The sad golfer

21 08 2015
I have a friend called Dave Stevens who golfs at Sunnydale. I’ve known him for years. When we played soccer together he was famed for the power of his lethal (if sometimes inaccurate) right foot. Same story in golf – he hits the ball a mile, just not always in the right direction. Yesterday I played in the MISGA competition at Sunnydale, a couple of groups behind Dave and his partners. On #7, a lengthy par 5, two of our guys absolutely flushed their drives – they must have both been around 240 yards. When we got to their balls we were amazed to see the LD (Long Drive) marker another 25 yards down the fairway. “What a beast!” we said. “Who on earth could hit a ball that far?” When we reached the marker we read out the name on it: Dave Stevens. “Blimey,” I said. “Stevens just outdrove me by 90 yards.”
A few hours later, after a beer or two and the usual splendid MISGA lunch, the prizes were given out – best low gross scores, best net, KP’s (closest to the pin) etc. The folks at Dave’s table were nudging him, getting ready for his moment of glory, perhaps encouraging him to make a brief, modest acceptance speech. Instead of that, Jim McCaffery (the Sunnydale rep) wrapped things up by saying “Thanks for coming out folks. Have a safe drive home.”
“Hang on a minute!” said one of Dave’s table companions. “What about the prize for LD on #7?” “What do you mean?” said Jim. “There was no LD prize on #7.” “But there was,” said Dave. “I wrote my name on the marker and everything.” There was a bit of a pause while Jim conferred with his fellow announcer. “Er, sorry to have to tell you this, Dave, but that marker was for Men’s Night on Wednesday. I guess they forgot to bring it in.”
Dave’s face was a picture of sadness. True, the prize would only have been a golf ball, but when he caught my eye I think he realised that this wouldn’t be the last he’d hear about the LD that never was…
All da best,
Dave (Short Drive) Brooker
P.S. Soon after I’d published this post I received an email from MISGA legend (and Glacier Greens member) Glen Sweetman to tell me that he’d in fact later outdriven Dave and arm wrestled Jim into giving him a golf ball as a prize. Now that’s REAL power!
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Practice makes perfect…or not

2 04 2010

I’m supposed to be camping this weekend on Malcolm Island which, as far as I can tell from my map of Canada, is located somewhere just south of the Arctic Circle. But when Scottish Wife said on Monday that we were going, even though it meant no golf for me this weekend, I didn’t put up much of a fight. That’s what happens when your golf game is really really bad – you sort of lose the will to live.

Even so, when I got a phone call from Brian Benedictson on Wednesday inviting me to join him for a practice round at Sunnydale the following afternoon, I jumped at the chance.  Maybe it was just Glacier Greens that I am hopeless at playing – after all, the greens are way too fast there right now – and I would find newfound form at Sunny D? Maybe Brian’s skill would rub off on me, or he’d spot some tiny flaw in my set up that would magically turn me into a decent golfer? Maybe Anne Newman, Brian’s coach and legendary pro at Sunnydale, wouldn’t laugh at me? “OK, I’m clutching at straws here”, I thought to myself as I drove towards Sunnydale in the wind, rain and sub zero temperatures, ” but maybe I’ll play just fine”.

Well those particular straws quickly disappeared in the wind, along with a succession of slices from yours truly. Brian and his buddy Josh (who claimed to be a 10 handicap but hit the ball alarmingly long and straight and was also a wizard with the short stick) quickly went five up even though my partner Anne played just fine and despite the fact that I was in charge of the scorecard – there’s only so much manicuring of scores you can get away with on any given hole. After nine holes, in the midst of yet another downpour, Anne disappeared into the pro shop, citing paperwork that suddenly needed doing, although to be fair nobody had mentioned the state of the match after the first four holes – a sure sign that things were a bit one sided.

The conversation had been great throughout. Nobody paid much attention to my miserable efforts, thank goodness, and Anne talked instead about technical stuff concerning Brian’s swing – all Greek to me, obviously –  as well as his mental approach. I’d sum it up as follows: “Expect to succeed or expect to fail – you’ll be right either way.” Josh and Brian chatted about the good old days of junior golf and what mutual acquaintances were doing these days, and Brian and I discussed his schedule for the season. Things are going really well with the Swinkey project right now and he’s decided – wisely, I think – to opt out of the Mexican swing of the Canadian Tour and concentrate on getting his fledgling business off the ground. He’s playing some events on the Vancouver Golf Tour to stay sharp and I plan to go over and caddie for him at least once before we meet up at Uplands in Victoria at the start of June, when the Canadian Tour reaches home soil.

Brian’s game looked pretty solid to me – he shot around even par in foul conditions – and I think the success of the Swinkey will only add to the sense of confidence that is so vital for success on tour. Anne is a great person to be around – as long as you can cope with a constant barrage of good natured abuse, that is – and is obviously doing a good job with the mental as well as the technical side of things. As long as Brian’s caddie does his stuff on the bag – and by the way, B B, that thing’s massive, a guy could get a hernia just lifting it off the ground – this could be a good season!

Birdiewatch – Brian: 3 or 4. Nothing to it apparently.

Birdiewatch – me:  0. In fact, since my birdie barrage at members’ morning two weeks ago I’ve played seven rounds of golf without a single birdie (that’s 126 holes, folks, but who’s counting? Well me, obviously).  Can someone please tell the golf gods that I’ve suffered enough now? Oh, don’t bother. I’ve just seen the forecast for Malcolm Island this weekend: rain, possibly turning to snow. The suffering continues…

All da best.

Dave B.