Hail to the Chief! RWB 2014

1 09 2014

Adrian (aka ‘Chief’) has been a stalwart of the annual Red, White and Blue tournament for eight years now. He’s come close to winning a couple of times, but his aggressive play off the tee, while exciting to watch, has always meant that eventually the big numbers have come and the Big Club has eluded his grasp once again. Recently, however, the Chief has taken to hitting irons off the tee (further than some of us hit driver, I might add) and the results have been impressive. Could 2014 prove to be the year that the Chief finally achieves his dream and takes the Big Club home to impress Mrs Chief?

The field was a little smaller than usual this year, but here are the men that stood in his way – and how they fared:

Bruce's first tee antics were well up to scratch. His golf? Not so much

Bruce’s first tee antics were well up to scratch. His golf? Not so much.

Mike's confidence on the first tee proved to be sadly misplaced.

Mike’s confidence on the first tee was, once again, sadly misplaced.

The two shot per round penalty for winning last year proved too much for Sir Stanley to overcome.

The two shot per round penalty incurred for winning last year proved too much for Sir Stanley to overcome.

Billy V's verdict on his first foray into the RWB? : "Disappointing. Very disappointing."

Billy V’s verdict on his second foray into the RWB? : “Still disappointing. Very disappointing.”

Tied 3rd place for Dave. Just like the man himself: very respectable.

A 3 round net score of 206 and tied 3rd place for Dave. Just like the man himself: very respectable.

Al seemed to have a good time, although with his accent it's always hard to be sure.

Al tied for 3rd place and seemed to have a good time, although with his accent it’s never easy to be sure.

Sitting on the bench on the 10th tee, Bud knows that he holds a narrow lead. he's not to know that it will all fall apart on the very last hole of the tournament - a dreaded double on #18.

Sitting on the bench on the 10th tee, Bud holds a narrow lead. He’s not to know that it will all go pear shaped on the very last hole of the tournament – a dreaded double on #18.

Bud's misfortune on #18 means that Adrian sneaks through for a total of 204 and victory by a single shot. Hail to the Chief!

Bud’s misfortune on #18 means that Adrian sneaks through for a total of 204 and victory by a single shot.  There’s a rumour going round that Mrs Chief is going to post this picture on Facebook.

Many thanks to all who took part in the RWB this year and congratulations on the stunning array of gift wrapped prizes. As Stan Mills said: ” I don’t really want to win the tournament – I just want to see who gets what in the prizes!” No Indonesian sex gods this year (Mike Worley was away) but I got a flagon of beer, a bottle of wine and about 200 ‘experienced’ golf balls. It took away a lot of the pain brought on by three rounds of decidedly average golf. Thanks, mystery donor!

Hope to see you all next Labour Day weekend for the 15th annual running of the Red, White and Blue.

All da best and hail to the Chief!

Dave B.


Now THAT’S an eagle!

25 06 2014
I feel a birdie's on its way...

I feel a birdie’s on its way…

The tenth hole at Glacier Greens is supposed to be the easiest hole on the course. It’s a Par 5, only 462 yards off the white tees, and rated the 18th stroke hole. This of course means that I butcher it on a regular basis. A couple of months ago, however, playing with a couple of guests, I managed to eagle it, much to the surprise (nay, disbelief) of the rest of the Sandbaggers. “So, Dave, you reached the green in two and sank the putt, eh?” suggested the Chief somewhat maliciously. Er, not exactly. “OK, you hit your second shot to the fringe and chipped in,” ventured the Budmeister. Er, not quite. What actually happened is that I hit driver, followed by a chunkadelic 3 wood and then holed out from 130 yards with a 6 iron. Hey, they all count, right? Especially when you haven’t had an eagle for flippin’ years.

Well, on Monday I came close to an eagle on #10 again, only this time it was the real thing. I duffed my approach shot as per usual but luckily the ball finished on the bank, a few feet from the pond. As I walked to my ball, an eagle swooped in low over the water and then stood in the shallows, pecking away at something just below the surface. As I got nearer it emerged from the pond, perched on the grass about ten feet away and gave me what I can only describe as a death stare. It looked at me (through me?) for literally two minutes before it flew off low across the green and took up a position on a fence overlooking the 11th tee box.

