I played again last week. Groovy stats and analysis to follow but basically a solid (and very wet) 94. Some flashes of true mediocrity amid the “Huh”s and the “What?”s…and as always I am sure you are pleased to know that the Blog is safe. This probably still seems cute for now but after a while I am sure it will become like watching a child learning to ride a bike that keeps falling at the first turn of the wheel. You will care, sure, but eventually you will wish that I had never wanted to ride that bike…and then people will start saying things to me like “Not everyone can be a great golfer…” and “It doesn’t matter if you really never break 80” or “honestly, some women prefer their men balding…”. They will show their concern and in so doing will make me fel worse than had they just told me I was useless. I have stated my intention…failure is not an option in my mind…but until actual success is achieved failure is always on the table. And that is a great swing thought to take into every round of golf I play…explains what happened on the 13th this last week…but more of that later…
I played with 11 extremely hardy people last weekend. The 11 out of the supposed 25 or so that SAID they would play. Torrents of rain does that…separates the men from the boys, the weekend players from the true devotees, the idiots from those who will live long and successful lives. It is still winter here in Taiwan…more Winter than we have had for the 11 years I have lived here. So much winter that I am beginning to pine for the 24 hour a day sweat through my eyelids, even-when-I-sleep, four shower a day, blazingingly humid Summers that I have endured every glorious year I have lived here. At the first crank of the air-conditioner I will regret wishing for this but I miss Summer…like pining for a slice when you have developed a snap hook.
I dare say that given some dry ground and one less layer of water proof clothing I might have had a good round on Saturday. But that would be much less fun than reading about my misery, right? Misery loves company and I could have filled a football stadium in Rome with the company I craved as I sloshed my way round Kuo Hua Golf Course last Saturday. We even contemplated, wait for it, stopping part way through our round (yes really!!!)
But we didn’t.
The three chaps I was playing with may not want the world to know that they were stupid enough to be dragged around the full 18 holes by my enthusiasm. To protect the innocent I will not use their real names here. Lets call them Mr. J Eff Mr. M Ike, and Mr. T Im. Mr J Eff has been living in Singapore for the last five years and, like most expatriates in Singapore, forgets that the rest of world has weather. A drop of more than 2 degrees has Singaporeans running for their winter clothes and the expatriates chuckling mildly at how cute this is. And they forget that when other people tell them it is cold that it might actually be cold. Thankfully he wore long pants but the short sleeve T-shirt and lack of wet weather gear definitely did not help his golf. Wet sand, some short hitting and a three foot wall on a sand bunker helped J Eff to a score that can only be described as making me feel a whole lot better about mine.
The man that I am calling Mr T-Im is a great guy. Thoroughly enjoyed his company. But he hit way too many good drives and the ball seemed to go in to the hole far too easily. There is something seriously wrong with that. You know when you are all playing along happily and feeling like you are in this together, and it seems like you are all around the same ability, and then somehow at the end the other guy is down in par and you have a thirty foot putt to save double bogey? Well he is that OTHER guy.
Mr Ike, M was there just because he is English, we needed someone to discuss the weather for 18 holes and see sunshine through clouds as black as Hades…only an Englishmen can do that; conditioned by years of living through two day summers and dreams of next year…
I have to say I am so happy for Tseng Yani…three tournaments in a row. My Taiwan web searches have gone up tenfold being able to mention her success in my blog. But my round on Saturday was more IK Kim than Tseng Yani. Kim was one flight ahead of Yani last weekend and only a couple of shots behind…until she imploded. Did everybody feel as badly as I did watching her chip up to the 17th in Thailand only to watch it roll back past her feet then send it up again only to have it do the same a second time? Three times she hit the ball up that treacherous slope to the green. She was so close to the lead and would easily have taken second except for that hole…where she shot a nine. I felt her pain…it happened to me on the 13th this week. My mistress well and truly abandoned me on this hole. I could have been using a sledge hammer I was hitting that hard and low. It was not so much the 8 that affected me, it was the sheer powerlessness. I had no control over either the ball or my own temperament. I walked the walk of shame from one side of the green to the other and back again…I think I actually got shorter with each trip…
And then to add insult to injury on the 18th hole I got my first ever Golf sports injury…obviously the ball was too heavy with all the rain and despair on it because bending down to pick it up out of that elusive cup I actually pulled a calf muscle. This was not a gentle twinge, the kind my mother would fix with a cup of tea and “get on with it you lazy boy”, no this was the kind that you, no matter how briefly, think to yourself “Will I ever walk again?” or “this is what it must be like to be shot”. But fear not, I will persevere. I may walk like I am 80 when I break 80 but I will still do it.
Stats heads can check out my Fairways hit, GIRs and Putts made. My putts made is still quite good overall but I suddenly realized that it is probably because I am missing the greens in regulation and getting a lot closer to the hole with an extra approach shot!!!…my drives are all over the place. Will have to practice with my driver at the driving range so I can forget how to use the other clubs again…(Why does that happen? Please Gods of Golf tell me!!!). Par 5s are getting better it would seem but look at those fairways hit (or not rather!). They are so big, why is it so hard?