Mother said (there’d be days like this)

8 08 2015
Please don't make me play 13 more holes - I. Can't. Stand. It. Anymore.

Please don’t make me play 13 more holes.  I. Can’t. Stand. It. Anymore.

My friend Bud has a saying that goes “Mother said the cream always rises to the top”. He uses it, of course, just after he’s made a long putt or chipped in for par or done something equally unlikely which means he’ll have the honour on the next hole.

I must admit I used it myself today as I walked to the 4th tee at Glacier Greens. I’d just birdied #3, having hit two good shots in a row, followed by a 20 foot putt. As I’d butchered the 2nd hole (triple bogey 8, thanks for asking) I was pretty pleased with myself and wondered aloud what the opposite of a PBFU was (‘Post Birdie F*ck Up’ for those of you who don’t play much golf). “Well, obviously that would be a PFUB” replied my playing partner Kiefer (I’m sure you can figure that one out for yourself).

Even after putting my tee shot in the pond on #4 and walking off with a double bogey – my card now reading PBFU, PFUB, PBFU  if you’re trying to keep track – I was still pretty chipper and pointed out that even though I was 4 over par for the first 4 holes I was actually one under if you only counted the two par fours.

In hindsight this may have been a mistake. Not for nothing is hole #5 at Glacier Greens rated the hardest on the course. My tee shot wasn’t actually too bad, landing in the fairway but then taking a bit of a nasty kick right so that I had to play my second shot standing on the cart path (a free drop would have put me right up against a tree). Nothing too scary here – I just needed a nice little fade around the tree 20 yards ahead of me and I could definitely get the ball up near the green. Nice slow back swing and…BANG. The ball ricocheted off the tree and straight out of bounds. Hmm – a little bit of bad luck, as my friend Adrian would say. I dropped another ball, aimed left of the tree once more and…BANG, hit it again, thus proving that the first one wasn’t a fluke. This time the ball stayed in bounds, about six inches away from the boundary fence. A tricky shot, but by no means impossible – a subtle, handsy hook shot with my seven iron and the ball should be back on the fairway. Except I hit the fence instead of the ball. Outwardly calm, but inwardly seething, I repeated the stroke with exactly the same result. At the third attempt I did manage to hit the ball a couple of feet, allowing me to then chip sideways back onto the fairway. I was now lying 8, and my ball was about ten feet away from where it had been after my tee shot. My ninth shot was, if I say so myself, a thing of beauty – a nine wood from 145 yards to the fringe of the green. A delicate chip and a tap in putt for an 11 followed. As we walked to the 6th tee box I tried to put on a brave face to my playing partners: “Well, at least I got a one putt – that’ll help the stats!” “Hate to tell you this, Dave,” came the reply, “but you never took the flag out for the putt, so with a two stroke penalty that’s a 13.”

Well, Lennie Doyle, God of all things connected with Saturday Men’s Club at Glacier Greens, I’m the one who was filling in the scorecard and I have to say I left it as an 11. Tell the Beaker to DQ me by all means, but I figure that there should be a limit as to how much a guy can suffer on a single hole. I mean, a man’s got his pride, right?

Actually, after all that palaver, I guess the answer is no.

All da best!

Dave B.

P.S. Much later, as we walked off the 18th green, I asked Wayne O’Gilvie (the third member of our group) how long our round had taken: “Just a tad over four hours,” he said. “Of course, if you don’t count all the time you spent effing about on the 5th hole it would have been three and a half.”

P.P.S. I guess by Kiefer’s reckoning my woeful efforts on #5 would go down as PFUFU…

And of course I can’t leave the blog without this:



20 04 2010

No bad jokes, please, about your handicap being your hook, slice or tendency to brooker putts under pressure. This week, as promised, the blog is going to be slightly more serious – testing your knowledge of the handicap system and how to use it properly.

First off, if you’re playing for fun with your buddies and not entering scores in the computer, you can do whatever you want with handicaps (or the rules of golf, for that matter) as long as you accept that you’re no longer playing ‘proper’ golf. In our group, for example, we insist during the week that el bandito Juan plays off a lower handicap than his Saturday morning cap says he should and that Lairdo gets extra shots because we know it makes for a closer game. Negotiating handicaps on the first tee is, after all, a time honoured custom, skill and source of enjoyment. My mate Peter, for instance, has a talent for handicap negotiation that is rarely equalled by anything he does with his clubs over the next 18 holes. He nearly always manages to chisel me out of a couple of extra strokes per round because of some sob story or another and more fool me for falling for it time after time.

However, once you’ve decided that you’re going to play proper golf and enter your score in the computer, you’ll want to adhere to the handicap system. So here are a few questions to help you on your way:

1. You probably know that scores are posted only during the ‘active season’. Who decides when this is?

a) The handicap committee

b) The club manager

c) The BCGA

2. Should you post scores from rounds played on an away course during its active season when your home course is inactive?

a) Yes

b) No

3. You probably know that there is a maximum score you can post on any hole relative to par depending on your course handicap. It’s known as ESC (Equitable Stroke Control). What is the maximum score you can post if you:

 a) are a  scratch golfer?

b) have a handicap between 1 and 18?

c) have a handicap between 19 and 32?

