Diary of a Hacker (Part Two)

1 12 2014

Wednesday:

One of my pet hates in life is reality TV shows, which I absolutely refuse to watch on the grounds that they are often demeaning to the contestants and an insult to viewers’ intelligence. Even so, I know enough about ‘Big Brother’ to see parallels between it and life for the seven of us in our rental house here in sunny Maricopa. Sleeping arrangements have been the first bone of contention. It’s fine for me, having picked the ace in our draw for pick of the bedrooms – I’m the only one who has his own room, with en suite bathroom to boot. Everyone else is having to share, and to judge by the mutual recriminations fired at each other by, say, Glennie and Donny, things are not always going well in the bedroom. I’ve slept with Glennie on several occasions (insert your own unsavoury comment here) and he could certainly snore for Canada. This morning, however, I was somewhat surprised to learn that he attempted to smother Donny Mac with a pillow last night because Donny was keeping him awake. Strong words were had over breakfast this morning.

Davey F-Bomb has been sleeping in a bedroom closet up to now and keeps reminding me that he’s coming out of the closet (so to speak) tomorrow, when he gets the master suite and I shall have to drag my mattress off into some quiet corner. I’d like to think that lack of sleep is the cause of a couple of mental aberrations on my part in the past 48 hours, during which time I have lost my fleece (found later in the trunk of a car I hadn’t travelled in) and lost my shoes (also in a car trunk, although in this case I suspect foul play on the part of one or more of my golfing partners). At least I didn’t clean my teeth with A535 rub, like Kenny V. He says his headache is gone. I wonder if it cures toothache too?

And so to golf. We played The Duke at Rancho el Dorado today and after a one hour frost delay (seriously) the temperatures soared into the high seventies. Most of our scores soared into the nineties, with one notable exception: Mighty Tim shot a superb 80 (net 60!) and surely earned the undisputed title of Sandbagger of the Week. Due to the ‘rolling handicap’ system we’ve adopted his handicap has gone down from 20 to 14. In other words, he’s pretty much screwed for tomorrow. Great round, though, Tim!

Thursday:

And screwed he certainly was. Tim’s 80 yesterday turned into an even 100 at Superstition Springs today, and several others in our group fared even worse. I actually played OK, shooting 83, and was the big money winner, which makes up for losing every single day up until now. Of course my handicap has now been cut while everybody else is creeping up into the 20’s and even 30’s, so tomorrow could be problematic. In addition, my win today attracted some unwelcome attention from Tug Boat Bob, who has now nicknamed me ‘Overseas Dave’ to differentiate me from F-Bomb Dave.

I’m surprised to discover that I actually quite like riding in a golf cart. I’ve always considered them a blight upon the game of golf, used only by unfit lardy bloaters, but because the gap between greens and tees is so large on most courses they are a true necessity. Not only that, but when the weather’s in the 80’s (sorry, Comox Valley dwellers, I know it’s a bit chilly up there right now), the breeze in the golf cart as you zoom up the fairway is a welcome relief from the Arizona heat. I kind of feel like General Patton, driving around and mustering the troops. Well, it is a war zone out there, with balls – and profanities – flying in all directions.

Friday:

I had to move out of the master bedroom yesterday and so last night was my first night in the closet. I actually slept really well, but that might be connected to the amount of alcohol I’d consumed. Anyway, I felt surprisingly chipper this morning.  We played at the Foothills golf course today. F-Bomb Dave had spent half an hour on the phone yesterday persuading some poor lady to give us seven $59 rounds for $39. The lady was from England originally and I think that Dave’s clinching argument was that she should help out a fellow Brit and give us a special deal. Anyway, it worked and maybe now Tug Boat Bob will be more appreciative of  having Overseas as a member of the group. Talking of Bob, he had the runaway low net score today, 69. Unfortunately for him, we were playing a team match (total net scores) and our team prevailed, mainly thanks to Donny’s outrageous handicap of 33 meaning he could shoot over 100 and still break net par.

