Must it all end so soon?

2 03 2010

I arrived at my friends Hans and Maude Sunday 21st. They stay on a Jack Nicklaus design course called Pecanwood which is about an hour outside of Johannesburg.

I spent most of the Monday practicing on the lovely practice facilities which they have and Hans and I had about an hour chipping competition which really helps to sharpen your short game. It also teaches you to deal with the stress of having to put it closer than your opponent. Hans beat me 10 and 5 on the putting green as I was shutting the putter face on the short putts and he was better than me overall.

On Tuesday we played a round with another cousin of mine Michael Oliver joining us to make up the 4 ball. Mike and I have threatened to play a round of golf together for about 5 years now at least so it was great to get this done eventually. We had a good laugh on the way at how this game can take you from highs to lows in the matter of 2 shots. He does not play that often but is naturally athletic so when he hits the ball it stays hit and kept reminding me each time he outdrove me just how old and weak I am. I of course simply responded by saying ‘see you on the green’ which invariably was what happened. I managed a respectable 78 on a par 72 golf course and this after going 6 over on the 1st nine and finishing with a crucial par putt on the 18th to shoot level par on the back 9.

So today, 25th February, was a day that I have looked forward to for a long time. I finally got to play on Blair Atholl probably one of  the most exclusive golf courses in South Africa and only by invitation of a home owner. The entire estate is built on the old Gary Player farm north of Johannesburg and was designed by Gary Player himself who still lives on the estate.

The day started cold and very very wet. Yes it does rain in South Africa sometimes and today was cold and wet. We had to start an hour after our scheduled t time and were only allowed out after much negotiation. I played with Hans, Walter and Anton Kruger. Anton and Walter both went to school with me and it was fun talking about our school days. I managed to shoot 86 and say managed as the conditions were not good and we played off the back tees which measure to an incredible 7 500 metres with two or three par 3’s over 220 metres and one par 5 an incredible 607 metres long. Walter thanks again for arranging it and Anton many thanks for the invite to this awesome golf course.

Today I played Parkview Golf Course in Johannesburg with my nephew and some of his friends. Its a well established course on the outskirts of Johannesburg and after playing Blair Atholl seemed very short even from the back tees. I shot a respectable 77 and though it’s fairly short it has narrow fairways and small greens. We got caught up in a massive thunderstorm with a lot of lightning around but soldiered on and managed to live to tell the tale. There were a few moments where I wanted to run for cover but the locals told me to not be  a sissy! Last round for this trip and I played with my cousin Bev, Kerr her husband and Dylan. We played on Jackal Creek Golf Course which is a golf estate aimed at the up and coming in that the houses are more like apartments and not massive homes for the extremely wealthy. It is a lovely course but a round that I would prefer to forget. I have no idea what I shot, suffice it to say that there was not enough space on the card to write my score in. This raises an interesting point in why does this happen in golf and how best does one cope with it. I have been reading a very good book on the mind and golf and how best to make what we have to work best in all circumstances. The book is titled ‘The Inner Game of Golf’ and is written by W. Timothy Gallwey. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy. Below a photo of the shot of the year at Jackal Creek which is a par 4 of 290 metres. The ball on the green next to the hole is Dylan’s drive!

So now it’s back to the real world and I will keep you posted on my progress with regard to achieving my goal and hopefully get to play a round or two with all of you that are following this quest. I am also planning a trip similar to this one for next year so let me know who is joining me so that we can arrange it.

I will be uploading all my photos from the entire trip to the web and will share the link with my next post.

Cheers for now.

Geoff

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21 03 2010
Must it all end so soon? « Saayman Says … Golfing Weblog | The Inner Game

[…] Must it all end so soon? « Saayman Says … Golfing Weblog. Share and […]

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