4. What is the maximum number of holes for which ESC can be used in any given round?

a) 9 holes

b) 13 holes

c) There is no limit

5. When you enter any score (including tournaments) in the computer, should you adjust your score for ESC?

a) Yes

b) No

6. Should you enter Saturday Morning Men’s Club scores as tournament scores?

a) Yes

b) No

7. In match play, you probably know that that the higher handicap golfer (for example the Chief, hcp 16) receives the entire difference between his handicap and that of the lower handicap golfer (let’s say John, hcp 4). But where does he get these strokes?

a) Stroke holes 1 to 12 (i.e. the 12 hardest stroke holes)

b) Stroke holes 4 to 16 (i.e. the 12 holes where they would both get shots from a scratch golfer)

8. Should you post scores from match play as well as stroke play?

a) Yes

b) No

9. To enter an 18 hole score on the computer how many holes do you have to complete and what do you do about the hole or holes you didn’t play?

a) 9 holes

b) 13 holes

c) 17 holes

10. When should you post a score?

a) As soon as possible after the round

b) Anytime prior to your next round

c) When you see Rick Verbeek coming towards you with an angry look on his face.


1. c) The BCGA. ( At Glacier Greens it’s the responsibility of the handicap committee, in conjunction with the club captain and the greens director, to pass this information on).

2. a) Yes. Always.

3. a) One over par on any given hole  b) Two over par   c) Three over par

4. c) You use Equitable Stroke Control on every hole.

5. Yes.

6. No, unless it’s a special event designated in advance as a tournament by the handicap committee (e.g. the Club Championship).

7. a) You always receive your shots on the hardest stroke holes – it’s where you need them most. ( And no, you can’t save up shots you didn’t need early on in the round for later use…).

8. a) Yes. And if there are holes you didn’t complete you should enter your most likely score for those holes.

9. b) 13 holes. For any unplayed holes you should post par plus any handicap strokes you would receive on that hole. 

10. a) As soon as possible after each round, in order to keep your handicap factor as current as possible. ( Answer c is obviously wrong, as the Beaker never has an angry expression on his face).

So how did you do? There is no pass mark – the idea is just to help members at Glacier Greens to be more knowledgeable about the handicap system, which has one basic purpose: to make golf as fair as possible. And – apart from when Robin, Glennie and I are trying to screw an extra shot or two out of  Bandito Juan on the first tee – we all want that, don’t we?

P.S. If you have any questions about the handicap system, please feel free to ask Rick Verbeek, Glenda Kinney or myself. If we don’t know the answer we should be able to find it out. I understand there’s a rules/handicap info evening planned for the near future. We’ll keep you posted.

P.P.S. Talking of rules – wasn’t that a cool gesture by Brian Davis on the weekend to call a penalty on himself  in the playoff at the Verizon Heritage PGA Tour event and thus concede the tournament? It cost him a few bucks ($400,000 apparently) but it did his reputation – and golf’s – no end of good. I’ll try to remember that next Saturday when I’m stuck in a hazard and I don’t think anyone else is watching…

All da best.

Dave B.

Quiz time

10 04 2010

Winter golf will soon be over and ‘ lift, clean and cheat ‘ as practised by the members at Glacier Greens will be replaced by the proper rules of golf for the next six months or so. To welcome the new season I have prepared a mini quiz on golf handicaps which I hope you will enjoy. That’s for next week. This week’s quiz, however, focuses on some of the people I play with on a regular basis. If you score well in this section you’ve clearly spent too much time in the company of  Glennie, Robin, Ringer, Lairdo and the Chief.

Q 1: Who is often heard to complain ” I used the right club, but I hit it well “?

Q 2: What is a Brooker bounce, a Houlgrave hop and a Ringstead ricochet and why isn’t Glen Parsons’ name included in this list?

Q 3: Which city was hilariously named European City of Culture in 2008?

Q 4: Whose catchphrase is ” That’s the cock for dolly ” and is it as rude as it sounds?

Q 5: According to Glen Parsons, what kind of mistress is golf?

Q 6: Why is Adrian known as ” The Chief “?

Q 7: Is it a compliment to be told ” You brookered it “?


1. Dave Laird, usually when his approach shot has sailed twenty yards over the green.

2. A fortuitous rebound off a tree and back onto the fairway. Glen’s name is not on the list because he never gets any lucky bounces.

3. Liverpool. Only John Ringstead fails to find this fact amusing. Nor does John see the humour in the following:

Question: What do you call a Liverpudlian in a suit?

Answer: The defendant.

4. Robin, and yes.

5. Harsh.

6. I’m not at liberty to reveal the truth ( but Reg Meeres might ).

7. Only if you think it’s a good thing to consistently leave eight foot putts short of the hole.

That’s all for this week, folks, but get studying for next week’s quiz because Rick ‘ The Beaker ‘ Verbeek and I would like the members at Glacier Greens to become known as the savviest on the Island when it comes to handicaps.

All da best.

Dave B.