The 10th at Lanna Sports
By Sandy Lie
For most amateur players, golf is a form of relaxation and a chance to be
with friends. A good laugh when a duck hook puts the tournament leader into
a bunker, from which he takes 10 to get out, and swigs from the flask in
commiseration while waiting on the next tee.
As a notorious hacker of the noble sport, I enjoyed these things most about
golf in England, and while there are over 20 courses in northern Thailand to
choose from, finding that kind of camaraderie is hard to come by for most
farang in the land of smiles.
So, fifteen years ago a small group of likeminded foreigners formed a golf
society that met weekly to compete for the “Little Man”.
Donated by the late Horst Fruechtenicht, the Little Man is a trophy that has
brought many farang together from all walks of life – from long time
residents, retirees and businessmen to day trippers. Interest in the society
grew as friendships formed and after round drinking sessions became an
optional part of the curriculum.
Therefore, former pro golfer, Christian Tilden initiated the Royal League
three years ago. This event is played at the Highlands Golf and Spa Resort
every Thursday, with the Little Man fought for in the monthly medal.
Highlands GC is located on Highway 1317 towards Mae-on, about 30 minutes
from Chiang Mai city. It is a picturesque course set in the mountains. The
first nine holes are easy walking with good bunkers and water hazards, while
the back nine has hills that provide scenic views of the surrounding
Everyone is welcome at the Royal League and for more information visit
Many of the faces seen at the Royal League participate with others at the
Chiang Mai Social Golfers Club, which was set up four years ago by a band of
ladies and gents who played golf together regularly.
Today, this society comprises 51 members – 30 of which are active – and
it is sponsored by the Number 1 Pub, off Loi Kroh Road. Weekly competitions
are held on Tuesdays at the Lanna Sports Center situated on the Chiang Mai -
Mae Rim Road.
Lanna is made up of three nine-hole courses in perfect condition with the
beautiful Doi Suthep Mountain as a backdrop. Although the society tees off
at 9.30 in the morning, this course has floodlighting to allow play at
Like the Royal League, Chiang Mai Social Golfers Club provides a great
opportunity of making friends, enjoying a drink and a laugh, and for some,
showing of their golfing prowess. Want to know more? Just call Malcolm on 06
Ride to the finish
Off-road cycle event gains popularity
Bhumibol Dam in Tak province, 426km
north-west of Bangkok, will host the Fifth Bhumibol Dam Invitation
International Mountain Bike Championship between August 26 and 27.
The event is being organised by the Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Organising committee spokesperson, Mr Suwat Pawaputanond, said a
one-million-baht (US$25,000) budget had been set aside to organise this
year’s championship. From that amount, 400,000 baht will be spent on
trophies and prizes.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King Bhumibol
Adulyadej’s accession to the throne, Mr Suwat said the organising
committee was producing a gold replica of its annual trophy worth 80,000
baht to be given to the winner of the international category.
The mountain bike races will feature three categories, professional, amateur
and family, and will be held over distances ranging from 24km to 60km. Each
category will be divided into sub-categories based on gender and age. There
will also be a “funny-bike” competition.
Mr Suwat said he expected the number of competitors to reach 700 this year -
a 29 per cent increase over last year. International participants have been
invited from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand
and Australia and will be treated to free accommodation, meals and airport
transfers, but they will have to pay for the airfare and the 1,000 baht
Last year, the event attracted between 20,000 and 30,000 spectators. (TTG)
Four more years
By Riz Taylor
That’s it, then. The World Cup is over. Another four long years until the
next tournament, another four years to wait until that buzz that only the
World Cup can create comes along again. Other sports can try and compete for
the attentions in the meantime, but let’s face it who amongst us counts
down to Rugby’s equivalent or the Olympic Games up to six months in
Not me, that’s for sure. I’m sure there’ll be a plethora of memorable
sporting events between now and 2010, but nothing comes remotely close to
the World Cup.
There are those who would happily allow both Argentina and Brazil temporary
visas into the crusty world of European football every four years to
participate in the European Championships, and yes perhaps it would be a
better way to determine who really are the kings of the world game, but
those people would miss the point. What makes the World Cup what it is, what
lifts the profile of the tournament above every other event of its kind are
the very nations that were unwelcome and unwanted until the 32-team format
was introduced in 2002.
In 1990 FIFA allowed the African football federation an extra place in the
World Cup Finals, meaning two teams from the continent were represented in
Italy. Egypt finished bottom of their group despite hard-fought draws with
Ireland and the Netherlands, but it was Cameroon who are remembered for
their amazing run that saw victories over Romania, Columbia and even
Argentina on their way to an unlucky quarter final exit at the hands of
By 2006 the African representation had doubled to four, and though there was
no Roger Milla to steal the show with sublime finishing and corner-flag
shuffles, the quartet of Togo, Tunisia, Ghana and the Ivory Coast gave a
more than reasonable account of themselves. Ghana particularly impressed
with a unique and powerful brand of football that completely bemused the
Czech Republic (supposedly the world’s second best team according to
FIFA’s rankings), and for a spell even unsettled the number-one
Asian sides were largely disappointing this time around, and for Japan and
South Korea it’s back to the drawing board after being out-muscled by
their opponents once again. But you can’t help imagining that somewhere,
not too far down the tracks, a nation from this continent will produce a
golden generation of players talented enough to really frighten the
superpowers of the game in the way South Korea managed 4 years ago, albeit
on home soil. Let’s hope so.
