November 2016 – I was invited to attend the Wollondilly Anglican College (WAC) golf fundraiser on the 2nd November at Lakeside.
The principal Dr Stuart Quarmby and I had enjoyed quite a golf chat the week previously as he asked me all about Fairways and what we were doing to support underprivileged junior golfers around the world.
Karen (who organised the day) loved what I was doing and put me in touch with Stuart who asked if I would attend the golf day and be introduced as their nonprofit partner.
I get to talk about Fairways and play golf at a course I hadn’t played before – which makes it number 92 since I started golfing.
We were playing a four ball scramble (Ambrose) and I was in a team with Stuart, Phillip (the schoool’s architect) and Henry (one of the parents).
We had a quick breakfast as we got to know each other a little before we headed out to tee off.
We were starting on the first tee so didn’t have to go too far. My friend Vanessa (whose daughter, Alice attends WAC) threatened to kidnap me and add me to her team as they were all novices. Not that I am a pro but I have played quite a few rounds since first taking a club to hand.
Lakeside is undergoing some major renovations and there was a lot of plant and machinery around. They have sold off four holes for housing development and are building another four holes and there is new irrigation being installed on the front nine so it was a bit of a construction site.
You could still play some good golf around the works but I would love to visit this course again in a couple of years to enjoy the course without the temporary greens and the construction.
All of us had golfed before – Phillip, Henry and I are regular players while Stuart dabbles.
We had some great laughs and lots of fun as we negotiated the various lakes dotted throughout the course.
At the beginning of the round we were given a yellow ball that someone in each team had to play every hole and return with it or pay a $20 penalty. Henry and I played the first two with the yellow ball then Stuart donated it to the course in the water on the 3rd.
It was only just in the reeds but we couldn’t find it. I might have been busy looking for my ball in the reeds on the other side of the hole while Henry and Phillip shot back to the last hole to look for my ball marker which I had left on the fairway after marking our ball.
As it is my favourite ball marker from Scotland I shot off after we played the 3rd and found it exactly where I had left it. I knew it was on the outside of the irrigation trench and had no problem getting it. Most of us donated balls to the course – some more than others as we whacked wildly hoping for the best (my usual golf game).
There was also some wonderful golf from all of us. Stuart dropped a lovely birdie, Phillip couldn’t go wrong with his driver and the chipping from Henry and I was pretty good (if I say so myself). I have been practicing my chipping so I was pleased with what came off my club.
My driving on the other hand was very mediocre. Considering my putter and my driver are the two best clubs in my bag, it just wasn’t working but I could do no wrong with my 3w.
That is just golf – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
We took a while trying to find the 5th tee as the bridge was being replaced and the 4th green was temporary but we eventually found it and the construction work petered out.
We all watched in amusement as another team hit their yellow ball and started shouting as a crow swooped in and snatched it away. They had managed to play 16 holes with the ball and yet still had to pay a $20 penalty for returning without the ball.
We came around the turn at -1 which is not great in a four ball scramble but all we could manage and ended up the same on the back 9 finishing 2 under. Not enough to win the enormous trophy (lucky really as that would have been wasted on me – it would not make it to the suitcase).
The course is a great test of golf and I do look forward to returning and teeing it up again once all the works are complete.