After a turbulent year of lockdowns, uncertainty and negativity around the globe due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the JAWS admin team under the guidance of tournament expert and outstation captain Willi Goldschmidt decided it was time for some sea and sunshine, to uplift our spirits and launch the first JAWS Golf trip and tournament in Bali, which was to be held over 3 rounds and 54 holes at Bali National (Days 1 & 3) and New Kuta (Day 2). A big thanks and mention to fellow JAWS members: Fernando Gaggino, Willie Noronha, Srinivas Murthy and the aforementioned Willi G who formed the Jaws Invitational Bali (JIB) tournament committee.
After the two previous very well subscribed and popular JAWS outstation trips to Bandung the idea to play Bali was well received by the JAWS Golf community members and their golfing friends with 32 players signing up for the event with 25 players committing to all three days and 54 holes of the main tournament labelled: The Jaws Invitational Bali was organized with the first and last rounds at the prestigious Bali National and 18 holes at the sea-side, dramatic golfing layout at New Kuta, Pecatu, sandwiched in between on Day two. 7 players were to dip in and out of the event enjoying some good old-fashioned social golf in Bali whilst enjoying a family break on the island with their families.
A huge thank you to JAWS Member Srinivas Murthy, and his team at VIA.COM who put together a fabulous all-in and half-board packages making the trip so very easy and convenient for all participants with: Return Flights, Hotel, Golf and welcome dinner and closing party all bundled into one package. VIA.COM reps were on standby each day to transport us to and from the hotel to Golf course and back to the hotel in a large, spacious and fully air-conditioned bus. With the Indonesian Govt. Changing travel regulations announcing mandatory PCR tests for all domestic air travellers, VIA.COM arranged a team to come to the hotel for our tests for ease and convenience, 5-star service for the entire trip.
The Hilton Resort Bali in Nusa Dua, was the chosen Hotel for the trip, and the 5* property was a fine choice by VIA.COM with its spacious rooms, private beachfront, cozy outdoor bar and dining space and large and expansive breakfast every morning filling all our hungry golfing appetites and adding a few yards to our daily driving distance in the process. As well as its very strategic location of just 5 minutes by bus to Bali National and just 30 minutes to New Kuta Golf, Pecatu.
A fitting welcome dinner was arranged by the tournament committee on the first night, the night before Round 1, by the beachfront of the Hotel complete with BBQ, buffet and cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for all players, family and partners. The MC for the night, Fernando was to clarify the schedule and all golfing rules and regulations to all participating golfers and the golfing gods were clearly smiling on us as a bright full moon shone above the hotel’s beachfront as most players opted for an early night and rest in preparation for Round 1 of the Golf tournament the following day.
Regarding pairings, the tournament committee split the field into two brackets A & B. A bracket players were from handicaps 16 and below and B bracket players were handicaps 17 and above. A brackets would compete against each other for best nett and B bracket likewise. This split was also important for daily pairings as each four ball on each day comprised of two A bracket players and two B bracket players, this allowed for a good balance of playing skills in each flight and would also encourage a more even pace of play each round.
It was decided by the tournament committee that the mens would be playing blue tees, this caused a few raised eyebrows from many of the participants especially as Bali National is a challenging layout already with its island greens, huge waste bunkers, thick Bermuda rough… the added distance from the blue tees yet another challenge. With the infamous Bali Classic always teeing off from the Blues with no complaints the JAWS Sharks should clearly do the same.
Round 1: Thursday 21st October, 12:30 pm Tee Off, at Bali National
Blue skies, sunshine and a Golf Course in pristine condition greeted the players for Day One and after a hearty breakfast and some rest the players boarded the bus for the short drive to Bali National. The short bus from the Hotel allowed plenty of time at the course before tee off to soak up the course vibes, hit balls, chip and putt and stretch. At 1215 all players were raring to go in their golf carts and ready to whizz off to their designated tee boxes for the 1230 semi-shot gun start.
