Lots of Golf (with a little work thrown in)

I had a fantastic weekend of golf playing in the Mixed Club Championships. D and I played well yesterday with two birdies on the back nine and were sitting in third place. I was chuffed and excited to play with some of the best golfers in the club today. We played really well on the front nine and were two shots off the lead but D left after nine to go to ball, as we had been disqualified prior to teeing off as D is still a junior. As he is playing in the nationals for baseball and we were now only playing for shits and giggles, he took off.

Day One of the Mixed Championship

Day One of the Mixed Championship – D&T, D&C, J&R

I was really enjoying the round and wanted to keep playing so besides having the course staff try and find someone, I too was asking every able bodied man in the vicinity if he could play. In the end I stole a random stranger (thanks Mike) from the car park and whisked him away to finish the round with me. I think I only told him my name when we got to the tee.

I am very glad I went to the effort of golf-napping as I witnessed some wonderful golf on the back nine. Some great shots off my club too but my playing partners can whack a great ball. I am positive watching and playing with good golfers makes you a better golfer – well it does me.

On the 17th Ken hit a fantastic wedge, it bounced on the green twice and dropped in the hole. An amazing birdie and wonderful to watch. Team R&R (Ron and Rhonda) were consistently great and were the ultimate club champions. The only shame of it was that D and I couldn’t give them a run. We were only two off the lead at the turn.

It was a fantastic weekend of golf, just not quite what I was hoping for.

Oh well, there is always next year – Thomas I am looking at you.

D and I will play again when he is eligible.

At Mill River

At Mill River

I have now played my 42nd course in thirteen months. Tuesday I headed to the other side of the island and played at Mill River in the Western Shootout with Elissa, a friend from Australia,  Mill River is in fantastic condition after the abysmal winter that hit the island and I can’t wait to return and play with Mark and film Twenty Questions with Tiff. It has some great challenges and fantastic holes that I can’t wait to have time to video.

Tuesday was a best ball competition and while I didn’t have time to video what I wanted, I had a lot of fun negotiating the changes in elevation and the water crossings.

With Elissa at Mill River

With Elissa at Mill River

I had a couple of days off golf following a change in my employment status (am now managing the fine dining restaurant at the golf resort) and a bit of island touring. On Friday, D and I headed out to play a practice round prior to the Mixed and both teed off then hit alternate shot on each ball. We did some pretty ordinary things and while there were moments of brilliance, these were limited.

It was a lot easier just playing the one ball yesterday. We started off well and shot 44 on the front nine then 39 on the back with a couple of birdies. Richard pointed out a snake in the grass and while D rushed over to it pick up, I was fleeing down the fairway in the cart.

I am scared of two things, clowns and snakes.

I had just put D into the bunker and perhaps his revenge was to chase me down the fairway with the snake. I drove the cart to the bunker jumped out, yelling for him to have his shot and sprinted off down the fairway.

He thought it a good laugh.

If only it was a spider – I like them.

D puts the snake in the woods, grabs his club, steps in the sand and just whacks a dart to near 3 feet from the pin. It clipped through some trees on the way there and was just awesome to watch. A great golf shot – and yes I sunk the putt for a birdie.

Sneaky golfie the snake handler took on my phone.

Sneaky golfie the snake handler took on my phone.

I am always happy watching great golf and am only happier if the great golf comes off my club which it does at times, just not consistently. I am getting better and enjoy golfing with so many different people.

I played at Fox Meadows last week, so much fox action between the Foxy Ladies I golfed with to the half dozen foxes who clearly own this land.

with the Foxy Ladies - Debbie, Cheryl and Myrtle

with the Foxy Ladies – Debbie, Cheryl and Myrtle

I did some great things but mostly it was quite ordinary. One hole I nailed a drive really far but directionally challenged and ended up in long rough. Just like the rough at my Australian home track, Mt Broughton, but as in Australia it is snaky grass, this is one thing I have never practiced.

Did I mention the snakes?

Next time I will be taking a drop. I think I managed to find the green in nine and then finished the hole off with a twenty five foot putt curving downhill. How can you not be happy?

I am still not quite getting on to my long clubs but am also no longer continually drop kicking them. I have had two more lessons with Dave and some adjustments to my swing has put me off a little and yet my irons, chipping and pitching has improved so much. My touch and feel around the greens is coming along and I am executing things very well, but it varies between long or short although sometimes perfect.

As Ben Hogan once said  ‘Golf is a game of luck, the more I practice, the luckier I get” and this certainly proved true when I played Avondale last week with Len, my neighbour and long time golf buddy (well the whole year I have been golfing), Arthur and Paul.

The day after another lesson with Dave I went to the range and hit 400 balls. I like to hit a complete pyramid and my last ten balls pushed my hands to bleeding. Not too much and no, I don’t wear a glove. I did have a great practice session doing the various drills Dave has shown me and I was really whacking well.

A friendly spider at the range. I like them.

A friendly spider at the range – I like them.

A day later I then went to play Avondale and after teeing off the first, went hunting for a bandaid. On the second tee I asked if anyone else had one. They suggested I should run back up to the pro shop but it wasn’t going to kill me and it wasn’t until the fifth that it actually started bleeding. We finished nine and Len and Paul had to head off so after a quick bandaid stop, Arthur and I continued on the back nine.

We played up to a foursome who waved us through on the 12th. Arthur teed off and we walked to the ladies tee. I pulled out my 3 hybrid looking at the shot planning for it to hit the fairway in front of the green and run up. I stood smiling as it did exactly that and was a little amused to hear three of the guys holler in unison with a disappointed oh at the end. I didn’t realize just how well I had hit my shot until I got up there and I must say I smiled a lot.

This far from my first proper hole in one attempt.

This far from my first proper hole in one attempt.

The guys thought they were going to see their first hole in one and while I might only be just over a year into golf, I do plan on getting one. The only question is when.

I sure play enough golf to be that lucky. I worked out that I have played about a hundred rounds in the last thirteen months.

Not bad at all.

I have added a couple of countries to my golf list for next year and by the end of 2016 I would like to have played another fifty golf courses in eight countries.

That is my loose plan – lots of golf with a little work thrown in.

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