In praise of…MISGA

11 07 2013

For those not in the know, MISGA stands for Mid Island Senior Golfers Association. It’s an organisation that promotes friendly competition between male golfers aged 55 and over who are members of  some twenty clubs located in the central part of Vancouver Island. For some reason, even though I became eligible to join four years ago and love playing different courses, I rarely played MISGA events prior to this year. Partly, perhaps, because there always seemed to be other things I was supposed to be doing on those days, and partly because my lack of organisational skills meant I was constantly missing the cut-off dates for entries. Mostly, however, I suspect that it was because of fear of being outed as a hacker.  After all, it’s one thing for my usual group of buddies at Glacier Greens to know that I’m not exactly Rory McIlroy (actually, on his present form, maybe I am), but quite another to have my shortcomings revealed to an entirely new audience of golfers, stretching the 200 kilometers from Duncan in the south of the MISGA region to Campbell River and Gold River in the north.

Well, needless to say, I shouldn’t have worried. I should have realised when I was told that the prizes for low gross and low net scores were a sleeve of Noodles that the stakes were not so high that I needed to get myself into a tizzy over the odd duffed shot. My experience so far has been that while MISGA guys are, by and large, playing by the rules of golf, once it’s obvious that a player is not going to be at the prize table, the gimmes become a little longer and the exact scores on particularly unkind holes become a little more inexact, shall we say. I have yet to enter the prize winners’ circle, by the way, but live in constant hope of the random draw prize. And then there’s always lunch – uniformly excellent in my opinion, with Fairwinds perhaps shading the rest of the field at this stage of the season.

So today at 9.00 a.m. sharp, to show my appreciation for the great efforts made by volunteers at other MISGA clubs, I found myself  standing in the light rough on the right hand side of #14 fairway at Glacier Greens, ready for my first action as a ball spotter. I didn’t have long to wait: the very first tee shot started down the right edge of the fairway and then, ever so gently, faded into a stand of trees about 180 yards out, right near where I was positioned. I hustled to where I saw it land, saw a ball and signalled the safe sign, as demonstrated to me  by our MISGA rep just before the start of play (me being a Brit, I’m more acquainted with cricket signals than baseball ones, but I had it down pat). When the player arrived (he happened to be from Port Alberni) I was pleased to be able to point out the ball, which had a pretty good lie. He took one look at it and said “That’s not my ball”. Luckily, not ten yards away, but behind a tree and in not quite such a favourable lie, I spotted another ball. Phew! The gentleman from Port Alberni thanked me and played out sideways onto the fairway, while I went back to my spot. Ten seconds later I heard a strangled cry: ” And that’s not my bl**dy ball either!” Oops! So, having confessed to being no great shakes as a golfer, I now have to own up to being the world’s worst ball spotter. To be fair, the gentleman from P.A. did say afterwards that he should have checked the ball more carefully, and I didn’t make any obvious blunders over the next four hours or so and received a lot of thanks from folk who probably do the same job when their club hosts a competition. Even so, it wasn’t the greatest of starts to my new career…

Anyway, this is in praise of MISGA, all the hard working MISGA reps, and all the ball spotters out there who know what they’re doing!

All da best.

Dave B.

P.S. For some reason, when I replayed the wrong ball incident in my mind afterwards I thought of this:




4 responses

11 07 2013

Always a pleasure reading your posts, Dave. It’s a good thing that #14 has a fair bit of shrubbery along its length…lots of places to hide after making mistakes! The famous, “Not my derg” episode is wonderful. Remind me to tell you of my Sellers type incident at Airport El. It still haunts me! Cheers Dave.

11 07 2013
Bagger Dave

I’d love to hear it, Martin. Next time we meet up, please.

11 07 2013
Len Doyle

Hi Dave….. Me thinks the chap from P.A. was still pissed at the spotter on hole # 13 when he arrived at your location. That would be me, and I was positioned on the left side of # 13 and was to make sure I found all the balls that landed in the tall grass. Could not see a F****** thing when they hit from the tee and just listened for the sound as it landed in the grass. All this while the Canadian Air force was doing touch and go practices with their new Cormorant helicopter over my F******** head. I lucked out and saw the first chap hit and saw it bounce and yes I “found It”. He wanted to buy me a beer. The next group (and I think it was your man from P.A.) hit it into the same tall grass and we could not find his ball. This chap wanted nothing less than a public flogging for me for not seeing or hearing his ball. Him and I had a few words and I don’t give a F*** if he doesn’t want to come back to G.G.G.C. p.s: I found his ball later !!!!!

Len Doyle

12 07 2013
Bagger Dave

Brilliant, Lennie! I can just picture you and him ‘having words’ – and I can guess who had the last one!

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