HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai Social Golfers inaugural tournament

Badminton Open 2005 attracts 2,000 players

Chiang Mai Bowling League gets underway

Chiang Mai Pool League: Drama as pool league heats up

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Chiang Mai Social Golfers inaugural tournament

Adam Head

The peace and tranquility of Maejo Golf Course provided the perfect setting for the first golf tournament organized by Chiang Mai Social Golfers.

An impressive assembly of some 36 expats turned out at the unearthly hour of 8 a.m. to tee off on the new golf course, which is fast gaining a reputation as one of the finest in the area.

Chiang Mai’s intrepid social golfers beat the heat and congratulate each other on the 18th green. Now, where’s the 19th?

The main competition was a team event based on the Stableford format. However, there were also prizes for the highest individual points tally, the best net and gross scores, nearest the pin, and the longest drive.

Considering the weather, which always seems to be hotter at Maejo than anywhere else, maybe the players should have won a prize just for completing the course. Has anyone else completed several miles under the noonday sun recently? Mad dogs and all that.

Watching the intrepid golfers march around the lush fairways with their umbrellas overhead made me feel like I was back in England, except that in this case, the sky was blue.

The winning team in the main Stableford event was: Bob Jess, Archie Lee, Noel Dwyer, and David McCunnell. Congratulations! The gallant runners-up were Les Harvey, Kim Gillies, Jim Catterson, and Jeff Birrell.

Individual prizes went to Jack Cooper for an inspiring best gross score of eleven over par, whilst Ron Tyre picked up two awards: the best net score (level par 72), and the highest individual Stableford score. A fine performance sir, well done!

Double trophy winner Ron Tyre sporting his awards, complete with suntan, at the Bear’s Den Pub.

The evening saw the players treated to a splendid meal at the Bear’s Den Pub, the second idyllic location of the day, this time beside the Mae Ping River. Prizes were presented and many stories were swapped about long putts that were sunk, and the three iron that was thrown into the lagoon.

Thanks to Garry Walker for organizing the event, and thanks also to the kind sponsors, The Bear’s Den, No. 1 Bar, Sea Bijn Spas, Willie’s Wine Bar, Happy Bar, and the Foxy Lady (or was that the caddy?).

Chiang Mai Social Golfers is based out of the Bear’s Den Pub and plays twice weekly. If you would like to join, drop in to the Bear’s Den on Jarern Rasd Road (next to Rimping Condominium) by the river, serving a nice pint and some excellent food.

Badminton Open 2005 attracts 2,000 players

Preeyanoot Jittawong and Jaruwan Punyoyai (Student Trainee CMU)

Chiang Mai hosted the opening ceremony for the Kason-Chiang Mai-Bangkok Open 2005 at the 700 Year Anniversary Stadium on October 18, in which contestants will vie for the King’s Cup, the Princess Cup, and scholarships worth more than 900,000 baht.

Korn Thapparansi (right) receives a souvenir from Wang Ping Tong, president of Kason International Limited (left).

Chiang Mai province jointly organized the event with Chiang Mai Sports Association (Badminton Department), Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Bangkok Sports Association and the Badminton Association of Thailand, with sponsorship from Pargolf Sporting House.

Those taking part have points awarded under the player ranking program operated by the Badminton Association of Thailand. The competitor categories are ranked from under nine years to over 55 years. More than 2,000 players have entered.

Chiang Mai Dramatic Art College students perform Fon Leb, Northern-style dance at the opening ceremony.

Korn Thapparansi, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand and former president of the International Badminton Federation, was master of ceremonies. “Many national badminton players joining in the Olympic competition are from this regional match. This game should be upgraded to become a national competition,” said Korn.

Chiang Mai Dramatic Art College students presented Fon Leb, Fon Pang Pra-teep, and Fon Jintara Northern-style dances followed by Chaimongkol and Sabadchai drum performances.