Surely the gutsy performance of the “Socceroos” was the story of this
World Cup. Australia edged through a tough group ahead of Croatia and Japan
to reach the second round, a huge achievement for a nation taking part in
only its second finals. It could have been a real fairy story as well were
it not for a disastrous moment in the encounter with eventual champions
Italy when Fabio Grosso meekly fell over the desperate challenge of
Blackburn’s Lucas Neill, “earning” his side a somewhat fortunate
It’s this kind of diversity through teams such as Ghana and Australia that
that makes the tournament what it is: simply the most eagerly awaited event
of its kind.
In the end, though, there were few surprises in the competition, at least at
the business end. European teams dominated in their own back garden, and
once again the South Americans failed to impress on European soil. Brazil
were shocking at times, and whilst Argentina gave a taster of what they were
capable of in the group stages with some seriously tasty football, they too
succumbed to European opposition as they crashed out to hosts Germany in the
It was at this stage that the World Cup balloon began to deflate, at least
through these eyes. Discounting the ridiculous third-place playoff, the
final three rounds of seven matches produced a pathetic eleven goals.
Defensive football won the day, but given the importance of the matches this
is hardly surprising. But although the tactical struggles between the
world’s best can produce interesting matches it doesn’t make for the
most exciting football.
Let’s be honest about it, Italy deserved their win. As usual they brought
along a solid looking defence, but this time around coach Marcello Lippi
also allowed his attacking players more freedom than his predecessors had
done, and whilst the side were always difficult to score against they were
also entertaining. Yes that’s right - Italian football was entertaining.
Who’d have imagined it?
Chiang Mai Pool League: Friend’s Corner Out Back while Happy Bar Chiangers
Friend’s Corner returned to the top of the Chiang Mai Pool League last
Friday with a convincing win at Out Back, while Half Moon Pub followed them
into second place by eclipsing Blue Sky Bar. And Happy Bar pushed the
previous leaders down to third in a shock success at Chiangers and Bangers.
at home in the Out Back.
A rejuvenated Friend’s Corner bounced
back into pole position last week through taking full advantage of
squandered chances by Out Back to move mercilessly into a 5-1 lead by the
break. The doubles started where the singles left off, with Friend’s
waltzing through the next two games before their opponents made a token
gesture by winning the last.
While that high profile encounter went off like a damp squib, there were
fireworks at Half Moon Pub in a match that almost stretched into Saturday
Blue Sky Bar turned up at The Moon with high hopes of going top of the
league, but they soon found themselves with a 0-4 deficit; and after clawing
their way back to one game adrift, the drama began.
In the 8th frame, The Bar found their remaining stripe encircled by spots
like Apaches surrounding a wagon train. After more than 40 minutes of
innumerable fouls and tippy-tappy shots, both skippers agreed on a re-rack.
Ironically, again it was The Bars last ball that caused problems – they
fouled it – leaving The Moon with the easiest of blacks.
The anti climax left Blue Sky in a cloud and they evaporated in the last
game just before closing time.
Meanwhile, Happy Bar barred Chiangers and Bangers from staying ahead of the
pack. In the shock of the night, a weakened Happy side hit back from losing
the first frame to lead 4-1 and, although Chiangers fought back by taking
the next two games, Happy held out to win 6-3.
On the lower rungs of the ladder, The Local continued their amazing recovery
by winning a third match on the trot. They began poorly at Enjoy Place by
twice going down, 0-1 and 1-2. But that power that took them to the
championship just two seasons ago returned when they surged into a 5-2 lead.
Nevertheless, Enjoy stopped the rot by winning the last two frames to go out
respectably as 4-5 losers.
At one time, The Local was 3 points below of their nearest rivals, but now
Rock Hard Bistro had better watch out. After competing well in the early
stages against Number 1 Pub and going in 3-3 at the interval, the Rock
crumbled in the first two doubles leaving them one point away from the pits.
In mid table, La Villa continued to climb by walloping a shell-shocked Blue
Sky Garden, 7-2. Just a few weeks ago, the Pizza Boys were one place away
from the bottom, but they now find themselves in eighth spot, leaving The
Garden wondering what happened to their form that beat Half Moon Pub the
In the closest match of the night, The Wall allowed a 4-0 lead to slip to a
deciding frame, when December Bar’s lady – Mai – nonchalantly bagged
the black. However, December stay in seventh slot – two behind The Wall.