LEVANTE GOLF SOCIETY - Reports Handicaps and Recent Competitions
Levante Golf Society’s first major trophy of the year is the Spring Trophy round 2
Levante Golf Society’s first major trophy of the year is the Spring Trophy
Levante Golf Society’s first major trophy of the year is the Spring Trophy which is played over two rounds under Stableford rules. This year’s first round, on 6 March was at La Sella Golf Club with a maximum number of 36 members taking part. The second and concluding round will be on 13 March, with the trophy winner being the member with the highest aggregate score.
La Sella’s course is starting to show real signs of improvement after the extensive redevelopment of the first nine holes in 2019 This competition was played on the original eighteen holes and as is often the case, most of the greens were fast. Weather conditions were very difficult, despite bright sunshine the winds varied from blustery to near gale force and this reflected in the scores with no-one receiving a handicap cut. However in typical LGS style the competition was friendly, sociable and very competitive with only one point separating the top 6 places.
Winner on the day with 32 points was Neville Richardson. He had taken the unconventional approach to recovering from a dip in form in early February by taking an overseas holiday, not playing golf for three weeks and returning from a long haul flight the day before the match. Perhaps jet-lag can affect your judgement in a positive way!
As Neville is unavailable for the second round of the trophy, the ‘honour’ of representing the handicap bandits will be taken on by Honorary Life President, Roger Miller who came second on the day, also with 32 points. Also on 32 points was third placed David Downes. Fourth and fifth placed were Brian Barden and Eric Edwards on 31 points. Sixth place, also on 31 points, went to Levante Golf Society’s newest member, Viv Bacon who was welcomed to the Society before the start and was awarded her prize at the end by captain for the day, Andy Price.
The seniors’ prize was awarded to serial prize winner and Mr Consistency, John Cook on 30 points. John was also nearest the pin on hole 15 with Kevin Waterland nearest on hole 5. Hans Benzler, ‘refreshed’ from his long haul flights to Australia scored the only two of the day on hole 15.
Next week the roadshow rolls on to Oliva Nova for the concluding Spring Trophy Round, with the maximum 36 players already oversubscribed. The following three weeks will see an individual Stableford at Font Del Llop, a team game at La Galiana and a return to Oliva Nova for an individual Stableford.
In near perfect warm, sunny weather conditions, a maximum sized group of 36 LGS members competed in the latest weekly competition, this time at Oliva Nova for an Individual Stableford challenge. The course at Oliva Nova is recovering remarkably well from storm Gloria, though there are still many fallen trees which are in the process of being cleared.
The members were organised into nine groups of four and fully briefed by Andy Price, deputising for LGS captain Don Larner who was in the UK visiting Storms Ciara and Dennis. With Levante’s impeccable organisational abilities what could possibly go wrong? Cue the confusion over the booking - only 24 tee times had been reserved. Rather than leave 12 players with the frustration of no golf (as opposed to the frustration of playing golf) contingency plan B was immediately put into effect. One extra tee time was squeezed onto hole one so only eight players were left wondering.
Cue contingency plan C; playing groups eight and nine who had been anticipating another coffee, a pleasant chat, a warm up and hitting a few balls on the range and putting green were quickly herded (with the indecent haste of a UK Government Cabinet reshuffle) to the 10th tee for an immediate start. Oliva officials’ words of ‘keep up with the group in front’ don’t lose any time’ creating a less than relaxed start to the day. It could be worse (a lot worse) those same players could have been arriving at their place of work in Northern Europe in the cold, rain and storms after a tough week of toil. As the song goes ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.
First to third places in the competition were separated by only one point, with the winner being Dave Horridge on 36 points, so there were no handicap cuts.Celia Cronin and the evergreen John Cook were second and third respectively on 35 points. In view of the number of competitors, prizes were awarded down to sixth place taken by Anne Edwards (33), Andy Price (yet again) (32) and Dave Collie (32). The seniors’ prize went to Roy Jones on 31 points.
Nearest the pin on hole three was (Storm) Denis McVeigh, with Dave Lawson nearest on the sixteenth at 1.05 metres, obviously converting for a two.
The next two weeks will see Levante members on a road trip around Valencia Province, with visits to El Saler and Benidorm (Levante). The following two weeks will be the Spring Trophy which will be awarded to the best combined score over two rounds at La Sella and Oliva Nova.
On the anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens 19 Levante Golf Society members travelled to Alicante Golf with ‘Great Expectations’. With yellow tee positions unusually far forward the men were virtually playing off the ladies’ tees, so there was little prospect of ‘Hard Times’ for their performances and the scoring showed that most of them gave it ‘The Complete Works’. Enough of that!
Both the weather and the course conditions were good. The competition format was individual Stableford, qualifying for handicap purposes and Player of the Year points. The day was dominated by the theme of consistency – certainly for three of the players;
Firstly, Mike Harding who achieved eight gross pars for a score of 38 points and a 0.8 handicap cut which would have been greater had he not visited the water twice on the eighteenth. Even that score was only good enough for third place.
Secondly, Andy Price, who also scored 38 points – exactly the same score and on the same course as two days earlier with White Coast Golf Society. Andy came fourth on count back earning him a 0.8 handicap cut, his second of the week reflecting his excellent run of form.
Thirdly, Dave Collie who had a gross score 5 on ten of the first eleven holes, regardless of whether their pars were two, three or four. Surprisingly, the hole which broke his sequence was the ninth – a par 5!
The overall winner on the day with an excellent score of 39 points and a 0.9 handicap cut was Kevin Waterland. Kevin also achieved the Desmond of two 2s, on the sixth and twelfth. One other two was achieved, by John Cook on the fifteenth. In second place, leading the pack of 38 point scorers on count back, was Brian Barden earning a 0.6 handicap cut.
Moe Farouky won the seniors’ prize on a score of 36 points. Winners of the nearest the pin prizes were Peter Ketteringham on the third and Neville Richardson on the twelfth.
The next three weeks are individual Stablefords at Oliva Nova (already oversubscribed for the 36 available places) and El Saler, followed by a team game at Benidorm Levante.
A little known fact is that 24 January is celebrated in some parts of the world as National Compliments Day, with the tradition being to pay at least five compliments to friends, team mates or colleagues. So here goes!
The first ‘well done’ goes to the greenskeepers and ground staff at Benidorm golf course. After the appalling weather of the previous weekend and early part of the week, Oliva Nova Golf Course was resembling a boating lake and clearly unfit for LGS’s weekly fixture. Benidorm Poniente came to the rescue and hosted the event. Considering the amount of rainfall and gales, those responsible for preparing the course had done a remarkable job - enabling 25 members to enjoy a competitive round of golf.
The competition format was individual Stableford and was non-qualifying for handicap and trophy purposes due to the late change of venue. Congratulations for the win go to Hans Benzler who narrowly beat Andy Price on count back, both on 39 points. Hans and Andy are on a great run of form, playing excellent golf. The same is also true of Dave Lawson, who followed up his midweek win at Benidorm Levante with Whitecoast Golf Society with 37 points and third place at Benidorm Poniente. Dave clearly enjoying his day trips to Benidorm! Fourth and fifth places went to two of Levante Golf Society’s most consistent golfers Michael Harding and John Cook on 34 and 33 points respectively. The seniors’ prize was taken by Roger Miller.
Nearest the pin on hole 2 was Kevin Waterland and on hole 15 Paul Sankey at a distance of just 45 centimetres from a hole in one. Naturally Paul converted for a two. Demonstrating the quality of the greens, despite the weather problems, six twos were scored in total, with Andy Price achieving the ‘Desmond’ of two twos.
The final thank yours from all participants go to Competition and Handicap Secretary Donna Green and Captain Don Larner who reacted rapidly to the closure of Oliva Nova to rearrange the venue.
Compliments all round then!
The next three fixtures are a team game at Oliva Nova and individual qualifying competitions at Alicante and Oliva Nova.
Don Larner started his second year as captain of Levante Golf Society demonstrating the value of experience. Last year at the traditional Captain´s Drive-In (his first official drive of the year), Don allowed his nerves and the pressure of the raucous watching members to get the better of him, hitting his drive into the nearby trees at Oliva Nova for a distance of only 136 yards. This year, however, drawing on his previous experience, Don gave the gallery a driving lesson achieving an excellent first drive of 224 yards. The sweepstake for the nearest prediction was won by Honorary Life President Roger Miller with a guess of 222 yards.
The location for the event was La Sella. Weather conditions were cool at the start warming later into a beautiful January day with the only weather related problem being the occasional difficulty of sighting the ball when driving in the direction of the low winter sun.
The course was not up to the current standard of some others in the Costa Blanca region with some patchy fairways and greens rapid to the point of being unplayable. After last week´s glut of 11 twos at Benidorm Levante no twos were recorded this week at La Sella.
The competition on the day was an individual Stableford with Paul Westerman winning with an excellent score of 37 points, earning him a 1.2 handicap cut. Back in form Keith Price came second on 36 points. Third, fourth and fifth places, all on 31 points were Paul Sankey, Robert Bedloe and Andrew Leach respectively, with sixth place being taken by Anne Edwards on 30 points. The senior prize was taken by Brian Barden with 29 points. Due to the unusually low scoring there were no handicap increases.
Nearest the pin on hole 6 was Robert Bedloe and on hole 15 Alan Mason at a distance of 1.58 metres.
The next three Friday competitions for LGS are an individual Stableford at Oliva Nova ( already oversubscribed), a team game at the same venue and an individual competition at Alicante Golf.
A new event in the Levante Golf Society calendar held at Benidorm, Levante, was the inaugural Hans Benzler Swedish Strokeplay Challenge on 10 January 2020. Hans, one of the most frequent, enthusiastic and successful players of LGS kindly offered to sponsor this event by donating a crystal glass sculpture as the winning trophy.
Course conditions were very good, with greens in excellent state. The weather forecasts had predicted the first rainfall of 2020, but that thankfully stayed away until after the competition was completed. Temperatures at the start of the day had many of the players dressed more for a Swedish winter than a Costa Blanca coolish day, with many wearing multiple layers of clothing and ‘beenie’ hats, though bizarrely society captain Don Larner opted for shorts. During the round, the sun came out, temperatures rose and layers were removed.
The format chosen by Hans was individual Strokeplay (medal), a welcome change to the more usual Stableford scoring. Fittingly the best round of the day was by Hans with a net score of 72, just beating Neville Richardson (also on 72) on count back. With the sponsor excluding himself from his own competition the trophy went to Neville, who having had an unsuccessful round with his driver earlier in the week, opted to take out his driver only once - on the eighteenth.
Second place in the competition was taken by John Snelling, playing excellent golf and finishing on a net 73 from a handicap on the day of 13. Third, fourth and fifth places went to Paul Sankey, Mike Harding and Roger Miller respectively. Special mention is also deserved by guest, Mike Longmire who also had a net 72 from a handicap of 12, and was also nearest the pin on the third. Nearest the pin on the fourteenth was Don Larner, presumably having warmed up by that stage.
The excellent conditions of the greens was emphasised by the fact that 11 twos were recorded - some weeks there are none - leading to prizes being given only to Les Vine and John Snelling, both of whom had two twos. (Is that a Desmond?) Shot of the day was by the Society’s Honorary Life President who holed an 11 metre putt on the fourteenth for a two.
The next four weeks see the Captain’s Drive-In at La Sella, an individual Stableford competition at Oliva Nova followed by a team game at the same course and then an individual Stableford at Alicante Golf.
This week saw Levante Golf Society’s members return to competition, theoretically refreshed and raring to go, after their three week extended winter break. (A lesson here for the English Premier League?) In reality, several of the members were recovering from a combination of Christmas/New Year overindulgences, foreign travel and the usual seasonal coughs and colds.
Of course, being the Costa Blanca in early January, the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and warming to temperatures in the high teens after a cool start. The Oliva Nova course was in very good condition, firm dry fairways and true, well manicured greens - a massive contrast for those who had played golf in Northern Europe during the break.
The format of the competition, as a gentle introduction to the New Year, was a team accumulator, with two team members to score on par fives, three on par fours and all four on par threes. An expected winning score in this format would be around 104 Stableford points.
