Gold River – Grudge Match Redux

20 09 2014
18th hole at Gold River

The 18th hole at Gold River

Three weeks ago I received an email from my good friend Peter Dobbs. It consisted of the above picture and a very short message: “The 18th awaits. Get ready!”

It was a none too subtle reminder of our annual pilgrimage to Gold River and the pain and suffering that the course has caused me on past visits. I have mentioned Peter’s somewhat laissez faire approach to the rules of golf in previous posts, which drove me to distraction back in 2010. I abused him so much that I was later forced to make the following disclaimer:

Legal notice

26 04 2010

On the advice of my lawyers ( Sue, Grabbit and Run) I wish to make it perfectly clear that a derogatory comment about ‘my mate Peter’  in last week’s blog was a reference to a totally fictitious character. It should in no way be construed that I was referring  to Mr Peter Dobbs of Powerhouse Road, Courtenay whose character is, of course, as pure as the driven snow. It would be outrageous to suggest that Mr Dobbs would ever seek financial gain by using his physical or mental infirmity in order to receive a higher handicap than he is entitled to. Clearly Mr Dobbs misunderstood the concept of  a ‘handicap’ as it applies to the game of golf. Nor should there be any doubt that  his habit of occasionally breaking  wind while a fellow competitor is in the middle of his backswing is completely involuntary and the fact that the French verb ‘péter’ means ‘to fart’ is merely an unfortunate coincidence. Finally, may I say that I yield to no man in my admiration of Mr Dobbs for continuing to persevere with a game for which he has no talent whatsoever.

Once again, in abject apology for any misunderstanding,

Bagger Dave


This then is the background to our three round battle that took place at Gold River golf course this week. Peter has had a few medical issues recently but, to his credit, I’ve never known him to use this as an excuse for a bad golf shot. The fact that he plays only a dozen or so rounds a year and I play ten times that amount would also, one might think, make me a firm favourite in our contest, but that would be to ignore Peter’s competitive nature as well as his ability to wring as many strokes as possible out of gullible opponents such as yours truly.

As usual, we drove up to Gold River in Peter’s trusty RV, introduced ourselves to the lovely Jen in the clubhouse, got settled into our campsite on the abandoned driving range and then headed for the practice putting green. As I knew it would, the question of handicaps came up immediately. I’ve been in a rich vein of form recently and my cap has dropped to 8. Peter, of course, has no official handicap and so we had to agree on a figure. I suggested 16, Peter asked for 20 and we settled on 18. We obviously got it right, because 4 hours later we walked off the 18th green having halved the first match, although our scores (86 and 98 respectively) suggested we were a bit more hackerish than we’d hoped.

Peter fancies himself as something of a gourmet chef and that evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal of corn beef hash and sweet corn, accompanied by a selection of alcoholic beverages. And therein lay the problem. You would think at age 60 I would know better than to combine beer, red wine and whisky but apparently this was not the case. I have no clear recollection of getting myself to bed, but I do know I felt absolutely awful on the first tee the following morning. It was no great surprise that Peter gave me a bit of a thrashing, 3 and 1.


This is how Lord Dobbs of Gold River looked that evening

This is how Lord Dobbs of Gold River looked that evening. Most superior.

...and this is how I looked.

…and this is how I looked, pondering a heavy defeat. What was Plan B?

It turned out that Plan B was the non availability of a golf cart for our final round. Gold River golf course has some particularly steep climbs on some of the early holes and Peter, whose age – like his IQ – is in the low seventies, struggled to cope with having to walk the course. I quickly went three up and Peter never really recovered, particularly as his win in the second match meant that he had fewer strokes to play with in Round 3.

The overall result, then, was a win and a half for each of us, which meant that the match was tied overall. Peter has suggested that the tie breaker should consist of our respective ability to consume alcohol, in which case I readily concede defeat. I do, however, make this solemn vow: I shall never combine beer, red wine and whisky at a single sitting again. Ever.

Congratulations to Peter for his good play, great cooking and surprisingly solid grasp of golfing etiquette this year – a definite first – and many thanks once again to all the staff at Gold River golf course for their great hospitality and warm welcome. It’s a pleasure to play there and in my opinion the value for money is second to none. To paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘The Terminator’: “We’ll be back”.

All da best.

Dave B.






5 responses

21 09 2014

Ah Dave…what a treat it was to read of the twosome in Gold River. I had a good laugh so thank you for that. The Dubious Dobbs is coming here for lunch next week, with the Lady Diana. Is there anything you would like me to slip into his food or drink?
Best wishes. Martin.

21 09 2014
Bagger Dave

I think the best advice I can give is to keep the whisky hidden, Martin. Peter seems to regard it as a vital food group.

22 09 2014

It would be remiss of me not to reply to my unlearned partners baggage as he clearly is of unsound mind and suffers from man’s latest common affliction, memory loss. ‘Our Bagger’ although skilful in some areas?? does not understand the wonders of the ‘amber nectar’. On doctors orders I have been on my vegetarian diet for a while now, even receiving a bimonthly prescription for it. The ‘amber nectar’ being a complete food contains no animal or artificial by products and fits into the Canadian food guide as being one of the uniquely pure foods.
What my unlearned partners is afflicted with is the venerable foot and mouth disease. When offered a ‘wee dram’ he just cannot say no and often times has been seen drinking from the bottle with a straw and then wonders why he cannot successfully put one foot in front of the other especially when try to climb stairs to find his bed. I can no longer be responsible for his gluttony, and lack of co-ordination on the morning, memory loss after or even the pounding in his head. Should he chose to mix beer wine and scotch that’s his problem and counselling is available should it be needed.
Suffice it to say our friend David successfully tied a man a decade older than himself with only six of his fingers still intact, most body parts missing or replaced and no idea what he is doing on the golf course usually except having fun and not taking the game to seriously. At least I shot much closer to my IQ and had more ‘experiences’ on the golf course than he did.
Seriously though the Gold River trip is one of the adventures of my year and I have come to realize I will never be good or even adequate at the game. I can only say that the planned trip next September to Port Alice, Seven Hills, Quadra Island and the finale at Gold River will be a wonderful treat which I will look forward to immensely as the highlight of my golfing year spent with a most accommodating dear friend David, thank you, but please David, no more throwing golf clubs, I thought it was a UFO landing when it skittered across the green.
My condolences to Julie and my thanks for Gold River for putting up with us again.

22 09 2014
Bagger Dave

Some of what you say is true, Peter, and some I can’t confirm or deny because I wasn’t in a fit state to do so. As far as my excessive drinking is concerned I can only plead guilty as charged. As for the club throwing. Er…,it slipped? Great fun as always, Mr Dobbs, and I look forward to next year.

22 09 2014

P.S. Steve, you missed a good one.

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