Presentation Dinner 2013

Udon Thani Golf - Presentation Awards 2013

Last night here in Udon Thani at the Rooftop area of the Prajaktra Boutique Hotel we celebrated the end of our Golf year with a Presentation Dinner for our Udon Golf Members and our Isaan Farang Golf Group.
We had over 40 in attendance with wives and partners all dressed up appropriately for the occasion. The setting was magnificent with a view over looking the Nong Prajak lake which is a major attraction place within Udon for many events that are conducted here.

As the Organizer of both groups I emphasised that it was important to keep the Awards in perspective as it was a fun occasion and the Awards were secondary. I think a few present may have chuckled at that statement though as we have quite a few very competitive members, including myself of course.

I ran through briefly our Years Achievements, which were many and explained the reason why our Society has gone through a transition to be where it is now. Our Competitions as members know are based on 9-11 months of rounds we participate in with our Handicapper Cliff keeping records for both of our Competitions.

Cliff Saveall initiated this year an Udon Champion Golfer Award covering our players involvement in all Competitions he receives handicap adjustments for. This is now the Udon Golf Champion Award.

The Isaan Farang Group which is 9 months in duration is the more difficult comp as we play Medal rounds in this as well as Stable ford. From the results of this 9 month competition we have 3 Trophy rounds and the POY (Player of the Year) is assessed from the accumulated results on a 1-2-3 basis from each of these.

We also had our Winning KK VS UDON Challenge Team present that I was privileged to be Playing Captain of recently in a great 2 day Match play Competition with our nearby rival City Khon Kaen in our Annual Event. I presented to each member in appreciation of their efforts an appropriate embroidered Golf shirt as a reminder of their membership of the team. Pink was the chosen colour to appease Graham Firth.

I included some Awards as well for fun ie Best Shot of the Year (John Mc Morris winner) - Jekyll and Hyde Player of the Year( Harry Farquhar) - Team Player of the Year (Peter Hellery) - Wooden Spoon Award for the player who earned it the most from all our of IFGG rounds (Chuck McCormick).
Chuck as always handled his Wooden Spoon Award with class; a most valued member is Chuck.

Eclectic Winner of a 4 Month comp we conducted was won by John Ward, who really made an effort to do well in this and good on him for that. He received a trophy plus a framed certificate that Cliff had put together that was really impressive.

Recognition was also given to those who assisted me throughout the year with both Competitions in particular Graham Firth and Cliff Saveall. Cliff also for his incredible input into the website and also being our handicapper. The time he puts into this for us is most appreciative by all concerned, Cliff also put together terrific framed certificates for the IFGG Winner and Udon Golf Champion.

On behalf of the group I again informed those present of our commitment to The Udon Home for Abandoned Children that we now sponsor as best we can. They are all aware we have already assisted the Home and compliments to Gary Parks who passed over approx. 30,000baht from the Society for us to provide goods to the home recently.

Also recently as was mentioned was our participation in the Loy Krathong festivities by providing food in the evening, Our wives and partners in Jane, Pui, Meaw and Jan who prepared and served were fantastic in their efforts. We also raffled a box of Srixon golf balls during the Presentation and raised 2000baht ie 65 dollars in doing so that will go into our fund.

Cliff also provided and presented my wife Jane with a lovely bouquet of flowers, plus a framed photo for the assistance she provides me in organizing our competitions re bookings etc for our group.

I was embarrassed last night to be honest in winning our two major Awards ie IFGG Player of the Year plus Udon Thani Champion Golfer of 2013. It also meant I was the Green Jacket recipient which I had initiated when I formed these groups a few years ago. Of course as you would imagine I was the butt of jokes in winning these awards seeing I was also the Organizer, but fortunately, not the recorder of the Competition results.

Thankfully Gary with his dry wit made the moment less painful for me when announcing me as the winner by calling out Tony Aston…...who?
Harry Farquhar and Graham Firth tied in second place with exactly the same points, however Harry by virtue of his win in this past week’s Aussie Trophy Event won the Runner up Award on Count back. Graham's 68 net in last Wednesdays Stroke Round looked as though he had the Runner up Trophy in the bag but Harry with a brilliant 39 points on Thursday snatched this time, Victory from the Jaws of Defeat.

At the end of the evening though the Awards were insignificant compared to seeing how something I commenced and have organized had resulted in bringing the fragmented small groups of Golfers together here in this area. Having good people though around me though makes the task easier.

The Congratulations for this I was most proud of. As us older guys know in the scheme of things our small events that we play to keep the flame burning, an our minds and bodies working are insignificant. However they do create interest and motivation to keep us getting up each day looking forward to something to occupy the time we now find we have in abundance.

As Gary Parks who I asked to present the main awards though commented last night, no one here has worked harder at his game than me. He justified that by adding that no one else has to go to the Physio or for massages also more than me, due to the workload I have put upon myself since I decided that I wanted to improve to be slightly better than be regarded as a hacker.

I thank Danny Harris our former PGA coach here in Udon for putting me on track to help me understand the why's as well as the how.

I guess the competitive edge we have in us takes a long time to drop off. My arthritic deformed fingers, swollen left knee and frozen right shoulder plus my creaking bones each morning back that up I guess.

Next year I look forward though to be assisting the 2014 POY put on the Jacket.

It is with great pleasure that I now reflect on the year past with new friendships made and existing ones bonded closer. Having a Team of good guys to compete with and against, but in a Friendly Social respectful manner makes life here in Udon more than pleasurable. If as Organizer I can assist this to continue in the years to come I will be more than satisfied.

Cheers Terry Aston

Udon Golf Society/ IFGG Organizer/Coordinator.