Saturday:

Today it was off to the lush greens of Cimarron, home course of Gene Genie. Finally everybody matched or beat their net par, partially due to the course being a tad easier but mostly due to the fact that everybody’s handicap had gone up so much that we were pretty well bound to record better net scores. Mighty Tim and F-Bomb recorded net 62’s (boo!), but the wall of shame was reserved for Kenny V, who scored an amazing net 59. In a modest acceptance speech Ken explained his success as follows: “If you f*ck up five days in a row, at some point your handicap is going to be so high that you have to win”. Wise words indeed, as he and Gene tied for first place with Tim and F-Bomb. Net 62’s? Shameful.

We came home to burgers, beers and the hot tub. Good news that tomorrow is our final day – we’re all well and truly knackered.

Sunday:

And it showed. Our last round was back at Foothills and nobody broke 90. Even so, we all had a blast. Somehow Davey F-Bomb had persuaded the course to let us on for $30 which, as it happened, worked out at exactly $3 per shot for me. Bah!

If you look closely, you can see that all seven of us look just a little bit worse for wear. Seven successive days of golf ( not to mention the accompanying excessive eating an drinking, will do that to you.

As Shakespeare expressed it so eloquently  in Henry V, “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.”  Glennie put it thus: “We sad bunch of hackers!”

Final round over, it was back home to Maricopa. In the ‘Miracle on Baize’ Davey F-Bomb and I won the final pool tournament of the week and then I exited first in the finale of the poker competition and was relegated to drinks server for the rest of the evening. What a great week though! Davey F-Bomb is the undisputed God of golf trips.

Many thanks to Davey and Donny, Glenny and Kenny, Tug Boat and Tim, who all mercilessly took my money at the pool table, the poker table and even on the golf course. It was an absolute blast  and I thank you all for letting me be part of it.

All da best!

Overseas Dave.

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Diary of a Hacker (Part One)

25 11 2014

Sunday:

It’s hard to know exactly where to begin with an account of our golf trip to Phoenix, Arizona. For a start, Glennie was the only Sandbagger involved apart from myself, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out with a new cast of characters. It wasn’t long before my new acquaintances began to make their mark. On Sunday, not ten minutes after picking up our rental cars (seven of us plus baggage and, of course, golf bags) we found ourselves in the nearest Costco. Forty minutes after that we were back in the parking lot having spent $406 on ‘groceries’. These ‘groceries’ largely consisted of staples such as beer, wine, vodka, rye and pizza with a couple of ready made salads thrown in to ensure we were starting off the week with a healthy, balanced diet. Oh, and Davey F-Bomb insisted on buying a massive turkey that he plans to prepare for Thanksgiving. I shan’t explain Davey’s moniker except to say that after a couple of drinks he appears incapable of completing any sentence without a liberal sprinkling of fairly colourful language. Somehow we managed to squeeze all our purchases into the cars along with all our other stuff. The  evening was spent settling into our fancy rental home for the week, allocating rooms (I ‘won’ the master bedroom for the first four nights on the turn of a card) and making quite a dent in our stockpile of alcoholic beverages. Glennie and Donny ‘Mastercard’ McCririck persuaded me to join in their poker game, promising me that ‘I’d soon pick up the basics’. I left the table 45 minutes later, minus all my money, and still with no idea what a Royal Straight or a Running Flush was. I don’t think I’m a natural.

Monday:

Plenty of time for a quick shop at the local Basha’s supermarket in Maricopa. Apparently we’d already depleted some of our vital supplies, but this time we also filled a cart with more sensible items. Imagine, if you will, seven grown men running round the supermarket with only a small scrap of paper between us for guidance. Somehow, twenty minutes later, we all met up at the checkout having filled the cart with a huge and mostly healthy array of items AND having signed up with Basha’s loyalty programme to get 15% discount. “Wow,” I said to Donny Mac. “Scottish Wife is going to be impressed.” Just at that moment, Tim called out “You’ll need this, Dave!” and launched a packet of something or other in my direction. I caught it and handed it over to Donny. “That’s absolutely not going in the cart, Dave.” I looked at the packet: Extra Pleasure Trojan condoms. I put them back on the shelf, next to the cookies. Note to self: watch out for Tim.

