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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Adrian Haut

5 04 2019
Adrian brings home the bacon: Red, White and Blue champion August 2014



We were sitting in the sunshine on the patio at Glacier Greens yesterday morning after our round and thoughts turned to our good friend Adrian Haut who passed away earlier this week. Everyone who has spent time with Adrian has a story to tell, and nearly every story puts a smile on the listeners’ faces.

Joe mentioned Adrian’s love of shopping – and in particular his love of a good deal. Liquidation World was a favourite haunt of his: “Look at this, Joe! Isn’t it great?” “It certainly is, Adrian, but what is it? “I don’t know exactly, but it’s a real good price!” Adrian also loved to buy golf shirts, some of which apparently never came out of their wrapping. Someone suggested that Joe (size Small) could make Moira a bulk offer for Adrian’s never-worn size XL shirts – Joe wouldn’t even have to buy shorts to go with them as the shirts would come down to his knees.

And then there was the famous story of Bud and Adrian on the 5th hole at Glacier a few years ago. Adrian had made a particularly rocky start to his round – maybe 6 or 7 over after four holes, whereas Bud had parred every hole. At the 5th however, Bud hit a big slice, right behind a tree. His only option was to to play back towards the tee box. “So let’s see you make a par out of that, you pr!ck” said Adrian, whereupon Bud hit an amazing 190 yard fairway wood to within five feet of the hole and sank the putt. No-one enjoyed the whole thing more than Adrian and the rest of us have been using that expression ever since, whenever we possibly can.

In May 2010 I was lucky enough to go on the golfing trip of a lifetime, to some of Ireland and Scotland’s greatest courses, with Glen, Robin and Adrian. “Remember the love grass?” said Robin today, whereupon we both burst out laughing. At Ballybunion in Ireland Glen and I shared a caddie named Mickey. Not only did he carry both our bags, but he also gave free, unsolicited advice to all four of us. Adrian was easily the longest hitter, but was having trouble keeping his ball on the fairways. “Good shot, sor, but try to stay out of the love grass!” he kept saying to Adrian. Eventually Adrian bit: “Why do you call the rough ‘love grass’, Mickey?” “Well sor, at Ballybunion if you hit the ball in the love grass, you’re f*cked.”

At the end of the round I remember Adrian giving Mickey – who’d explained earlier that he had a wife and five daughters at home, which was why he spent as much time as he could out of the house – a sizeable tip. “Maybe you could buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers,” he suggested. Mickey nearly fainted. “Buy the missus flowers?” he gasped. “You do that stuff once and the auld woman will be expecting it all the time!”

Ah, Adrian. You were a great friend and always able to bring a smile to our faces. We’re going to miss you a lot.

All da best, Chief!

Dave B.

On the first tee at St Andrews Old Course, May 26th 2010




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.





When nature calls…

21 04 2018

With many thanks to my friend Bud for sending me this. Unfortunately the #1 encounter reminded me of my ball finishing in the pond at the 18th hole today at Glacier Greens. I just didn’t need a seagull’s help to put it there…

All da best!

Dave B.





Something to laugh at…

23 12 2017

No, not my golf game. That would be cruel. Fair, but cruel.

I sent the following message to my golfing buddies a few days ago, just before a layer of permafrost settled over Glacier Greens golf course and ended any lingering hopes I had of re-discovering my game before 2017 drew to a close:

It’s not been a good year for me. In fact, I’ve been playing so badly I had to get my ball retriever re-gripped.

So, to take my mind off my golfing woes, here’s one of the funniest animal voice-overs ever. It’s an oldie, but definitely a goodie:

Merry Christmas and a lovely 2018 to all ye golfers and non-believers alike.

 

Dave B.

 





The rules of winter golf (according to Bud)

1 12 2017

082

The Budmeister gives a tip of the cap to golf’s winter rules (not).

The most venerable member of the Sandbaggers group at Glacier Greens is our good friend Bud Bryan. Being 79 years young, Bud – perhaps understandably – tends not to approve of all these new-fangled ideas in the golfing world. “Women golfers playing on Saturdays? They should stick to Tuesday mornings and leave Saturday Men’s club the way God intended it – for men only.” “Ready golf? Bah! You’ll not catch me stealing a man’s honour.”

