Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category

I’m a bitter golfer

My friend shot a hole in one not too long ago. I wasn’t there. If I had happened to be there I might have strangled him with jealousy.

As self-fancying a golfer as the next, I was shattered when my ‘friend’ posted a picture of himself on the guilty green on my social media instrument of choice. There he was, squatting self-satisfiedly next to the flag, ball nestled comfortably between stick and cup, concrete(ish) evidence that he had guided the little white cherry from club to crevice in one blow. He looked rather pleased with himself, smirking at me through the lense of the camera.

I looked at the photo again. My ‘pal’s’duplicitous, piercing blue eyes are staring holes through my skin and bones and body gunk right to my very soul, where little hands with tinier fingers on the end of his x-ray vision begin tugging it, cajoling it to break into several pieces.

“You won’t be needing this,” say my unnamed ‘friend’s’ vision hands as they pinch and prod my soul into thousands of tiny pieces.

Imagery.

He was club in hand in the photo. Guilty green. Guilty club. The offenders were stacking up, like that RICO case in The Dark Knight.

“Guess what happened?” said the post on my communication device. In case you wanted to know I have many friends on this device, many who I’m sure hate it when I post that I’ve completed another pointless, dull, hopelessly written, horribly misguided blog post.

“I don’t need to guess,” thought I as I stared at the devil-child-man, who will be referred to as Diablo for the rest of the post, who had managed to crush my most recent dream in that one click of his macbook pro trackpad. I couldn’t help but think, too, that the computer that posted that photograph was better than mine, and if it wasn’t better then it was at least smaller; such is the woe. Why, through all this, did Diablo also have to have a better/smaller computer than me?

Diablo had to know when he clicked ‘post’ just how large a chunk of me would die inside when I saw this photo. Just how sadistic is this prick? How sadistic is the demon lord? How long’s a piece of string?

Philosophy.

He knew that golf is our new thing. Sure, he beat me the last time we played by quite a margin, but it’s not like I haven’t beaten him my fair share of times. But to make a hole in one? That’s a once in a lifetime thing. I’m convinced, after seeing this photo, that I will never make one. My ‘friend,’ Diablo, being the blessed one of the two of us, will be the one to make two in his life. All of us are given one, and he will steal mine from me. I’m sure of it.

He’s still on my timeline, taunting me. If you care to look at my online book of faces, you will see him still boring holes in my soul. He is like Sauron, except he has two eyes and a physical form and no ring (yet). So in that way he bears little resemblance to Sauron.

Such is the magnanimity of the situation, I have taken to spending my working days staring at the photo. Start at 9. End at 5. Half an hour for lunch, make the time back if you decide to take longer. It’s my work. My obsession. The bastard hit a hole in one. Maybe if I stare at it long enough the hole in one will be retracted by time itself as reward for my hard work. We all know it was supposed to be mine.

My own. My precious.

I will continue to spend my days trying to conjure voodoo magic and seriously injure/maim the person who made the shot, but I would like to leave one sentiment that’s not bitterness or hatred. While I’m really really jealous of my friend, it’s a pretty amazing thing to happen to a weekend hacker like us. People who don’t play or like golf will never understand.

Well done mate. I’m jealous and I hate you, but well done. Now I’m going to work on my doll…

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The Open is upon us, and I’m in Britain

Tomorrow shall be the advent of the advent of my first Open Championship (that’s what they call the British Open [the golf one] over here). Fittingly the weather has really turned it on for the players. The bunkers are full of water, something which, as a man who frequents Gordon golf club, I can sympathise with. The only difference between myself and the pros this weekend will be that they will get paid, where I play two bucks a hole to play. The rough has been so solidly watered by the continuous precipitation that the Tiger himself, the man who can tame any course, has labelled the Lytham long stuff “unplayable.”

So it might be, and I am looking forward to watching each and every drive, in particular the ones that skew off into the thicket like grass that have been left to flourish in the drizzle for the last month. I will watch these in anticipation, just to see the look on face of the first golfer to crack. Just give up. Walk off the course. Do a John Daly, pick up his clubs and never come back (don’t bother searching for the ball, you can’t play it out of flowering blackberry bushes) because he just can’t handle trying to hack his ball out of that infernal, juicy, rain soaked birds nest the Lytham people call rough one more time. When the golfer breaks. If it happens, I will write a blog describing, in super slow motion, (if that is possible in writing) the moment where the man breaks and succumbs to the weather, wind, course and that little white ball that really shouldn’t be so hard to hit straight. It will be so beautiful to see, and will make me feel so much better about my own game.

That will be joyous, but until that time comes I will just have to satisfy myself by talking about who I think is going to tackle the conditions best. They think it’s going to be tough, and I predict, really un-profoundly, that the man who hits the most fairways from the tee is going to do best in these conditions. That man is going to give himself the best chance to hit some greens in regulation, and therefore have a chance on those lumpy, humpy greens.

I’ve been watching a bit of golf in the past year, and this course looks to suit those who don’t miss fairways. It is also littered with bunkers, 206 of them in total, making good bunker play an essential quality in tackling this course.

I’m offering the Big Easy, Ernie Els, as one who I think will be there or there abouts when it comes to Sunday. Some of his clutch bunker play on the USPGA so far this year has been exceptional (like his work in the Zurich Classic in New Orleans earlier this year), and he might be called upon to make a few of those shots around the deep pot bunkers that litter this course. Otherwise, his swing looks as attractive as ever, and he is hitting the ball cleanly and straight. If he can land his approaches near the pin and get that belly putter knocking in birds I fancy him as a potential winner.

The man who beat Els at the Zurich was Jason Dufner, and he has been in my eyes one of the most consistent performers on tour this year. He and Hunter Mahan will lead the American charge, and if Jim Furyk can replicate some of the form he showed at the US Open then he will be around there as well. I like Jim’s game on this course because I think he can hit a good majority of the fairways which will be so crucial on a course that will heavily punish those who miss from the tea. I don’t think the Tiger will be up there this time, but I hope to goodness he is. Doesn’t he make golf exciting? The big muscly man, I believe, will make the cut but will have to manufacture too many shots from the rough to give himself a good enough chance at the title. I really do hope that he is up there though.

As for the Aussie contingent, I’m really unsure. I think Adam Scott is our best chance, and if he can tame the broomstick he may give himself a chance, but I don’t really see him winning here.

My smokie is my boy, ma boy, Tim Clark. This is a guy who battles around the course playing irons and hybrids, never driving a par four green, hardly ever hitting a par five in two. I love watching him play because he really breaks the mould of a professional golfer. He will lay up at every opportunity, and I hope he can show some of his genius short game. He will have to if he wants to win.

And who could forget the unluckiest golfer in the world, Lee Westwood. I thought Lee had a really good shot at the US Open last month, but when he hit his ball into a tree and it didn’t come down, it really stopped any momentum he could have had. Playing your third from the tee instead of your second from 200 from the hole tends to have that effect. Anyway, let’s all say a prayer for Lee, because I’d love to see him win.

So ma boy’s on the course, as is the defending champ Darren Clarke, so I’ll see ya’ll on the other side.

Stand, spray and deliver.

Critiques from the arm chair