CITCO report round 2 – Kikuoka – 2 May 2018

Sunset at the fourth hole


Fellow FROGS,

The month of May is upon us, the sun is shining, and 2nd May saw the FROGS landing at Kikuoka for the first time in the 2018 season.

There was a distinct buzz in the air as your humble scribe wandered onto the practice ground this Wednesday, and he was met with some very strange sights indeed… not only was there Mark “Medicine Man” Gillies dancing wildly round the scattered contents of his entire golf bag, obviously deep in some ancient golfing ritual, but there was Tony Nightingale … PRACTICING … (I assure you, this is genuine!)  What could all this mean?  Would Mark be guided by the Golfing Gods to the winner’s circle (spoiler alert – Nah) would Tony be practicing his way to the top?  Watch this space.

Up on the first tee, it way mayhem! The place was rammed, the beer was flowing, everyone was happy (or should that be “Hoppy”?)  All that was missing was some US of A-style walk on music…..What should we have chosen ……”What a difference a day Starter makes”?  “Grandad Hoppy we love you”?  Whatever, this “Starter” thing all seemed a great success, and I for one think that we should make this a regular feature.  Why the Committee didn’t think of it earlier, I don’t know…

Anyhooo, everyone was too busy to do any actual golfing, so yours-truly was rushed with indecent haste onto the tee, only to disappoint everyone by failing to hit his usual “where the **** did that go”, and instead launch one a goodly way down the middle… (cruelly robbed of LD by petty rules…)

And so they were off. And very soon they had all thrashed and cursed their way round, and made it to the 19th (do we officially have to call this “the 10th in the FROGS”? Ruling please…..) where the usual entertainment was laid on by the Kikuoka cabaret team (or “staff”), who did their usual routine of wilfully misunderstanding drinks orders, and ostentatiously showing that yes, there are 70 religious / cooking channels, and some very interesting lawn mower programmes on, but no we won’t let you watch the football (which is playing on the TV in the other corner)…..

Anyway, who wants to see part 2 of a 13-goal thriller, when you can be enjoying the FROGs Grand Official Prize giving ??!! There was a hushed anticipation in the room, with the atmosphere being only soured by a certain Fat Frog, who insisted in conducting the entire (let’s face it, semi-religious) ceremony, wearing a “they-who-shall-not-be-named” jumper!!!  Through shame, the offender shall remain nameless here… just remember that he is a dead ringer for Nicola Sturgeon, from a shallow angle…

Back to the results, and at this point I must thank Jess, (my saviour), who obviously heard me mutter “why the ****** would I want that” when the Fat Frog handed me the list of prize winners, as he took a photo of it (after I had left it behind) and sent it to me, which is why I know the following…..

Bijnens Leary               Catweasel (this is sticking, even if he does get a house and a shave sometime)
NP                          Nick
LD                          yours truly, but with the prize going to….
5th                         Dave, with 15 points
followed by
4th                         Nick (again…did he get 2 prizes?) 16 points, off Bugger-all handicap
3rd                         Rupert (who obviously needs the balls, as he was risking his life on the range to nick a couple)
2nd                         Stuart “sneaky-long” Rowlands, an excellent 17 points off just 2 handicap
1st                         Yours truly [18 points]

Being the FROGS, the contest for the pink ball was tight, and at the wrong end of the single digits (as is depressingly common in the FROGS).  The list tells me that Gerry and Will were contending, on 5 points (which means that my scoring of Will’s card was way off … Sozz), but in the end, no-one could compete with Tony “Practice” von Knittingale, on a range-improved 4 points.  Gents, there are as many theories on pre-round practice, as there are FROGS, but this should surely be a warning…

Finally, I’m glad to report, that with this victory, I have achieved a lifelong ambition, having actually earned more from golf, than from regular employment this year (although I would have preferred it to be from turning pro and winning a Major, instead of being sans employ / en chômage, and winning EUR 150 in golf vouchers … but c’est la vie!!)

In the match play (and I’m winging it slightly here) I believe the following occurred:

Catweasel beat Ayzo

Jess beat Marco

If I’ve missed any, feel free to tell your missus / any close relative… they might care.