The (not so) Magnificent Seven: from left to right, Davey F-Bomb, Tug Boat Bob, Bagger Dave, Glennie P, Mighty Tim, Kenny V, Donny Mac

The (not so) Magnificent Seven: from left to right, Davey F-Bomb, Tug Boat Bob, Bagger Dave, Glennie P, Mighty Tim, Kenny V, Donny Mac

Then it was off to Ak-Chin Southern Dunes golf course for the first stop of our seven day, seven round golfing odyssey. It was a gorgeous desert course which we thoroughly enjoyed. There are 105 bunkers on it, and Glennie made it his personal mission to land in as many of them as possible. At the end of the day, our net scores were all very close but Tim and Davey F-Bomb shared first place with a low net of 74. Hard to accuse anyone of Sandbaggery, and all our handicaps will be going up tomorrow, especially that of Kenny V, who suffered uncomplainingly through the mother of all headaches today. Perhaps a bit more hard liquor will put him right.

Back at the ranch, Tug Boat Bob proved that he’d spent enough time on dry land to hone a pretty good game of pool, dismissing all challengers with ease. At the poker table, miracle of miracles! Despite still having only the haziest notion of what a good hand was, after what seemed like hours of play, I scooped the pot. Time to announce my retirement, methinks.

Last but not least, I have to mention tonight’s meal. We dined on salmon and prawns, caught by Davey F-Bomb, smuggled through customs by Davey F-Bomb and cooked by the man himself. He honestly never stops – truly an energy bunny in human form!

Tuesday:

Today it was off to Ocatillo golf course, half an hour east of Maricopa. We were joined by Gene Genie (if you’re a David Bowie fan you’ll get the reference immediately), who was announced as a 32 handicapper. Later, when Mighty Tim, Donny Mac, Kenny and myself had been soundly thrashed by the Axis of Evil (Glennie, Davey F-Bomb, Tug Boat and Gene), it was conceded that Gene might actually have been a 22. Too late for us – our $5’s had already  been handed over. Slight consolation when, on the return trip, Davey F-Bomb and Glennie found themselves in the wrong lane on the way home and our other two cars refused to let them into our lane, causing the mother of all snarl ups, but the fact remains that they came home with $5 in their pockets and we didn’t.

But what a meal we came home to! Davey F-Bomb had the turkey simmering all day and Tug Boat and I threw a couple of bowls of roasted veggies into the mix. Admittedly Donny had to interrupt a phone call to his wife to say “Excuse me a minute – the oven’s on fire”, but apart from that everything went swimmingly and our early Thanksgiving meal was truly outstanding. Teams have been drawn for tomorrow’s round at The Duke course at Rancho el Dorado and already the trash talking has begun.

More to follow later in the week.

All da best!

Bagger D.





Quadratic equations

19 05 2014

 

Smiling Rock, the good luck charm next to the first tee at Quadra Island golf course. It worked very well on the first hole and then obviously forgot all about me for the next seventeen!

Smiling Rock, the good luck charm next to the first tee at Quadra Island golf course. It worked very well on the first hole and then obviously forgot all about me for the next seventeen!

 

There’s quite a lengthy list of things I wasn’t very good at during my time at school, but the subject that stands out as being a particular nightmare was high school mathematics. I was okay at sums you could work out in your head – my dad made sure that I had all the times tables up to 12 memorised by the time I was ten – but as soon as formulae were involved I was dead in the water. It didn’t help that I wasn’t that kid who sat quietly at the back of the classroom hoping to avoid attention. I was that other kid who, when bored, found forms of amusement such as nicking classmates’ pens and paper or flicking gobs of paper at the blackboard above the teacher’s head. Sometimes I got away with it, sometimes not. They were quite keen on corporal punishment in those days and a smack across the back of the head was often my ‘reward’ for minor indiscretions. Obviously I wasn’t going to complain to my parents – chances are that would only have led to another clip round the lughole  – so I would just accept whatever punishment was meted out as being a fair cop. On one occasion, though, my maths teacher, ‘Slim’ Folland (height 5 foot 2; weight 220 pounds), got his own back with a few succinct words on my end of term report card: “Prefers to muddle, apparently”. I still have that report card today and laugh at the memory of trying to explain to my parents that “It was just Mr Folland’s weird sense of humour” and “I was pretty sure I was going to pass the course anyway”. Somehow I did scrape through, but that was the end of me and maths and to this day I have no idea what a quadratic equation is or what you would do with it if you found one. It did, however, inspire me to my choice of future career. I mean, what could be more brilliant than saying or writing whatever you wanted about a kid and them having virtually no right of reply? And so the seeds of a lifetime in teaching were sown.

