Legends of the links (part 2)

26 05 2010

A new Irish county – County Kerry, not County Clare – but, sadly for me, the same results. We played 36 holes on Monday: Ballybunion Old Course in the morning and Cashen in the afternoon. Glennie and I shared a caddie in the morning in a desperate (and ultimately futile) attempt to raise our game. His name was Mickey – grizzled, grey haired, about five foot four and with a wicked dry sense of humour. Early doors his accent was impenetrable, and he also had a habit of looking in the other direction when he spoke, so we tended to just nod at whatever he said. On the third green, however, there was no mistake. I jabbed a three footer at the hole and, fortunately, it fell in the side door.  Mickey announced rather loudly, to nobody in particular, “You know you’re scaring me, da way you’re waving dat ting”. The others’ reaction was all he needed. A couple of holes later Adrian hooked a ball into the love grass, which he was now wading through forlornly. “It’s fifty yards back, man” shouted Mickey. “If it’s up where you’re looking I’ll give up the caddying for good.” And so it went on. The course was wonderful; our play – with the exception, once again, of Robin, was not. As we walked off the 18th green, caddie fees plus tips were handed over along with our thanks for Mickey’s help. Adrian suggested Mickey might want to buy his wife some flowers (he’d told us earlier that he had a wife and four daughters at home and that’s why he was still caddying after 35 years at Ballybunion). ” Fook dat,” said Mickey. “You do dat shit once and she’ll be expectin it all da time”. Classic!

We had introduced a new competition after our very first round at Lahinch – the All Star award. All you have to do to get a star is to pick up when you’re already two over on any given hole and take a Berger double. This was definitely much easier than making pars, let alone birdies, and Adrian was proving the most successful of all of us. It came as a shock, therefore, when the Chief suddenly started hitting the ball long and straight (as opposed to long and incredibly crooked) and went round Cashen in 84 shots. This may not sound great, but all I can say is that the rest of us failed once again to break 90 and honestly didn’t play that badly. Fortunately for me Adrian was my partner that afternoon, so I got another (undeserved) entry in the win column. It was a really close game: first Glennie on 16, then Robin on 17, rolled in fifteen footers to stay in the match, but the Chief hit a 3 wood on #18 to within four feet and that was that. (My role on 18 was strictly caddie/cheerleader after stubbing my weenie for the umpteenth time that day).

So we were done with Ireland, or perhaps she was done with us. A nice meal, a few Guinness down the pub, and recognition of Robin as runaway winner of the first leg of the Celtic Challenge along with a hail to the Chief for his heroics at Cashen, a ‘thanks for coming out’ to Glennie and me and we were off to the airport.

Yesterday was a travel day (perhaps a little more travel than necessary thanks to my shortcomings in the itinerary department – see previous blog for embarrassing explanation). On arrival at Edinburgh we were picked up by our driver Eddie, which gave Robin the opportunity to be bemused by a completely different accent. Our hotel is a five minute walk from the first tee at the Old Course, so we wandered down to watch players complete the famous 17th Road Hole, tee off on #18, cross the Swilcan Bridge and walk towards the massive 18th green. The very first shot we saw was an elderly lady chipping from about 50 yards – straight into the hole! It might have been for a birdie, it might have been for six, but there was a huge roar from the twenty or so spectators standing behind the green. Two minutes later there was an ‘aah’ as a chap missed a short putt for par. This is making me somewhat nervous…

Anyway, fortified by the full Scottish breakfast (same as the full Irish, minus black pudding but plus haggis) I’m off to do battle with the New Course in a few minutes. I phoned Scottish Wife this morning at 6:00 a.m. (10:00 p.m. Pacific Coast time) and she said I sounded a bit down. I told her I was having a great time but was disappointed with my terrible play so far. ‘Never mind, love’,she said, ‘I hope you slaughter the course today’. So do I, sweetheart, so do I…

Keep it in the love grass.

Dave B.

Update: Julie’s best wishes did the trick! I shot 86 on the New Course to get low net today and the right to choose the venue for supper. So it’s off to the nearest east Indian restaurant and the chance for Robin to find out what nan bread, poppadoms and chicken kurma  are all about. I love Scotland!

Golfing note: I was having trouble deciding where the greens started and ended (they’re huge at St. Andrews) and on the 3rd hole I asked a course marshall for help. ‘It’s dead easy’, he said and paused until I was looking at him with full attention.’ Just open your fuc*ing eyes’. I REALLY love Scotland…

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4 responses

26 05 2010
Martin

Brilliant as usual Dave. Congrats to you and Adrian on your low (er) rounds. Keep the post coming for I’m sure enjoying them.
cheers for now,
Martin

29 05 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks, Martin. Adrian played well again today. I’m suffering from the pocs (Post Old Course Syndrome).

See you soon.

Dave

27 05 2010
Glen Livet

Awesome Davey. Still living your trip through you, many thanks. Especially excited to see you hit your weenie again when you return. Hope the weather is better over there than here.
Regards to all
Glen Livet

29 05 2010
Bagger Dave

The weather is still great, Peter. Even a twenty minute downpour (interspersed with five minutes of hail) as we played the 13th and 14th at the Old Course yesterday did not dampen our spirits. We played the 17th and 18th in bright sunshine, and three of us made par on the last. A memory to last forever!

See you next week. I’ll get the Timmies.

Cheers.

Dave

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