Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Worth the Drive to Pontypool

Every now and again, it happens. We book a twosome and we actually get to golf as a twosome! The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect and I had one of my best rounds ever. I hit a near impossible chip out of a steep greenside bunker landing it inches from the pin. Two foursomes even waved us through. We completed the round in 3 1/2 hours. Does it get any better than that? Rarely. We golfed for the second time in 10 days at a course called Black Diamond near Peterborough, a bit of a hike for sure, but so worth the time to get there. As the course is in Pontypool, it's just far enough out of the GTA to make you feel like you're in the Kawartha's cottage country and there isn't a house around for miles. The smell of pine trees along the fairways, just the odd mosquito to make it authentic, the only thing missing was a dock at the clubhouse to run down after the round and jump in the lake. We settled for a couple of icy cold draught beers on the deck overlooking the 18th hole and the hilly countryside beyond, where we rehashed our many moments of brilliance on the course. That's the crazy thing about golf. All it takes is the odd perfect drive or high arching 9 iron that lands inches from the pin to remind you why you love the game so much. Just yesterday, the front nine at another course had me wondering why the hell I ever took up this humbling sport in the first place. It was disastrous. We were sent off with a single - a club member who knew the course inside and out. He executed shot after perfect shot, while I shanked one tee shot after another. To make matters worse, he hummed, talked and sang to himself like some sort of deranged quack. He claimed he was a high school teacher. Ya, I thought, probably special ed. He was just plain strange and weird and I allowed him to completely throw off my chi. After he left us at the ninth hole, suddenly I started playing well. Guess he took his voodoo vibe with him - that's how it seemed to me anyway. So today, when I did not have to contend with any distracting strangers, I was relaxed and in the zone. It begs the question - how do the pros do it? Golfing in front of huge crowds all the time. How do they play within themselves, blocking out their surroundings? That alone is a feat. If I can barely ignore one or two other players, how would I ever play in front of an audience? Lucky for me, I won't be turning pro any time soon. One less thing to worry about, unless I can pull off that bunker shot everytime!

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