Was it really just over 3 months since we were here in Little Scotland?
With my golfing calendar becoming increasingly full, time is flying by.
Luckily this year my nearest and dearest upon instruction had not purchased a season ticket for the local open air swimming pool, and consequently the mercury had been soaring in July, although it was beginning to become a tad uncomfortable. One could break into a sweat just popping the top off a cold one, so a round of golf was becoming more of a yomp across the Gobi rather than four hours of pastoral enjoyment.
Right on queue though the O Sullivan high shifted direction allowing for the entrance of more temperate weather with things cooling down to a more agreeable 25 degrees providing perfect conditions for round 5.
Considering we were in holiday season, 57 players amassed on the Sunday, a turnout that reflects just how popular this golf series is becoming.
The day had not started well for this Tiger, with a slight navigational error on the outward journey combined with the meeting of car body work and rock in the club car park not helping the mood.
After 15 minutes though of therapeutic putting, the demons had flown, and it was off to the first for a 10.08 tee time.
Unlike April`s tournament the rough had been given plenty of time to develop and as benign as it looked my flight were soon discovering its powers of making what appeared at first as a great shot, to end in a lost ball event. (As Nora says —if you’re unsure, always play a provisional!!!)
I was having my usual up and down start, managing to hold onto my original ball till the third, before it disappeared with a brilliantly struck but misaligned 5 iron straight into the thick stuff.
The group in front and my flight were playing at a fair old lick and reached the mid- round snack 40 minutes ahead of schedule. So, not the usual rush to get out there again, which normally resulted in a tomato stain or two as well as a dose of indigestion brought on by trying to enter the Guinness Book of Records for consuming a salami roll, a banana and a fruit bar in under 60 seconds.
So, still with a clean shirt and an alkaline stomach, it was off to the 10th and the longest drive fairway.
Mark , a previous recipient of this accolade, had been hitting it long all day, but on this occasion his enthusiasm to be crowned again led his ball to land in the Bunda, albeit a very long way down the length of the hole. Myriam, for the ladies, also gave hers a hefty blow and was briefly in the running before being overtaken by the eventual victors Adam and Nicole. Adam`s was a beauty. All those hours of practice in the Golf Center no doubt.
The 12th and hole-in-one prize time. Today’s pin position was not in its usual impossible position, but once again there were no takers for the bike kindly donated by Raleigh which is in danger of becoming a classic before anyone can claim it. Maybe Gruyère`s magical opening hole will prove to be the cause of celebration come August 16th.
One hole later and the 14th, nearest the pin. It was no surprise to me to walk onto the green and see our Ron’s name on the roster at just north of 2meters. This, however, was to prove not enough in the end with Jessica smashing it to land just 77 cm from the cup. Ron later admitted to missing his birdie chance, I did not even ask Jessica.
Then we made the walk down into the valley of doom for the 15th, 16th, and 17th where the insect life can eat you alive and the course can do the same to your golf game.
I was to witness a great shot from Mark on the 16th as he boomed one down the middle and, with laser guided precision, managed to hit the bridge traversing the first hazard to add a further 25 meters to an already impressive effort.
Having survived both the golf and the assault of the blood suckers, we left the valley with the loss of just 3 balls and a syringe of type O between us. I was slightly disappointed there was no district nurse available handing out tea, a digestive biscuit and a five minute lie down.
The round finished, we huddled together to check our respective scores, although my attention was diverted by the sight of Dawn rubbing insect repellent into Ron’s lower legs and there appeared to be a queue forming. Lucky Ron!!
We had finished our game in exactly four hours, speed golf by tournament standards, and so it was just over half an hour before the next flight was in — not their fault — with the rest of the field filing in soon after with respectable times.
Dick, in flight 16, who under his own admission had been tired and emotional the previous evening, as he attended the nuptials of some close friends, was to finish in style. Hitting his approach on the 18th to within a few feet of the onlookers, precipitating shouts of FORE!!, his Callaway decided to take on its Scottish roots and nestle in the deep stuff like a grouse in heather.
Dick though had the required instrument to remove the reluctant object from its lair, and with a shot that would make the Royal Horticultural Society wince, he managed to scythe out both the ball and a hefty collection of natural herbs and grasses, with the Callaway coming to rest on the fringe and the cuttings coming to rest on Dick!! All beautifully caught here by Ron’s lens.
This type of gardening golf appears to be growing in popularity, as I have been made aware that one of our members has as many as 6 different wedges in their bag. Photographic evidence is here supplied.
With the field in, it was Apèro time with prize-giving seeing Alex and Bea cornering the Fin Bec market. For those of you off to Gruyère you will be pleased to note that they (that’s Fin Bec – not Alex and Bea) will be providing wine tasting at the Apèro with an offer of a 5 pct discount to any Golf4Fun members who place an order.
Congratulations to all the winners, especially to our friend Carlos and Timo who both achieved their handicaps, with Irene almost there as well — Next time Irene!!
Thanks, as always, to helpers Dawn and Nicole, to the staff at Steisslingen golf club for their hospitality and to Nora who, once again, organized a superb day and provided a walking buffet for our air breathing arthropod friends.
Peter Martin, Hopeful Tiger 2015