It’s probably pretty obvious by now that this week’s post has nothing whatsoever to do with quadratic equations. It’s just that six of us Sandbaggers played at Quadra Island golf course for the first time last week and the name of the course and the difficulty I had with it brought the obvious connection to mind. The nine hole course is in just its second full year of operation and is an absolute beauty – under 5900 yards off the white tees and with pretty generous fairways, but changes in elevation and some cunningly placed hazards meant that no one in our group found it a pushover. For those whose knowledge of the geography of Vancouver Island is a bit shaky, Quadra Island lies a ten minute ferry ride from the dock in Campbell River which, in turn, lies 45 minutes north of the Comox Valley. A couple of club members picked us up from the ferry and drove us to the course, which was less than ten minutes away and overlooks the Sutil Channel and the coastal mountains of BC. There we were warmly greeted by Carol Ann, the operations manager of the course, who pointed us in the right direction for the practice putting green and driving range. A couple of members (there are, I believe, around a hundred playing members in total, of whom maybe half are what you’d call frequent players) asked if they could play through, having completed their first nine, but by the time we took to the first tee we had the course pretty much to ourselves even though it was a lovely sunny spring day.

I won’t go into details about my round, other than to say I birdied the first hole and then didn’t hit another green in regulation for the next three hours – and even then it was only after my approach shot bounced off a huge rock in the middle of the 16th fairway and ricocheted to within twenty feet of the pin. To use Glennie’s time worn phrase: “I LOVE golf!” Of course I then doubled the last two holes, losing two balls in the process, and the love/hate dial on my relationship with this game switched back to ‘hate’. My black mood soon passed, however, as I watched the group behind us try and fail to reach the 18th green with their tee shots. Two flew straight into the hazard to the right of the green, while Rod’s low trajectory meant that at least his ball skipped right across the pond (three bounces!) before hitting a rock on the far side, rising twenty feet or so into the air before achieving splashdown. Rod re-teed and hit a beauty on his next attempt to within six feet. It goes without saying that he missed the putt.

Not even time for a post round beer on this occasion, as our ride back to the ferry was ready and waiting (we made it by the skin of our teeth), but I for one am really keen to come back and try it all over again.Thanks again to Peter, Carol Ann, and all those Quadra members who helped make our day so enjoyable. I highly recommend you to try it for yourselves – it’s a great day out!

The course designer obviously liked his inukshuks - they were all over the place! These two were at the back of the fifth green.

The course designer obviously liked his inukshuks – they were all over the place! These two were at the back of the fifth green.

 

 

 

Despite appearances, this tree takes up only a very small part of the eighth fairway. Li'l Stevie hit it with unerring aim!

Despite appearances, this tree takes up only a very small part of the eighth fairway. Li’l Stevie hit it with unerring aim.

 

All da best!

 

Dave B.

 

 





Anger Management

30 11 2013

When I first started playing golf it took me a while to realise that there were a lot more factors in making a good score than simply how far I hit the ball. If it was all about distance I’d still probably never break 90, but I feel I can usually save a bunch of strokes by making smart decisions about what club to use and where to aim the ball. As the old saying goes, it’s not where your good shots go, but where your bad ones end up, that determines what kind of a score you’re going to have. In all modesty, I would have to say that course management has gradually become a strength of my game.

But what happens when circumstances conspire against you and you make, say, a double bogey or worse on a hole? Well, this is where anger management comes in. The guys I play with all have their own unique style in dealing with adversity on the golf course: Glennie and Robinski use language so colourful that I could never consider inviting them to tea along with the vicar for fear that the subject of three putting came up; Smokin’ Joe, somewhat quaintly, has been known to call himself an “effin ninny” when displeased with his efforts; Roderick questions the very existential truth of whatever tragedy seems to have just befallen him (“you’ve got to be kidding me”); Richard says something in French that always ends “tabernacle”; and Lairdo who, to be fair, has more experience than most of us with golf-related disasters, just wanders off muttering to himself. But sometimes, very occasionally, bad language alone is not enough to exorcise our golfing demons. Sometimes not even throwing a club (punishable in our circle by having to buy our playing partners a jug of beer) is sufficient. On these rare occasions, in order to release all that pent up anger with the minimum of personal inconvenience, you might want to follow the advice of teaching pro Charlie King from Georgia:

Next week: “How to throw a club”.