Players played at a good clip and testament to he challenges of Bali National only a handful of players managed to play their handicap or better. Solid rounds from Bram Sostenes with a Gross 87 and nett 73, and Greg White with a Gross 86 and nett 74 and a Low Gross of 81 from 6 handicapper Andrew Deane equally impressive considering it was his first time playing the course. Simon “beat box” Reynolds took Longest Drive on the Par 5, Hole #7 down the hill all the way to Nusa Penida…. with a 310 yard bomb. Emil “bright pants” Marcelo stiffed a 8 iron to 12 ft on the island green Par 3 Hole #17 to take Nearest to the Pin. With the lowest nett being a nett 73 on the day, telling two stories, the course layout was tough and their were no issues with handicaps.
With plenty of strokes being left out on the course, it was all to play for in Round 2 at New Kuta. The players retreated to the pool side and beachfront bar back at the Resort to exchange stories of the days play as the full moon shone high above into the night as the beer and wine flowed down by the beachfront.
Round 2: Friday 22nd October, 12:30 pm Tee Off, at New Kuta Golf
Day 2 a.k.a Moving Day, was held at New Kuta Golf, Pecatu, Bali’s Links Golf experience with the strong winds coming off the Indian Ocean and the blissful views of Dreamland and Surfer’s Paradise below from the Golf courses clifftops from Holes 14-15-16. The Nearest to the Pin was set on Hole 15 the signature Par 3 and proved to ideal setting for the daily par 3 skills prize.
The busy and buzzing short game area infront of the clubhouse was packed with JAWS Sharks before the 1230 tee off with players making the most of the time to warm up their touch and feel around and on the greens. With 100 Golfers scheduled to tee off in the afternoon session there was a sense of excitement and anticipation of good things ahead starting from the practice area.
Strong Winds and fast greens blew a few players scores into the Indian Ocean but the days top performers were Alyric Merriot in the A Flight with a Gross 81 and Nett 71 and Willi Goldschmidt posted a scintillating Gross 84, nett 66 in the B Flight. Low Gross was Simon “beat box” Reynolds with a 79 off the stick. Jude “the dude” Alexander bludgeoned a 285 yard screamer down the 9th fairway to grap Longest Drive. Sami “Spanish Hands” Kekkonen, punched his GW 140 yards to 10 feet, with the wind on the Par 3, seaside, signature hole #15 to take Nearest to the Pin.
Round 3: Saturday 23rd October, 12:30 pm Tee Off, at Bali National
The stage was set for the third and final round at Bali National. With an extra flight ticket on offer from a sponsor for low gross being announced by the tournament committee last minute, it was all to play for in the best nett A flight, best nett B flight and low gross categories.
The third day in a row of golf, and a chance for us amateurs to get a feel for life as a touring golf professional a senior pro anyhow, who usually compete in 54 hole events.
The final scores suggest some get better with more rounds, and some get worse with fatigue perhaps. The players reported better pin positions on the final day after some complaints of some extreme pin positions on day 1. More of the Blue skies and sunshine as from Day 1 provided perfect playing conditions for the tournament conclusion.
Another solid 72 nett round from Willi G cemented his runaway performance to take Best Nett Overall, with a total 3 day total of: 216 on an average of nett 72 per day, very solid golf and well deserved. Willi G may well have been the happiest man in Bali on Saturday night as the Etihad Airways sponsor was on site to present him with his Return Business Class Travel ticket to a destination of his choice within the regions of Europe and the US on the Etihad flight schedule.
