20 03 2010

As I get older I am realising that, although in some areas I am open minded, indeed progressive, there are other things I just can’t come to terms with. In the world of sport this would include soccer – or hockey – teams full of expensive foreigners, compared to the good old days when teams were filled with (underpaid) local lads who often spent their entire career with the same home town team. It would also include over-exuberant celebrations of goals, outs, touchdowns or whatever, whereas back in the day players would  make their way almost sheepishly back to the centreline, keen to get out of the spotlight as soon as possible.

In golf, too, I am not a fan of making a big fuss over a crushing drive or a long putt, and I have noticed that it tends to be the high handicappers who get more carried away than most – though as someone with increasingly hackerish tendencies myself I have to say I can empathise with them. El Bandito Juan is not showing off when he says he expects to make a birdie on each nine – it’s a simple statement of fact. He knows he’s probably going to miss a few greens and make five or six bogies in most rounds and so he needs a couple of birdies to play to his handicap. And, indeed, John’s birdie celebrations usually consist of a wry smile and a quick ‘Thanks’ in response to our congratulations. Robin, Glenny and I know that we’ll be lucky to hit five or six greens in regulation, so even one birdie per round is definite cause for celebration.

So when I tell you that I got SIX birdies in my Saturday morning men’s round today, you’ll realise that something totally out of the ordinary was going on. With our usual shotgun start on #14, just about as far from the clubhouse as possible, I got a couple of nondescript bogeys before nearly holing my second shot on #16. I then sank a 30 foot putt for birdie on #18 and unleashed the “tickie dance” (think Rich Beem’s reaction after sinking the winning putt to beat Tiger at the PGA Championship back in 2002). Further birdies arrived on #2 and #3, good putts both, but sadly counterbalanced by doubles on #4 and #9. Even so, things were looking very good in the snips department. When I holed a 20 foot putt on #10 for a fifth birdie I was in totally uncharted waters, and the tickie dance had got more of an airing than it does in an average calendar month. Standing on the 12th tee I was already counting up how much I was likely to get in snips, low nett prize etc. Remember how #12 used to be ranked the easiest hole on the course? They obviously knew what they were doing when they re-ranked it. My tee shot wasn’t terrible, but just failed to clear the pond. Oops. My next ball didn’t even come close to making it over. Double oops. A poor chip and two putts later I was walking off with an eight. Five birdies in the round and I’d just made a quintuple on a hole measuring 107 yards! Then on my last hole , the 13th, I chipped in from fifty feet for yet another birdie and the craziest 79 I’m ever likely to score in my life…

On the long walk back to the clubhouse, my three amigos (who’d stopped laughing somewhere around my sixth shot on #12) tried to cheer me up with the prospect of a snip or two. OK, #2 and #10 didn’t hold out much hope, but surely #3 and #13 had a pretty good chance? Not so. Barry Norris, who I’m sure in many ways is a decent and honourable human being, had already birdied them both. What a bas%@*d! I left a few minutes later, merry laughter from the patio ringing in my ears – everyone, I’m sure, unaware af the minor personal tragedy that had befallen me (or, in the case of Stan Mills and Dan Fitzgerald, not unaware at all). I still had a glimmer of hope that #18 might hold up, but I was already rationalising that it might be better if it didn’t – it’s no good being 5/6ths miserable, when you want to go home and have a bloody good sulk.

By the way, there’s another thing that gets my goat in the world of sport: it’s when someone drones on and on about a game they’ve just played and gives you a blow by blow account of every shot. Annoying, innit?

All da best.

Dave B.




8 responses

20 03 2010

What a round Dave! It must have generated so many emotional ups and downs for you, almost like waiting to receive an Oscar!
I can certainly understand how you played so well, considering the company you were in on Thursday.
Great effort here in the post. it makes very good reading. Cheers for now.

20 03 2010
Bagger Dave

If you’re looking for 10% of my winnings, Martin, well I owe you 40 cents. Dunno about waiting for an Oscar – it was more like “Who is this guy, and how come he’s making all these 20 foot putts when he’s usually a bag of spanners standing over a 2 foot putt?” As my second ball disappeared into the pond on #12, the words of the immortal Glen Parsons came to mind: “She’s a harsh mistress, boy…”


20 03 2010

I was there! That was the best putting I have ever seen. Although Dave may have not won money from his snips, he did take money off John and me for the sidebets. 6 birdies….couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

20 03 2010
Bagger Dave

Yeah. I’ve no idea why I suddenly putted so well. And can someone explain to me why it’s more satisfying to take $2 off Ringer than it is to win $20 snips? Must be some deep seated psychological insecurity thing… Let’s not forget either that the unsung hero of the round was Glenny – low net of the four of us. Hope his handicap gets cut next week…


21 03 2010

I fully intend to carry a video camera on all future outings on the outside chance that Bagger ever gets another birdie. Believe me, the “tickie dance” defies description and should be recorded for posterity. The best I can do is suggest that it is somewhat like a Michael Jackson , on uppers, hyper extended moon walk in reverse. We may, however, have to introduce some very long “gimmies” to replicate such an event.

21 03 2010
Bagger Dave

Well, I must say that’s a bit hurtful, Mr P. I’ve always considered my rendition of the tickie dance to be a bit like my swing: perfect balance, silky smooth etc, probably reminiscent of Fred Astaire in his prime…

22 03 2010
Bandito Juan

Glenn, if you have ever seen the English tradition of Morris Dancing then Dave’s dance would be much more understandable. The Lord of the Dance at work was worth the $2 admission charge. Now as for your swing, Dave- I think we should focus on words like “repeating” or ” effective”. Fred Astaire was an effective dancer in his prime, was he not?

22 03 2010
Bagger Dave

I’m not sure this is helpful, John. As you know, Morris Dancing consists of men with hankies on their heads, jingling bells and tapping eachother lightly on the behind with sticks. Beer is also involved. This is not the sort of mental image I want during my downswing. On the other hand, it may explain why some of my tee shots are a tad wayward…

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