All da best!

Dave B.





Well, this is embarrassing…

11 11 2013
nadia comaneci

Nadia Comaneci I am not.

We’ll come to my somewhat tenuous connection with the Olympic gold medal winning Rumanian gymnast later. Meanwhile, as you may recall, back in the summer the group of eleven guys that I golf with two or three times a week at Glacier Greens decided that we would have our own matchplay competition. Everybody played everyone else in a round robin format and, when the music stopped, yours truly had more points than anyone else and was duly declared the winner of the inaugural Sandbagger Trophy. The trophy itself, lovingly crafted by the Budmeister, has resided on my mantlepiece ever since. The winnings have long since been squandered on wine, women and song (in my dreams – you can’t get much for thirty bucks these days).

A few weeks ago we decided that we would play a second round of matches which was fine by me as, frankly, I was getting tired of being openly derided as ‘Chief Sandbagger’ and thought it was about time someone else took their turn. I won a few games early on, but was then comprehensively outplayed by Billy V and absolutely steamrollered by the Chief whose gross score of 76 translated into a net 62. I feigned disappointment at my crushing defeat, but inside I was secretly delighted – I mean, a net 62 is about as flagrant a piece of sandbaggery as you’re ever going to see, so the heat was now on the Chief and surely Bud’s masterpiece was going to find a new home for the winter. When, in my penultimate game, I found myself three down with three to play against Li’l Stevie, I felt able to relax in the knowledge that my race was run. At that point, of course, my opponent’s game went right off the rails and I finished up snatching an unlikely half when Steve’s approach shot on the last hole found the water.

So today I found myself playing my final match against my old nemesis, the Great Robinski. If Robin won he was still in with a chance of the trophy, although Glennie could still sneak through on the inside if he beat Smokin’ Joe and then, of course, there was still Adrian to consider, if he could just manage to win his last game against Lairdo…Suffice it to say, the permutations were endless, and – as usual – I was doing way too much thinking about all the various possibilities instead of concentrating on my own game. We’d arranged it so that Glen and Joe played their match in the same foursome as Robin and myself. After a titanic struggle, Glen finally edged out Joe on the 17th green, 2 and 1. Robin and I were still all square. We both hit good drives off the 18th tee box, middle of the fairway, 130 yards out, our balls within a couple of yards of each other. I went first and hit a decent shot across the water and – deep breath – over the bunker by a matter of inches. The ball settled on the fringe, about fifteen feet from the hole. Now it was Robin’s turn. A nice steady back swing, good shape at the top of the arc and then – as is so often the case for all of us mere golfing mortals – something went wrong on the down swing and the ball flew into the pond like an Exocet missile. Game over. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry: I’m now the two time Sandbagger Trophy winner and I have to live with the shame of it until next spring.

The runner up positions have yet to be decided – it could be any two out of Adrian, Glennie and Robin, but with 2nd and 3rd place prize money netting $15 and $10 respectively I don’t think the guys will be getting too excited about it. First place, of course, brings in a massive $30, but with a $10 engraving fee for the plaque and ten coffees to pay for on Wednesday for the guys, I’m expecting to make a net loss.

Which is just as it should be.

All da best!

Bagger Dave

P.S. I think that Glennie’s abiding memory of today’s round will have nothing to do with golf at all. On the short fourth hole my tee shot ricocheted off a tree and onto the rocks above the pond alongside the green. As I tried to retrieve my ball, ready to take a drop, I slipped. Joe and Robin were busy looking for their own balls, but Glennie looked up just as I made a desperate leap for safety. It was only partially successful. I managed to miss the rocks, but made a perfect dismount in two feet of freezing, muddy water. Fourteen holes and three hours of squelching lay ahead of me until we would be back at the clubhouse. Ironically, I’d just been telling Rod Cobham how great my new waterproof Footjoy golf shoes were – yep, they kept the water in perfectly for the rest of the round. Oh, and I think it’s safe to say that there are no Olympic gymnastic gold medals in my future. Nadia Comaneci I am not.





