Catalina Country Club – December 2016. My last round of the year and with two great mates – couldn’t ask for a better way to spend four hours.
I leave in a week (will be gone from Australia for eight or nine months) so playing my final round in 2016 with two very old friends was wonderful.
As this time of year is the busiest, Mal (the pro) didn’t have time for a golf chat so Zac, Macca and I sorted out club and cart hire (which we got as it was going to be 36 degrees celsius) and headed out to tee off.
We were teeing of the 10th and playing the back 18. Catalina Country Club has 27 holes and we were directed to the 10th, so away we went.
As we got our tees etc Macca noticed he had picked up left handed clubs (this is Macca’s first round in 20 years – I was stoked they’d agreed to 18 holes) so back to the pro shop for him.
I did suggest an ambrose (best ball) so we could all just whack it, have fun and have a great laugh.
Which is exactly what we did.
Zac hasn’t played golf since I got him to play with me down the south coast of Sydney two years ago so we all had some interesting shots.
Macca did a few more practice swings than he was intending and we were off.
My driving was pretty good but I only really got on to about three drives. The others went straight down the fairway but the distances varied. We were all playing from the white tees and having a lot of fun.
We laughed a lot and at times giggled at some of our attempts at golf. There were numerous balls donated to the course and some new ones found but this round, the course was in favour.
Catalina is in great condition and there are little creeks meandering through the course to add to the test of golf. The greens were in good condition although I didn’t drop any long putts. I got many to stop within inches but it was Macca who dropped a couple of long putts.
Zac managed to bend it like Beckham a couple of times to our (and his) astonishment and when Macca gets on to a ball – watch out. That said I did manage to out drive them a couple of times but as we were playing best ball it was to all our advantage.
There are a lot of kangaroos lazing around. Perhaps as it was so hot they were not moving much but there are dozens of them in the shade of the bush between fairways.
As we finished the 18th I sent a message to James Gribble from Empower Golf who I was meeting post round to transfer some footage that was shot at the Australian Open, then headed to the 19th.
The course was quite busy however it always felt we pretty much had it to ourself. We did have to wait a couple of times for the threesome in front of us but that was only because we were playing a scramble and pretty quickly too.
We had a few snacks (banana oatmeal and cranberry slice, apples and muesli bars) but didn’t have enough water which was a rookie mistake. I had a bottle but neither of the boys did and while it wasn’t too warm when we teed off at 7.15am, it got hot quickly.
My 3w was my best club in my bag and the boys asked if I ever hit it off the fairway (somedays you can never miss).
We didn’t break any records out there but it was a great morning of golf and post round when the boys sunk a few beers, I met with James, had a golf chat, catch up and copied data.
A great day that I would like to continue every year before I hit the road once again.
I have one more rounds to play (Catalina being #98) until I will play my 100th course in 2 1/2 years and I am planning on teeing up in Hawaii on my 40th birthday to celebrate my golfing life.