The main event of the day was the first drive of the day by LGS’s Honorary Lifetime President Roger Miller, ( the ‘Lifetime’ part of this title being unanimously approved at the December AGM in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Society.) A sweepstake was held amongst the members with a small prize going to the closest guess as to Roger’s actual drive-in distance. Despite the pressure of the occasion and the slightly unsporting barracking from the gallery, he successfully avoided the trees on the left and the lake on the right (by 30cm) to record a distance of 112 metres. Kenny Kennard won the closest guess prize at 110 metres with Hans Benzler only just missing out with his guess of ‘in the lake’!
The competition was won by a clear margin of seven points by the team of Celia Cronin, Susie Snelling, Hans Benzler and Paul Hornby with an excellent score of 111 points. In second place came Les Vine, Jan Stevenson, Roy Jones and Dave Geeson with third prize being picked up by Peter Ketteringham, John Snelling, Robert Bedloe and Moe Farouky .
Kenny Kennard was on excellent driving form, collecting the nearest the pin prizes on both the third and sixteenth holes.
The next three weeks will see Levante’s members play in individual events starting with a stroke play competition at Benidorm Levante for trophies sponsored very generously by Hans Benzler, followed by the Captain’s Drive-In at La Sella and then a return to Oliva Nova on 24 January.
The last game of the year
In the build up to Christmas, the penultimate competition of the year saw 22 members of Levante Golf Society enjoying a last visit of the year to La Sella. The format for the annual ‘Turkey Trot’ was pairs combined Stableford scores. The course is showing the adverse impact of additional use during the closure of the front nine holes for renovation; however weather conditions were excellent, sunny and warm.
Whilst the expectation for this strangely named event might have been for a gift of a Christmas turkey, LGS tradition dictated that the alternative present was a bottle of wine for each participant. Unfortunately Santa’s little helpers (Neville and Andy) forgot to remind Captain Don Larner of his duties and instead the members received a heartfelt apology and an IOU of a bottle of wine. Don’s penance is that at the AGM following the competition he was unanimously selected to serve a further year in office as Captain.
The golf, as is the norm at Levante Golf Society, was enjoyable, competitive and of a high standard. The winners on 60 points were Anne Edwards and Honorary President Roger Miller. In second place were committee members Roger Jennings and Andy Price on 59 points, with Roger executing a magnificent putt (his own description) on the 15th for a two. In third place came Kevin Waterland and Keith Price, with Paul Hornby and Neville Richardson in fourth. Neville’s putting during the round was of indifferent standards. His solution on the par five seventeenth was to fluke his 75 yard chipped fourth shot into the hole for five points.
The AGM after the competition saw the re-election of the committee without the need for Andrew Neil interviews of the contestants. Particular thanks for their contribution and commitment during the year were given to Captain Don Larner; Competition and Handicap Secretary Donna Green; Secretary Roger Jennings; Treasurer Robert Bedloe; webmaster Hans Benzler and Honorary President Roger Miller. Roger’s invaluable contribution to the Levante Golf Society was recognised by his unanimous appointment to the position of the society’s first Honorary Life President. LGS has had an excellent year under Don’s leadership coming runners up in the Costa Blanca League, having a waiting list of those wishing to become members and a healthy financial position.
The final competition of 2019 is a team game at Benidorm (Levante), then into the New Year with the President’s drive in, the Hans Benzler sponsored trophy event and the Captain’s drive in.++
Special award to our guest of honour Paul Tolley presented by John Cook
Spring Trophy. Winner - Anne Edwards; 2nd - Mike Harding; 3rd Robert Bedloe
Oliva Nova Eclectic. Winner - Mike Harding; 2nd - Robert Bedloe; 3rd - Alan Overton
President's Challenge. Winner - Jenny Downes (not present); 2nd - David Downes (not present); 3rd - Mike Harding
Captain's Cup. Winners - John Snelling and Roger Miller
Frank Carroll Plate. Winner - Alan Overton; 2nd - Penny Barden
Frank Carroll Trophy Winner - Denis McVeigh; 2nd - Don Larner; 3rd - John Cook and David Downes (not present)
Division 2 Champion. Winner Brian Barden; 2nd Dave Geeson (not present); 3rd Mike Harding
Division 1 Champion. Winner Penny Barden; 2nd Kevin Waterland; 3rd John Snelling
Autumn Trophy. Winner - Susie Snelling; 2nd - Paul Sankey; 3rd - Neville Richardson
Ondara Challenge. Winner - Penny Barden; 2nd - John Cook; 3rd - Mike Harding
Player of the Year. Winner - Penny Barden; 2nd - John Cook; 3rd - Mike Harding
On 30 November Levante Golf Society members enjoyed an
excellent social event at The La Sella Marriott Hotel with all
of the Society’s major awards for the year being presented by
Captain Don Larner. Penny and Brian Barden’s golf throughout the
year has been of a consistently high standard, resulting in them
taking 6 of the prizes, with Penny winning both the Player of
the Year trophy and the Ondara Challenge despite losing two
months’ golf due to a broken wrist. John Cook also had a good
evening coming close runner up in the Player of the Year and
winning two other prizes. Mr Consistency, Mike Harding picked up
5 prizes including the Oliva Nova Eclectic trophy. Don also
presented guest of honour, Paul Tolley with a gift to thank him
for his contribution to improving LGS’s golf and to remind him
of his many friends at the society.
Friday 29 November was this year’s ‘Black Friday’, but one Levante Golf Society member, Alan Overton, was giving nothing away. Alan, one of the more senior players, almost made a clean sweep of all of the prizes on offer. LGS also welcomed the first appearance of new members Roy and Jan Jones.
The competition was at Alicante Golf, a course in good condition. The sun was shining and with temperatures approaching the mid twenties (that’s Centigrade for those reading this in Northern Europe) it was hard to believe that this was the last weekend in November. The competition format was Stableford pairs better ball. The hot favourites before the start were John Cook and Neville Richardson, two of the players to have benefited most from the LGS group coaching sessions with the departing Paul Tolley. Of course the reason why bookies are wealthy is that favourites don’t always win!
The winners on the day were Dave Collie and Alan Overton on a highly impressive 49 points. In second place were Peter Ketteringham (making a welcome return to the sunshine) and Keith Price on 47 points. In third place came John Cook and Neville Richardson on 42 points, well clear of fourth placed Brian Barden and Paul Hornby on 37 points.
Nearest the pin on hole 3 was Alan Overton at 2.45 metres, with Peter Ketteringham closest on hole 12. Alan converted his excellent tee shot on the third for the only two of the day.
In an attempt to encourage members to concentrate on their short game, Captain Don Larner introduced a putting competition. In simplest form this meant counting every putt for every player. Don’s explanation of the detailed rules was as complicated and opaque as the UK political parties’ manifestos - though probably more truthful and meaningful. The winner of the competition was, of course Alan Overton taking only 33 putts, with Anne Edwards a close second on 35 putts.
Alan is shortly due to travel to Australia for a couple of months to visit family. Whilst Levante members wish him well in his travels, they are also secretly delighted to see him go to enable others to share in the prizes.
The last two LGS competitions of the year will be team games at La Sella and Benidorm (Levante). After a short break over Christmas and New Year, members are looking forward to the Captain’s drive in at Oliva Nova on 3 January 2020.
The concluding round of Levante Golf Society’s Autumn Trophy at La Sella on 22 November represented the final opportunity for members to win a trophy in 2019. This led to a large group of competitive golfers meeting up just after dawn for the usual early tee times at this venue. Given the Northern European heritage of most of the golfers it was perhaps ironic to hear comments about cool temperatures and dark mornings.
The format was Individual Stableford with scores to be added to those from Oliva Nova last week to determine the winner of the trophy. The first nine holes at La Sella have undergone major reconstruction over recent months and many LGS members were very disappointed at the condition of this part of the course. They felt that the heavy sanding, sparce grass growth and impact of recent heavy rain meant that these new holes had been reopened too early. Nevertheless conditions were the same for everyone and didn’t dampen the members’ competitive instincts.
After Round 1 Paul Sankey was the leader, 5 points clear of the next player competing in Round 2. For most of his round he looked certain to lift the trophy, however a disappointing last 5 holes opened up the possibility of an alternate winner. Susie Snelling seized the opportunity with an excellent, accurate round where she didn’t miss a fairway from the tee. Susie was the winner of the Autumn Trophy on 67 points, with Paul Sankey second on 66 and Neville Richardson third on 62.
The winner of the prize for best round of the day was Mike Harding, just beating Roger Jennings on count back, both scored 35 points - a very creditable score given the conditions. John Snelling, John Cook and Susie Snelling all scored 34 points to collect the third, fourth and fifth prizes. David Downes scored 33 points to take the seniors’ prize.
Two twos were scored, Dave Collie on the fifth and Shaun O’Gorman on the eighth. Nearest the pin on hole 5 was John Cook, and on hole 6 Hans Benzler.
Levante’s golfers have three more games this year, at Alicante, La Sella and Benidorm (Levante), all of which are team games. As a demonstration of how quickly we are heading for the New Year, Competition Secretary Donna Green is already requesting availability for the first round in 2020.
On Saturday 30 November LGS are holding the Annual awards dinner where all trophy and major competition winners will receive their prizes. Guest of honour will be Paul Tolley who is leaving his golf coaching role at Oliva Nova to return to England. Through both his individual and group coaching lessons he has been instrumental in improving the playing and the enjoyment of golf for many Levante members over the last two decades. His departure will be Spain’s loss and his new club in England will gain his inspirational approach to golf.
Friday 15 November was the final of Levante Golf Society’s prestigious Frank Carroll Trophy - a knockout cup competition to which all full members are able to participate. It was also round one of the last major competition of our annual golfing calendar, the Autumn Trophy.
The venue was Oliva Nova, where the course is almost completely recovered from the extensive work of a few months ago. Fairways were in good condition and the greens very fast and true. Weather conditions were testing earlier on with gusting winds and whilst cooler than recently, the sun shone making for pleasant golfing.
In a keenly fought and pulsating contest played under matchplay format Denis McVeigh beat Captain Don Larner to become LGS’s Champion Golfer by lifting the Frank Carroll Trophy. The lead changed hands several times during the match and at no stage was there a lead of more than one hole. All square after seventeen, Denis won the eighteenth to win by one.
Meanwhile 33 LGS members took part in the Stableford format first round of the Autumn Trophy. Round two takes place at La Sella on 22 November with the trophy going to the player with the best aggregate score. The clear winner on the day was Paul Sankey on 38 points with Dave Lawson second on 34 points. Kevin Waterland and Susie Snelling came third and fourth respectively on 33 points with Dave Geeson taking fifth place. The seniors’ prize went to Celia Cronin.
Prizes for nearest the pin in two shots went to Alan Overton on the fifth hole and Kevin Waterland on the eighteenth at an impressive 73 centimetres.
The grouping of the day, who shall remain nameless to protect their personal data (and pride) was a foursome whose total age topped 300 years, despite one of them being a Youth Trainee Scheme member at a mere 62 years. What better advert could we have for the healthy lifestyle of the Costa Blanca demonstrating that age shall not weary them!
Friday was also the second running of the LGS Vol au Vent challenge. The generosity of the participants was welcomed by the hungry golfers at the end of their rounds with everyone attempting to be a part of the judging panel. Reining champion Siggi Palsson made a noble effort to retain his trophy but was beaten by unanimous decision to first place by Penny Barden. This was also Penny’s first round of golf back with LGS after breaking her arm a couple of months ago. Despite this break(!) and as a demonstration of the quality of Penny’s golf earlier in the year, she remarkably is still at the top of the leader board for the Player of the Year Trophy.
In the three weeks following the Autumn Trophy LGS adopt a more relaxed format with team games at Alicante and Benidorm (Levante), with a pairs competition for the Turkey Trot at La Sella.
On a day when weather and course conditions would have severely tested the world’s best golfers, Levante’s players got on with enjoying their weekly competition. This week it was a pairs betterball format with ten teams taking part.
Not only were the winds gusting to what seemed like near gale force but were frequently changing direction with the sight on one hole of tumbleweed scurrying across the green in one direction only to reverse and depart in the direction from which it came. The course had been affected by the adverse weather conditions earlier in the year and by the drying effect of the winds in recent days leaving a number of the greens lightning quick and occasionally unpredictable. Nevertheless Bonalba is a well liked course with a good variety of holes presenting an excellent golfing challenge.
The winners on the day were Dave Collie and Brian Child with 44 points. Dave, fortified by something stronger than his usual pre match coffee used his power game to combat the conditions and Brian is rapidly becoming the partner of choice for the lower handicap golfers, winning his second team game in succession.