Sandbaggers

17 08 2013
Who, me?

Who, me?

If you’ve read many of my posts you’ll know by now that I usually hang out with the same group of guys at Glacier Greens: Glennie, Lairdo, Budmeister, the Chief, Li’l Stevie, Smokin’ Joe, Rod, Richard (aka Frenchie) and the Great Robinski. The group has been joined of late by another ne’er-do-well, er gentleman, named Billy V. We book two tee times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Sometimes there’s exactly eight of us – Li’l Stevie might have to work, for example; for some reason Frenchie’s wife actually wants him around the house on Wednesdays, and ‘Poppy’ Laird doesn’t really do Fridays. Sometimes one or two of us take a turn to sit out for a day but quite often the three great kids in the pro shop (take a bow, Peter, Michelle and Taylor) let us sneak three groups into two tee times as long as we’re all there early and promise faithfully to tee off promptly and then keep up the pace.

We play a variety of games, but there are two constants: we always use net scores and we always play for a coffee. We think net scores are a good idea because our handicaps range from 6 to 29 and by always mixing up the teams (the ball toss on the practice green is a staple part of proceedings) we get to see a wide range of golf swings, not to mention golfing etiquette. Oh, and now I think of it, there’s a third constant: whenever you lose, it’s customary – mandatory, really – to accuse the winners of being sandbaggers. Just over a month ago the topic was raised once again over a post-game coffee: out of the 11 of us, who really is the biggest sandbagger? Pretty much everybody is a decent candidate, at least on their day, but then there are all those other days when we’re just hackers. Anyway, how can you really tell, when we nearly always play as teams? Just because Bud and Joe nearly always have their hands out for a toonie after a round doesn’t necessarily prove that they’re sandbaggers – just incurable optimists.

The obvious solution was to hold a singles matchplay competition. After some discussion we decided to have a round robin event, so that we would all play each other once. This is the email I sent out to everybody on July 5th:

At our meeting after today’s round the details of the Sandbaggers Trophy were finalised. I believe we agreed the following, but would appreciate input if I have misremembered anything:
1. The beautiful trophy, lovingly created by Sandbagger Bud, shall be named the Sandbagger Match Play Trophy. Sandbagger Bill will see to the engraving of the trophy title.
2. As suggested by Sandbagger Rod, the tournament will be competed for on a round robin basis, each player therefore playing 10 separate matches to decide a winner; two points for the winner of each match, one point each in the event of a tie. ( Should two or more players be tied for first place at the end of the round robin, I suggest one more match be played to decide an overall winner).
3. Matches initially to be decided by lot (ball toss) and usually played on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. (Sandbagger Robin will keep a record of results).
4. I suggest current handicaps be used for each match.
5. Sandbagger Glen will look after the prize money (Sandbaggers Joe and Richard have still to pay the $5 entry fee).
6. With 11 entries, I suggest the prize money is split as follows: 1st place – $30; 2nd place – $15; 3rd place – $10.
7. Obviously it will take a while to complete all the matches – Sandbagger Steve has already announced he’ll be taking a vacation in August – so I suggest that players who know they will be away try to get their matches played as early as possible.
8. Sandbagger Glen will extract an additional $1 levy from each player to go towards the winner’s plaque. Month, year and name of player should cost around $12.
9. Sandbagger Dave B. claims to know all the rules and may be used as a match referee in case of disputes.
10. Sandbagger Dave L. claims to know none of the rules and may also be used as a match referee in case of disputes.
11. Sandbagger Richard, being bigger and tougher than all the other sandbaggers, will enforce the match referee’s decision.
Let’s start on Friday!
So here we are, just under six weeks later. The matches have all been played, everybody has won some and lost some and there have been a number of ties thrown into the mix. As promised, Glen collected all the entry fees, Robin kept a record of all the results, Bud made an eye catching trophy (filled with genuine Glacier Greens sand from the bunker on #6) and Billy V had the trophy engraved. Joe and Bud both had complaints, and both were ignored. Rod got a hole in one, but sadly not in actual competition. He still bought everyone a beer, though.
And the results? Well, based on the evidence, it’s fair to say that Lairdo, the Chief, Glennie and Billy V are definitely not sandbagging material; Rod, Joe and Li’l Stevie are also cleared of all charges, each having 10 points from their 10 games; Robin, Bud and Richard all had 13 points but based on a countback system we sort of made up on the spot, Bud and Richard shared the prize money for second place. The clear winner with 16 points was er, me. The good news is that, along with the trophy, I won the $30 first prize. Sadly, most of that disappeared when I bought coffee for everyone today. The bad news is that I get to exhibit the trophy and also have to publish the definition of a sandbagger, as given by the Urban Dictionary:
A sandbagger is “any golfer who misleads others about his ability at golf, claiming to be worse than he actually is and claiming extra shots as a result. Considered by many to be the lowest form of life on the golf course, he is at base a cheater and a hustler, a nasty species of golf vermin.”
Well that’s me told, then…
All da best (and many thanks to Bud for a truly lovely trophy),
(Sand)bagger Dave
For stats geeks, here are the final (slightly wobbly) standings:
Position     Player       Won      Tied      Lost      Points
1                 Dave B      8            0             2             16
2=               Richard    6             1             3            13
2=               Bud           5             3             2            13
4                 Robin        6             1             3            13
5=               Steve        4             2             4            10
5=                Joe            4             2             4            10
5=                Rod          3             4             3            10
8                  Bill             4             1             5             9
9                  Glen          2             3             5             7
10                Adrian      3             0             7             6
11                Dave L      1             1              8            3
Chief Sandbagger, August 2013

