support for trying another new course (Son Quint), and renewed support for both Poniente which was widely regarded as being in the poorest condition of all the 2008 courses, and Santa Ponsa where we have had a couple of disappointing experiences regarding management recently. The outcome of the vote, as agreed at the AGM, will be used to determine the 2009 course itinerary, which as you are no doubt aware needs booking as early as possible these days, as more and more societies discover Majorca as a golf destination. Though the other aspects of the trip are not quite as important to ensure early bookings, we will be asking members to confirm their intentions for the 2009 trip shortly, as the flights are generally booked around New Year. The final of the 2008 Matchplay challenge between Ian Williams and Graham Wilson is scheduled to be played at Werneth GC on Friday 14th November at approximately 12.30pm - weather permitting. OCT 17th 2008 October 5th saw the arrival of THUGS in Majorca for the 10th anniversary of the week that kicked the Society off. In those 10 years the list of courses played has differed a little, the number of members making the trip has varied, and the bars and restaurants frequented have changed almost annually, yet returning to Bendinat on the first day was like we’d never been away. After every player had got their drive successfully away off the first tee, that familiar competitive edge kicked in, and Majorca ‘08 was underway. On a typically tough Bendinat course there were some strong performances, which culminated in Adie Cartwright taking the first of the honours, with his 32 points just edging Quent Cartwright’s 31 points into what was to become an all too frequent second place. The second round venue was a well maintained Santa Ponsa, where the wider fairways allowed the majority of THUGS members to be a little bolder with the woods, and produce some excellent scores, the best of which were Neil Butterworth’s 37 points, and Brian Clarke’s fabulous match winning 39 points. Another tight, but well conditioned course lay ahead of us when we reached Son Termens on the third day, with a few members struggling to read what were some of the fastest greens of the week. Derek Ashford had his highest finish of the trip with 27 points, but was eclipsed by Ken Shadford who had a more than respectable 35 points to take the honours. One notable event of the round was the inability to distinguish which of Graham Wilson’s and Pete Ashworth’s ball was nearest the pin on the 15th hole - A tie being the only acceptable result. At the halfway stage, Adie was a handful of shots ahead of Neil in the overall Pink Jacket competition, with the fourth day offering him the chance to defend last years win at an unusually poorly presented Poniente. However, it was clear that last year’s events were unlikely to be repeated the moment Jim Wilson struck his drive successfully down the first fairway (As opposed to his three shanks off the tee twelve months earlier), and sure enough Neil pulled back 16 Pink Jacket points to put himself firmly ahead, as he produced a very tidy 36 points to win the honours, leaving Quent in second place on quite a reasonable 30 points. Once again, Puntiro was an absolute delight to play on our fifth day, with not a blade of grass out of place. And with one round to play, Adie clawed back a few Pink Jacket points from Neil by winning his second competition of the week with 31 points. Quent unfortunately had to accept his third runner up place of the week as he tied with both Graham and Brian on 29 points. One of the highlights of the day was Jimmy Elliott’s superbly taken birdie at the tough 11th hole. With the leading four Pink Jacket contenders of Ken, Quent, Adie and Neil in the final group on the final round at the popular Son Vida track, a tight contest was expected. The best round of the day however, came from Graham, who knocked together an impressive 36 points, which once again pushed the steady, but unlucky Quent into his fourth bridesmaid spot of the week just a point behind. The Pink Jacket still needed to be decided, but with Neil Butterworth going into Son Vida with such a substantial lead, he only needed to put in a reasonable effort to take the honour. In fact, Neil put in a very commendable 30 point performance to cement his title of 2008 THUGS Pink Jacket Champion. Sep 6th 2008 A quick update with less than 30 days to Majorca 2008; Courses and accomodation are booked, confirmed and paid for (Mostly!), and Quent has obtained some good quotes for hire cars (More than likely the erm- ‘very handsome’ and highly suitable Citroen Berlingo again). Flights and Airport Lounge are organised, and Graham will shortly be booking the minibus to and from Ringway. With the week’s itinerary about to drop into everyone’s inbox, all that remains is for everyone to remember the essentials, such as your EHIC (European Health Insurance) card, golf shoes, passport, and in my case a large tub of Sudocrem and a family size box of ProPlus. Jul 24th 2008 Servisair have kindly agreed to accept us in their Executive Lounge once again, despite their policy of allowing neither parties of 8 or more nor all male groups. Fortunately we have a history of excellent behaviour when using the lounges on previous trips, which had already been noted, and helped me to convince Servisair that we can be trusted to act responsibly and with regard for the other lounge guests. Obviously we can revert to our usual Thuggery once we have landed at Palma, but it is good to know that we have a good reputation with Servisair. The bad news is that the cost has increased to £20, but I’m certain we shall still get our money’s worth. July 5th 2008 Yet again, after uncertain weather all week, the June Cup was staged in scorching temperatures at Duxbury Park. Despite temporarily being without a clubhouse, the course was generally regarded as being a fine choice of venue for the competition. The greens were in fantastic condition, as were the fairways, with the hazards offering a fair test of golf on an otherwise relatively easy course. With only eight points separating last place from the winner it was clearly a close run competion, with a