So it may come as no surprise that Bud has not exactly embraced the proposed rule changes in golf, scheduled to be implemented in January 2019. It’s been bad enough trying to get him to accept that now the active season is over at Glacier Greens for the year, winter rules are in place to help golfers cope with the tricky conditions. Bud’s position is unwavering: “Lift, clean and place? Lift, clean and cheat, more like. Should never be allowed.”

So here are half a dozen winter golf situations to which Bud’s response is a firm “That’s cheating.” Is he right and, if so, what is the penalty? Answers below:

1. A player walks up to their ball on the fairway, addresses it and plays their stroke without placing it first under the Local Rule.

2. A player’s ball is at rest on the fairway. As they can see no mud, sand or grass cuttings on their ball they use the toe of their club to roll the ball into a grassy lie within the permitted 6 inches.

3. Under the Local Rule, a player has placed their ball immediately next to where it was at rest when they notice that there is still some mud on it. So they mark it again, clean the mud off and replace it at the ball-marker.

4. A player’s ball is at rest on the fairway. They mark and lift it and then place it within 6” on a tuft of grass in the rough, no nearer the hole.

5. Having marked, lifted and cleaned their ball, a player places it not nearer the hole and within 6” of where it lay onto a tuft of grass to the side of a repaired divot. As the player stands up, the ball topples off the tuft into the divot. They bend down and place it back onto the tuft of grass. 

6. A player marks, lifts and cleans their ball and then drops it within 6” of where it lay on the fairway, not nearer the hole.

Answers:

1. No penalty – you may lift clean and place, but you don’t have to.

2. Oops. The ball should be placed, not rolled with a club. A one stroke penalty.

3. Oops again. Another one stroke penalty. Once you’ve moved the ball it’s in play, so you can’t touch it again.

4. No penalty – you’re not in a hazard or on the green, so you’re within the rules.

5. Double oops! A two stroke penalty. You’ve touched the ball after it should be in play and then played it from the wrong place.

6. Double oops! The rule says ‘lift, clean and place‘, not ‘drop‘. (However, if you realise your mistake before continuing play and correct it, there would be no penalty.)

So in fact Bud was correct 60% of the time. Not bad – but you can save yourself strokes every round this winter if you know all these winter rules.

Or perhaps you’re at the other end of the Budmeister scale and don’t bother about any of those pesky rules. And that’s absolutely fine by me – but, please, not if you’re playing at Glacier Greens in Saturday Men’s club!

All da best.

Bagger D.

 

 





Tales from the golf course

5 08 2017

two women golfers in a cart

Every week at Glacier Greens Golf Club dozens of members take part in our Saturday Men’s Club competition. At this time of year there might well be nearly 100 players competing, some of whom are really pretty good golfers. I, along with my two perennial partners, Kiefer and Rod, am one of ‘the others’: we’re not terrible golfers as such, but nor are we likely to play 18 holes without the odd mishap along the way. As a result, our concentration tends to waver after a while and we resort to laughing at each other’s poor shots (of which there are usually plenty) and telling jokes and stories. Some of these stories are obviously only loosely based on fact, but occasionally the teller swears that the story is true.

The following is the story that Rod, who also works as a greens keeper at the club, told us today while waiting on the 18th tee:

A couple of days ago he and a fellow greens keeper were tidying up one of the bunkers on the 18th hole. It’s a tricky dog leg par 4, requiring a decent drive followed by a well-judged approach shot across the pond. Two young women were walking past them towards the green, each with a number of clubs tucked under their arms. Their cart was still at the tee box, apparently abandoned.

“Trouble with the cart, ladies? Can I be of assistance?” asked Rod’s workmate Paul, obviously keen to help out these damsels in distress and, in Rod’s words, being ‘sickeningly polite’.

“No, we’re fine,” said one of the women, “We’re just, you know, following the instructions on the sign.”

The women carried on walking towards the green while Rod and Paul, somewhat perplexed, walked back to the tee, where they gazed at the sign in question. It read as follows:

“GOLFERS ATTEMPTING TO DRIVE THE GREEN WILL HAVE THEIR PLAYING PRIVILEGES SUSPENDED.”

Rod swears it’s a true story. Do you have anything to match it?

 

All da best.

Dave B.