Chiang Mai Bowling League gets underway

Adam Head

Last Wednesday heralded the much anticipated launch of the Chiang Mai Bowling League. Open to all comers, but comprising of a predominant expat element at present, this friendly event takes place every Wednesday at 4 p.m. (meet 3.30 p.m.) at Chiang Mai Bowl, located on the North West corner of the moat. The sport is “Ten Pin Bowling”, and play takes place in teams of two, with opponents rotating each week.

Eric let’s another one fly, and remembers to let go!

If you don’t feel too competitive, you can just turn up and play a social game. Shoes are only 20 baht, and the two hours play will only set you back 120 baht. What a bargain!

This week I teamed up with two Americans and a Canadian, as we attempted to knock over as many skittles as possible, while at the same down knocking down as many beers as was politely appropriate.

Earl, an expat from the States, kindly gave us a few pointers and we soon learnt how to release the ball down the alley without falling head-first down the lane. After half an hour or so we managed to hit a couple of pins, and before the end we were all hitting a few strikes (a strike is when you knock all 10 pins down in one go).

Earl gave us a master-class in bowling, hitting strikes consistently, and rarely missing for his spares. Mind you, he did have his own ball, not to mention his own glove, and wisely stuck to water as his preferred beverage. What a dedicated sportsman! The rest of us were reduced to looking on in envy and munching popcorn (thanks Eric).

Meanwhile, across the lanes, the serious competitors rolled down ball after ball, frequently clearing all the pins in impressive style. You have been warned!

Even more scary is the close of play when the balls are polished and packed up in specially designed bowling ball bags. I had to make do with my plastic carrier from 7-Eleven.

Feel free to pop along on Wednesdays, 3.30 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Chiang Mai Pool League: Drama as pool league heats up

Pat Black

Three weeks before the halfway stage of this season’s Chiang Mai Pool League, matches are being fiercely contended and, last time out, four of the seven went down to the wire.

Excitement reached fever pitch at Half Moon Pub as the home side desperately clung onto their 2 point advantage at the top of the table in a 5-4 win against The Wall. At 4-4, The Wall’s Chris faced a winning black to the right middle pocket, but the ball rattled tantalizingly in the jaws, somehow squirted out and trickled tragically across the table and down the wrong bag.

Joi (left) and Fern of No.1 Bar.

In another high-flying encounter, Chiangers and Bangers edged The Local 5-4, when Chiangers took the eighth game after several failed attempts on the black.

These results kept the first three positions in the league unchanged, but La Villa jumped over The Wall into 4th place after their comfortable 6-3 win at home to Rock Hard Bistro.

Out Back were the first team ever to be beaten 9-0 in open play, but they hit back last week by becoming the third team to achieve the feat. As deserved winners of the match, they can count themselves fortunate to clean sweep, with December Bar gifting several games. However, Out Back is now the only team in the league to have both won and lost 9-0 in open play.

Elsewhere, Blue Sky Garden fought back from 1-3 down to win the next 4 games and run out winners 5-4 at Enjoy Place. Whereas, No.1 Bar’s fighting spirit against Friend’s Corner came to no avail. At 0-3 down, No.1 rallied to go 4-3 up - only to see the last two games slip away from them.

In a top versus bottom clash at Blue Sky Bar, Happy Bar put up their usual resistance by going into the break 3-3. But the home side showed why they are currently in second spot by taking all the doubles.

Did you know that the first woman pool player in the world was thought to be the notorious Frances Anderson, who hustled a living in the USA during the early 1900s? But it turned out that Frances was really Orie - a bloke.

For the genuine article one should look no further than the lovely “Duchess of Doom”, Allison Fisher, who just this month took the Women’s US Open Championship. In her 8 years since becoming a pool pro she has won more tournaments than all her current competitors put together, and that includes 36 tour titles and 4 World Championships.

Allison has had more tournament wins than any other player in history - male or female - and was voted Player of the Year for 5 consecutive years.

Another all-time great is the “Cue Queen”, Jean Balukas, who won her first US Open title aged 12 in 1983. Since then she collected 6 more US Open titles, 6 World Open Championships, and has been inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame.

So, I’m starting a Chiang Mai Pool League Ladies Hall of Fame, and our first two girls going in are Joi and Fern of No.1 Bar.