A Brief History of PEGS

This history is to give Members an idea of the relatively brief history of golf in Phuket generally and PEGS in particular.

PEGS, The Beginning

It seems that sometime in February 1993 there were a few expat guys including Sven Christensen and Gert Hansen, two Danish men and Joe Ohlund and Kevin Cooney, Americans, who were members of Banyan Tree, now Laguna Golf, and who played together on a regular basis. But they could only sign in three guests. So the GM at Banyan Tree, Kai Smith, a South African, suggested to them that they should form a golf society. Within two weeks they had signed up about twenty five golfers and by six weeks, around fifty.

Kai offered the members of this PEGS group a discounted green fee, and to host a golf tournament each week, which was held on Wednesday. Entry fee was THB 300 to cover prizes and food at Banyan Tree.

Sven Christensen member No 1, was nominated as President as he lived at Kamala, close to Banyan Tree. Meetings were held in Kamala watering holes including Dan Divers Bar, run by Ian Dick an Australian ex-lifeguard. Member 2 was Joe Ohlund and 3 was Gert Hansen. Sven and Gert are now deceased, but Joe lives in Chalong. Founder members included Neville Nicholson, a Welshman, Paul Ashman, a Brit, and Brad Vernon, an Australian. The first members were mainly expatriates who worked in the oil industry.

David Brooke ran the Phuket Island Lager Bar with his wife Kanchanan in Soi Sea Pearl for thirteen years from 1993, before it was hit by the tsunami on 26 Dec 2004. He then relocated to Soi Sea Lion off Bangla for a further three years. Tom McNamara was the owner of the Baan Rim Pa restaurant at Kalim. PEGS meetings were held there. Tom passed on in Nov 2008 at the age of 62. He was an American from Rhode Island.

Paul Gibson was an early member and started the Yorkshire Inn in San Sabai, the road opposite Bangla. At one time he was the youngest PGA professional golfer in the UK. He did not play on the tour though, and became a club maker for well known professionals such as Gary Player and Nick Faldo. He was the personal club maker to the Sultan of Brunei, and founder of American Golf in UK. Another claim to fame was that he eagled the two consecutive par 5 holes at PCC 18 hole course, holes 9 and 10, in the same round. He was a good friend of current member Neale Avery. He passed on in Aug 2013.

In 1998 PEGS members acted as marshals for the Johnnie Walker Classic, won by Tiger Woods, including Kevin Cooney an ex-Reuters correspondent who had recently interviewed Ang San Suu Chi, who was then under house arrest in Myanmar. He was a solid 24 handicap player. He lived in Rawai and liked to drink at Nikita’s Bar. When he died his ashes were scattered at sea off Rawai beach.

Between 8-10 June 98 an inaugural Ryder Cup match with 14 a side, between PEGS and Pattaya Sports Club was held at Rayong Green Valley, Laem Chabang and the Great Lake courses. The PEGS captain was Kevin Cooney. Other players included Michael Wilson and Alan Robinson. PSC won 15.5 to 12.5.

The second Ryder Cup event against PSC in 1999 was held at BCCC Canyon Course, Loch Palm and PCC. Players who competed for PEGS included Jim Brackett, Paul Ashman, Jim Shand and Peter Wood.

On Thurs 25 March 1999 at Loch Palm, the PEGS event was won by Brad Vernon who shot 75 gross off 15 Handicap to give him 48 points!

On Thurs 12 April 1999, in the monthly PEGS tournament, category A was won by Don Franks of the USA with 43 stableford points, 81 gross. Second was Briton Jim Shand with 39 points, 84 gross. Kevin Cooney won Category B with 40 points, 92 gross.

Tim Willis, and Andy Colthorpe were early members. Also Chris Hill and Alan Railton, who worked for HSBC. Mickey White was diminutive, but loved to gamble on the course.

More Recently

There have been several holes-in-one in PEGS tournaments. But a big coincidence is that after Neale Avery hit one, the next one, six years later was by his wife, Saifon, on her first appearance in a PEGS tournament. Saifon is currently the Thai National Caddie Champion. She won the title, sponsored by EGA, at the Siam Country Club Plantation Course after trying for three years.

PEGS, The Presidents:

1) 1993-95 - Sven Christensen
2) 1995-96 - Joe Ohlund aka Alaska Joe
3) 1996-97 - Gert Hansen
4) 1997-98 - Peter Hapgood aka Porky
5) 1998-01 - Kevin Cooney
6) 2001-2005 - Mervyn Baines
7) 2005-07 - Peter Wood
8) 2007-08 -Liam Stewart
9) 2008-19 -Lindsey Wallace
10) 2019-present - Bob Mather

Contributions are acknowledged from Tim Willis, Joe Ohlund, Alan Railton, David Brook, Neale Avery and Neville Nicholson. The information is as accurate as the contributors can remember.

If you can contribute more information or correct any of the information above, please do not hesitate to contact PEGS.