All in all, a successful FROGGIE evening. The thanks were both numerous, and given out on the evening, so no need to repeat here, other than to say well done again to Hoppy, who we hope to see on the course again soon (if only to give Tony “Two-Pink” some competition).

Next event is, I believe, 16th May, at Preisch.

TTFN, and may the Frog be with you,

Steve

Report CITCO round 10 – Grand Ducal – 24 August 2017

Well then, that was that. Another FROG season has come and gone. It hardly seems possible. Just as some of us were remembering which held of the waggley stick to hold, it is all over…

Firstly, the bad news. Despite all entreaties, Donald J. Nightingale has refused to go for the hattrick and Tweet last night’s results, and so unfortunately (and unexpectedly) you are stuck with me… so expect more banality than inflammatory… here goes…

The evening was seen of to a splendid start, with Top Gent and Top Golfer Gregor, offering what can be only described as “a Full-Arnaud” on the first tee. Very impressive and so official-looking, that some of us thought we’d wandered into the wrong country club by mistake! But no, it was all for us… Nice nibbles, nice crisps, nice hat and (oh dear) warm beer….so nearly perfect Gregor, so nearly…

Under Gregor’s stern gaze, the golf got underway, with the FROGs showing that they were in no way intimidated by the prospect of a tight tree-lined fairway, and a longest drive mark to chase… especially worthy of note were Will “one-leg” Heath, attempting to take out a couple of the slower members on the 6th tee, and Johnny “Dangerous” Sutherland trying a sneaky “Tin Cup” road shot to improve his distance (top tip John, next time try a path that runs along the fairway… not across it…). A suitable prize was awarded to the latter of these.

And so the evening unfolded, with the many FROGS desperately competing for the almost as many prizes. In fact, such was the allure of the prize fund, that we were able to tempt back to the course such breeds of FROG as the rarely seen Stefano “Milan catwalk” Ciccarello and the Russel “nice tan, nicer teeth” Edwards… good to see them, and all FROGS on the night.

Eventually, the crowds gathered at the bar, marveling at the tales of the shots that got away, and happily surprised to find out that there are still things we even we can learn… things like i) you can hit a sand wedge 200m, even if you don´t want to (thanks Mark), ii) Johan will travel an enormous distance to get a free beer, and to show of his “double-black” combination, and iii) Botty bears a striking resemblance to Nicola Sturgeon at certain angles (although I´m not allowed to say which ones…)

And so, thanks to the various offered drinks from a retired bloke (Russell) and an old bloke (Steve B), it was a happy and relaxed crowd that sat down for an excellent meal and the prizes…

The top 3 were a showcase of experience vs. youth, with Dennis claiming 3rd with 16 points, and yours truly holding off a resurgent Luc on countback with 18 points.

The special prizes went as follows

LD – Russell
Leary – Marco
Nearest – Luc
LD – Mark G
Nearest – Peter B
And the final Bijnens Leary went to yours truly on the 9th (drive and a ¾ lob wedge if you´re interested, I know you’re not, but I´m telling you anyway), which also claimed the overall Bijnens Leary, with a grand total of two. Thanks to Serge for the excellent sponsorship (and beer).

In the AKD Matchplay final it was a reversal of form, with experience losing out to beauty, as Botty beat Peter B 3&2.

And lastly, the overall seasons standings, and the Order of Merit:-

Overall Order of Merit
Rob – 82
Nick Felfoldi – 80
Tony Nightingale – 79 (Botty to double check if he is borrowing a Tony Whiteman score)
T4 Jess and Craig 78

Thanks of course to Citco and AKD, for their excellent and continued support.

Did I say “lastly”??? Of course I’m missing something, the one prize that everyone has at the back of their mind from the carpark onward, the notorious “Pink Ball of Truth”. I must admit, there was some confusion as to who had one this one…. was it Catweazle, was it a caveman, was it our very own Craig … was it Conor McGregor … be honest, have you seen them in the same room? All we can say is that one of them is a ginger-bearded, foul-mouthed sporting icon, and the other is a Irish wannabe-boxer … Whatever the truth, whoever it was, with a magnificent 7 points, they certain PLAYED like Conor McGregor, so we must assume it was he.

