If…

22 09 2011

One’s wistful and the other’s a bit of a winker. Find out who’s who below…

My gran used to have an embroidered copy of the poem ‘If’, by Rudyard Kipling*, hanging on the wall in her sitting room. I always liked it and am given to quoting from it now and again. My most recent opportunity was yesterday at the gorgeous Highland Pacific golf course in Victoria. Or at least I thought it was gorgeous, what with the sun shining, the birds singing and me being only one over par halfway though the front nine. Joe Dunham, who – along with Glen Parsons – had joined me on a two day golf trip to BC’s capital, was perhaps not quite so enamoured with his surroundings, having butchered each of the first four holes. Now Joe is not much of a club thrower or a swearer, but he does go a bit quiet when things are not going swimmingly. So, seeking to lighten my old friend’s mood, I unleashed a bit of Kipling as we walked the (short) distance to where his tee shot on the fifth hole had landed in the rough. “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same…”, I began. “That’s all well and good,” interrupted Joe, “but I’ve just started with four double bogies. Where’s the f***ing triumph in that?” You have to admit that he had a very fair point. So I stopped Kipling and got back to what I’m good at – pretty much bogeying my way round the rest of the course. Joe, naturally, chipped in for birdie on the very next hole – a well-deserved bit of triumph.

Now while it’s true that we didn’t exactly tear up the track at Highland Pacific, we were positively brilliant compared to our efforts the previous day at Bear Mountain. Our first mistake was to decide to play off the black tees, measuring nearly 6400 yards. Let me correct that. Our first mistake was deciding to play the Mountain course at all – it’s tough! Actually it was fun, in a it’s-fun-when-you-stop-banging-your-head-against-the-wall kind of way. The scores were nothing to write home about (I squeaked in with an 89, Glen was in the low 90’s and Joe wasn’t), but the course is mightily impressive and it’s fun riding around in a cart with all that high tech GPS stuff to help you. Or, in my case, to confuse you. Lunch was good, too.

Glen is always in charge of travel and accommodation on these trips and got us a good rate at the downtown Victoria Quality Inn. The rate was so good because Glen and Joe qualified for the senior rate. I just had to look old, which I found disappointingly easy as I swept past the front desk with absolutely nobody trying to stop me by saying “Hey, you! The young looking guy! You’re not a senior!” Joe is always in charge of the weather and handicaps. As usual, he did a great job on the weather and bamboozled us completely with the handicaps. His system involves tweaking our handicaps on the second day to reflect how we played on the first day. Somehow this always involves him getting loads of extra shots.

By the way, I learnt something about Joe during this trip: he’s a bit of a winker. We had supper at the Cactus Club before heading off to the pub. Joe’s teetotal, and when the young server brought me and Glen our beers she also, unasked, brought Joe a glass of iced water. As he thanked her, I noticed that Joe also winked at her. I was shocked and, when she was out of hearing distance, I tackled him about this inappropriate behaviour by an elderly and seemingly respectable gentleman. Joe then winked at me, but didn’t say a word. I realised that I am entering a new age (‘sudden death overtime’, as the walking group put it), when my fast-disappearing somewhat youthful somewhat good looks will have to be replaced by old school charm. Wow! This could be a tough transition. Glennie, of course, will never make this transition. Whenever we pass a good looking young lady on the street, Glennie is wont to say wistfully “It’s enough to make an old man cry, Davey lad.”

What made me want to cry, however, was this: having made my first birdie in two days at the 16th at Highland Pacific and then a nailed on par at the 17th, I hit a solid tee shot to the middle of the green of the tricky par 3 18th and had a shot at another birdie. I four putted. Now that’s enough to make an old man cry!

Another nice liquid lunch quickly put me in a better frame of mind, however, and by the time we’d driven out of the sunny south island and into the wind and rain that lay north of the Malahat, we were already eagerly planning next month’s return to Victoria. Somebody warn the greenskeepers at Olympic View and Bear Valley – it’s your turn next to have your lovely courses hacked to bits by the terrible trio!

All da best!

Dave B.

(*Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) was a British writer famous for his celebration of British imperialism and for writing ‘The Jungle Book’ and the poem ‘If’. He was also the subject of what was my favourite joke when I was seven, and is pretty close to the top of my list half a century later:

Posh man at dinner party: “I say. Do you like Kipling?”

Equally posh lady: “I don’t know. I’ve never kippled”.)

Sorry.

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6 responses

22 09 2011
Glennie the sandbagger

I too learned something about White Knight Dunham. His tongue loosened somewhat on this trip (he was down wind from three or four rounds of ale) and he revealed that he has been having his prostate checked far more frequently than is really necessary! It seems that his doctor has taken on a young assistant of the female persuasion.

Joe will no longer be available for golf on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays as he has medical appointments on those days.

22 09 2011
Bagger Dave

Oh Lord! I’d completely forgotten about that, Glennie!

Note to anyone playing Joe at golf in the near future: as he bends over to address a short putt, ask him if he’d like an HB 2 pencil. I can pretty much guarantee he’ll miss it!

D.

23 09 2011
Martin

David me boy….another beauty from the links. I sure enjoyed readiing the news from the musings of the Bagger.. I also enjoyed Glen’s comments re Joe.
Coming to you from Killarney today en route to Galway. Haven’t been able to earn any spare cash from my singing in the pubs dammit. Also I nearly bought a black lab from a guy yesterday til he finally told me it wasn’t his dog. Obviously a Peter Sellers fan. cheers…Martin

23 09 2011
Bagger Dave

Brilliant story about the dog, Martin! That’s SO Irish! I look forward to seeing your new body shape after a couple of weeks of your Guinness diet.

Love to you both.

Dave

24 09 2011
Peter

Great blog again Dave, always enjoyable to read especially the part where you highlight your weaknesses, great ammunition! Be assured you do qualify as a senior though in soooo many ways. Can’t wait to get back on a golf course soon, it’s been too long away.

26 09 2011
Bagger Dave

Mentioning my weaknesses is just a cunning ploy to get you to give me a couple of shots next time we play, Peter!

Dave

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