Diff’rent strokes

24 09 2012

Surveying the potentially tricky first hole at Mulligans

Scottish Wife started playing golf on a regular basis this spring. Not with me, obviously – the secret of a long and happy marriage being to pretty much keep out of each other’s way after the first couple of decades, as far as I can tell – but with three or four of her friends who are also golfing neophytes. Nor, equally obviously, do SW and her friends play at Glacier Greens: their course of choice is across town, just north of Courtenay, a very friendly nine hole executive course called Mulligans.

A couple of weeks ago SW happened to mention that she wouldn’t be golfing on Thursday as she usually did, because all her friends were out of town. Without really thinking, I said “Well, the two of us could golf together.” SW looked absolutely horrified. ” There’s no way I’m playing at Glacier Greens,” she said. “No, we could try Mulligans,” I replied. SW still looked doubtful. “Well, alright then, but we’re only playing nine holes and you’re not allowed to try and teach me anything.”

The next morning we arrived at the course bright and early (Mulligans has a ridiculously cheap rate of $7 if you tee off before 8:00) to be told by the greens keeper that there was frost on the greens. “How long a delay, do you think?” I asked. “No delay at all. Just don’t slip over.” Wow, I thought, this would never happen at Glacier Greens. We weren’t the first golfers on the course – there was a lone set of footprints and tyre tracks meandering down the first fairway ahead of us – but there was no one behind us and so we sauntered over to the first tee. When I asked SW where I could find scorecards she looked a bit nonplussed: “Oh, we don’t bother about scoring,” she said. I have to admit I’m a bit anal about keeping score: I don’t just write down my score, I keep a track of fairways hit, greens in regulation and number of putts. To be honest, I’m not sure why I do it: I have stacks of data that prove that I nearly always hit the ball pretty straight off the tee, then miss most of my approach shots and usually suck at putting when I do finally reach the green. I don’t actually do anything constructive with all this information – God forbid that I should ever practise or anything – but it’s all there if ever I should need it.

So we compromised. SW trekked back down to the pro shop to get me a scorecard so I could write down all my stats and I promised faithfully not to write anything down concerning her round. Her opening tee shot dribbled about fifteen yards, so she put a second ball down, which she smacked onto the green. I bit my lip so as not to say anything about the need to announce a provisional ball – after all, we were playing at a course called Mulligans – hit my own tee shot (mental note: 100% greens in regulation after one hole) and we trudged off together through the frost.

We had a blast. The frost melted and the sun came out. SW hit some duff shots and some decent ones. If she didn’t like a shot she just played it over again. With no one behind us we weren’t rushed at all. On about the fourth hole I pointed out that there were a lot of water hazards in fairly random places. “I mean, look at this pond here. Twenty yards from the tee box and thirty yards to the right. Who’s ever going to hit a ball in there?” “Well, I did on Tuesday,” came the reply. ” And so did Mickey and so did Judy.” (Note to self: no more observations about quirky golf course design).

Then, on about the eighth hole, SW’s ball lay on the green in a direct line between my ball and the hole. “Can you mark it, please?” I asked. “What does that mean?” When I’d explained that I’d be penalised two strokes if I hit her ball, SW said somewhat scornfully, “Oh, we don’t bother about that. If a ball’s in the way, we just putt round it.”

After our nine holes we went into the pro shop to pay. “We’ll have a couple of coffees as well, please” I said as I handed $20 to the young lady behind the till. “Oh, coffee’s free” she replied, “and don’t forget to pick up some corn on your way out. That’s free too.”

I can’t really see this style of golf catching on with our group at Glacier Greens any time soon, but for an hour and a half of low cost, stress free golf I do believe Scottish Wife might be on to something. In the words of her friend Kathy: “$7? Seriously?”

All da best.

Dave B.




8 responses

24 09 2012
Bud B

That was so very kind of you to take the missus for a round of golf & coffee.
But how come you have very unkind things to say to your fellow golfers on the
rules of golf, when you play with them @ glacier greens, just to mention Joe
on number 6,? Are you that scared of the Missus, Man or Mouse I ask you?
Bud B

24 09 2012
Bagger Dave

You’ve been married for over fifty years, Bud, so you know the answer to that question: Julie’s the boss in our house, the same as Ali rules in yours. Joe’s tampering with the rules of golf has nothing to do with this, and anyway I bought him a coffee after the round.

24 09 2012
Glennie the sandbagger

David, I’m amazed that you survived the ordeal —- not playing with SW of course, but having to witness so many infractions of the RCGA rules in such a short period of time. My recommendation would be to have the inhalator squad on standby for the next match.

24 09 2012
Bagger Dave

Well, I took the view that SW and I weren’t so much playing golf as enjoying a nice walk together. A bit like playing 18 holes with Lairdo, except there tends not to be any hugging and pecks on the cheek with Lairdo at the end of the round.

24 09 2012
Stu & Mickey Power

Davey,this is the best one yet!!! you must play with SW more often! Happy golfing, the Mickster!

24 09 2012
Bagger Dave

Thanks, Mickey. Julie and I might play at Arrowsmith on our way home tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes!

25 09 2012
Susan Walker

Well…I must say I was a little confused. I actually spoke to the two of you before you set off to play golf together. I remember it well, of course, because I know how rarely it happens. So…imagine my confusion when I read that David is playing with SW……Might have been a whole different ball game…!
Love from sister-in-law
Susan Walker x

25 09 2012
Bagger Dave

Funnily enough, Sue, it did cross my mind that I’d used your initials. In the blog, however, Julie is always referred to as ‘Scottish Wife’. So I guess we’ve got two Robertson girls for the price of one. What a deal!

We’re just about to head off home from Kate’s and we have our golf clubs with us…


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