Second place went to Bob Fell and Neville Richardson who between themselves played some excellent and some far from excellent golf but dovetailed well together to amass 41 points. In third place were Hans Benzler and Roger Miller also on 41 points but losing out on count back of scores over the last nine holes.
Shot of the day was played by Mike Harding. Mike has been on excellent form, regularly winning prizes in the weekly competitions. This may be why he decided to give himself an additional handicap on the second par three. Powering his tee shot towards the green, his ball struck a post several yards in front of the tee and rebounded to behind where he was standing admiring his drive. His second shot was from several yards behind his first. Despite this, he and his partner Alan Overton accumulated a very creditable 40 points to finish fourth.
Nearest the pin on the fourth was Bob Fell and on the fourteenth was David Downes.
Next week sees a fully subscribed list of LGS members take on the first round of the Autumn challenge at Oliva Nova with the second round taking place at La Sella the following week, the winner will be the individual player with the best cumulative score. These rounds are followed by a team game at Alicante and the annual pre Christmas ‘Turkey Trot’ pairs competition at La Sella.
Don Larner’s legacy to LGS in his period as Captain has been the introduction of the innovative Vol au Vent challenge which will have its second (and perhaps final) running after the game on 15 November.
Levante Golf Society’s annual dinner and awards evening is at the La Sella Marriott Hotel on 30 November (all tickets have been sold) and the AGM will take place on 6 December.
Oliva Nova was the venue for Levante Golf Society’s latest weekly competition. All available places were taken for this individual Stableford handicap qualifier and starting lists for the next few weeks are already becoming very well subscribed as members are taking advantage of the beautiful late Autumn weather.
Course conditions at Oliva Nova are improving after recent treatments with the fairways in good condition although the greens are still not at their excellent best. In bright sunshine and with temperatures in the high twenties a gentle breeze was welcome, though not so welcome when it gusted into very strong winds.
On the day before England’s rugby disappointment and on the latest day after Brexit didn’t happen, Kenny Kennard decided to ‘swing low’ to stay below the winds and to ‘get it done’ by winning the competition on a score of 36 points. On this occasion Kenny avoided a handicap cut, something that is bound to happen when he decides to give up the distraction of work and play more golf in Spain.
In second place also on 36 points was Siggy Palsson, our man from Iceland (the country not the store), he also took the nearest to the pin prize on hole three. As current holder of the LGS vol-au-vent challenge trophy, Siggy was reminded by Captain Don Larner that at the next running of this challenge (later in November) any assistance from his wife will result in instant disqualification.
John Snelling representing the low handicappers came third on 35 points, with Fiona Sankey and Dave Collie fourth and fifth. Mike Harding once again took the seniors’ prize and Fred Betteridge was closest to the pin on hole sixteen. Surprisingly there were no 2s recorded.
Although there were no handicap cuts, the competitive nature of LGS members was demonstrated by the fact that 21 of the 34 participants scored between 30 and 36 points.
The next four weeks see LGS members playing a team game at Bonalba, the two rounds of the individual Autumn Trophy at Oliva Nova and La Sella and a team game at Alicante.
Don Larner, LGS Captain was determined to splash out on his big day of the year, providing breakfast and snacks for all participants and offering to be thrown into the lake to raise money for his charity of the year, the Oliva Orphanage.
This is one of the most popular dates in the LGS calendar, fully subscribed with 36 golfers including three guests, Campbell Lamont, Rafa Velasco (Director of Golf at Oliva Nova) and John Williams (president of White Coast Golf Society). The format was a pairs betterball competition with Stableford scoring. Weather conditions were ideal, warm and sunny, what more could we want in mid October? The Oliva Nova course was not at its immaculate best as it continues to recover from recent treatments, though good scoring and some excellent golf demonstrated that this is still an excellent venue.
Prizes for the day were very kindly donated; winners’ vouchers by Campbell Lamont, golf rounds at Oliva Nova by Rafa Velasco, golf lessons by Paul Tolley and wine by Don Larner.
The winners on the day, and proud holders of the Captain’s Silver salver for the year were John Snelling and Honorary President Roger Miller with an excellent score of 49 points. Second place went to the pairing of Kevin Waterland and Dave Collie on 47 points and in third place came Hans Benzler and Mike Harding on 46 points. Mike was also closest to the pin on the 16th, converting for a two. The remaining prizes went to the pairings of Bob Fell/Kenny Kennard, Danny Herron/Moe Farouky and Anne Edwards/Fiona Sankey.
Closest to the pin on the Third was Kevin Waterland, with Brian Norbury closest in two on the fifth and guest Campbell Lamont closest in two on the eighteenth.
The opportunity to throw the Captain into the lake (ironically 168 years to the day from the publication of the novel Moby Dick) was not taken up by the members. This could have been out of respect for Don, or more likely due to his repeated reminders that he can’t swim and no-one was prepared to jump in to rescue him. Nevertheless, his charity benefitted by 380 Euros.
Members, guests and partners enjoyed an excellent lunch in the clubhouse, preceded by the Captain’s speech (thankfully no jokes) and the prize giving. The fun atmosphere of the day was summarised by Danny Herron’s toast to Don as ‘The best Captain we’ve had in 2019’!
The next three weeks see LGS members playing a variety of formats, team games and individual competitions, at Oliva Nova and Bonalba. These are followed by the first round of the Autumn trophy at Oliva Nova on 15 November, an event which already has its full allocation of 36 places taken.
Twenty eight LGS playing members and nine non playing guests enjoyed an excellent away trip to the Mar Menor region between 8 and 11 October. Three team rounds of golf were played at different courses, with the format and teams of four being changed each day. Prizes were awarded for first, second and third placed teams on each day.
This annual trip is planned to be fun and relaxed, away from the regular weekly competitions of the rest of the year. However pride and the natural competitive streak of LGS members ensured that the standard of golf was high, though perhaps by the final day it reflected the cumulative effect of the pre dinner happy (two) hours at the hotel bar, the wine during the meal and the post dinner visits to the bar!
Las Colinas was the venue for the first round, played as a team accumulator (two to score on par 5s, three on par 4s and four on par 3s). This attractive and challenging course was in good condition, except for the bunkers which had been badly affected by the recent devastating Gota Fria. The deserved winners on the day (by a clear 5 points) were LGS Captain Don Larner, John Williams, Sean Carr and Brian Barden.
Day two was at Roda Golf Club, a deceptively challenging course, whilst being fairly flat, a combination of bunkers and water means that every hole has difficulties. The format was again a team accumulator, but this time with the best two scores out of four to count on each hole. The winners were Bob Fell, Moe Farouky, David Lawson and Jenny Downes.
The third round was at most members’ favourite course in this region, Lo Romero, with it’s spectacular signature island green on the eighteenth. The format was a ‘waltz’ with one player to score on the first, two to score on the second and three on the third, with the one, two, three to score continued around the course. The winning team was Captain Don Larner (again) Sean Carr (again) Danny Herron and Mike Harding.
Over the three days of golf a par three challenge competition was held, raising 140 Euros for the Captain’s charity. The clear winner by a margin of three points was Alan Overton who accumulated thirty-two Stableford points on the par threes across the three courses, spectacularly scoring five points on one hole at Las Colinas. Finally, in order to ensure that no-one went home empty handed, a sleeve of LGS golf balls was given to the small number of unfortunate members who had failed to win anything else!
On 18 October LGS members will be back at Oliva Nova competing in a pairs competition for the prestigious Captain’s Day Salver.
The only way was up for the Downes in the Levante President’s
trophy at Oliva Nova on 4 October as Jenny and David Downes took
first and second places. Honorary President Roger Miller
presided over events for this prestigious annual trophy event.
His pre competition briefing invoked the spirit of former
President Frank Carroll. He informed the large grouping of LGS
members that this would be a day of ‘pure golf’ played under
strokeplay/medal format - no ‘gimmees’, no pickups, all shots to
count (unless they amounted to more than 10 shots on a hole).
Some of the members who were later trying to recover shots from
bunkers, barrancos, lakes and difficult lies behind trees were
left wondering about the concept of pure golf!
The main and slightly quirky trophy for this event is a full length ageing putter mounted on a heavy wooden background. In addition, LGS were delighted to receive the very generous support of Campbell Lamont Golf who sponsored the first three prizes and the seniors’ prize.
Weather conditions were perfect, warm and sunny. Unfortunately the Oliva Nova fairways and greens were not at their usual immaculate best following recent repairs and treatments.
Playing off full, slope enhanced, handicaps, scoring was excellent with 23 of the 39 members scoring a net 79 or fewer and the first six places all earning handicap cuts. The lowest gross score of the day was achieved by Shaun O’Gorman (also nearest the pin on hole five) with a tremendous score of 80, but with his true playing handicap of 4 it wasn’t good enough to earn him a top ten finish and even gave him a slight handicap increase. Different standards!
The main plaudits go to the Downes family who had very recently returned to Spain from their self imposed exile in the UK where they went to get away from the confusion of Spanish politics! Jenny played superbly to score a net 68 and earn a handicap cut of 2 points to 26.6. David just edged Mike Harding and Paul Sankey (also nearest the pin on hole three) to second place on count back, with all three achieving a net score of 70. Fifth and sixth places were John Snelling and Sandor Rozsa on 71, with Anne Edwards coming in seventh on a very respectable 72.
The seniors’ prize went to Terry Saville on 72, with John Cook in second place on 73. John was also nearest the pin in two on the eighteenth. Other nearest the pin winner was on-form Roger Jennings on hole sixteen who also converted for a two. In total seven twos were scored - too many to mention by name, so well done to all.
The final event of the day was Honorary President Roger Miller presenting the main trophy to Jenny Downes, who presumably is now in discussions with David as to whether a home extension is required to display it.
On 8 October LGS members head off to the deep south (Murcia) for their annual away trip. Team games on the three different courses will have a relaxed format, probably a less pure form of golf and a chance for everyone to win something.
Lavante traveled to La Galiana for a stableford competition this week with a real threat of thunder and lightning, fortunately it stayed away with good dry conditions, all the mowers were in action trying to keep the grass down but still very easy to loose balls just off the fairway. We thought maybe someone had upset the green keeper with most yellow tees in the white position. Having said that; there were still some respectable scores. Brian Child came in with 34pnts, Tony slipper 33, Andy Leach 33, in 3rd place and Andy Price with 31. Steady Mike Harding won the senior prize with 29pnts and nearest the pin on 14. Hans was nearest to pin on hole 3. There was only one in two on hole 5 ft, Paul Sankey. There was the Frank Carroll knockout competition semi final between Dennis McVeigh and John Cook. Congratulations to Dennis who won 1up after quite a battle he now meets Don the captain in the final.
The sun always shines on Levante Golf Society members, or so it seems. On a day when many parts of the Costa Blanca experienced heavy rain showers, the weather at Alicante was ideal for golf, slightly cooler than the heat of mid summer, with plenty of bright sunny spells.
Today was an individual Stableford competition. Course
conditions were excellent as demonstrated by seven of the
sixteen strong field scoring 36 points or more. The overall
winner on 41 points was Neville Richardson, earning him a 2
point handicap cut. He has now had cuts of 4.2 points over his
last four qualifying rounds, not a bad return for being one of
the regular attendees at LGS’s weekly group coaching sessions
with Paul Tolley at Oliva Nova. His playing partner for the day,
Captain Don Larner, naturally tried to claim all the credit on
the basis that he booked the coaching sessions!
Second place went to Dave Geeson on 39 points, with third and fourth being John Cook and Brian Barden both on 38 points. Brian also won the putting competition, getting round in only 30 puts.The seniors’ prize was won by honorary president Roger Miller on 35 points, continuing his good form since his layoff for illness. The best guest prize went to Dean Poulson, who was striking the ball beautifully and putting very consistently for his 36 points. Dean was also nearest the pin on the third, with Kevin Waterland nearest the pin on the twelfth.
The serious business of the day was the match play contest in the latest round of the Frank Carroll Plate. In a close contest with the lead changing hands a number of times, Penny Barden beat Roger Jennings two up.
Excuses of the day surely have to go to John Cook and Dave Collie. Both have been playing excellent golf recently, but claimed to get distracted from the competition by Alicante’s fowl and felines. On the seventh tee a duck climbed into John’s buggy and demolished his energy boosting banana, whilst only two holes later several cats got into Dave’s buggy and polished off his sandwich lunch. Both must now be in contention for the newly created end of season friends of the wildlife award!
