I have a list of “things to do before I die” that I began a few years ago, in fact it was pre-diagnosis, so that is going back a bit. I think I wrote the ideas and challenges down about 8 years ago, certainly at a time that they were not the trendy bucket lists that they are today.
One of the things I had on there was to shoot less that my age at 9 holes of golf. This was a neat challenge as the older you get, the more shots you get, but perversely as time goes by it becomes harder to simply get around a course. Most courses are about 35 shots for 9 holes as a rough guide, so I was never going to achieve this until I was in my 40s.
Anyway this challenge had been sitting on the back burner with a few others, but I had revived it after the sudden realisation that I was spending (and wasting a hell of a lot) of time in front of a laptop screen. It was time to shake a leg and get on with it.
I had planned to cheat a little and attempt this task at a really short 9 hole course such as the Green Course at Wexham Park and maybe go around a few times with Baz, who has just started to play. However it did not turn out like that.
Yesterday the feat was achieved at Princes Risborough Golf Club where I tore up the front 9 holes in 41 shots. I was playing match play with Pest and a former student, Will Fairhead and the format of this game means that you do not keep individual scores. However I was doing a mental tot up as I went around of how many shots I had dropped. I birdied the 9th hole and only then it suddenly dawned on me. I had only dropped 7 shots and it meant that Hey! I had hit a 41 and so ticked another thing off the list inadvertently.
Highlight of the round was on the 1st hole. All three of us were scratching around near the green, but nobody had got their ball on the dance floor yet. There was a bloke stood up on the tee behind us so I thought we could wave him through as he looked a big hitter, and I was proved correct when he slapped his drive with a few yards of the green. It is an easy hole to do this if you are any good, but it was still a nice drive off the tee nevertheless.
Your man then came bowling down the fairway with his girlfriend in tow. I hoped it was not a first date, but she looked a little uneasy as she watched her man come past us and flick his ball to within 4 foot of the flag. Golfing etiquette states that the person that you are playing with takes the flag out of the cup whilst you putt at the hole. Clearly his “non-playing” partner did not know about this, so I stepped in and tended the flag. As I did so matey boy crouched over his ‘birdie’ putt and declared “Now this is the hard bit”
My reply was “Well you know that driving is for show……..” as he lined up his shot,
“…….and putting is for dough!” as his effort just lipped out and stayed up!
The joke was lost on the blonde girl. Who takes a girl out to watch you play golf on your own anyhow?
After the Big Shot stomped off I ended up three putting for a six!