Chief Sandbagger, August 2013. But who’s next?





The Idiots of March

15 03 2013

03.12.13_Golfer_Laid_OUT470

The picture above was clearly not taken at Glacier Greens any time this month. One (rather large) clue would be that the clouds are the wrong colour (at Glacier they’re fifty shades of grey and we don’t have any blue bits in between). In fact, if one of our group were to lie face down on or near one of the fairways right now he’d likely drown. Given the way most of us have been playing recently that wouldn’t actually be the worst case scenario…

Take Bud, for instance (yes, please take Bud): a few weeks ago he voyaged south of the border in a vain attempt to meet up with the Chief, who’s wintering in Arizona. Somewhere en route the Budmeister felt an agonising pain which turned out to be kidney stones on the march. Not being a complete idiot, he decided to head for home rather than risk his life savings being treated in an American hospital. Now he can’t swing a club for love nor money and he’s dribbling his savings away $2 at a time – we’re all sympathetic, obviously, but nobody’s daft enough to give him extra shots above his usual handicap just because of a kidney stone or two.

Joe also spent some time in the USA and actually played some shirtsleeve golf down in Palm Springs, which left him utterly unprepared for what must have felt like sub zero temperatures back here in the swamp that is Glacier Greens at this time of year. He too has been throwing toonies around like manhole covers as he comes to terms with taking three shots to reach all the Par 4’s (and maybe the odd Par 3 as well).

The rest of us are keen on blaming various ailments on our woeful play: Robin (hip, back and knee – if he was a horse he’d have been put down by now), Rod (putting issues so serious that he makes me look quite good) and Li’l Stevie (concentration and humming issues – Stevie concentrates so hard on humming he sometimes forgets that he’s actually supposed to hit the ball at some stage in the process) and yours truly (anything I can think of as an excuse on any given day). None of us can be said to be at the peak of form right now. In fact, Rod bluntly but accurately observed after today’s round that every one of us was capable of shooting in the low 70’s around Glacier Greens – but only if we remembered to stop playing after the right number of holes.

So it’s appropriate, I think, to remember the fate of Julius Caesar on March 15th – the Ides of March – all those years ago, but also to spare a thought for those of us for whom the suffering continues. Bud, Joe, Stevo, Rod, Robin and myself – the Idiots of March. Not on the list, however, having been smart enough to fly off to the Caribbean for a couple of weeks, is this guy:

Glennie does the Caribbean. Fails to make the Idiots of March list.

Glennie does St. Lucia; fails to make the Idiots of March list. Result: his glass is clearly more than half full. Points should, however, be deducted for smugness…

All da best!

Dave B.