The next three weeks for Levante Golf Society members involve
an individual qualifying competition at La Sella, followed by
team games at La Galiana and Oliva Nova. On 4 October it is
expected that a full field of 32 members will compete at Oliva
Nova for the President’s Trophy.
Another lovely at Oliva Nova with a very welcome discount to lgs, due to works being carried out to the greens ect. This week we a team game of two ball Texas scramble. The captain had his normal pre match talk with the odd joke included very funny but not repeatable. We didn't have the putting comp this week due to the poor greens.
Just a reminder Paul Tolley coaching starts on Tuesday!
The results were:
Nearest the pin hole 3 Paul Sankey and hole 16 was Andy Leach, 2.40 from the pin and managed to convert his putt for a two. In third place Hans Benzler & Fiona Sankey with 70 net score.
In second place David collie & Celia Cronin 69 net score (David is the most photographed member we have). And in 1st place was Danny Herron & Fred I Betteridge on 66 net score. Under Danny's coaching skills Fred chipped and putted like a pro, he must of had sore shoulders though because Danny's no lightweight. Next week we are at Alicante poy ect.
Another warm day but not so humid, numbers still a bit low for august but the course was in good condition and the bunkers were still there. Nice to see Don, the captain, back with his banter and just to keep our brains working had the putting comp again which was won by Hans with 32putts. The captain has some trouble getting the nearest the pin markers out, not mentioning any names but, he's an estate agent from Norwich who drives an X5. I think there will be a fine in due course. Ben Lee (guest) won closest to pin on the 3rd and Terry Saville, who pushed his non electric trolley all round, was nearest on hole 14.
In 3rd place Hans Benzler 34pts, John Cook 2nd 35pts and David Collie, who I'm pleased to see with a hcp adjustment, had a great score of 38pts to take 1st place. Senior prize went to bob fell with 31pts.
Another very warm day for golf, off we go to Alenda Golf.
David Collie, driving Kevin, has been there 5 times before and sat
navigator in hand what could go wrong...1,9 miles away this
woman, who wouldn't stop talking, decides to take us back on the
AP7 to Valencia before you know it we are 9 miles away so - U turn
and 15 minuets later we arrive.
Nice to see Roger back on the computer and the president extracting money from everybody like a true accountant. The coarse looked to be in very good shape but I can't say the same about Kevin and myself after pushing those trolleys around.
So the results were:
senior prize - Roger Miller 29 points, getting back to his old self
Nearest the pin; hole 5 David Collie, hole 16 Terry Saville
Moe had a 2 on hole 13.
In 3rd place Terry Saville with 31pts - he keeps popping up. 2nd place Dave Collie 32 points, who played a good game the day before in the summer league and 1st place John Cook with 38points.
Another very hot day at La Sella numbers were down for
various reasons the captain spiced it up with a putting comp as
well Alan Overton won that 31points. Better known as steady
eddy. Kevin was 3rd with 32pnts Siggi runner up 32pnts John cook
Hans was nearest the pin expert on the day x2 and converted one putt for a two.
This week’s LGS competition was nominated as the fashion show to
raise funds for Don Lardner's Captain’s charity. The rules were
simple: within the bounds of acceptable golf wear, prizes would
be given to the most fashionably dressed golfers. An eclectic
approach resulted in an array of bright, garish colours,
patterns and shapes, testing to the limit the concept of
‘acceptable’. Paris, Milan and London fashion shows need have no
fear. The old phrase ‘don’t worry it’ll come back into
fashion’ was grossly inappropriate: these clothes had
never been in fashion and hopefully never will be. The
ladies’ prize was won by Penny Barden, in one of the more
acceptable outfits of the day. The mens’ prize went to
Robert Bedloe who claimed that his wife had tried to throw his
shirt away (pity she didn’t succeed!). Regardless, the event
served the twin purposes of raising over 80 Euros for charity -
and raising a laugh.
On to the serious side of the day. Following the Captain’s briefing, Roger Miller gave the third interpretation in as many weeks of the penalty shots ruling at the barranco on hole 7. This version was supported by official correspondence from the Direct Deportivo of the course and will be posted on the LGS website shortly.
The golf competition for the day was individual Stableford. Course conditions as always at Oliva Nova were very good and the weather was another notch up on heat and humidity from last week. The standout performer of the day was Dave Collie. Continuing his recent good form Dave won the overall competition on 36 points, was nearest the pin on hole 3 and converted his tee shot for a two. The only prize which eluded him was the fashion show and not for the want of trying.
Susie Snelling on 34 points came second, with Roger Miller and Penny Barden third and fourth on 32 and 31 points respectively. This was one of Roger’s first appearances after a layoff for illness. His form on the day led some to question whether part of his recuperation time had been spent on the driving range and putting green!
The seniors’ prize was won by Terry Saville on 31 points, nearest the pin in two at the eighteenth was Celia Cronin and Donna Green also scored a two, on the sixteenth.
In the next three weeks LGS will travel to La Sella, Alenda and Levante (Benidorm) for two individual competitions and a team game.
Another week, another golf course and a different format. This
week LGS members were at Alicante Golf to play a pairs better
ball Stableford competition. Numbers were reduced as is normal
at this time of year due to travel, visitors and the heat.
Neville Richardson took on the role of temporary captain for the
day and reminded those playing of exactly why he had been
selected for this prestigious role, which was basically due to
the absence of the captain, vice captain, former captain or any
other committee member.
Course conditions were good. Weather conditions were slightly warmer and more humid than the average sauna, however towards the end of the round a light cloud cover emerged, presumably leading to a Costa Blanca News headline of ‘Cloud spotted over Alicante in July’!
The standard of golf was excellent with the intense competition between the top three teams rivalling the recent men's’ Cricket World Cup final for a nail biting finish. The three teams all finished on 45 points with the final placing being decided on count back over the last nine holes. In first place were Tony Slipper and Neville Richardson. Tony had a tremendous round overall, including a two on the third hole, capped by holding his nerve to sink his put on the eighteenth, knowing that it was needed to beat Mike Harding and Alan Overton who finished third. John Cook and Keith Price came second with John also in the prizes for closest to the pin on the third and converting that shot for a two.
Closest to the pin on the twelfth was a regular winner in this category - Brian Barden and one other two was recorded by Kevin Waterland on the third.
Next week’s competition is an individual Stableford at Oliva Nova. This will be the much awaited fashion show where, within the realms of acceptable golf wear, members are encouraged to play wearing their most interesting and colourful choice of clothing. A small entrance fee will be donated to Captain Don Larner’s charity with a prize for the most ‘fashionable’ LGS member.
Whilst the eyes of the majority of the golfing world were
focussing on The 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush, a
few discerning followers of the game were concentrating on the
latest Levante Golf Society Individual Stableford competition at
Oliva Nova. This week’s match was a qualifying event for
personal handicaps and for the Player of the Year and Eclectics
trophies rather than a claret jug, and those taking part showed
their usual competitive streak combined with their friendly and
The course condition was excellent and despite the energy sapping heat and humidity, scoring was good. The very deserved winner on the day was Susie Snelling with 39 points leading to a 0.9 handicap cut. Second, third and fourth places on 37, 36 and 35 points respectively were Danny Herron, Neville Richardson and LGS captain Don Larner. Danny also won the curiously named ‘pink ball’ prize for scoring the highest number of points with his original golf ball. A stewards’ enquiry was held as to whether he should be disqualified for nearly assassinating Neville with a very wayward fairway shot, but on a show of hands it was concluded that this was not necessarily a negative action!
The winner of the senior prize was Brian Barden on 32 points, only one shot behind his wife Penny who came fifth in the main competition. Nearest the pin on the third was Mike Harding and nearest the pin in two shots on the eighteenth at an outrageously close 0.43 metres was Tony Slipper. There were three twos recorded, by Fred Betteridge, Robert Bedloe and that man again Danny Herron.
In the time between Theresa May announcing her decision to step down as British Prime Minister and for the Conservative party to elect a successor, LGS have demonstrated that life moves on by playing eight weekly rounds of golf at four different courses in a variety of formats. In the next three weeks LGS members are looking forward to a team game at Alicante Golf and individual competitions at Oliva Nova and La Sella.
This week, LGS’s golfers took part in a fun team game at the excellent Levante course in Benidorm.
The format was a Stable ford ‘Waltz’ for teams of four players. Confused ? You will be after this explanation! Each player in the team plays their own ball throughout, then under Stable ford scoring the best score is counted on hole one, the two best scores on hole two and the three best scores on hole three, then back to best one score on hole four and the sequence continues around the course. So why is it a waltz? Obvious; it’s 1,2,3; 1,2,3 just like the steps in a waltz. To add to the complication there were four teams of four players and two teams of three - in these two the fourth player’s score was recorded as a mysterious ‘Mr Ghost’ - in reality this was the score from an anonymous (theoretically) player from one of the other teams!
Education over - now to the golf. On one of the hottest and sunniest days of the year so far, players were conserving energy wherever possible, so no ‘quick steps’ and plenty of sun screen to prevent the ‘tango’ effect. The winning team who fully got into the ‘swing’ of the competition on 95 points were Brian Barden, Alan Overton, Mike Harding and Terry Saville. Second place on 92 points were Penny Barden, Robert Bedloe, Kevin Waterland and the mysterious Mr Ghost whose normal handicap was noted as 27.1. Third prize went to Hans Benzler, Dave Geeson, Andy Ratcliff and Tony Slipper.
There were two guests on the day, the excellent golfing twins Scott and Sean Cook whose handicaps added together were lower than any other player on the day.
The nearest the pin competition was on holes three and fourteen. Neville Richardson was competing for the non-existent Mr Consistency award by recording distances of exactly 4.22 metres on both holes, though the second of these was beaten by a superb 0.93 metres by Brian Barden. One two was recorded by Penny Barden on the seventh.
Although this was a team day it was played under full competition rules and Neville Richardson and Terry Saville opted to submit ‘day cards’ for handicap adjustment purposes. As a result, Neville’s handicap was cut from 27.1 to 24.9 and Terry’s from 19.8 to 17.9. As an interesting sideline, five of LGS’s most frequent attendees at the Paul Tolley group lessons on Tuesday afternoons have now had meaningful handicap cuts. No coincidence!
Don Larner, in his Captain’s address, announced that the individual Stableford competition at Oliva Nova on 2 August will feature a fashion show where LGS members are invited to brighten up the day with more interesting than usual choices of shorts and shirts. Entrants will be invited to offer 5 Euros to enter with a prize for the winner and all proceeds going to the Captain’s charity.
LEVANTE GOLF SOCIETY - 05 JULY 2019 - La Sella
This day in history saw the first successful (Thomas) Cook
tour, taking a small group of temperance supporters from
Leicester to Loughborough. 5 July 2019 saw the
continuation of the successful (John) Cook tour of golf courses
on the Costa Blanca.
A smaller than usual group of Levante Golf Society members travelled to La Sella for an individual Stableford competition. The numbers were down to 17 due to a combination of illness, family visits and holidays, however those taking part had an excellent day. The course was in good condition with the hot weather resulting in fast and therefore sometimes challenging greens. The standard of play was good with over half of the players scoring 30 or more points.
John Cook won the competition with 39 points by a clear margin from Neville Richardson on 36 points, Brian Child on 32 points and Mike Treasure on 31 points. Neville was closest to the pin at 2.18 metres on the fourteenth and Steve Lamb, making his LGS debut, was closest on the sixth at 1.46 metres. Disappointingly, neither of them converted their excellent tee shots for birdies and no twos were recorded on the day. Alan Overton won the seniors’ prize on 30 points.
The next three weeks take LGS members to Levante (Benidorm), Oliva Nova and Alicante Golf, alternating between team games and handicap qualifying individual competitions.
LEVANTE GOLF SOCIETY - 28 JUNE 2019 - ALICANTE GOLF
As Southern Europe was being baked by blistering hot temperatures and governments were advising people to stay indoors, twenty four of Levante Golf Society’s intrepid, or foolhardy, golfers set off for their latest Friday competition. The venue was Alicante Golf with the fairways in excellent condition. All were using buggies and the most sensible decided to exert least energy by playing well, taking fewest shots and ending at the top of the leaderboard.
