Golf is a contact sport. I always enjoy my time on the links with friends, especially ones I have not played a round with for many years. Our friends Kirk and Michelle were able to visit over the weekend and for this I am grateful. The visit gave Kirk and I the opportunity to hit the links. This is the first time in about five years and our time on the links was just like old times. We picked up where we left off by chatting, joking around and hitting some great shots. The time flew by and we are already planning our next outing.
Our friendship goes back just over 25 years and through that time our work travels have separated our golf games for years at a time. However, one of our many mutual interests has always been golf. We have played many rounds together over the years and each loop was as much fun as it was unique. Our game a couple of days ago at the Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort was no different. We normally play for the duck, but this time we decided to forgo the competition because Kirk has not played regularly. Next year, I will not be so forgiving and the duck competition will be on!
Driving up to the golf course, we thought the fog would life sooner than it did so our first three holes were played in almost zero zero conditions. Zero-Zero is an flying term were takeoff is generally considered to occur when the pilot is taking off in which runway visibility is limited to the length of the runway or less and very low ceilings. But, alas the visibility did not lift until the 4th hole.
Without being able to see the course, nor playing it before, it was left to me to give Kirk aiming points for every shot except putting. We did have our distance measuring devices, so the only thing we really needed to be concerned with was me picking the correct line. All went very well and Kirk was striping the ball close to or directly where I was guiding him. His long game was very good and his putting was strong. His short game was a bit rusty, but that was definitely expected.
As we looped around, Kirk made an early birdie on a par four (I think it was hole number seven). A great drive and approach shot set up his 10 foot putt for birdie. We were both every happy to see a putt drop and some red numbers show up on the scorecard. Well, this birdie stood as the only under-par hole for either of us for almost the entire round. Interestingly, he never started to hint that he had the only birdie until the 16th hole. Then the ribbing started. It started slow, but by the 18th hole it appear that the score did not matter, only birdies did and I was still skunked.
On the 330 yard 18th hole, I hit a drive in the fairway and my approach shot was above the hole about 20 feet from the pin. As I set up to make this putt I am sure he was ready to bring up that he had the only birdie of the day, but it would be for not. My putt sank in the heart of the hole for my only birdie of the day. He laughed at me and just shook his head.
Kirk made many good shots during our round. We discussed many things, but one constant was his tempo during his swing. Swinging at 80% was golden for Kirk. If he tried to overswing or under-swing any club, he ran into trouble. His 80% swing produce consistent tempo and synchronicity of his movements. He produced many great shots when he was in the zone.
I on the other hand played okay. I was focused on having a great time (which I did) than playing lights out golf. I shot three over for both nines and was happy with the score. On the back nine, however, my three strokes above par happened on the 13th hole were I lost a ball!
Playing the 13th hole at the Mattawa Golf Course, my line with my driver was over the right side of the tree on the left. This is standard tee shot and normally it would not pose any challenges to my game. Unfortunately, I hit my ball thin off the to rail of the bridge into the cabbage on the right. We did not find my ball (actually we did not look because the rough was so thick), hence I was three off the tee. After a few more poor shots, I recorded a triple. It was the worst shot of my day, but that only enhanced our enjoyment of the round because it provided a great laugh for us both!
I could go on about the fun we had on the links, but I think you get the point. Playing golf with friends is always a treat. Playing golf with friends after years of not seeing each other is priceless. I always enjoy playing golf with Kirk and last Saturday was no different. We both had a great time and as always, it was a pleasure playing golf with old friends.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!