As current El Paraiso President Christine Per- ring approached me on the practice putting green a few weeks ago and asked for a few words, I wondered what I had done wrong?
I was surprised when she re- vealed that she wanted someone to take over her bi- monthly edi- torial about life at El Paraiso and would I like to take on the job. Christine told me to take my time in thinking about her question. My initial reaction, however, was what an honour it would be to take on the role and consequent- ly told her straight away that, “yes, I would be delighted to take over,” but in hindsight am now daunted by the challenge of em- ulating Christine’s great editorial coverage of all things El Paraiso that she has completed with such innovation and wit over the last 10 years.
But hey, let’s give it a go, so here is my first shot at updating what has happened or is happening at our much loved club.
JOSE LUIS’S CORNER
Only a blind man would not notice the improvements at El Paraiso since the government imposed lockdown earlier in the year that were initiated by John Wallace, the club’s former Head Green- keeper, and continued by his successor Jose Luis Gonzalez.
I am very grateful to the new Head Greenkeeper Jose for spending time with me to con- firm, in very simple terms, what has been done in his short spell at the club and what is planned for the future.
It was amazing to hear the atten- tion to detail that goes into the daily routines that Jose and his team go through to prepare the course ready for us to play our beloved game.
I was wide eyed and open mouthed when he told me that during the hot summer months each green was tested between 200–300 times per day for mois- ture content, with the resulting drier areas being subject to manual watering to maintain con- sistency throughout each putting surface.
Jose, who’s former CV includes spells at Finca Cortesin, Los Naranjos and Villa Padierna, went on to confirm that the long fight to rid the course of Kikuya Grass has been a success with most of the tee boxes, fairways and green approaches benefitting from the treatment in recent months. The work will continue in the areas of rough in the months to come as the team look to include El Paraiso within the top maintained courses on the coast.
WINNERS, WINNERS, WINNERS
Of course this column would be totally incomplete (and I would be royally vilified by the victori- ous winners) without mention of the various triumphant golfers over the past couple of months, and with so many competitions going on at the club it would be impossible to include them all, so congratulations go to winners of the main events, which were:
Oakes Anniversary Trophy (Pairs Better Ball) – Winners: Janet Cheetham and Stuart Bright with 43 points.
Captains Drive In Texas Sham- bles – Winners:
Patricia Lawton, Elaine Smith, Ian Munro and Reid Hagelin. Shareholder Trophy – Winner: Ian Munro with 41 points. Winter Pairs BB Matchplay Knockout event – Winners: Sam & Andrew Harben.
Junior Sponsored Qualifying Events in tribute of Colin Chris- tison (Medal) – September and October winner: Miles Yeatman. Blevins Franks Sponsored Event – Winners:
Ian Munro and Ricardo Gonzalez with net 61 (Medal).
Men’s Interclub matches have been ongoing with us winning against Guadalmina and Santa Maria recently. Fantastic result, good clubs to beat.
The Jack Newman Trophy – Winner: Patria Lawton
The Spencer Rose Bowl Trophy – Winner: Pamela Morgan
Whilst many of the club’s non golfing activities, such as Bridge and Pilates are on the back burner at present, the Book Club is thriving and new initiatives to encourage our members to learn the Spanish language is now in place with meetings being well attended, albeit with full social distancing compliance. Ole!
As well as the above competi- tions, Club Captain David Wilkes and Club Pro Daniel Westermark have played a number of Cap- tain Challenge charity matches (matchplay) against members in the past four months, in aid of Caritas Cancelada and the El Paraiso Juniors. The pair were
beaten only by Peter Williams and Steve Asplet and Christine Perring and Graham Clarke. Well done to David and Daniel for their initia- tive and generous donations to such worthy causes. Our thanks go to joint Captains Maria Match- es and David for their continued enthusiasm in difficult times.
LET’S END WITH A LAUGH!
2020 has not been the best of years for anyone really (unless you manufacture face masks or hand sanitizer) but we can still laugh at situations that we create, especially during the government enforced lockdown earlier in the year.
On our return to golf after the lockdown, we settled into our 19th hole positions in the newly reopened El Paraiso restau- rant, and over a post golf drink, discussed with Dave and Barb Dalton what they got up to during their grounded time indoors.
The Dalton’s proudly proclaimed that, amongst other things, they took on the challenge of complet- ing a few jigsaws. “That’s a nice way to spend your time” I say with a sideways accepting glance of the head.
“And did you compliment the jigsawing with a drink or two?” I asked, interested in comparing notes against our own lockdown activities.
“Well actually” said Barb, in a very interesting tone that had us transfixed, “Dave and I made a point of not drinking any day until 5.00 pm, when we would open a bottle of wine.”
We looked at each other with an admirable look at their scrupu- lous attempt at not allowing the curfew to turn them into alcoholic jigsawers.
“That’s nice” I agree, before Barb nonchalantly revealed that they did actually allow themselves a little tipple before the wine open- ing at 5.00 pm.
“What we did” she said with aplomb “was have a little gin and tonic beforehand just to get us in the mood before the 5.00 pm formal wine opening each day.” “Hmm” think I, not quite so im- pressed now at the Daltons per- ceivedself-discipline,butagreed that a quick G and T half an hour beforehand was, sort of, okay.
I nearly fell off the back of my seat as Barb continued to an- nounce quite innocently “oh no, we would have the first Gin and Tonic at 2.00 pm!!!”
We roared with laughter at the vi- sion of jigsaw pieces being forced into the wrong places, with bits of sky adjoining grass and birds flying upside down, even before the official vino opening time was imagined.
Don’t ever change guys, because life is better when we laugh.