Getting my money’s worth from Golf

Posted: June 30, 2016 in Holidays, Sports

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I am currently on holiday in Florida, just outside Jacksonville in the North of Florida to be precise. My wife, son and I are over visiting friends. We have various plans made and today’s was for Steve and I to go golfing.

Let me make one thing clear from the get go, I suck at golf. I’m awful. However I love playing it and wish I had more time to play and get good it. Hell, I’d settle for mediocre at it.

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Steve booked a tee time for us the night before at 08:36 for a two ball at Eagle Landing which is at Orange Park. We arrived at the course at 08:25 and were asked to proceed straight to the first tee. Fine we thought, they just want to be prompt with their starts and don’t want to fall behind early in the morning. We got to the first tee to be told they were putting us in a four ball with two others who had booked single rounds. This really irked me. We booked a two, paid for a two and expected a two. Like I said earlier I am awful at golf and what’s makes me worse is 1) playing with people I don’t know and 2) playing with people who are way better than me (which is most people). You can imagine how I was feeling at this point. I was playing with two people I didn’t know and I had no idea if they had the patience to put up with me. I went with it however, keen to show the Americans that the pasty white guy from the home of golf would at least give it a bash.

Hole 1 (actually hole 10 as they had us tee off on the back 9 first) off to a flying start. I carded a 10. I do not have the score card to hand but the front (back!) 9 went up and down from 10s to 5s. I came in with a 70, 34 over par. The two uninviteds I could tell were getting frustrated as what started out with friendly and jovial, “ooohs” and “that’ll play” had turned into silence and them taking off in their cart as soon as I played my shot from the tee (I was always last to tee off on account of me always finishing last on the previous hole). Still, at least they were keeping quiet about it.

What I hadn’t really paid attention to was the sign in our cart that stated we should be playing in under 4 hours 15 minutes. At the turn one of the course attendants advised us we were running a few minutes behind and “anything you can do to make that up would really help us out”. Great I thought, playing with people who don’t necessarily want to play with me and now we’re on a time limit. What kind of place is this? Golf is meant to be an enjoyable hobby, not something where you are clustered with strangers and put on a countdown. Granted 4:15 is likely ample time to play if you are half way decent, or playing as a two ball and not a four ball. We persevered.

I played a lot better on the back (front!) 9, shooting a 62 and hitting some damn nice shots. Straight tee shots, nice layups, minimal putts. The two unwanteds even started messing up quite few shots which made me feel a whole lot better. We must have made up the time we were behind as well as the course attendants came past us a couple of times and never mentioned anything about us being behind schedule. Score 1 for the slow-coach!

Overall I really enjoyed myself, even if it was an unexpected four ball with a strict time limit. Shooting a 132 on a par 72 may not be ideal but I love to play and it was a beautiful course on a beautiful day. The one thing I will take away from this is no-one can say I don’t get my money’s worth when I play golf!

I would love to hear anyone’s comments on how they feel about receiving an impromptu grouping with strangers and strict time limits. Or just any other gold related comments.

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