After that a word must go to GCGD. While many of us are “conflicted” at the prospect of forking out EUR 60 for 9 holes (especially as “they who shall not be named” get a lower rate), I think we should all acknowledge that the course was in excellent condition, the food excellent, and the service was absolutely first class, in fact the best all year (apart from the hour it took Neil to get his first beer, but that was the exception!). Gregor informs me that collectively we left nearly a grand and a half in their coffers, so hopefully that might help us get a better rate next year!

And so, that only leaves the lessons learned…

No 1 – when showing off your photos, DO STOP at the “me and my mate Richie McCaw” shots … DO NOT get carried away and go onto the “me as a Victorian Hippy” ones… (thanks Stuart)

No 2 – do not hand your camera over with the words “now this is private, just for us” and expect to ever see it back (thanks again Stuart … did you get it back)

No 3 – and finally, Peter Baxter is very old.

End

Report CITCO round 9 – Kikuoka – 9 August 2017

Oh no, surely not him again! Can’t we do something? Grumble, grumble. Surely we can. What do the bloody statutes say? Ho hum. So…ramble or results first? Results or ramble? Ok, you win let’s go ramble. Those of you looking exclusively for the results section are advised to fast forward about…Now! And before you go, a great big thank you to our sponsors, Citco! Now then, off you go…

To the results… Several traditionally friendly Frog faces were absent since they had been on a dedicated golf day trip to darkest Germany. The truly dedicated returned to follow up their 18 German holes with the extra 9 at Karaoke so a big well done mention must go out to Dennis, Craig and Jess for making the effort. That’s the spirit, chaps. Merve was down to start but suddenly became a Dan K lookalike on the first tee yet there they both were in the bar afterwards. It can be hard to keep up sometimes. In the end, 23 dedicated Froggy type people (which included two guests; the gloriously named Allard Fontein (could be a fine wine, no?) and Eric Masset) tip teed off having been wined and dined by the returning to the big time ever pheasant/effervescent Luc. Gone (for now) are the days of foie gras and Chateau Margaux, it seems. These things will almost certainly return. Small bags of very plain Jane Ready Salted crisps and cans of local beer offered a pragmatic current compromise and were thoroughly welcome. Some sort of odd tasting Dutch cough syrup that Luc was frantically talking up somewhat was also offered and generally gleefully accepted. Not exactly a class A product in my view but we’ll try anything at least once. Well done Luc!

Despite fine playing conditions throughout, there was a standard scratch score of just 14 [15, Ed.] points. Certainly not great. Maybe that English idiot friend was right? Oh rats. As James, suitably supported by Jess, eloquently intimated during the presentation over an efficiently served dinner of fish and chips or steak and chips, this can largely be explained by the significant battle that went on for last place. Although both John and Will recorded uncomfortable single points figures, Delboy elbowed his way in to the reckoning with a miserable but well deserved 8 points. Meanwhile, we all recognise that Colin has all the attributes to be an excellent golfer. Nice shoes, colour coordinated outfit, smooth swing, regular practising. Looks the part in fact. Keep it up, matey. His mammoth 6 points took the pink ball. Thanks for coming, Colin. Our two guests, Allard and Eric came home with 15 and 3 points respectively. Respect and another pink ball respectively!

The prize for Nearest the Pin went to Will, the Bijnens Leary prize to Daniel and the Longest Drive to Craig. Congratulations to all of you.

Dennis came in at 6th with 14 points. Ayzo and Mark both hit 14 but nudged ahead on countback for 5th and 4th places. Craig made 18 points in perfect fashion. Playing off scratch, he made 9 pars. Morally, Craig was easily the real winner of the day by far. Quality stuff. That fluffy ginger beard is starting to look slightly ridiculous and should be attended to urgently, however. Dan and myself both managed 19 points and when I left the club, poor Dan was still analysing the scorecards seemingly trying to work out just how he didn’t manage the overall victory. It’s tough when you care deeply about something, isn’t it? Oh well, I assume that he found the answer somewhere. On the plus side, coming second at this level leaves room for improvement, Dan. Stay focused and you’ll get there. Life can be so very tough and unfair at times, don’t you think?

My particular flight involved the two winners of pink balls and the winner. A rare combination. An opportunity? I think that the attached photo recorded this moment appropriately.

