The greatest par ever?

17 06 2012
Great President. Not such a great golfer.

Great President, but I bet this Kennedy never made a triple sandy par.

Today I played my usual Sunday morning round with the Bruce Coulter gang. It’s pretty low key stuff: probably a dozen or so guys playing a skins game for the massive stakes of two bits a hole, bragging rights included, along with all the abuse you can handle. Bruce always gets things off to a loud start by picking on some poor victim on the practice putting green and then hounding him relentlessly until he gets a response. My theory is that Bruce didn’t get much attention as a kid, but you’d need a qualified psychiatrist to explain what’s really going on in that brain of his. And did I mention that all this is happening at 6:15 a.m? For us, Sunday morning golf is early bird golf.

Bruce makes sure that everybody knows their current RCGA handicap – all skins are based on net scores – and those whose ‘cap has gone up in the past week receive an early barrage of fairly good natured insults, in which the use of the word ‘sandbagger’ is mandatory. Balls are then thrown into the air to decide groups and then a representative for each group putts to decide the order of play. I’ve been pretty much banned from putting recently after a couple of particularly feeble attempts left my group going out last, behind tortoises who in all fairness should probably not be named and shamed but would almost certainly answer to names such as “Bud” and “Joe”.

Anyway, my group foolishly let me putt today, which inevitably led to us going off in our customary position. Our group had a fine array of handicaps, ranging from Chuck Kennedy, who plays off eight, through Mike Worley and myself (both twelves) to Dave Buckley-Jones who plays off 24 and who gets more skins – and MUCH more abuse – than anyone else who plays on Sundays. Dave started off very steadily, with pars on a couple of difficult holes early on, Mike and I didn’t do much of anything, and Chuck just went quietly about his business. Indeed, Chuck was so quiet that it was only when he missed a short putt on the eighth green that I realised that he was still at even par, having made six pars and a birdie on the first seven holes. Chuck then absolutely belted his tee shot on #9, but it skipped into a fairway bunker. His second shot was pretty well hit but just caught a greenside bunker. With a tricky lie he then skulled it over the green into another bunker and an even worse lie. His fourth shot came out REALLY hot and seemed to be heading miles back down the fairway. Yep, you guessed it. The ball slammed into the base of the flagstick and ricocheted straight down into the hole. Three different bunkers on the same hole, culminating in a sandy ferret. That has to be some kind of record – a triple sandy par!

It’s almost incidental to say that Chuck played another great nine holes on the back nine, finishing with an even par 71. And how much did Chuck win for this outstanding display, I hear you ask. Well the answer is, er, nothing. Dave Buckley-Jones was the big winner, thanks to his two pars (but net eagles) on those two early, tricky holes. In Sunday morning golf when you’re playing the skins game, 92 can definitely beat 71. As Sir Alex Ferguson would say: “Golf, eh? Bloody hell”. So no money for el presidente – but the greatest par I’ve ever seen. What about you? What’s the best par you’ve ever seen?

All da best.

Dave B.

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12 responses

17 06 2012
BHD

Good post, DB. I have few memories of my golf game but one in particular sticks in my mind, simply because it was a combination of my best and worst shots leading to a par. Teeing off number one at Glacier for Berger Night, I arrived two minutes before my tee time as I’d just left work. CC, Fabe and Hots were in my group and I was matched with CC versus the evil alliance. My tee shot off the blues found the hazard on the left, around the 150 mark. I took my medicine and my drop, then thought I might be able to work some magic through the trees to a back right pin. The magic lasted for about 9 yards until my ball crashed into a fir, bouncing back into the fairway about 165 yards out – sitting three. CC told me to bear down so with steely focus I flushed a high seven iron to the left centre of the green. It bounced once then rolled, tracking steadily right into the cup – PAR! Needless to say, CC and I high fived and we went on to take the match handily. Cheers!

17 06 2012
Bagger Dave

Wish I’d been there, Ben. The look on Fabian and Hots’ faces must have been priceless!

D.