Most of the players took part in a pairs better ball competition and had fun with no risk of handicap changes. The winners on 47 points were David Kerr and Robert Bedloe (great things are expected of Robert after his upcoming knee operation)! They were followed closely by David Collie and Mike Harding on 46, Kevin Waterland and the fast improving Lesley Vass on 44, and Les Vine and Terry Saville on 43.
Nearest the pin at 1.62 metres on the twelfth was Siggi Palsson (our man from Iceland making light of the unaccustomed weather conditions). Only one two was recorded - by Alan Overton on the sixth.
The main event of the day billed as a cross between the Thriller in Manilla and the Rumble in the Jungle , but with a slightly less glamorous title was the Round Two Frank Carroll Trophy match between Danny Herron and John Cook. These two heavyweights (in golfing terms only) of LGS were expected to slug it out to a narrow result. In the event, John coped best with the heat and got off to a fantastic start, scorching into a big lead after five holes from which Danny couldn’t recover. John eventually won 6 and 4 and is set to meet Denis McVeigh in the semi final.
It is no coincidence that John is in excellent form and that he is the most frequent attendee at LGS’s weekly coaching sessions with Paul Tolley at Oliva Nova. These two hour group sessions are open only to LGS members at the very reasonable cost of 10 Euros per person.
Next week LGS are off to La Sella for an individual Stableford competition, with a team game at Levante (Benidorm) and Individual Stableford at Oliva Nova in the following weeks.
OLIVA NOVA 21 JUNE 2019
LGS returned to Oliva Nova, its adopted home of the last four weeks, for the latest individual Stableford competition. Local knowledge says that the summer heat in the Costa Blanca starts on the Saturday of Moraira’s Moors and Christians festival. As that was last Saturday, there was no surprise that the weather for this week’s golf was hot and humid (and will be until mid September). After looking at weather reports for June in Northern Europe, it didn’t take LGS members long to realise that they were playing golf in the right country.
Course conditions as always were excellent leading to good scoring, several handicap cuts and a very tight contest. At the top of the leader board four players tied on 37 points, so the winner was decided on count back, such a simple and quick process it’s a shame that the UK Conservative party don’t use it in their elongated attempt to appoint the next Prime Minister.
The winner was club captain Don Larner. His superb form on the day raised questions as to whether his 22 points playing the same course two days earlier was a cynical attempt to add 0.1 to his handicap! The next three places were taken by Peter Ketteringham, Kevin Waterland and Shaun O’Gorman. Fifth place on 36 points was Alan Overton. Shaun’s score off a handicap on the day of 6 was the result of excellent overall play, dominated by a masterclass of powerful accurate driving. His playing partners were often close to his drives off the tee - on their second shots!
The seniors’ prize went to John Cook on 36 points. John also scored a two as did Andrew Leach. Nearest the pin on the third was Andy Price, and nearest the pin in two on the eighteenth with an amazing 1.27 metres was Brian Barden.
Meanwhile there was one match in the highly prestigious Frank Carroll Plate ( featuring losers from the Cup competition). Andy Price took on Neville Richardson for bragging rights between the two committee members. Andy demonstrated the benefit of hours of early morning practice and a true athlete’s pre match nutrition routine by winning the first three holes. Neville pulled it back to one down after nine but Andy’s superior overall play resulted in a win for him by four and two. He now goes forward to face the mature challenge of Alan Overton in the next round.
The next three weeks are at Alicante, La Sella and Levante (Benidorm), with two team games and an individual Stableford.
This week, in a change from the weekly individual stableford
competition format, LGS held a team competition. Teams of four,
carefully selected by Donna’s computer to be as fair as possible,
played an accumulator match with best two stableford points to
score on par fives, three on par fours and all four on par
threes, all at full handicaps. A degree in applied
mathematics would be helpful to keep track of the scores,
alternatively (as the winning team did) concentrate on the golf
and wait for the presentation ceremony to see what the ‘computer
Conditions as always at Oliva Nova were excellent and a slight cloud cover gave welcome relief from the excesses of the sun.
The winning team with 114 points was captained by Danny Herron (mainly in a non playing, or at least non scoring capacity) supported by Mike Harding, Andy Ratcliffe and Neville Richardson. Second place on 111 points went to Donna Green, Dave Geeson, and Dave Collie with the mysterious Mr/Mrs/Ms Ghost making up the numbers. Third place on 107 points were Roger Jennings, Ed Brady, Brian Barden and Mike Treasure.
Danny was also nearest the pin on the third at 1.96 metres, narrowly beating his better half Donna, however she snatched the bragging rights for the journey home by successfully converting for a two. Les Vine was nearest the pin in two shots at the eighteenth at 1.97 metres.
The serious business of the day occurred in the two matches played in the Frank Carroll Trophy (matchplay format and Stableford scoring). Last week Alan Overton and Peter Johnson were tied after eighteen holes. Rather than follow the rules of a play off on the eighteenth from 100 metres, they decided to replay the whole match again ( either because they enjoyed each others company so much, or more likely through ignorance of the rules)! This time Alan won by two holes. In a very close match between two of the lowest handicaps, Denis McVeigh beat Kevin Waterland on the last hole.
Next week, LGS are back to Oliva Nova for an individual competition with several Frank Carroll Trophy games being played. In the following weeks we play a variety of courses - Alicante, La Sella and Benidorm Levante.
Ladies Day at Oliva.
Our captain Don Larner finally returned from his month in Italy where he clearly enjoyed his break! He was overheard to say « I wanted to come home after 3 days and don’t show me any more b....y churches ». We also had an American lady guest although she did have somewhat of a Yorkshire accent. We then realised that Anne Edwards was back but her new hair do had us confused but she looks wonderful.
A great day for the girls today with 5 of the 7 top spots going to our ladies!! Penny Barden was 2nd with 39 points, Celia Cronin and Donna Green were 2nd and 3rd. Respectively both with 38 points and Anne Edwards was 6th. with points and Jenny Downes was the Senior competition winner with 34 points. Well done girls !!
Saving a little bit of male pride were the overall competition winner David Collie with a very impressive 40 points and our second man from Sweden Sandro Rozsa in 5th place with 37 points.
Nearest the pin winners were Richard Vass on the 5th only 1.6m from the pin where he also made a 2 and Roger Jennings on the 16th. at 3.87m . He was however disappointed as he normally holes this in one! Celia Cronin also made a 2.
In the match play competition Alan Overton and Peter Johnson were all square after 18. However they enjoyed it so much that rather than go to a play off hole, they will replay their match.
On a gloriously sunny day a total of 28 players were raring to go in our Individual Sableford competition. With the couse in great condition but difficult greens as they had been recently hollatined(?) our players set off undeterred.
Overall winner and on excellent form was Donna Green with a very impressive 39 points and a 0.9 handicap adjustment. Donna also rounded off her day winning the nearest the pin competition on hole 3 at 8.50 from the pin. Sounds a lot , not at all , most of us were not even on the green!
In second place and confirming his consistently good form was Paul Sankey with 35 points.
John ( no I didn’t play well today) Cook came in with a solid 34 to finish in 3rd position.
In 4th place is one of the current men on form, Roger Jennings with 33 points and a closest to the pin on hole 16 at 1.80m. Don’t ask him if he made his 2 . ����
In 5th place and always amongst the leaders was Penny Barden with 33 points and Dave Geeson won the senior prize with the same score.
We had three players making birdie 2’s David Downes, Richard Vass, and Fred (I’m on fire today) Betteridge.
In their Frank Carroll trophy match competition it was nip and tuck all the way to the 16th before David Downes accelerated away to beat a gallant Brian Barden.
- La Sella Friday May 24th.
16 players were up for this pairs Texas scramble competition. We were all a bit concerned about the weather and although we did get a few drops of rain it did not dampen the spirits and we all managed to finish. It was a very close run thing with the 5 first pairs coming in with scores only separated by a total of 7 points.
Overall winners dovetailing like a well made joint on a piece of vintage furniture were Kevin Waterland and Roger Miller and an overall score of 67 points.
In second place were Mike , I’ll do the the front nine , Harding and Roger ,leave the back 9 to me, Jennings.
In third place and overall banter winners were David Collie and Andy Price.
Fourth place went to a pair of youngsters, Alan Overton and David Downes, and in fifth place were the very elegant Janet Stevenson and Les Vines.
A very enjoyable day for us all despite the unpredictable weather conditions.
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL DAY FOR THE BARDENS IN LEVANTE DIVISIONAL TROPHY
The second round of the Levante Golf Society Divisional Trophy was played at Oliva Nova on 17 May. Course conditions were again excellent, but weather conditions were extremely testing. The beautiful sunshine belied a near gale force wind, more reminiscent of St Andrews on a bad day than The Costa Blanca in May. Despite this, some excellent scores were posted.
This annual individual Stableford tournament is played over two rounds (the first was at La Sella last week), with the players divided into two divisions, Division 0ne for under 18 handicaps.
Over the two rounds combined, Penny and Brian Barden kept the prizes in the family. Their excellent play and consistency won Division One and Two respectively with scores of 69 and 67 points. Kevin Waterland and Dave Geeson were runners up in the two divisions.
On the day, Division one was won by Penny Barden on 35 points with Paul Sankey (32) and Peter Ketteringham (30) second and third, Peter also took the nearest the pin prize on the third. Division two was won by professional butcher Paul Westerman who carved up the course to score 38 points, earning a 1.2 point handicap cut. Paul was also nearest the pin on the sixteenth. Second and third in Division two were Andrew Leach (35) and Brian Barden (31). The seniors’ prize went to Fred Betteridge.
Incident of the day was achieved by Dave Geeson on the sixteenth. Concentrating more on his putting than his golf equipment he parked his trolley at the top of the slope adjacent to the green, without applying the brake. The strong winds did the rest and delivered his trolley to the barranco at the bottom of the slope. Having retrieved his clubs from the stagnant water at the bottom of the ditch, his playing partners were careful to stay upwind of him for the remaining holes.
Next week sees a return to La Sella with a change to a team format Stableford competition.
SUCCESS FOR BARDEN- BARDEN IN LGS DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The first round of the Levante Golf Society Divisional Championship was played at La Sella on Friday 10 May. (Division one players being those with a handicap lower than 18.) The course condition was good, albeit that the first nine holes of the old course are out of operation until the Autumn whilst a major reconstruction takes place.
Weather conditions were testing, with gusty winds and the hottest day of the year so far heralding the sudden arrival of summer. The competition format was individual Stableford.
The overall highest score of the day was 36 by Brian Barden, earning him first place in Division two. Division one winner was Richard Vass on 35 points with Penny Barden second place on 34 and Brian Norbury third on 32. Playing partners had a fascinating insight into the Life of Brian (Norbury) - struggling on the first nine he discussed his thoughts on retirement from the sport, however an excellent second nine seemed to have dismissed such thoughts from his mind. Second placed in Division two was Dave Geeson on 34, and third place went to Neville Richardson on 31.
Completing a good day for the Bardens, Penny was the only scorer of a two on the day, on the fifteenth. Nearest the pin prize on the fifteenth went to Peter Johnson.
Alan Overton, on return from his month of rest, recuperation, wine tasting and helping the family with DIY in Australia, won the nearest the pin on the sixth. He is also worthy of special mention for holing a chip out of a bunker on a later hole.
Andy Price, deputising for Captain Don presented the prizes and reminded the players that this competition is to be completed with Round two next week at Oliva Nova.
ICELAND TRIUMPHS IN VOL-AU-VENT CHALLENGE!
Don Larner continued his innovative approach to his year as LGS captain by introducing the ‘Vol-au-Vent Challenge’ for the best chef of this dying culinary treat of the 1970s. Faced with a panel of judges who made those on MasterChef look like amateurs, the surprise winner was LGS’s Icelandic member Siggi Palsson. Siggi attributed his success to having never heard of a Vol-au-Vent until the previous week.
On the relatively serious, though thoroughly enjoyable, matter of the golf, Don’s pre match talk included congratulations and thanks to all squad members who had contributed to LGS’s tremendous achievement of being close runners up in the Campbell Lamont winter league first division.
The competition on the day was individual Stableford. Course conditions were excellent, assisted by the heavy rains around Easter time. Weather was perfect, reminding golfers again that this is one of the many reasons that they spend time in the beautiful Costa Blanca.
