Early departure from Hua Hin saw the bus and it’s eager passengers set out for Mission Hills for the 1st day’s fun of individual stableford in 3 flights and a blind drawn pairs as well as Par 3’s and the now established 2’s competition.
Mission Hills is a Jack Nicholas designed 18 hole layout featuring his now well known island green par 4 signature holes and risk and reward par 5’s and whilst the club house was somewhat “tired” the course itself was in generally very good condition. Well prepared bunkers and fast consistent greens with none of the almost expected up hill and down dale extreme contours so many courses have these days with the only minor negative being that it has to be said the fairways could have been cut more recently than was obviously the case.
On the way up there was talk of “40 degree temperatures” which would not be unusual at this time of year but Mother Nature took a surprising turn for the worst part way through the round with heavy rains, driving winds and rumbles of thunder in the background (I personally didn’t see any lightening). During the break my caddy answered the question “has there been rain here everyday before today” with the answer “No – only today – you very lucky farang” – maybe I should have bought a lottery ticket with that kind of Luck!!
During the storm everyone took shelter and some members did decide caution was the better part of valor and drove in but the majority continued after the weather moved on and the course drained really well with no real obstacles to playing shots. The Individual winner on day one was ELLA Van WESTENDORP with the only score to match handicap par with 36 points.
After the game – and the obligatory beers of course – the bus drove us all up to the Good Times Resort Hotel which is right on the banks of the River where the staff looked after us very well. For those of you who don’t know this hotel it’s quite small but a charming place with a very nice riverside restaurant and bar area, both of which were well utilized by our hungry and thirsty group until late into the evening (there are various photo’s and videos doing the rounds on personal Facebook pages but I’ll leave the details as anonymous as possible here!!)
An earlyish start with surprisingly few if any signs of some of the previous night’s excesses on display saw us drive up to GRAND PRIX which is unquestionably the show piece course of the Kanchanaburi area. With a 2 tee start (finally after some confusion on the part of the check in staff and Starter) this beautiful layout proved as challenging as expected with VERY fast undulating greens and challenging hole lay outs.
This time the weather stayed true to form with clear blue skies and hot temperatures (obviously the caddy from Mission Hills would have said we were “unlucky Farang” – T.I.T.) and with a 2 Tee Start everybody got round in a little over 4 hours – BUT carts ARE a necessity on this up and down course. Again one member put together the only round under handicap par with a magnificent 24 points on his front 9 to finish 3 shots clear on the day with a final total of 38 Stableford points – WELL DONE CORNELIS RIGNALDA.
The final night saw a 3 hour river cruise buffet which also acted as the staging of the awards for both days – LOTS AND LOTS OF PRIZES. With the accompanying Disco the cruise tempted many of us – even some of the less than sprightly – to get up and boogy boogy woogy (Ella and Rik being relative jiving stars) and it’s safe to say it was a night well enjoyed by all and long to be remembered, here are some photos of the evening:
ANOTHER TRIP WILL BE PLANNED SOON SO KEEP WATCHING AND BE SURE TO BE THERE
(FOR FULL RESULTS OF BOTH DAYS AND OVERALL COMBINED COMPETITION PLEASE GO TO MASTER SCOREBOARD ON HHGS WEBSITE)