Robin the rich (and feeding the poor)

3 09 2011

Robin the rich?

Playing golf with Robin Houlgrave is a bit like tackling that box of chocolates in Forrest Gump – you just never know what you’re going to get. The other guys in my usual foursome are fairly predictable. Ringer is going to shoot 75 on a bad day, including a couple of birdies, but wail in anguish about shots that the rest of us would be delighted with. Glennie’s going to shoot about 90, but drive John nuts by saying “Five… net four” throughout the round and mentioning how much he loves golf as John is forced to buy him yet another coffee after yet another match play defeat. Lairdo will probably narrowly fail to break 100 but won’t miss anything inside five feet. But Robin is consistent only in his utter inconsistency.

Today, however, Robin took his unpredictability on the golf course to a whole new level. It started on the first hole. Glen and I were in our usual bad spot, between the cart path and the woods on the left. Tim Hautzinger had belied his 21 handicap by drilling one right down the middle. Robin had smashed one down the right somewhere. By the time we all met up on the green he was muttering and mumbling to himself and when he finally tapped in he announced that he wasn’t sure but he thought he’d got a seven. Tim filled us in on the details: Robin’s tee shot had in fact gone into the ditch. While he was retrieving his ball, his cart had rolled in after him and spilled all his clubs into the water along with his balls, tees and packed lunch. I was impressed with Tim’s suggestion that there should be a 28 shot penalty – two for each of his clubs – but we decided that a total of seven shots and 14 wet grips was punishment enough.

Things quickly improved for Robin, as he parred the next two holes and then birdied #4, the pot of gold hole. Back on track, his clubs now dry, Robin played the next several holes like the decent player he is. Solid pars on 10, 11 and 12 were followed by a birdie on #13 and then, improbably, another one on #14 after bouncing his second shot off the bridge. Could H. make three birdies in a row? Not quite. He totally shanked his tee shot on #15 and made triple. Were his nerves gone? Not at all. He made a heroic approach shot through the trees on #16 and made a lengthy putt for his fourth birdie of the day. Back on track, then. Not exactly. A poor tee shot on #17 and a bit of tree trouble led to yet another triple. A disappointingly uneventful par on #18 meant that Robin’s round had consisted of four birdies, four triples and endless fun for the rest of us. I’ve scored plenty of 82’s in my time – but never quite like that!

I phoned Len Doyle – Saturday morning men’s club supremo – a couple of hours later to ask if by any chance he’d tallied up the snips for the day, as I wanted to know if any of Robin’s birdies had held up. “Dunno yet,” came Lord Leonard’s reply. ” But I know Ron Morrison’s a happy camper”. “Why’s that then, Len?” I asked.  “Robin didn’t enter the pot of gold, so Ron’s scooped the hundred bucks!”

So maybe I’ve got the title of the post wrong – Len won’t post the snip winners until tomorrow and it may not be a case of Robin the rich after all. But he did feed us a four hour diet of thrills and spills and non stop entertainment today. Cheers, H!

All da best.

Dave B.