number of players all taking 31 points onto the last tee. In the end, Graham Wilson’s 35 points was just enough to take the trophy, with Adie Cartwright finishing one point behind. Graham’s putting being the strong part of his game. Only 3 birdies were achieved all day, with Paul Fenton taking two of those and Graham grabbing the other. Other prize monies were won by Pete Ashworth for Longest Drive, and Paul Fenton (Nearest The Pin). Bonus points however should have gone to Jim Wilson for arranging for ice cold Magners to be available at the end of the round, and Quent, Adie, Neil and Ashey for their audacious horrendous choice of trousers on the day. July 4th 2008 Rooms have now been booked at Magaluf Playa (As always!) for October 5th 2008. Due to a lack of availability on the twin bedroom apartments we have made the decision to book five single bedroom (Twin bed) apartments, which unfortunately works out £20 more expensive per person than last year, though still represents good value at £64.15 pp for two sharing. Quent will of course take on his schoolmaster role and tell us all who we shall be sharing with, in order to keep the naughty boys apart so that no mischief can be planned against fellow Thugs’ rooms (As if...). All that is left to book will be the car hire, which Quent generally does around August, and the Airport Lounge, which I am in the process of arranging (Subject to Servisair allowing us to enter as a group). The courses itinerary is detailed on the ‘Competitions’ page, and for those who require the flight details, they are as follows; Outward Flight: Return Flight: Manchester to Palma de Mallorca Palma de Mallorca to Manchester Flight No: ZB 534 Flight No: ZB 535 Depart: 05-Oct-2008 1455 Depart: 12-Oct-2008 1925 Arrive: 05-Oct-2008 1825 Arrive: 12-Oct-2008 2100 Information and Terms & Conditions; http://flights.monarch.co.uk/cnt/terms/index.asp May 4th 2008 Graham Wilson has become the first THUGS member to win a major competition at his home club (Werneth GC) by triumphing in the Club’s Spring Eclectic Trophy. GFW’s Nett 65 was enough to see off the rest of the field and ensure his name was added to the boards on the Clubhouse walls to be seen for many more years to come. May 3rd 2008 Duxbury Park has been chosen to host the 2008 June Cup. Quent has booked four tee slots from 12.30pm on Friday 4th July. Duxbury is widely recognised as one of Lancashire’s finest Municipal courses, designed by top course architect Charles Hawtree, and measuring over 6300 yards, the par 71 track promises to be a great venue for us. Useful Links with directions are listed below. http://www.chorley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1786 http://www.uk-golfguide.com/england/25558.html www.glendale-golf.com/course-5-duxbury-park.aspx March 20th 2008 Never a year goes by without some problem arising whilst organising the Majorca trip. This year we are struggling to find accomodation that doesn’t require two people from each room to share a pull-out bed. Our usual haunt, Magaluf Playa only appears to have one-bedroom apartments available, which would mean booking either 4 rooms (2 @ 3 persons and 2 @ 2 persons) whereby one person would have the pull out bed in each of the 3 person rooms, or 5 rooms where everyone got a normal bed (5 x one bedroom apartment with twin beds). The latter would cost around £60 each, as opposed to £42 each last year. Quent and I will continue to search for a solution. On receiving confirmation of our flight booking it transpired that I had actually only booked hold luggage in one direction for everyone. As I’m sure we would all prefer to bring our suitcases back with us I contacted Monarch to rectify the mistake, and was told that it was a common occurence due to the online booking form being complex and badly worded. As the mistake was mine I have had no problems standing the cost of the return luggage, but I do wonder how keen Monarch are to re-word their website when the return cost of luggage jumps to £10 per person for those that didn’t scrutinize their booking confirmation and are forced to pay at the check-in desk on their return journey? The cynic in me suggests that they are on too big a money-spinner to rush into changing the complexities of their booking system. Once again, bargains abound in the stores at the moment if you’re looking for cheap equipment; County Golf has a wheeled travel cover for your clubs at less than £20, Direct Golf have amongst their many good deals a set of MacGregor V-Foil M455 Forged irons with graphite shafts at just £149 (RRP £449), and Decathlon Sports at Stockport have some fabulous deals on their golf equipment, particularly the soon-to-be-huge Inesis brand whose balls I have been using since October and can find no difference whatsoever compared to Titleists. Those who have been wondering how Quent and I are obtaining the driving distances we do may want to look at the SMT 455DB that is still being offered at Midas Golf for £98 plus your shaft option. Meanwhile, I will shortly be putting my TaylorMade RAC OS (3-SW) irons on ebay. They have recently all been reshafted with TrueTemper Gold S400’s, and fully regripped with Sharpro TourVelvet grips. I expect them to sell for £140-£150 plus delivery, but if anyone knows someone in the market for a decent set of clubs I will let them go at £100 and include a TaylorMade R540 Driver and TaylorMade Rossa putter (Altogether worth well over £200). Jan 10th 2008 EasyJet have now released their new Manchester routes, which unfortunately don’t include Palma. We are therefore restricted to using the only Sunday afternoon flight available to us for Majorca 2008, which is the same Monarch flight we used last year. I have took the liberty of booking the same people on board (Excluding Paul Fenton) as made the trip last year, and allocated one set of golf clubs plus one piece of hold luggage each direction to each person. The total cost of this is £149 per person, which Derek is to reimburse me from the Thugs account. I shall look at lounge prices later in the year, but expect them to remain at around £17. Meanwhile, Quent has secured our bookings at the courses, and will no doubt inform everyone of the details shortly.