El bandito Juan: an apology

6 03 2011

A few weeks ago, in my last blog, I mentioned my friend John (aka el bandito Juan) and the difficulty he has with the finer points of golfing etiquette. I made particular reference to his habit of always teeing off first, whatever the scores on the previous hole. He has even  – I kid you not – mastered the technique of throwing his tee in the air on the first tee box so that it unerringly points to him, thus giving him the honour right from the get go. He repeated his party piece yesterday on the 8th tee at Glacier (Saturday Men’s Morning is a shotgun start) and proceeded to reel off eight pars in a row, thus keeping the rest of us firmly in our places. I then spoilt the party  by somewhat fortuitously birdying our ninth hole – if the hole hadn’t got in the way of my twenty foot putt I would have had another twenty footer coming back – but John clearly took this as a challenge and promptly birdied the next hole himself to reclaim the honour and go one under par. Seven holes later, as he addressed a tricky downhill fifteen foot putt for birdie on the long par 5 sixth (our penultimate hole) he still lay even par. Understandably, John was anxious not to give the ball too much of a charge and promptly did the exact opposite, brookering it down the slope and leaving himself a nasty little  two foot downhiller for par. After never looking like missing a putt the entire round, he let this one slide by the hole. Agony! He leant over the hole to avoid standing on Robin’s line, tapped the ball from all of six inches away – and missed again! Four putts from just over four yards! To be honest, I hadn’t even seen the last putt as I was entering our sixes on the score card, but John said straight away ‘No, that’s a seven for me’. He then stood quietly on our final tee box muttering ‘Four f**king putts’ to himself as the rest of us hit our shots. No question of not counting the six inch miss: on Saturday mornings at Glacier Greens you have to hole everything. The dream of an even par round, or possibly even better, had come to a screeching halt.

So probably no low gross for John this week, but a lot of credit for automatically doing the right thing on the course when it counted. That’s got to be worth more than a few dollars in prize money, hasn’t it?

And now the apology: when I said the other week that John didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘etiquette’ (let alone how to spell it) I was being a trifle unfair, as English is not really his first language. He hails from the hamlet of Chester, near the village of Liverpool, way oop in’t north of  England where English as we know it is mangled rather than spoken. I recently emailed John to ask if he wanted to play at Glacier Greens the following day at 9:00. His reply read “That’s the gear, la”. With the help of my English/Scouse (Liverpudlian) dictionary I was able to ascertain that John was in fact saying “I agree with your excellent plan, Dave”.

So, John, your honest actions on the course today spoke louder than any of the incomprehensible words you so often utter – thank goodness – and I apologise unreservedly for anything I may have said or written which caused you offence. Please don’t consult your lawyers – I’m having enough trouble as it is with Peter Dobbs. We salute your skill on the golf course, Ringer,  as well as  your integrity – and we’re prepared to put up with your funny accent…

Finally, courtesy of my good friend Ben Davies, a vintage caddie joke:

A poor golfer (let’s call him Peter Dobbs) is having a particularly bad day, hacking and slashing his way around the course. Eventually he can stand it no more and asks his caddie if he can see any particular reason for his poor play. “Aye, sir, I can that”, comes the caddie’s reply. “There’s a piece of  sh!t on the end of your club.” Peter hands the caddie his driver and asks him to clean the club face. The caddie does so, but says that it won’t do any good. “How so?” asks Peter. ” Because, sir, the piece of sh!t is on the other end”.

An oldie, but a goodie – just like Mr Dobbs himself.

All da best,

Dave B.

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10 responses

6 03 2011
Glen Livet

Great blog Bagger Dave. The way El Bandito Juan speaks reminds me of the noise that came out of the wringer when the clothes were going through it on washday with my dear old Mum. Thank God Ipods now have translators that can interpret what John says.
Greetings from down south where it’s 83+ degrees, have only played golf (if that’s what you call it) once as I’m saving all the good shots for when I return.
Remember in Mount Shasta , not too long ago, when you trickled one off the white tee box, not making the ladies tee when a voice from the other fairway said ‘Nice out Dave, tough lie”.

6 03 2011
Bagger Dave

80 degrees in San Diego? You lucky bastard, Dobbs! I’m reffing in Campbell River this pm and I just checked the forecast: rain and/or snow!

Love to Di and say hi to Aurele and Linda.

Dave

6 03 2011
Admin

I can feel El Bandito’s pain as I’ve experienced the dreaded four jack more than once. Like him, my reaction required no translation; some situations in golf are universally understood!

BHD

6 03 2011
Bagger Dave

My personal record is five* putts, when the greenskeeper thought it would be fun to put the hole right on the steepest part of the slope on #12 at Glacier.

D.

*I’d still be there now if I hadn’t run after the ball after my fourth putt and poke checked it into the hole!

6 03 2011
Barry Ringstead

I just wanted to say as John’s brother I took no pleasure in hearing about his misfortune. The teeing off first, the tee pointing in his direction, the agony of 4 putting were all very upsetting. Now if I could only stop grinning……

6 03 2011
Bagger Dave

Given Liverpool’s result against Man U today, Bazza, I should think you – and John – should recover pretty quickly!

Cheers,

Dave

6 03 2011
Martin Davies

What a super post Dave. I really enjoyed reading it. I loved the bit about the Scouse/English dictionary. Some pretty nice stuff in there about John too. Cheers for now. Martin

6 03 2011
Bagger Dave

Thanks Martin. I’ll be wanting to borrow your English/Welsh dictionary one day.

Yachi da (sp?),

Dave

6 03 2011
Bandito Juan

Hola Amigos. Whereas the agony of the 4 putt was diminished by Liverpool thrashing, trouncing, tormenting and otherwise humiliating Manchester United this morning, the putts which are 4 are akin to 4 burrs in my socks. Every step reminds of the moment. Clearly, I need to engage in a search for a putter that will prevent me from such a vile and repugnant ends to a round. It was the putter’s fault. There is no doubt about that, and I have no doubt a newer, shiny more loving flat stick will soon find its way into my bag.
Hasta luego

6 03 2011
Bagger Dave

I’d let you have my putter, John, but then you might have to take my putting stroke too. Not such a good idea then…

D.

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