Day 112 was a special day for the Patton family at the Hyatt Regency Coolum. It was April 22 which is the birthdate of Mike Patton (Jamie's father). Every year, the 22nd of April Jamie and Mike play a golfing match, in the matchplay format, for a trophy that is named the Portnoo Trophy, after the holiday venue that the Patton family used to visit.
So today we were joined by Mike and Lesley (Jamie's mother) for this annual battle. Since the inception of the Portnoo trophy, Mike receives an extra shot from Jamie each year. This year was the 8th year of battle and so Jamie was giving up 8 against his dad. But I guess this was always going to be the year that Jamie was adequately warmed up and the red hot favourite to take out the trophy (which incidentally had been left at home in NZ!).
The Coolum resort is one of the golf courses in Australia that everyone knows. It has featured on tele annually over the last few years as it is the home of the Australian PGA tournament, one of the leading tourny's on the Australasian Tour. Winners line the clubhouse and many a famous golfer have played here in the event. One famous story goes that John Daly threw his putter into the lake on the 18th after another dissapointing day on the greens. The putter was recovered and now is framed in the clubhouse.
It must say something about the course that generally the best players seem to come out on top and names such as Allenby, Parry and Lonard line the walls that are reserved for past champions.
The Hyatt is renowned for it's water hazards. Holes such as 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 etc etc are lined by water. Come to think of it, playing the entire backnine, you don't want to get off the fairway. The par three's, in particular on the back nine are memorable. 11 requires a carry entirely over water to a green that climbs out of the pond courtesy of a pleasant looking retaining wall. 14 is more subtle with a creek running short of the green and to the left catching any shots that may draw too much, or get pushed that way by the prevailing wind off the nearby ocean.
The first 6 holes at the resort (which, may I add had brilliant service, facilities and restaurants, and would be nothing short of a superb place to base any trip up this way) are all new. They only came into play last December but are already quite settled. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, as the rest of the course also was, they were far from a blight on the course. The first is a cracking par five which is surrounded by water and has good reward for the well placed drive. The third and fifth are also par fives, and the third probably is a real scoring hole for the pro's. Interesting, the new 6th hole is barely 100m long, and played across a flat expanse. Quite unusual for a short hole to be so seemingly straightforward. This is where Lesley found her rhythm and hit a beaut iron to about 20 feet. The new holes also allow the developers to add more property to their stables, and from the golfers persepective, they remove the need to travel across the David Lowe Way, a busy road that used to run through the course.
Anyway, I'll keep this brief, but the annual Portnoo match went through to number 17. After a strong start by Mike, JP found himself dormy four up. But then he missed a couple of 10 footers to put the nail in the coffin. But then, on 17, his match fitness kicked in and he took out the 8th Portnoo trophy 2&1. This proved a timely victory, becuase Mike made a spectacular par on the 18th which would have claimed the half had the match made it past 17. Speaking of the 18th, what a cracking hole it is, and great fun to play after watching so many championships come down the wire. I was fortunate enough, after a scrappy day, to knock it to 10 feet for two (but unfortunately missed the putt!).
P.S Check out the "Journey" section of the site for the latest plans - any suggestions welcome!
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