Hello All, here is a review of 2023 and a look forward to 2024 for the Londoners Golf Club. This was presented (with slides and everything) at the Christmas Dinner on 14 December and this article has been produced from that presentation for those unable to be at the dinner.
Our 2023 Events and Courses
We had events on 28 days that totaled over 800 rounds of golf i.e. we played a lot of golf! We played at Muang Kaew (13 times), Royal Golf (4), Vintage (4), Subhapruek (1 – BC hosting)
We held 3 Away Weekends:
Black Mountain (Presidents Cup)
Grand Prix (Club Championships)
Here are the average number of players per event for the last 5 years. Although 31 for 2023 is lower than the prior 3 years, the number of participants is very consistent. These numbers are really healthy and as a result we have been able to maintain good prizes, the Christmas dinner, subsidise some food and drinks at Away Weekends and pay for software that helps run the club (True Handicap, web hosting etc).
Digging a little deeper into the attendance numbers by looking at events at different times of the year, the chart below shows the average number of players as well as the range from minimum to maximum.
We see that January – March is most popular with both the very hot and the wet seasons being less popular for obvious reasons – plus holidays for Songkran and schools happen. The 41 players at a game in August is an outlier – due to the Team MatchPlay (which also shows that if the format is appealing then players will participate irrespective of time of year or course).
The attendance data by time of year also shows that if you want to win the OOM then you need to play in the early part of the year and score well to get a head start in the competition. It is incredibly difficult to come back from a poor start in the OOM competition as an individual as the number of points available to catch up are lower after the first few months of the year.
Besides date, what else influences player numbers? Here are a few metrics for type of event and courses:
Team Matchplay Events – 39 average (min 38; max 41)
Away Weekends – 29 average (min 27, max 30)
Muang Kaew – 28 average (min 15, max 47)
Royal Golf – 34 average (min 22, max 40)
Vintage – 36 average (min 24, max 41)
All of the courses can be popular. But each also can be unpopular. The greatest spread of players was at Muang Kaew. Away weekends have had consistent attendance – would like even more players for these ideally. Other factors include holiday seasons and other events taking place. These factors all are part of choosing courses for 2024 plus price, mandatory carts, distance, location as well as the ease of working with different courses.
Thanks to our Sponsors
As always, a big thanks to our sponsors. Their generosity and support allow us to provide good prizes in the form of wine, vouchers for services or golf balls embossed with an LGC logo. Please take a look at the sponsors page on this website and follow the links to learn more.
First, our title sponsor, the Londoner Brew Pub from where we get our name and they have been with us on our whole journey. Thank you to John and Derek Stamp plus current GM, Dan Pratt.
Secondly, all our other great sponsors. The Golf Point Center who are helping some members with their game and I expect several more during 2024; AIMS Pensions and Investments; The Game Bar; Bourbon Street restaurant; our sister society the Bangkok Wanderers and the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit hotel.
If you would like to get your business more well known or given some props through our golf society please have a chat with one of the committee. Sponsorship is also a good way to give back to the golf community if you are not able to dedicate time to assisting yourself. I like to think of it as a way of saying thank you for the years of having golf and competitions organised for you. Donations are also welcomed - you've seen that we look after our money to give good value back to our members.
Thank you to the Committee
The committee run the club and all the events. They provide agency for the members to ensure all views are represented and considered fully. We meet every quarter with a WhatsApp group always in action too. In 2024 we intend to meet in person more frequently.
Thanks to the committee – Barbara, John, Stefan, Richard, Tony, Dietmar, Phil, Steven, Manu
Committee runs well and we are financially sound (target over 100k in bank)
No longer on committee – Paul Wyatt, Rick Apichairuk
Joined committee – Richard White
More details on who is on the committee. Full details of the committee can be found here on this website.
The 2023 Team Competition
This was a new initiative in 2023 and one I am most proud of and that I found the most fun. Most members will know I care more about teams and pairs than I do for my own golf score. I love being part of a team. Our format allows every player to contribute every single event to their team even if they are having a bad day. Just playing in an event scores 1 point for the team. If you play poorly but happen to place ahead of someone then you get one more point than them so it is worth persisting to the very end of every round. It may just be valuable and we saw that the team competition was extremely close at some events where every point really did matter.
The Captains for 2023 were Ami Guilfoyle (Dragons); Steven Brader assisted by Richard White (Fireballs); Simon Clegg (4 Aces) and Dietmar Bandat assisted by Stefan Kuhn (Stingers – not Stinkers or Singers as some maybe said at times during the year!). For 2024 Simon will step down with our thanks for getting the team up and running and Craig Leamy moves up from Fireballs to become the new 4 Aces Captain.
More general items
We do run good events. We are the friendliest society in Bangkok and this is reflected in the wide range of players. We have scratch golfers through to novices. We have young and older players. We have more than 22 nationalities in our group. We are fair and kind and we do insist that players are mixed up when they play so everyone gets to play with everyone. One of my favourite observations has been on a bus to the Club Championships – every one of the 14 players on the bus was from a different country. Golf had brought them together in a way but our society allowed them to meet up and make friends.
Our new website is now nearly a year old. This is Rick Apichairuk’s legacy and we are grateful to him for the leap forward. We have some way to go with our data eco-system and how we interact with Facebook and Instagram or even at all. Those discussions continue.
We had an excellent victory versus Wanderers (at our home course last year – Muang Kaew) and are looking forward to seeing how we fare at Bang Sai in January 2024 which will be unfamiliar for many of our players. We played the British Club Golf Section on Sunday 17 December for the first time in a few years and lost a very close game by 1 point. Congratulations to the British Club.
Looking forward to 2024
Based on the analysis of the 2024 payer data plus the verbal feedback from committee and players we have navigated the challenging path to booking our courses for 2024. We maintain our normal schedule (2nd and 4th Saturdays) amid a backdrop of general price increases, mandatory carts being introduced at weekends at most courses and now also a minimum of 4 and 5 balls at weekends in some places. We are hedging our bets by maintaining relationships with some courses whilst retrying some previously played courses by going back north to Floraville for 4 events, by testing Subhrapruek for 4 events after a soggy history for the society there and we maintain some games at Muang Kaew who have looked after us well and we are increasing our games at Vintage (the best value package available just about).
We are also going back to Soi Dao for the first time in 10 years – the long journey seems acceptable every decade. The other competitions continue as normal and the team captains and committee voted that the Team Competition continue unchanged into 2024 – suggestions for tweaks welcomed – we think it is good but no where near perfect.
2nd Saturdays at Floraville (4), Subhapruek (4) and Muang Kaew (3). 1 tbc (Dec Scramble)
4th Saturdays at Vintage (8)
3 Away Weekends (Soi Dao – January, Pairs; Black Mountain - June, Presidents Cup; Grand Prix - November, Club Championships)
Inter-Society Matches (Wanderers and British Club)
Order of Merit, Eclectics
Scramble and Match Play
Continue the Team Competition in 2024
2024 is our club's 25th Anniversary!
We will be 25 years old in 2024. We will have this badge and letters as the main emblem on new shirts which will shortly be available for order (Dec 23 / Jan 24). We plan some special events such as reminisces with past captains, maybe specially themed events and giveaways. We welcome suggestions on how to celebrate our quarter centenary.
Celebrating our winners in 2023
That’s all – lots of info in here. We have events open for registration so separate messages will be sent for each of these. Thanks for being a Londoner and if you are reading this in a café or bar, tip generously and drive home safely. If you are at home – good for you. See you in 2024!