The scoring was competitive although surprisingly the only person not to ‘protect’ his handicap was the winner, Mike Harding, with 37 points. Richard Vass was second on 34 points, the same score as third placed Penny Barden.
Closest to the pin were Mike Harding on the third and Richard Vass on the 16th. Richard dealt with the pressure and converted his excellent first shot into a 2. Mike took yet another prize for the day by recording a 2 on the sixth.
Don has announced that he is now taking a mid year sabbatical, handing over the reins to Andy Price for a few weeks. However he has promised another ‘innovative’ challenge later in the year. The members await in nervous anticipation!
Whilst politicians around Europe were preoccupied with 29 March 2019 as the day originally scheduled for Brexit, Levante Golf Society members were concentrating their efforts on Oliva Nova and Bonalba golf courses.
Oliva was the venue for the regular Friday competition.This week it was a 4 player team Stableford competition with 3 players to score on each hole. The number of players was reduced to 18 as other members were representing LGS (and other societies) in the Costa Blanca League. The condition of the course was excellent and the weather conditions beautiful so no excuses for poor performances except ability and form!
In first place with a very strong score of 121 points were Dave Lawson, Andy Leach, Paul Sankey and Paul Westerman. In second place, by just two points were Bob Fell, Neville Richardson, Alan Overton and Mike Treasure. Bob’s captaincy and personal score of 38 points not quite enough to send Alan off on his month long sabbatical to Australia with a win.
Nearest the hole on the fifth (second shot) was Andy Leach and on the sixteenth at 5.35 metres was Neville Richardson who summed up his day by three putting.
Meanwhile at Bonalba the Levante representative team achieved an excellent 5-3 win over Pego. Approaching the end of the season LGS are now in third place in Division one of the Costa Blanca League, only one point off second place. Society captain Don Larner demonstrated his belief in a squad system by dropping himself - and not being missed!
At his post match presentation ceremony at Oliva, Don reminded all Levante members to make a diary note of the Summer Party at El Cid’s in Benidoleig on 21 June. This is to be a joint event with Pego Golf Society. Members should contact Don to reserve tickets.
LADIES’ DAY AT OLIVA NOVA
Oliva Nova on 22 March was the venue for the second and concluding round of the Levante Golf Society Spring Trophy. Course conditions were excellent with the fairways benefitting from the first Costa Blanca rain in several months. The weather transitioned from a cool and blustery wintery start to a warm and sunny Spring day. (For readers in Northern Europe, cool and wintery was around 15 degrees!) The format was again individual Stableford with 40 players taking part over the two rounds.
The Spring Trophy was deservedly taken by Anne Edwards with a solid round to build on her excellent 42 points at La Sella the previous week. Mike Harding in second place was the token male at the top of the leaderboard with an aggregate score of 68 and Penny Barden came third on 67 points.
There was more success for the ladies in the prizes for best performances of the day. Penny Barden was first with 37 points, including the only 2 of the day on the third. Donna Green came second on 34 points also taking the nearest the pin prize on the third. Paul Sankey, John Snelling and David Lawson came third, fourth and fifth respectively. Mike Harding lifted the seniors’ prize with 32 points and Alan Draper was nearest the pin on the sixteenth.
LEVANTE GOLF SOCIETY - LA SELLA 15 MARCH 2019
The first round of the LGS Spring Trophy played at La Sella in appropriately beautiful Spring sunshine was dominated by Anne Edwards. The format was individual Stableford with Anne playing a near flawless round scoring 42 points. She takes a lead of 5 points into the second and concluding round at Oliva Nova on 22 March. Even with a handicap cut it will be a tough challenge for any of the 36 strong field to overtake her.
Dave Geeson played consistently well throughout his round for second place. Mike Harding, Robert Bedloe and David Downes came third fourth and fifth respectively. David also won the nearest the pin on the eighth with Colin Grant taking the prize on the fifteenth at a distance of 1.96 metres
The senior prize was taken by Alan Overton with 33 points.
There was an inauspicious start to the day for one of the members (unnamed to protect the innocent)! His tee shot bounced through the crowd waiting to start their round, finishing level with the ladies tee. His second shot bounced off a wall onto the path and was last seen rolling down the path towards one of the other courses. Shot three after a free drop resulted in a lost ball! There but for the grace of God!
On 8 March, a large field of Levante Golf Society players made the longer than usual trip to the spectacular course of La Galiana, one of the most dramatic golf course settings in the whole of Spain.
The weather was bright and sunny with occasional breezes to make the course, if possible, more interesting. Scoring was good even though the greens were heavily sanded making putting more difficult than usual.
The main competition was a pairs Texas scramble with Mike Harding and Terry Saville winning with an excellent net score of 65 points. Kevin Waterland and Dave Horridge were in second place with Brian Barden and Kenny Kennard third.
Nearest the pin on the third was Mike Harding at 2.98 metres and John Cook closest on the fourteenth.
This was also a day in which six of the members were playing their first round matches in The Frank Carroll Trophy. John Cook comfortably won against Moe Farouky. In a closer match, despite his prematch predictions, LGS captain Don Larner won in the contest against Penny Barden (surely on International Women’s Day Penny should have won!) The match of the day resulted in Roger Miller beating Neville Richardson by one hole having been all square after 17 holes, showing that there’s no substitute for experience.
Next week LGS are playing the first round of the Spring Trophy, with the concluding round a week later at Olive Nova.
A brilliant round by Kenny Kennard scoring 38 points, on a beautiful
March day at Oliva Nova, won the recent LGS competition. Kenny’s
performance was all the more amazing because he only just flew back
to Spain the night before.
Colin Grant who also produced a superb round of 38 points to finish second, especially when Colin was feeling unwell in the morning.
The ever consistent John Cook was third also with 38 points, the competition within LGS is definitely hotting up.
The senior prize was won by Denis McVeigh scoring a creditable 31 points.
Closest to the pins were won by Penny Barden on the 5th, with a truly brilliant second shot within 0.25 metre. Paul Westerman continues his good form when he captured the prize on the 16th hole.
Two matches for the Frank Carroll Trophy first round were completed producing victories for Brian Barden, who beat Andy Price 3&2, and David Downes victorious over Alan Overton 2&1.
Levante Golf Society are now off to battle the slopes of La Galliana.
LEVANTE GOLF SOCIETY - 15 February LA SELLA
On Friday 15 February La Sella welcomed a full field of LGS members with conditions reminiscent of an English Spring day, cool and blustery punctuated by occasional bursts of warm sunshine. The course was in good condition with fast and true greens.
The format was individual Stableford and the winner on 36 points was Kenny Kennard. In a close competition for second place Chris Partridge edged out Neville Richardson on count back, both on 34 points. Worthy of special mention, and in fourth place (also on 34 points) was Alan Overton. Alan, one of the more senior members of Levante Golf Society, imposed an additional handicap on himself by visiting Benidorm Palace until the early hours of Friday morning. (A premier league footballer may well have been fined and suspended for such activity!)
Winner of the senior prize on 30 points was Terry Saville and the ‘best guest’ prize was won by Siggi Palsson. Nearest the pin on the thirteenth was Dave Collie, and on the eighth Alyson Wood who putted out for her two.
On 22 February LGS are playing at the Levante course in Benidorm.
LEVANTE GOLF SOCIETY - OLIVA NOVA 1 February 2019
Following the return of the successful team of players from last week’s league match, LGS had a large group for the latest weekly competition. The Oliva course was again in very good condition, although the players experienced several seasons of weather during the round, starting in cool, grey damp conditions and ending in beautiful warm sunshine. A constant feature of the day was the strong blustery winds which produced a real challenge to achieving high scores.
The format was individual Stableford and dealing best with the conditions was Peter Ketteringham who came first with an excellent 39 points. Neville Richardson was second with 37 and Paul Westerman third with 36. The senior prize was won by Mike Harding with 35. Nearest the pin were captain Don Larner on the third and Penny Barden at a distance of 1 metre on sixteenth.
Continuing their approach of varying their locations and formats, next week LGS play at Alicante with a team Texas Scramble.
The second LGS game of 2019 at La Sella started on, for Spain, very
cold conditions with some greens having frost on them.
Eventually the sun came out and our society had an enjoyable but difficult golfing day. The surprising low winning score of 32 points by John Cook, was matched by Anne Edwards who was second by countback, Alan Overton was third with 31 points.
Peter Kettringham won yet another award winning the Senior prize with a creditable 30 points, and David Horridge with 29 points won the guest prize.
Nearest the Pin was won by David Lawson( 4.56 Metres) on the 196 yards 8th hole and Ed Brady’s winning shot 1.36 metres from the flag, won the ntp on the 15th hole.
3 Players recorded 2’s, Jane Bainbridge, Colin Grant and Ed Brady, all with a mixture of brilliant shots and superb putting.
Well done to John Cook who only arrived back in Spain the night before, a Stalwart of the LGS who thoroughly deserved his win.
GOLF SOCIETY - CAPTAIN”S DRIVE -IN 4 JANUARY 2019
Don Larner, the 2019 LGS captain arrived bright ,early and eager at Oliva Nova for his first golfing day in office. Unfortunately the overnight frost resulted in over an hour’s delay in tee times. This and the pressure of a challenging gallery conspired to him uncharacteristically pulling his Captain’s drive-in into one of the defending palm trees Penny Barden won the ‘guess the distance’ bottle of fizz with a prediction of 165 yards.
The early frost having cleared, the large number of players were treated to a beautiful, warm, sunny day. The course was in good condition for early January, reminding everyone why they have chosen to be in Spain at this time of year.
The playing format was two ball betterball stableford and scoring was high with the winning pair of Roger Jennings and Andy Ratcliffe scoring an excellent 46 points .(Roger personally scored 24 points on the first nine holes!) Second place were Kevin Waterland and Neville Richardson with 42 points and third place went to Colin Grant and Keith Price on 41 points.
Anne Edwards was nearest the pin on the 16th at 2.9 metres. She gallantly completed the 18 holes despite suffering from a heavy cold, taking the opportunity to lie down and take rest on several of the benches on the way round. Peter Ketteringham was nearest the pin on hole 3. There were three 2s, Colin Grant, Andy Ratcliffe and guest Graham Forest-Jones who having completed his three invitational rounds is now eligible to join the Society as a full member.
Overall this was an enjoyable, excellent start to the year for Levante Golf Society and for new captain Don Larner.
Captain Roger and Don ( Vice Captain) together with Anne Edwards presented a cheque for €800 euros to Sylvia Barnish and Andy Stammers of Bay Radio, being the total raised for 2018 by the Captain’s Charity. This money will be used to benefit The Preventario Orphanage in Gandia.
24 players turned up on a fresh but lovely sunny morning to our
Christmas event, but were most disappointed that there wasn't a
Turkey to be found anywhere !
This pairs combined scoring Stableford event, proved more than a challenge for the majority of golfers judging by the very modest scores returned. Everyone gets a gift of a bottle of wine with the winners enjoying a 3 pack of Estola.
The winners were David Lawson and Moe Farouky with a combined 63 pts.
I played in this group and to say that they had some luck on their side on the first nine would be no exaggeration. To be fair, the ball striking was pretty good but enjoyed good bounces out of trees and on one occasion Moe chipping in from 25yds with a low running chip which was destined for the rough through the green. I have never seen a ball of such pace hit the middle of the flag pole and drop in.
David like most of us, struggled with his putting with plenty of moans on the (new) back 9. Hence the pair were most surprised when the results were announced, to find they had won by 6 shots.
Our retiring Captain bagged a good partner with ex skipper Anne Edwards to take second with 57pts. and were 3 shots ahead of Jenny Downes and Andy Ratcliffe. A further 3 shots behind in 4th place with 51 pts. was incoming Captain Don Larner and Brian Barden.
Quite surprisingly six 2's were recorded being Andy Ratcliffe, Brian Barden, Mike Harding, Dave Lawson and Moe Farouky both on the red course 6th with Dave Collie getting to 0,57mtrs picking up the NTP on that hole as well. A guest Graham Forest won the NTP on the green course.
Photo - L to R. Don Larner, Graham Forest, Brian Barden, Moe Farouky, Dave Lawson. Front Row. - Roger Miller and Anne Edwards.
The AGM followed the prize giving where both Anne Edwards and Brian Norbury retired with thanks but welcomed Nominated Vice Captain Andy Price and new committee member Neville Richardson.
One important issue was discussed, being the new RGA rules for Jan. 2019.