The low gross battle was an exciting battle between Andrew Deane and Simon Reynolds who tee’d of level on 164 strokes. A double each for the pair on their opening hole #3, the uphill par 4, index 1 suggested nerves were there but they both quickly played themselves into a good rythymn scoring par after par. Holes 10-18 both players ran hot with Andrew scoring a gross 36 (1 under) and Simon a gross 38 (1 over) with Andrew 2 ahead with 2 holes to play. With a birdie-birdie finish on the 17th & 18th for Simon closing the gap. Despite a solid par to Andrew’s Bogey on Hole #1 (their 17th Hole), it came down to the last hole, the short par 4 #2, with it’s 90 degree dogleg right around the fairway bunker. Andrew saved his best drive of the week as his last, fading a 275 yard drive around the corner leaving himself just 60 yards to the pin. Simon’s more conservative 3 wood fade left him 110 yards to the back pin. His aggressive flag hunting PW pulled up middle of the green with a makeable 25ft putt, Andrew’s lob wedge left him a shorter 20ft putt. With a potential birdie to draw level, Simon’s putt was online but stopped in the circle for a tap-in par. With Andrew needing a 2 putt to win, his first putt caught Simon’s attention as he raced it 6 ft past the hole. He wasted no time making the return putt to clinch the low-gross trophy by a stroke on the last hole, well played Andrew. Fittingly Andrew’s day score of 77 was Low Gross on the day over Simon’s 78.
There were some big moves in the B Flight on the final day with Meher Noronha the event’s youngest player and only female contestant posting a nett 63 which allowed her to fly up the leaderboard into Best Nett II B flight. Srinivas Murthy would have picked up a most improved medal if there was one with each round getting better from Day 1, and posting a final day gross 81, nett 65 which was enough for him to secure Best Nett III B flight for the event. Well played Sir!
Closing Ceremony and Price Presentations
The outdoor clubhouse terrace overlooking the 18th hole and green was the venue for the closing party and presentations.
A big thanks to Bu Yuni and her team at Bali National who provided excellent service throughout the event both on the Golf Operations side and the food and beverage service, with the provisions after the game on day three well received by the participants.
A big thanks to Etihad Airways and Garuda Indonesia for sponsoring the grand best nett winner prize and low gross winner prize.
With the drinks flowing, cuban cigars burning and the clear night Balinese sky, moon shining high above the stage was set for JAWS have talent as the microphone exchanged hands amongst the players providing renditions of their favourite rock ballads, rock and roll songs, and even a spicy cover of the Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ for ‘the Dude’ Jude himself, not to mention a hip hop mash up of the ABBA hit ‘Fernando’ with special thanks for the MC.
The ‘apres’ Golf entertaiment and prize givings on the terrace were a fitting conclusion and wrapped up the event with a positive and humurous tone for the inaugural JAWS Bali Golf Invitational, and its safe to say this wont be the last one, and hopefully we will not need to wait 12 months for the next one….
Format: Best-Nett Winners / 54 Holes ⛳ // BEST NETT SCORES – COMBINED AFTER 54 HOLES
Blue Tees🏌️(Men) / RED Tees🏌️(Ladies)
Skills Prizes: Longest Drive and Nearest to the Pin / Each Day x 1 winner
- Day One (Bali National): Simon Reynolds
- Day Two (New Kuta Golf):Jude Alexander
- Day Three (Bali National): Srinivas Murthy
Nearest to The Pin
- Day One (Bali National): Emil Marcelo
- Day Two (New Kuta Golf):Sami Kekkonen
- Day Three (Bali National): Andrew Deane
Winners Categories: (Based on the 25 Players who played all 54 holes)
A Flight: Handicaps 0-15
- Best Nett I: Gregory White, Nett 223
- Best Nett II: Simon Reynolds, Nett 227 on countback
- Best Nett III: Alyric Merriot, Nett 227
B Flight: Handicaps 16-36
- Best Nett I: Jens Roestal, Nett 218
- Best Nett II: Meher Noronha, Nett 224
- Best Nett III: Srinivas Murthy, Nett 226
BEST NETT OVERALL: Willi Goldschimdt, Nett 216
BEST GROSS OVERALL: Andrew Deane, Gross 241