Putting names to faces

15 05 2019

I’ve been playing MISGA (Mid Island Senior Golfers’ Association) tournaments for a good few years now. Success has been elusive and prizes (usually in the form of a Pinnacle golf ball or two) few and far between. There are, however, two constants: the post-game lunch is always good and you get to meet some really nice people.

Today at Eaglecrest was no exception. As we milled around on the 14th tee box (our starting hole), waiting for the fairway sprinklers to turn themselves off (it having rained all day yesterday) I commented to my playing partners that this long course – I consider anything over 6,000 yards excessive – was going to play even longer. We set about introducing ourselves: I already knew John from Arbutus Ridge, in his eighties but a prodigious striker of the ball; I’d never met Brian from Arrowsmith, but he told me that he also found Eaglecrest a bit intimidating. The fourth member of our group was an Eaglecrest member, Trevor, who seemed vaguely familiar. When I told him that I was a member at Glacier Greens he remembered that he’d played with someone from our club last year. “Nice guy,” he said. “Not a very good golfer though. Extraordinary thing was that he kept hitting his driver. Not just off nearly every tee box, but off the fairway too. 29 times in all, I seem to remember. Dave something, I think his name was. Perhaps you know him?”

At this point he must have caught sight of the look on my face, because he stopped in his tracks. “Oh God, it was you…”

Yep. It was me. Although I remember it as being only 26 times with the driver. (I mean, 29 would be a bit excessive, wouldn’t it?)

I only hit my driver 15 times today, and not once from the fairway. The good news was that I hit 13 out of 14 fairways. The bad news was that I never hit a single green in regulation. Not one. Under the circumstances, shooting 90 was quite an achievement. Just outside the prizes, as usual…

It was a great lunch though.

All da best, fellow Misgans (as the Rt Hon William Crowther might say)!

Dave Brooker

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As Shakespeare might have said…

3 02 2019
As Shakespeare might have said: “Flagstick in or flagstick out? That is the question.”

Well, thanks to the good folks at Expert Golf, we now have the answer. The video makes it pretty clear that – with some provisos – you’re usually better off leaving the flagstick in when you putt.

My good friend Bud Bryan will doubtless remain a naysayer, but then he’s always thought those new-fangled automobiles would never replace the good old horse and cart. On the other hand, Bryson Dechambeau – who took home a cool $3 million U.S. when winning the Dubai Classic last week – is a firm believer in leaving the pin in.

To be fair, Bud did bring home $25 for winning B Flight at Men’s Morning at Glacier Greens yesterday, so the evidence isn’t all one way, but it looks if Mr Dechambeau – known by his peers on tour as the Mad Scientist – may just have a point.

Anyway, I’ll be trying it for sure this year. After all, my putting really can’t get any worse…

All da best!

Dave B.




Old school golf

22 11 2018

                   (It’s not just Peter’s golfing attire that’s old school.)

     I think it would be fair to say that my friend Peter Dobbs and I have a love/hate relationship on the golf course. We love to make fun of each other’s bad shots (and, believe me, there are plenty of opportunities)  and we absolutely hate to lose. So on Tuesday this week we travelled down to Arrowsmith Golf Club near Qualicum to continue our long-running feud. As usual, we spent most of the journey deciding how many shots I was going to give him. Peter is a skilled negotiator and normally squeezes anything between 6 and 8 shots out of me. This time, however, I outmanoeuvred him: “How about you getting a shot on all the Par 4’s and Par 5’s and we play even up on just the Par 3’s?” “Done!” said Peter without hesitation.

Tee hee! Peter had forgotten Arrowsmith is an executive course with 13 Par 3’s, so I’d only be giving him 5 shots. Sadly, I was so full of myself that I completely butchered the first hole and made a double bogey to go one down. “Serves you right,” said Peter, with some justice. We then settled down to some fairly decent golf and I actually hit a few greens in succession. On #6, a steep uphill 123 yard Par 3, I hit what seemed like a good shot – a six iron – although the flag was on the top tier and the hole itself wasn’t visible. Then Peter hit – a driver, for goodness sake! It landed short of the green but otherwise looked pretty good, although from the tee box it was impossible to tell if either ball was even on the green. So we walked all the way up to the green and…

Yep, my ball’s the yellow one – about 15 feet from the hole – and Peter’s is the white one, not even 15 inches. 123 yards and a driver! Now that’s old school golf…

golfing Arrowsmith 071

I finished up winning the game, but we both know who made shot of the day. Well done, Peter my friend (Grr). Thank goodness the ball didn’t actually go in though – I’d never hear the end of it!

All da best!

Dave B.





The new golf rules 2019 (20 biggest changes)

2 11 2018

We’re less than two months away from the plethora of rule changes that take place in the new year, so here’s (another) short video explaining them. Maybe you can be the guy in your group who actually knows the new rules as opposed to making them up as you go along.

The active season in BC ends on November 15th, after which scores do not count towards your RCGA handicap. My own cunning plan is to play by the new rules so I’m good and ready for the new year.

I know there are some of you out there (and nice people too in many respects) who didn’t bother much about the old rules. Well, the new ones are simpler and there are fewer of them, so how about a New Year’s resolution in 2019? Watch this video, learn the new rules and play by them!

 

Oh, and thanks to my good friend Peter Dobbs for sending me this video. Oh the irony! Peter’s infamous for driving a cart and horses through the rules of golf – could he be a poacher turned gamekeeper? (Answer: highly unlikely.)

