Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Move Along Please - No Fish To See Here.

Without being too sexist, it's a well known fact that wherever a group of men are gathered, golf and/or fishing stories will be related, debated and often contested.

To keep that tradition going, I shall relate the three highlights of our regular Monday golf game yesterday as believe me, I've rarely had ONE decent story to relate, never mind three !

But don't get too excited as these stories don't include a hole in one, killing a gator with a belly putter or a vulture dropping a fish from 200ft onto the fairway. Actually to be honest, these aren't stories as such, but 3 individual shots that will live long in our memories - or in my case till a week on Wednesday.

Another reason for recording them in his here blog thingy.

Ok lemme set the scene. Jack, Barrie and myself were playing at Harder Hall Country Club and to let you know our standard, we usually go round with scores in the low to mid 90's. So we won't be joining the PGA senior tour anytime soon but man do we have fun.

The first memorable shot came from Jack but sadly he was the only one who saw it. It was the par 4 10th hole with houses and the "out of bounds" along the right side of the fairway. In the past, I've had several drives go close to or, in one case 2 weeks ago, actually go into a hedged garden and despite seeing it sitting up on the very lush bermuda grass, I couldn't retrieve it without trespassing.

This time it was Barrie who sent his ball, we thought, into the same garden but he had a ball retriever in his bag and so with me in attendance (as my own ball narrowly missed going in as well) he managed to hook it out - only to discover it wasn't his ball at all. In fact we never did find his ball.

While all this was taking place over on the right of the approach to the green, Jack must've been having fun of his own down the left side and had plonked his 3rd shot into the green side bunker. Barrie and I were still messing about finding and retrieving balls and had no idea what Jack was doing when we suddenly heard him shout out. He'd taken his 4th shot from the bunker and it had sailed onto the green and rolled right into the hole !

Now I'm only assuming he holed out in par as I think his shout would've been a lot louder if he'd holed for a birdie or even an eagle - no he was just excited about holing from the bunker so I think a par was his score. Anyway he was the only witness to this feat but he made sure we heard his shout and his ball was indeed in the hole, as I removed it myself when I eventually made it up onto the green.

That was excitement No.1.

Well I never said it would be VERY exciting !

A few holes later and with the grin still fresh on Jack's face, it was Barrie's moment to shine and this time we were all witnesses. He'd already hacked a few shots from the light rough down the left side of the fairway and even hit a tree with his ball almost returning to his feet, when he finally hit a shot that landed about 20 feet from a green side bunker. As he viewed his chip, Jack gave Barrie some sage if rather optimistic advice : -

"Just chip it over that bunker and it'll feed down to the hole, hit the flag and go in."

Yes thank you Jack. If only we played golf to that standard !

Well blow me if that isn't exactly what happened. Any comments forming in my head were changing by the second as his chip shot flew off the club face......

Oh good chip over the bunker, Barrie.

Oh well done getting it on the green, Barrie.

Wow you've hit the flag, Barrie.

OMG it's gone in !

Actually it was teasingly better than that as when the ball hit the flag, it was going at a fair pace and so bounced back a little onto the rim of the hole. I thought it was going to sit there and still be an awesome shot but a second later, it disappeared into the hole and that small part of Harder Hall Country Club was treated to the bizarre spectacle of three grown men leaping around and "high fiving" like they'd each won The Masters.

That was excitement No.2.

By now I was feeling decidedly left out ! Then we got to the short par 3 16th and it was my turn to hog the golfing spotlight.

My 8 iron tee shot sent the ball arcing 125 yds over the water hazard and onto the back of the green and I was already thinking.......ohhhhhh I could get a par here.

I'm nothing if not realistic when it comes to my putting skills !

Once on the green, I began to think a par was being optimistic as my ball was on the back edge of a quite severe slope leading to the hole. I'd have to aim my putt along the edge of the slope about 6 feet to the left of the hole and then let it roll almost at a right angle for another 5 feet to the hole. Just getting it close would be an achievement.

(Well I have to build this up a bit as after all, it's MY turn and MY blog)

Now lets be honest here. I know as much about checking a green's grain and lining up a putt as I know about the national flag of Uganda. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

But I can see where the ball needs to go to get to the hole. My problem is that usually the ball doesn't take this route as I'm a pretty crap putter.

Not on this occasion. My putt was a joy to behold and all 3 of us watched as it left my club face and trundled on its merry way along the slope. The speed seemed good. The line was just as I wanted it to be. After about 15 feet it started to turn down the slope towards the hole and I felt it was going to be close. Quite close. Very close. OMG close.

IN THE HOLE close !

A birdie ! Better still, my first ever 2 in golf. My years of patiently watching golf on tv were finally paying off. And people said I was lazy and wasting my time. Ha !

The ball dropped in with all the speed of a very slow snail but all the grace of a Bolshoi prima ballerina and for the third time on the back 9, a trio of shouts went up, the fives were high and a good day just got even better. Now we ALL had shots to talk about and I'm afraid you, dear readers, will have to be my grandchildren on this occasion as I don't have any real ones to tell.

What a day ! What a back 9. What a great feeling seeing a 2 on my scorecard.........in between a 6 and a 7 but what the heck, it was still there.

My final score was 94 which won't win any prizes but we play for fun and fun we had.

And yesterday, for 3 brief moments in time, we each felt like a pro.

But unlike them, we didn't just casually touch the peaks of our caps. We didn't just give a small wave. Hell no. We shouted like idiots, smiled like crazy loons and slapped each other more times than was comfortably necessary.

And best of all ? We get to try it all again next Monday !

And yes, I'll be back watching golf on the telle this weekend.

My advice to those pros ?

When you get a birdie, chip in from a bunker or from over a bunker, at least try and look happy and excited.

After all, 3 of us now know the feeling.


Daphne said...

Even for an ignorant non-golfer like wot I am - - - great story! And congratulations on the TWO.

Katherine said...

I don't play golf either, nor do I watch it on telly, although once I touched one of the hitty-things, and once forund a golf-ball down at the park BUT! That was a *really exciting* story Ian, and I'm so pleased for you and your friends.

rhymeswithplague said...

I am not a golfer either but I know when to say "CONGRATULATIONS!!! WAY TO GO!!!" to a person.

A friend of mine who worked as a maintenance man at the Boca Raton Hotel and Club once found a stray golf ball with the name "Spiro Agnew" on it.

That is as close as I have ever come to greatness.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

' ... and then he threw a four and a six ... '


You do know that most of what you said there was complete gibberish to me, don't you? I did understand the bit about the balls getting lost in someone's garden though, and ... well, yes, I did get that you did EXTREMELY well at this incomprehensible sport! Well done, you!

Whatever sport you do, the important thing is to have fun and try to improve your game, and it seems like you managed both of those things! Good for you!

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