Sooooooo Close, And Yet So Golf!

There are only two things more boring than watching golf on TV. Reading about golf in blogs, and actually playing golf.

Well stiff shit valued readers, E@L almost had a good round today and wants to tell you about it, so you're going to have to suffer through this. Let's start with this amazing fact: seven pars and a birdie. Fantastic hey? A shit-load of triple-bogeys took most of the pleasure out of that, but the real kick in the nuts came on the 18th hole.

E@L's tally had been great on the front nine - only six over. But who can ever card a good front nine and a good back nine together on the same day? Certainly not E@L .

There was no wind and the sun was intense. E@L was projectile sweating. On these cloying humid days playing golf in Malaysia, the sweat keeps trickling down from E@L's hat into his eyes and does something horrible to the conjunctiva or the tear ducts, clogging his eyes with rheum, irritating and defocusing his vision when great clumps of eye-crap smudge across his pupils. He wipes and wipes, and of course that only makes matters worse. (All this is leading to an excuse, of course.) By the end of the day, his vision was only marginally operational. Well, he had to blink a lot.

Exhausted, pregnant Px was sitting this last hole out but T was still up to playing one more. We all agreed that golf should be only 12 holes on days like this. That's when the sweat-rash is still bearable and the energy level still ticking over suitably. The fun is still there. After that, on a day like today, it becomes hard work.

As E@L came off another par on the 17th and teed up on the par five 18th, he realized that he needed to par this hole as well in order to break 90! The first time he had ever done so on a "real" golf course. If he could do it, that is.

"If I par this hole, I'll buy everybody dinner tonight," E@L promised. That drew a shout of approval from Px, who has developed the appetite of someone eating for two.

Taking his driver from the bag, E@L concentrated on relaxing and not allowing himself to get tense over the prospects of a PB. He hit cleanly and the ball flew straight up the middle, on perfect line for the approach shot on this dog-leg to the right. T also smacked a beauty (even better than his!) and landed five metres ahead of him.

"Where are we eating tonight?" asked T as they walked all the way from their buggies to the balls.

"In a street-vendor place, maybe that market near the service-station on the way home. Somewhere cheap. Ha ha." A par was almost certain.

The second shot on a par five is what separates the men from the fucking looney-tune, prankster, no-hoper, week-end hackers. A sensible approach when all you want to do is make par from 250 meters out, is to use a reasonably easy long club, say a four or five iron, lay it up about 60 to 80 meters out away from the green-side bunkers, then go for an easy(ish) pitch close enough for a two putt, and card your par.

A stupid approach would be to pull out the fairway wood and try to hit the green, ignoring all the bunkers and trees between you and glory. That would be incredibly brainless and doomed to certain failure. The fact you only hit 230 meters on a teed up shot with your driver would not deter you if you were a total fucking idiot, fated to a life-time of self-destructive, contra-logical behaviour.

Noting this, E@L pulled out his fairway wood, a club he had not hit properly in four years. He figured this would be just the right time for it to somehow magically work.

Being the furthest from the pin, E@L had first shot. The ball was in a beautiful lie, sitting up on lush but firm, trimmed grass. It couldn't be duffed. He lined up with a balanced stance, pulled his hands back to the midline (he has a tendency to advance his wrists) and slowly went into his backswing, trusting his muscle-memory to convey all the required energy accurately and efficiently through the uncoiling of his frame in a sharp downswing and place a 2cm patch of steel in the heart of the club-face 180cm from his shoulders right onto the tiny ball. The swooshing club connected with crisp clack, right in the sweet-spot, he could feel it. He looked up to the path of the ball and saw...

Nothing.

Where did it go? His eyes weren't clear. He blinked and waited for the ball falling through its trajectory to be silhouetted against the trees around the hole. Nothing. It did not come down. Or maybe it went up in some other direction. Maybe.

"I didn't see it," said T.

"It must be up there somewhere," said E@L .

He looked across to Px, resting in the buggy. She held her hands wide out to the side and shrugged. She hadn't seen it either.

Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

To cut a long story short and to reduce the swearing content, E@L never found the ball. He had connected cleanly and it had felt beautiful, but where did the ball go? A Calloway 4. It wasn't on the fairway, it wasn't in the bunkers, it wasn't on the hills to the right, it wasn't near the path on the left and certainly wasn't on the green, let alone in the freaking hole. He played a provisional from where a good second shot should have gone, taking a two stroke penalty, duffed the pitch, chipped and two putted for an eight. The snowman. A triple bogey. An honest total of 92, but still the goal of a sub-90 round evades him.

And that is why he'll never play golf again.

(And why Px and T had to pay for their own dinner.)

E@L

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Posted by: expat@large on Nov 27, 05 | 9:24 pm | Profile


OTHER MONKEYS SAID



This is a funny entry. Methinks you should stick to games with bigger balls and btw "sunburn" entry was really good, exactly pynchon's Roger Mexico.


Posted by: XenoBoy on Nov 28, 05 | 3:17 am

LOL! Roger Mexico - yes!

I have a million golf stories. All are funny. All are tragic.


Posted by: expat@large on Nov 28, 05 | 10:54 am


THIS MONKEY SAYS




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