 

All da best!

Dave B.

 

 





The Job Interview

14 10 2018

You may not recognise all these golfers, although they’re all top players on the European Tour, but most of them seem to pass the beer test – i.e. they seem like the sort of guys you’d like to sit down and have a beer with.

My favourite answer to the question “What would you be if you weren’t a professional golfer?”

Ireland’s Shane Lowry: “Probably broke.”

Which is exactly what I’d be if I played golf for a living…

All da best.

Dave B.

 

 





Seriously? RWB 2018

9 09 2018

So the 2018 Red, White and Blue is in the books. It was unique for a number of reasons. Firstly, at Joe Dunham’s suggestion after last year’s tournament – his exact words were “I’m too old for this 36-holes-in-one-day shit” – it was decided that following Saturday’s 18 holes from the white tees,  we would play just 18 holes on Sunday, nine from the blue tees and nine from the red.  Secondly, with only six players, we had the smallest field in the history of the RWB. This was obviously directly related to the third reason – we had the worst weather ever in the 18 years we’ve been playing the event.

So bad was it that, apart from a singleton who set off half an hour ahead of us (a fellow inmate from the lunatic asylum, no doubt), the course was absolutely deserted. Perhaps because of this, Glacier Greens’ pro Bill Kelly gave us permission to play as a sixsome on the grounds that we were unlikely to hit into anybody. Brian Wise, his able assistant, offered free psychiatric help to anyone who needed it (i.e. all of us).

To be honest, when I left the house at 8.00 this morning I informed Scottish Wife with confidence that I’d no doubt be back within the hour. Clearly I’d underestimated the capacity for masochism among our group. Sure enough, from the eleven guys who had signed up two sent polite emails to say, given the 40kph winds and heavy showers, “Thanks but no thanks” and three others showed up just to see if we really were going to go ahead and play, but declined absolutely to join our venture. But the other five, and let’s name names here, – the spouses of Mrs Ball, Mrs Buckley-Jones, Mrs Hayes, Mrs Hautzinger and Mrs Moore – were determined to play, come rain or shine. It turned out, of course, that there wasn’t any shine but as Rob Moore put it “We could play in sunshine and it would just be a round of golf. Playing in this stuff is a story!”

Quote of the day goes, I think, to Dave Buckley-Jones. He watched impassively as Phil Ball slipped in the mud as he played his tee shot on #8, missed the ball entirely and lost hold of the club which flew 20 yards down the fairway. It was only when Phil totally topped his second attempt, sending the ball about 30 yards, that Dave quietly muttered: “Well, at least the ball went further than the club that time.”

When I got home after the post round drinks and prize giving, the Big Club under my arm and still soaked to the skin and some six hours after I’d told the missus I’d be right back, she put on her most Scottish Wifely expression:

“Seriously?” she said.

RWB 2018

2017 winner Ed Hayes, on the right,  is happy because he doesn’t have to look after the Big Club anymore. Thank you, Ed, for adding the second plinth so we can play for the trophy for another 18 years. In the background, Dave Buckley-Jones is happy because he cunningly contrived to come 2nd this year. The other guy’s just happy because he’s no longer slogging around the course in the wind and rain.

Thanks so much for coming out, you guys. Maybe a bit of sunshine wouldn’t go amiss next year though…

All da best!

Dave B.





The Snit

3 08 2018

Golfing tantrums

Sir Winston Churchill* said it best: “Golf is a game whose purpose is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”

Let’s face it – for most people, golf is a fiendishly difficult game. It has been estimated that fewer than 25% of golfers ever break 100 (and just 2% break 80!), so it’s not surprising that many of us get a little frustrated at our failure to “put the little round white thing in the round holey thing”, as our friend Dave Laird used to put it.

I’ve just got back from my annual golf trip to Victoria with Glennie and his two long-standing Mainland buddies, Jim and Rod. I’m a (slightly dodgy) 14 handicap, Glen’s a 17, Jim’s in the low twenties and Rod’s somewhat north of that. By using our brilliant rolling handicap system (don’t ask) and changing partners for each round we manage to keep things close and – best of all – get to insult different people every day.

As it happens I was partnered by Rod on the first day at the beautiful Uplands golf course. He played lights out, nearly broke 90, and as a result, we won the match fairly handily. Day 2 at the equally lovely Cordova Bay course proved a bit more testing, but Rod remained defiantly chipper. Day 3 at Highland Pacific began more brightly, with Rod making an excellent par on the first hole and a birdie soon after, but a succession of difficult holes took its toll and Rod’s smile began to fade. The smile returned on the 9th hole (a tricky 165 yard downhill par 3) however, when Rod hit a gorgeous tee shot. We all oohed and aahed as it soared through the air straight at the hole, right on line. It landed on the front of the green and rolled towards the cup…which it missed by a couple of inches…and then continued to roll straight into a tiny bunker behind the green.

In hindsight, it may have been unwise of me to offer helpful tips as Rod played his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th shots in a desperate but unavailing attempt to escape the sand. Under the circumstances, Rod’s colourful language in reply was entirely understandable and my protests that I was “just trying to help” probably wouldn’t stand up in court.

So the question is: does this count as a snit or should the fact that Rod was clearly provoked mean that he should be acquitted? I leave it to you, my fellow golfers, to decide.

All da best!

Dave B.

(*Or it may have been Woodrow Wilson or someone entirely different).