18 06 2012
Bud B

How could you forget my impossible par on No.5 and what Adrian said about making the par?
Bud B

18 06 2012
Bagger Dave

I’m so sorry, Bud. Your par was equally impressive. For those who don’t know the story: a month or so ago Bud started his round with four pars in a row; Adrian had a bit of a rough start and was 10 (yes, ten!) over par walking to the fifth tee. Bud then sliced his tee shot into the woods and then hit his provisional out of bounds at which point Adrian uttered the immortal words “Let’s see you make a par out of that, you pr!ck…” Bud found his first ball, hacked it (backwards) onto the fairway, hit a three wood 195 yards to within three feet and made the putt. Astonishing!

18 06 2012
John Carswell

I’m not sure this qualifies-but anyways here goes- Jack Sap, myself and 2 others geezers were playing 14 at Sunnydale, a wide open par 5 back then (early 90’s). Jack somehow, after lining up towards Powell River, placed his drive in the middle of the fairway. My drive was of the career best variety shitting all over his ball. Jack put his second just slightly ahead of my drive making some comment of me only needing a chip and a put for an eagle. My 8 iron went right at the pin, landed inches from the cup and rolled on out of sight. Jack was sure of the eagle for me now. He picked up his 150 yard 5 wood and proceeded to hit a hot slice towards, you guessed it, Powell River. The damn thing made a come back, was popped into the air by the slope of the fringe and rolled into the cup for an eagle. Needless to say when we got to my ball it had rolled off the green and required a terrible chip and 2 puts for a par. Cheers, John C

18 06 2012
Bagger Dave

Brilliant story, John. I knew that Jack had the mother of all slices, and I learnt not to worry when his tee shots headed for the highway, but I never witnessed success on the scale you’re talking about. For reasons of public safety it’s a good thing that Jack abandoned golf and took up orienteering.

19 06 2012
Peter

Why remember the pars? They are for the faint of heart. Remember the 8’s and 9’s that you took, these to me are far more memorable as the more you try to forget them the more memorable they become (about the only thing I can remember these days)
Great post DB as usual but I can never ever forget the look on your face at Gold River when you thought your blind second shot was 3 feet from the pin only to later discover yours was in the muck way off the green. Priceless!

19 06 2012
Bagger Dave

I’m trying to forget that particular hole, Peter. Thought I had a tap in eagle, finished up with a bogey. Anyone else playing Gold River: beware of the trick the members play on visitors on #4. It’s a shortish, downhill par 5 with a blind approach to the green. They leave an old ball near the hole to suck you into thinking you’ve hit a great second shot. I fell for it hook, line and sinker!

19 06 2012
wayne

Greatest Pars? I was playing with my usual 4some; Nick, Rudge and Al. We were playing the 18th this spring and Al hit a great tee shot to about 100 yards. He then pulled his 2nd shot into the trees on the left and getting the usual “Pasanen bounce” the ball came to rest on the grass with a great lie. He then skulled his 3rd, skipping it off the water 3 or 4 times, the ball, defying gravity, climbed the cement block wall ( for his second “Pasanen bounce” on the same hole), hopped over the trap and came to rest 4 feet from the pin. The miracle was that he sank the putt.(I have seen him 10 putt #12). He cleaned up on a carry over of 4 snips.

19 06 2012
Bagger Dave

I think we have a winner, Wayne! Surely nobody can beat that for a par?

19 06 2012
John McComish

How about this from back in England ? Played the 18th at Wareham in near darkness whilst a committee meeting was going on in the clubhouse behind the green. I over hit the approach and slammed against the clubhouse wall inches from the window of the committee room and came to rest on the patio. The thud was enough to wake up the committee from their slumbers.
On checking the local rule with the chairman, who decided to investigate what the hell was going on, it appeared that I got a free drop from the nearest point of relief. From this I thinned the chip , hit the flag and made a birdie !

Hope you and the family are well Dave.

John McComish

19 06 2012
Bagger Dave

So now you’ve started a new category, John: best birdie. At this stage, you’re the winner!

Family and I are all fine, thanks. I’m particularly chirpy after England’s great (lucky?) win over Ukraine today. We couldn’t, could we? (End 46 years of pain, that is). Do you realise that you and I were in the first form at Poole Grammar the last time England won an international tournament? I feel decidedly ancient…

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