It was stressed that it is the responsibility of all member to familiarise themselves with the rules which are posted on our web site and at the R&A: https://www.randa.org/en/news/2018/03/new-rules-of-golf-unveiled-by-the-ra-and-usga
Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.
Levante GS Autumn Trophy Final round. 23 Nov. 2018
Last week the scheduled second round at Oliva Nova was cancelled due to the effects of the rain closing the course. Hence the final round of our Autumn Trophy saw 26 players travel to Alicante, which was the next venue on our calendar.
Some good scores on the day saw Brian Barden with 38pts take the winners prize. Donna Green on a steady run of form was second with 35pts. 3 players scored 34pts. Vice Captain Don Larner beating Terry Saville and skipper Roger Miller on count back.
For a 36 hole competition the overall scoring was quite modest but Penny Barden just pipped Kenny Kennard on count back with both having a total of 62pts. Closely followed by husband Brian Barden with 61pts. Roger Miller was overall 4th again on count back, from Mike Harding with 60pts.
The Seniors prize this week went to John Cook with a solid 33pts.
No 2's were recorded but NTP on the 3rd hole was Colin Grant who went jolly close with 2.10mtrs. On the 12th hole Donna Green got within 6mtrs to collect the prize.
Photo 1 - Captain Roger Miller presenting the Autumn Trophy to Penny Barden.
Photo 2 - L to R - John Cook, Donna Green, Brian Barden, Penny Barden, Don Larner, Terry Saville and Roger Miller.
Finally, the day raised another 140euro towards the Captain's Charity which is the Preventorio Orphanage in Gandia, making a grand total of €800 for the year. Well done indeed to all those who made this possible.
It is now established that our major 36 hole competitions start at
La Sella and complete a week later (weather permitting) at Oliva
Nova. Hence last Friday saw 30 members brave the elements on
what can be described as very windy day. Some strong gusts actually
blew a number of flags from the holes and many shots went seriously
wayward, resulting in some high scores by most of the field.
However - Andy Ratcliffe (19) coped with the conditions better than all the rest to come in with 34pts. Bob Fell (17) beat Richard Neville (31) on count back. David Lawson (17) had 31pts. and the consistent Penny Barden (17) finished with 29pts.
Mike Harding (21) won the seniors prize with 28pts.
NTP on the Red course 6th hole was John Cook 2.21mts and on the Green course also on the 6th hole, was veteran Alan Overton 1.81mts. Sadly for them, they both failed to convert for a 2.
However, three players recorded 2's being, Bob Fell on the 10th., Don Larner on the 15th. and finally Brian Lee on the 18th.
Obviously being a 36 hole competition, no handicap adjustments can be applied yet and it will need a good round at Oliva on Friday to trigger a reduction for any of the leaders.
Photo - L to R. David Lawson - Andy Ratcliff - Bob Fell - Neville Richardson - Alan Overton - Mike Harding - Penny Barden and Brian Lee.
The original date for this event was Oct.19th at El Bosque as in
previous years. However the very welcome rains arrived, hence the
switch to Oliva Nova last Friday. Again the day started with
unexpected rain keeping the temperatures quite low for some of us
"old folks". However, after a couple of hours the situation improved
to far more enjoyable levels.
The course has recovered well from the recent series of maintenance works which no doubt will have benefits for all of us. Saying that, the scores were somewhat modest, with only Donna Green playing to her handicap of 19 with slope. She came in with 36pts which was more than enough to scoop the Presidents Challenge Trophy.
In second place was Denis McVeigh (19) with 33pts just beating Mike Harding (23) on count back.
Paul Sankey (18) pipped Paul Westerman (29) again on count back both having 32pts.
The Seniors prize went to Jenny Downes with 31pts.
Nearest the pin on Hole 3 was Paul Westerman 0.76mtr and veteran Fred Betteridge who got within 8.92mtr on the 16th and was most surprised to find it was close enough.
Paul converted his shot in to a 2 and Kevin Waterland also enjoyed a 2.
Today saw the Syd Smith Plate final between Don Larner (18) and Brian Norbury (19). This turned out to be a most unusual "topsy-turvy" match with the younger and much fitter Don Larner succeeding with a 60 yard chip to with 2 feet on the 18th. The half was enough to win by one hole which meant he bought the beer !
A tale from Fred Betteridge who bravely completed his card.
After a round of golf where I must have hit every tree on the course we got to the 18th. I managed to miss all the trees but ended up with the ball rolling into the water not far from the green.
I retrieved it and made a drop about 2 yards from the buggy. Using a 9 iron to approach the hole I hit the ball hard, but instead of it going high in the air it shot sideways and took the wheel cover off the buggy. Terry Saville and myself were crying with laughter, the prefect end to a disastrous round. But enjoyable due to players I was with.
Pics show Captain Roger Miller presenting the Presidents' Putter to Donna Green and the Syd Smith Plate trophy to Don Larner.
It was quite fresh but calm morning with a heavy dew when 40 players arrived for an early start at Oliva Nova. Captain Roger Miller was seen rushing around with a hammer and placards and then back in to the club house to sort out what is now the customary "Goody Bags", filled with nice snacky nibbles and golf items.
The day was a great success, despite the course not being up to its usual high standard because of scarifying, re- seeding and general maintenance, which no doubt we will enjoy the benefit of in the near future.
However this did not seem to be a problem for some teams, who came in with better than usual scores for a pairs event with Levante. A Division 1 player is paired with one from Division 2 in order to try and balance the teams and all eager to win the new and handsome Captains Cup.
We were blessed with plenty of sponsorship and our thanks go out to them for their generosity. There were green fees from Oliva Nova and La Sella Golf, plus a personally named LGS shirt from Kameeleon, a golf lesson with Paul Tolley and finally a number of gift vouchers from Campbell Lamont golf.
In first place with and excellent 46pts was John Cook and Alan Simpson closely followed by Michael Harding and Les Vinewith 45pts. Both were presented with Green fees by "Rafa" who is the Director Deportivo at Oliva Golf.
In third place was David Downes and Eric Edwards with 44pts and Peter Ketteringham with partner Keith Price picking up 4th prize with 43pts.
There were 4 other place prizes presented.
The NTP's were Denis McVeigh on the 11th - 3.92mtr and he followed that feat again on the 16th - 3.63mtr. There were 2 prizes for nearest the pin in two, with Brian Norbury getting to within 4.35mtr on the 5th hole and Terry Saville managing to get within 3.92mtr on the 18th.
Anne Edwards organised a raffle and relieved the players of 255 euros for the Captains Charity, which is Preventario Orphanage in Gandia.
Bob Fell who is one of our long time members was celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary and was presented with a suitable bottle of refreshment. We are not quite sure how he managed to get permission to play, but no doubt he had a surprise planned.
A most enjoyable day for all.
Photo - L to R - Rafa, Roger Miller, Alan Simpson and John Cook.
Photo 2 - On The Tee - Roger Miller, Anne Edwards and partner Alan Overton.
Ryder Cup fever started in Benidorm on Friday.
Levante Golf Society met last Friday morning for a Stableford competition, with European chances of winning the Ryder cup being at the forefront of the morning conversation.
We had a late Tee start so a celebratory mood soon evolved after learning about the amazing come back in the afternoon foursomes.
It was a perfect day for golf, but very disappointing to be told on arrival ( and without any notice) that yet again buggies had to be restricted to the cart tracks. Of course we realise that there are occasions when this is necessary to preserve the course.
Despite the greens being rather slow, some good scores were handed in, triggering the ensuing handicap reductions.
The winner was Hans Benzler (13) with 39pts beating on count back a rejuvenated Robert Bledloe (40) also with 39pts.
In 3rd place was Paul Sankey (17) with 37pts and in 4th Bob Fell (21) with 36pts also on count back from Roger Jennings.
NTP's were won by Tony Slipper on the 3rd (1.38 mtr.) and Alan Overton on the 14th (1.8mtr.) beating a disgruntled Vice Captain Don Larner by 5cm.!
Both John Cook and Alan Overton registered a 2 on the 14th.
Alan also scooped the seniors prize.
Phote - L to R
Tony Slipper, Bob Fell (looking rather desperate for the loo) Alan Overton, Hans Benzler, Robert Bledloe and Paul Sankey.
Levante Golf Society Team Accumulator Sept 21st
This event was played at Oliva Nova on a very warm but lovely day.
3 greens were out of use due to being damaged but it did nothing to
deter the enjoyment.
2 teams were runaway winners being -
In first place - Donna Green, Paul Westerman and Terry Saville plus a ghost score giving them 119pts.
Close behind were Danny Herron, Fiona Sankey, Lesley Vass plus the ghost score making 117pts.
NTP in two shots on the 5th hole was Danny Herron and on the par 3 16th. Mike Harding scooped the prize.
Fiona Sankey was the only player to record a 2.
There was one match play event for the Syd Smith Trophy where Brian Norbury beat Robert Bledloe 6 and 5 to reach the final where he plays Vice-Captain Don Larner.
This was a sad day for Graham Hutson who is going back to UK to live. He has been a member for about 18 years and a pleasure to play with being very successful in team events off 22. We bid him farewell and send all our good wishes for the future.
Photo L to R.
Mike Harding, Lesley Vass, Danny Herron, Fiona Sankey, Terry Saville, Donna Green, Graham Hutson, Brian Norbury and Paul Westerman.
John wins SST Final
Two Committee members, John Cook & Roger Jennings, competed at Oliva Nova in the Syd Smith Trophy Match-play final and, in a closely fought game, John emerged the worthy winner by 3 & 1.
In the Stableford competition Kevin Waterland was in “dream-land” on the front nine holes with 8 pars and 26 points but..…. the reality of golf came home on the back nine with 13 points!!! However, Kevin’s score of 39 was good enough to take 1st prize, followed by Andy Price and Danny Herron both on 34 points. Terry Saville produced a steady 32 points to take the Senior’s prize.
NTP on the 3rd hole was Roger Jennings (2.1 mts) and Neville Richardson took the 16th hole (1.9mts) but both failed to score 2’s, as Danny was the only one to manage it.
On the 1st hole, in glorious Summer weather, John Cook & Terry Saville both played good second shots onto the putting surface and when they reached the green they were both hopeful of birdies but……..they each played the wrong ball so ‘nil points’ on unlucky Friday 13th.
Penny Barden was the winner with an excellent 39 points, followed by Alan Overton on 38 points and then Keith Price with 37 points. On a normal day Neville Richardson with 36 points would have hoped to have won, but not on Friday 13th.
1st Penny Barden = 39 points
2nd Alan Overton = 38 points
3rd Keith Price = 37 points
4th Neville Richardson = 36 points
Senior’s Prize – Roger Miller = 35 points
NTP – 3rd Hole - Hans Benzler 4.77 mts
14th Hole - Terry Saville 1.41 mts
1 JOHN COOK (S) 39 pts (18) Overall Winner
2 KEVIN WATERLAND 38 pts (16) Overall Runner-Up
3 PAUL WESTERMAN 37 pts (30) Overall 3rd
4 PETER KETTERINGHAM (S) 36 pts (18) Overall 4th
5 ROBERT BEDLOE (S) 35 pts (41) Overall 5th
There was 1 Two recorded:
DENIS McVEIGH 6
Kevin’s powerful first drive hit a post, ricocheted behind him and
went out of bounds!! Not daunted by the experience, he then
went on to score 37 points, emerged the overall winner, with another
handicap cut and demonstrated that a bad first drive is not
necessarily a problem!!
He was however closely followed by Danny Herron and Terry Saville with 36pts each and their tied scores were separated by the recently introduced count back system, as currently recommended by the R&A.
There were only 20 members plus 2 guests, so prizes went down to 5th place.
1st - Kevin Waterland (37 pts)
2nd - Danny Herron (36 pts)
3rd - Terry Saville (36 pts)
4th - Donna Green (32pts)
5th - Les Vine (32 pts)
NTP – 5th Danny Herron in 2 = 5.9 mts
16th Fred Betteridge = 4.8 mts
The only 2 recorded was Donna Green on the 16th.
SST Plate – Don Larner beat Fred Betteridge
Robert Bedloe beat Moe Farouky
Phot L to R - Fred (got lost I think!) Kevin, Danny, Janet (sneaked in) Terry and Les.