Under the circumstances I then hit what I thought was a pretty good chip shot, but sadly it failed to drop for what would have been a very memorable birdie. Even so, it’s the closest I’ve ever been to a real live eagle and let me just say what a big, mean mother it was. It’s one thing to be able to say to your buddies “Hey! I got an eagle on #10”, and quite another to say “An eagle got me!”

Happy to have lived to tell the tale,

Dave B.

Blind Pig 1 Acorn 0

10 06 2014


So yesterday on the 17th tee at Glacier Greens, playing with my good buddies Roderick and the Chief, I selected my nine wood for the 140 yard shot to the pin. It flew high (not always the case with my tee shots) and with a slight fade (nearly always the case with any of my shots) on a pretty good line. Even before it landed, just short of the green, Rod said “That’s going in” and sure enough it did.

The odds against a hole in one for a hacker like me have been calculated at 12,500 to 1. Just goes to show, eh? As someone said to me years ago after I’d finally hit a good shot after a succession of duffs, chunks and chilly dips, “Even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while”.

Well, the pig just got lucky.

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.


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?

Non parlo italiano

19 09 2010

There’s not really a great deal to say about my golf game right now. It’s been so mediocre for so long that it came as quite a shock today when, out of nowhere, I suddenly sank three birdie putts of sizeable length to be the big winner in our regular Sunday morning skins game. I definitely shan’t let it go to my head, though, because I fully understand that if I show the slightest sign of immodesty about my putting the golf gods will once again inflict ‘the curse of Mr Jabby’ upon me.

Better, then, that I concentrate on my other job which is, as you may recall, that of soccer referee. I’ve had the good fortune over the past week to officiate in the 2010 B.C. Seniors Games here in the beautiful, if somewhat damp, Comox Valley. I’ve reffed some good teams and some poor teams, some fit and skillful individuals and others who were built, shall we say, more for comfort than speed. Undoubtedly the team of the tournament was Columbus, the over 60’s team representing the Lower Mainland. On Thursday they won their two games handily, 5-0 and 7-1, but on Friday they came up against a determined North Island team who held them scoreless for the first 30 minutes. By this point the Columbus team – mostly Italian, with a few Scots and East Europeans thrown in for good measure – was starting to lose its composure a little and one of the forwards swore loudly at a team mate after a misplaced pass. I blew my whistle, jogged over to the offender and told him to cut out out the swearing. “But Mr. Referee,” he said in a strong Italian accent, “he’s on my team.” I explained that it didn’t matter, and that he couldn’t swear at anyone – not me, not the fans, not his opponents, not even his team mates. “But Mr. Referee,” he said, in a voice loud enough for everyone on the field and the sidelines to hear, “he’s fucking useless!” I tried really hard not to burst out laughing, but failed miserably.

Mid way through the second half, with Columbus now ahead in the game and a little more relaxed, I had to give a gentle reminder to one of the other players about the no swearing rule. I suggested he swear in Italian, as no one outside the team was likely to understand what he was saying. He grunted something unintelligible and ran off. After the match ended and we were going through the post game handshakes I asked the same player if my suggestion about swearing in Italian had worked for him. “No bloody good at all ref,” he said. “Why’s that then?” I asked. “I don’t speak no Italian,” came the reply. “I’m Croatian”.

That’s all for this week, except to offer my congratulations to the Chief who became a grandfather on Thursday. As it happened, Adrian was on the golf course when he heard the news and had just made an excellent putt for a two at Glacier Greens’ par 3 17th. He’s decided on his own special nickname for his new grandson: ‘Birdie’.
I mentioned this to my daughter a couple of days later and, predictably, her response was to say “aah, how sweet”. I then pointed out how fortunate it was that I hadn’t been on the golf course when I found out about the birth of her son Eli, now five weeks old. “How so, Dad?” asked Kate. “Well,” I said, “the way I’ve been playing recently, I’d be calling the poor kid ‘Double Bogie’ for the rest of his life.”

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.