Sunday June 5th and with the snowman still weaving its powers on creating the perfect weather conditions for anything aquatic over the last few weeks, a turnout of 52 entrants for round two of the Golf4Fun tournament series was impressive.
Arriving early to a light but constant shower, Dawn set about helping to organise the goodies stall with Colette and Nata, whilst I donned wet weather gear and headed to the range to warm up for my 10.18 tee time. Balls hit, and still only CHF 5 for 40 balls (Great Value!!!), it was off to register and a very welcoming secretariat took my birdie pot cash. Then to pick up our goodies kindly donated by our head sponsor Stamford group together with sun cream and wrist bands from UltraSun.
The wet stuff was still falling from the sky as we stood on the first, with the advantage that the rest of the competitors were under cover elsewhere, meaning there was no gallery to witness any errant tee shots.
It was clear from the outset that the rough, for which Gams is legend, was going to be as factor. There is a school of thought that the construction of golf courses has a negative effect on the environment. Well if that is so then the wild life witnessed throughout the day by this player would argue to the contrary. A reliable source from the golf club informed my nearest and dearest that they have a vast array of different wild species making themselves at home amongst both the thick vegetation and on the small lakes that are dotted around this 18 hole safari park / golf club.
By the fifth hole one of our flight, who had been hitting fine strikes into the thick stuff since hole one, was beginning to be concerned that he had actually brought enough golf balls with him to complete not only the 18 holes but even the front nine. Luckily, however, at the sixth hole he found his game and normal service resumed.
The sixth hole was to be an interesting one for yours truly. Having stepped off the fifth nursing a seven, after a finely struck five iron second found its way into the drink, I was looking to recover. This particular par four has high netting running down the left to protect those teeing off on the 8th. I hit the big stick hard left, and the netting created a strange effect on the ball`s rotation, sending it zipping up the fairway and landing perhaps 20 meters further than it would have done otherwise.
The nearest the pin seventh was not to see any contention made from our flight and in the end it was Carlos taking the honours with what proved to be an unbeatable 2m 49 cm. Not only that but he also got the birdie!!
Mid round snacks, with a broad selection of sandwich fillings to choose from, chicken curry did the trick for me, washed down with some orange rehydration courtesy of our drinks partner Focus Water.
The 10th hole greeted us with sunshine and so wet weather gear was removed, in my case just the top half, as if I had removed the Gortex trousers I may have been in danger of being banned from the course for life and probably arrested.
The 11th Par 3 and Raleigh Bike hole-in-one, or in my case four. There were no takers once again, and so the challenge moves on to Bad Bellingen July 2nd – 3rd.
The weather began to shift again and some threatening cloud formations made us pick the pace up a bit to try and make it into the dry before being deluged. But we need not have worried as the looming downpour dissipated as soon as it reached the course boundary, and instead gave way to some pleasant, if not sticky conditions.
Coming up the 18th, there to greet us was our Ron, from Inner Image fame, snapping away. This was my last chance to recoup my CHF 5 investment in the birdie pot, and I missed it !! A welcome home beer, kindly supplied by the International Beer Bar in Zurich, was gratefully received and I can thoroughly recommend the Drunken Sailor (Hmmmm ) not quite Limoncello but very refreshing. Showered and changed, in the top class locker room at the club, it was over the road and time to wait for the other groups to come in, with lots of chatter of lost balls aplenty, and what could have been if not for the unfriendly bunda.
With the inclement weather pushed away, we were lucky enough to hold the Apero outside, with the kitchen at Gams once again laying on an impressive spread. Appetites and thirst sated it was show time, and Nora was up, temperamental PA system to hand, to regale us with details of up and coming events and the day`s results. As it turned out I had a pretty good day, and my flight members were rewarded for our efforts. The Spanish duo seemed to clean up, and good luck to them.
Now, that I have actually managed to play my handicap down, I will be tracking my statistical progress by using the golfsuisse.ch system. ASG Migros members will find it easy to use, and it’s a mine of information, such as your ranking in Switzerland according to age, your tournament playing history and many other features. Fascinating stuff.
There was a new category added to the Aladdin’s cave of prizes already on offer. Advertising partner Neiss Bucher Architects GMBH represented by our Manu, were offering a super array of edible and drinkable goodies from Globus food halls. To stand a chance of winning this gastro treat you had to match his competition points tally on the day. There were three competitors in the running and it was won by the very appreciative Bob . Simular Match Manu challenges will appear at further tournament days , the prizes on each occassion kindly donated by Manu, just the challenge will differ…watch this space.
Thanks, as always, to our sponsors, to all those who make these days possible and to the staff at the club for making us once again so welcome. Congrats to all those winners, especially to the competitor with the awesome 4 birdies!! One last piece of commentary, apparently they will be cutting the rough this coming week, so any of you that need some balls I recommend you hop down there. It will be like a mini Klondike.
The end of Round Two and another great occasion, and it could be the influence of the Snowman is weakening. Thank you Gams Werdenberg and here’s to a fine Bad Bellingen weekend.
Peter Martin, (more) Hopeful Tiger 2016