The next Frogs event will be critical to those looking for pomp and ceremony and honour. It will be the decider. I have no idea when it is but I know it’s at Grand Ducal. Hopefully, someone will tell you all about it when they’re ready [24 August, Ed.].

Enough is enough.

Tony.

Report CITCO round 8 – Kikuoka – 26 July 2017

Morning All,

Firstly big thanks to or starter Arnaud for arranging a great French feast for sending us out to do battle on course…..with the mantra of constant desire for improvement, referencing Big B, I think this can only be beaten by the style of the Italian contingent and maybe a young stunner serving the produce…. Females at the start, is that permitted by the constitution?

A few stats:
Standard Scratch: 14
NTP 3rd hole: Ayzo
NTP 7th hole: Arnaud
Bijnens Beer Leary: Arnaud
Longest Drive: Jess
Best Guest: Richard
Worst Guest: Phil

1st myself 19 – shows no practice can work…..Christiane was happy to receive the voucher, nice return after her giving grace for me to participate on the 20th wedding anniversary…..burger girls are great.
2nd Big Rob 17
3rd Peter B 14
4th Ayso & Arnaud 14
5th Will H

Pink Ball….young Gerry took the honours again…..with Marco, Richard and Colin following closely.

Matchplay results (after all the young bulls in a paddock type facing off over email pre the evening)….Peter B pipped Big Rob on the 10th hole, Craig hammered Simon and Big B’s pre match jousting got to the Dutchman and he ended 1 up….were you teasing him Big B?)

In answer to Big B….maybe we are all “selfish fuckwits” out on sunny Wed evenings trying to get the competitive juices flowing when we should be at home with family……on reflection after a minute or 2 I concluded these evenings are great and I look forward to the next one.

Cheers and happy holidays

Tony

PS….if any of the results from last night are presented incorrectly then apologies for my transposition from the hand written evening notes attached…..

Bijnens 3 Club Challenge – Kikuoka – 21 June 2017

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On a sweltering Wednesday evening 10 Frogs contested this year’s Three Club Challenge, generously sponsored by Bijnens Beer. (order yours directly from Serge! One e-mail is all it takes and he delivers to your address, or so I am told!) Everyone gathered at the first tee to check out the protagonists’ selected weapons of choice, where we were welcomed by Colin our starter for the evening. He made sure we were well hydrated before embarking on the challenges ahead.

And challenging it was; tropical temperatures, hard, fast greens and only a few clubs to choose from! Most people did bring a putter as one of the clubs selected, hover Franco managed to use his 3-wood quite handily off the tee as well as on the putting surface.

Returning to the clubhouse terrace Serge had arranged some very fetching polo-shirts to commemorate the event. The shirt-changing ceremony did solicit a varied but generally enthusiastic reaction from the crowd! Some high-pitched shrieking from the female members of the crowd could be heard when Steve’s first polo-shirt turned out to be a little tight in places! When it was Nick’s turn they could barely contain themselves!

There was plenty of Bijnens Beer to go around to quench the thirst that was generated by our endeavours on a hot summer’s day, and several prizes to be won on the night; leary’s on the 2nd (if no-one managed to hit the green it would be contested on the 6th) and the 9th. Steve missing out on both by only the narrowest of margins. The leary went to David on the 2nd and to Serge on the 9th. As one would expect on a beer manufacturer’s sponsored event; the price was some Bijnens Beer! As Serge obviously has (free) access to this he did not claim his leary.

The overall prize was fiercely contested with 3 people coming in with 13 points. Nick lost 4th place to Mark, who in turn lost 3rd place on countback to Colin.
Simon came in with 14 points and yours truly claimed the number 1 spot for a third time with 15 points. A chip-in for birdie on the 5th for 4 points certainly helped!
Which leaves the pink ball………Serge tried his best but 9 points proved to be too good. As a result, Gerry took the honours with 7.

Now I believe this is a first: There was some live music on the terrace and lo and behold: We all witnessed a dancing Frog! Simon Baker showed us some sharp moves that certainly impressed a local damsel…… Is this going to be trend, I wonder?

All in all; it was a very enjoyable event, thanks to our starter Colin, and of course our generous sponsor Serge Bijnens!
See you all next week in Preisch!

Paul