Very close scoring at Bonalba
On the 22nd June in a regular Stableford competition there were 3 golfers with 36 points, then Don Larner with 34 points and then another 3 golfers with 32 points. These tied results caused some confusion at the prize giving because the HM computer system and some other local societies use the ‘count back’ system as recommended by the R&A, whereas LGS has historically used the lowest handicap criteria to resolve ties. Eventually, all was sorted out with Mike Harding being declared the winner.
Kevin Waterland was NTP on the 3rd hole (1.98 mts) and John Cook was nearest on the 14th hole (6.99 mts) with Don Larner claiming the only 2 of the day on the 8th hole.
1st Mike Harding 36 points
2nd Dave Geeson = 36 points
3rd Les Vine = 36 points
4th Don Larner =34 points
5th John Cook = 32 points
Senior’s Prize – Terry Saville =32 points
SST Trophy - Roger Jennings beat Alan Overton
Kevin Waterland beat Keith Price
John Cook beat Anne Edwards (Thursday)
Summer arrives, at last!!
In glorious summer weather we played at Alicante, which was almost back to its normal condition after hollow tinning. Donna had fairly balanced the team handicaps for a Pairs Texas Scramble, with the result that there was only one shot covering 2nd, 3rd & 4th.
However, the winners, being Vice-Captain Don & Stuart Boud, were a clear 4 shot ahead of the field with a net 62 and they also had the lowest gross score of 77 shots!!
Hans Benzler was nearest the pin on the 3rd hole with a shot just under 10 metres away and Neville Richardson was just over 10 metres away on the tricky 12th ‘Island Green’.
1st Don Larner & Stewart Boud = 62 shots
2nd Mike Harding & Andy Price = 66 shots
3rd Kevin Waterland & Alan Draper (Guest) = 67 shots
4th Sandor Rozsa & Neville Richardson = 67 shots
Result - Campbell Lamont Golf Leagues' Grand Final.
Captain Roger Miller and Alan Overton represented LGS over the weekend of 9th & 10th June 2018 in the above prestigious competition. The format was pair's better-ball match-play over 36 holes on Saturday and a further 36 holes on Sunday, on the 'Old' course at La Sella.
There were 16 teams from Iceland, Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Canary Isles, various regions of Spain and Levante GS!!
Their first match saw them 3 down with 4 holes to play but Roger's final putt on the final hole gave them a hard earned victory. In the afternoon they beat their opponents on the 15th hole with a 45 foot putt from Roger, again. Now they were in the semi-finals, much to their surprise considering the quality of many of the golfers.
On Sunday morning they lost to PGA Andalucia, who went on to win the tournament. In the afternoon, two very weary LGS golfers lost 3 & 2 with the result that they ended up being 4th overall for the tournament, a result that they were both chuffed with!!
Not only were they the oldest two golfers but Alan's distance, usually, off the tee and his long fairway shots brought him much praise.
At the end, someone innocently said to our skipper "that Levante's Captain should be very proud of their performance" and he is!!!
So, three cheers for the over 70's.
In perfect conditions the players teed off in reverse order with the first round leaders starting first. There was plenty of banter on the first tee as expected.
Brian didn't help his chances by pulling his first Tee shot into the trees on the left and a savage bounce saw the ball tuck itself under the wire by the wall leaving an unplayable Lie. This no doubt brought some glee to the hunting pack waiting on the Tee.
However not to be deterred, he fumbled on with his short game fortunately, being the saving grace on the day.
Not everyone played in the first round so the winner on the day in Div.1 was Peter Ketteringham (15.5) with 35pts. followed by Donna Green (15.3) with 34pts and in third place David Downs (15.3) with 33pts.
In Div.2 Roger Jennings again played very well for 38pts off 18.4 which now sees him rise to Div.1 again.
Peter Hunt (19.4) saw a return to form with 37pts and Les Vine (21.5) took 3rd with 34pts.
NTP's Andy Lynch on the 5th and veteran Fred Betteridge managed to get within 2.86mtr on the 16th.
2's were recorded by Fred Betteridge, Donna Green and Dave Geeson.
The Senior prize going to Brian Norbury with 33pts.
36 hole Divisional Championship scores from Div.1.
The surprised winner in the end was Brian Norbury (15.5) with a total of 67pts
Peter Ketteringham came second with 64pts and in 3rd place David Downes with 61Pts.
In Div 2. the run away winner was Roger Jennings with 67pts a steady Keith Price with 65 just pipping Andy Price with 64pts.
Photo L to R - Dave Geeson, Andy Leach, Brian Norbury, Peter Ketteringham, Roger Jennings, Donna Green, Andy Price, David Downes, Keith Price, Les Vine and Peter Hunt.
Last Friday saw the first round of our Divisional Championships on a perfect day for golf at La Sella. The course suffered a bit from the recent rains which left quite a few soggy patches on the fairways. The greens however were playing well enough.
The practice ground is being changed so with there being no opportunity to warm up, a few of us got off to a slow start.
In Div.1 a solid back 9 saw Brian Norbury (19) finish with 34pts just in front of in form Don Larner (17) with 33pts and Hans Benzler (13) in 3rd with 30pts.
Div.2 was won this week by the ever smiling Keith Price (28) who said he had won enough balls recently so opted for Campbell Lamont Tokens instead. Alan Overton (28) was close behind with 32pts and Roger Jennings (22) one shot behind with 31pts.
The NTP was won by Don Larner (again) who also managed a 2 from over 4 mtrs.
The seniors prize went to a somewhat surprised Peter Ketteringham with 29pts.
The second round will be completed next week at Oliva Nova.
Photo - L to R Alan Overton, Hans Benzler, Roger Jennings, Keith Price, Brian Norbury and Don Larner.
New clubs worked wonders for our Vice-Captain Don Larner who managed
an excellent score of 42pts at a sunny Oliva Nova even though the
greens had been hollow tyned and his putting - quote "was a bit
ropey". For this unusually high scoring for a Levante member
Handicap Master has cut him from 16 to 14.2. Well done Don.
In second place with 34pts was Paul Lankey (15) and in third was Hans Benzler (11) with 33pts.
Division 2 saw new member "the steak man" Paul Westerman (25.2) come in with very credible 37pts, runner up was Les Vine (21.4) with 34pts and in third place was the lovely Jenny Downes (34) with 28pts.
NTP's this week were won by Don Larner in 2 on the 5th hole and Donna Green on the 16th.
The senior prize went to Keith Price again, with a modest 30pts, but it was enough. I am waiting for him to go on holiday so that I can nip round and relieve him of his stock pile of golf balls.
There was a Syd Smith KO match also where Roger Jennings had a 2up victory over David Downes in what was apparently a tight game, going to the last hole.
Photo - L to R. Paul Westerman, Don Larner, Jenny Downes, Keith Price, Hans Benzler, Les Vine, Roger Jennings and the young lady in the front was Michelle Annick, our guest who had a 2.
New members steal the show at Oliva.
Our Members have certainly been enjoying playing at Oliva Nova recently and taking advantage of excellent course conditions, on a perfect day to get away from the chores in the garden at this time of year.
Bob Jenkins, an Australian who recently joined us took the 1st prize with 37pts off 21 now 20 and more to go with his smooth swing. Sadly no Fosters served at the bar !
Paul Sankey another new member came 2nd with 34pts off 18 and Tony Slipper sneaked into 3rd with 31pts off 19.
In Div 2 it was most competitive with Peter Johnson (22) just pipping Andy Price (27) but both with 33pts. Brian Childs (30) took 3rd place with 32pts.
Nearest the pin in 2 on the 5th this week was Hans Benzler again! (2.27mtr) He must have special golf balls with in built GPS.
Andy Price got with 2.89mtr on the 16th but failed to convert for a 2.
The player with the largest grin was Keith Price, who without doubt seems to relish collecting prizes more than anyone I know. Not only did he score a 2 but picked up the Seniors prize as well with 31pts.
Paul Westerman had 33pts off 30 and from next week will be a full member and therefore cannot enjoy collecting our guest prize any longer.
A warm welcome to him and other recent new players.
Photo left to right.
Keith Price, Andy Price, Paul Sankey and BobJenkins
I am not sure who has taken over the course management at Oliva Nova, but in 17 years playing there I have never seen it in better condition. So a big thumbs up to them from all of us.
In virtually perfect conditions the scores were higher than average especially for Hans Benzler playing off 11.8 who came in with 40pts which is an unusually high score for LGS. This great round means he now drops to 10.8.
The runner up was Kevin Waterland with 34pts off 13.5 and 5 players came in with 33pts. In this situation the prizes are distributed to the player with the lower handicap first so -
Captain of the day Anne Edwards took 3rd place off 8.6 and Danny Heron off 14.4 won the fourth prize.
The seniors prize went to Brian Norbury also with 33pts off 15.5.
No 2's were scored, but nearest the pin in 2 on the par 4 5th hole went to old stager Jim Thomas with 6.50mtrs. A tight pin on the 16th meant getting close was difficult and even John Cook could only manage 6.08mtrs this time.
One picture shows probably the best side of 4th place Danny Heron on the 16th and little boy blue runner up Kevin Waterland, also on the 16th.
El Bosque welcomed us with perfect conditions. The cold weather
quickly turned and became sunny with a gentle warm breeze.
As usual El Bosque was difficult to master. The greens seemed to be far too small and quick…
Many trees had been cut down and a lot of the high grass was also gone. The greens where in a very good condition. Quick, consistent and fair.
So I belive El Bosque has improved with the new green keeper.
1st Kevin Waterland 38p (17)
2nd Hans Benzler 36p (14)
3rd Terry Savilk 21p (25)
Michael Harding 32p (22)
Kevin Waterland 8th 1.48m
David Downes 13th 5.5m
Anne Edwards 8th
Hans Benzler 8th
Match play results
David Downes – Fred Betteridge
Davis won 5/4
Levante Gold Society March 18th
Future stars shine at Alicante
A bright and gusty morning saw Alicante Golf welcome 24 players for an Accumulator competition with the course being in very good condition.
Ian Mackenzie brought along 2 guests. One being his grandson, Miles Yeatman and his friend Kris Einarsson for this competition and what a day it turned out to be for their team.
Kris Einarsson (2.6) is on a programme at La Sella, actually shot a gross 68 giving him 44pts. Miles Yeatman also played well for 37pts. Miles (15) is at Michael Campbell Golf Academy in Marbella and is on the Junior PGA Tour Race to Spain.
Along with playing partners Ian Mackenzie and Terry Saville they ended up with the amazing score or 132pts to beat everyone by some considerable distance.
Malcolm Nash (9) also had a great score of 74 gross with the highlight being an Eagle on the 9th hole.
Winners - Ian Mackenzie, Terry Saville, Miles Yeatman and Kris Einarsson with 132 Pts
Second place went to - Mike Harding, Peter Hunt, Brian Barden and Malcolm Nash with 112pts
Third place was - David Downes, Brian Norbury, Keith Price and Brian Child with 110pts.
NTP on the 3rd went to Keith Price (3.40mtr) and Kris Einarsson (5.02mtr) pipping Alan mason by 5cm on the 12th.
Two's were scored by Mike Harding, Brian Norbury and Kris Einarsson.
Photo - left to right
Kris Einarsson, Miles Yeatman, Brian Norbury, Terry Saville, David Downes, Keith Price,
Brian Child, Mike Harding, Brian Barden, Ian Mackenzie.
23 players turned up for the 1st round of our Spring Trophy at La
Sella, with most expecting more rain as the cloud cover looked
threatening. However the day brightened somewhat and after a light
sprinkling all was well. The last group were not so lucky and were
caught by some heavier rain on the last hole.
Div.1 Winners were -
Kevin Waterland (17) had 36pts
Brian Norbury (19) also had 36 pts
Michael Harding (22) finished with 34 pts.
In Div.2 -
Alan Overton (30) had 34pts and is on a steady run of form at the moment.
Dave Geeson (25) came in with 32pts and
Brian Lee (34) had 31pts.
Dave Lawson won the NTP on Hole 6 of the new course and also managed to hole out for a 2.
No one managed to drive on to the 8th on the old course however Alan Overton chipped in for a 2. All his practice paying off as he managed the same feat last month.
Peter Ketteringham (18) took the over 70's prize with 28pts
Next week we go to Oliva Nova for the second round, which is looking like a most competitive day for us to look forward to.
Photo - L to R - Dave Lawson, Mike Harding, Brian Norbury,
Alan Overton and Kevin Waterland.