Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So, What's Your Golf Handicap?


Importance of a true



A businessman was attending a conference in Africa .  He had a free day and wanted  to play a round of golf and was directed to a golf course in the nearby jungle.  After a short journey, he arrived at the course and asked the pro if he could get on..

"Sure," said the Pro, "What's your handicap?"



Not wanting to admit that he had an 18 handicap, he decided to cut it a bit.
"Well, its 16," said the businessman,
"But what's the relevance since I'll be playing alone?"

"It's very important for us to know," said the pro, who then called a caddy. 


"Go out with this gentleman," said the pro, "his handicap is 16."

The businessman was very surprised at this constant reference to his handicap.  The caddy picked up the businessman' s bag and a large rifle; again the businessman was surprised
but decided to ask no questions.

They arrived on the 1st hole, a par 4. 


"It's wise to avoid those trees on the left," said the caddy.

Needless to say, the businessman duck-hooked his ball into the trees.  He found his ball and was about to  punch it out when he  heard the loud crack of the rifle and a  large snake fell dead from a tree above his head.  The caddy stood next to him with the rifle smoking in his hand.



"That's the Black Mamba, the most poisonous snake in all Africa .  You're lucky I was here with

After taking a bogey, they moved to the 2nd hole, a par 5.



"Good to avoid those bushes on the right," says the caddy.

Of course, the businessman' s ball went straight into the bushes.  As he went to pick up his ball, he heard the loud crack of the caddy's rifle once
more, and a huge lion fell dead at his feet.

"I've saved your life again," said the caddy.

The 3rd hole was a par 3 with a lake in front of the green.  The businessman' s ball came up just short of the green and rolled back to the edge of the water.  To take a shot, he had to stand with one foot in the lake.  As he was about to swing, a large crocodile emerged from the water and bit off much of his right leg.

As he fell to the ground bleeding and in great pain, he saw the caddy with the rifle propped
at his side, looking on unconcernedly.

"Why didn't you kill it?" asked the man incredulously.

"I'm sorry, sir," said the caddy. "This is the 17th handicap hole.  You don't get a shot here."

And that my golfing friends is why you should never lie about your handicap!!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Palmbrook CC, SunCity

So: Delta had lost my golf bag in transit from PRG to PHX . . . So: I had to rent clubs . . . the bag man cheerfully brought out my clubs, and I went over to the driving range with Mr Science to hit a few, just to familiarize myself . . . I hit the F**** out of the driver and was entirely happy with the hybrid 4 and 5 irons I hit, too . . . much to my surprise. . . .but then I said to Mr Science, "What kinda bag is this? Powder blue with this blue & yellow plaid?"

He said, "well, it's a tartan! Whattarya complaining about!?"

I said, "What clan is this, then, the McSissies?"

Then the bag man showed up again, red-faced . . . and swapped that bag for a men's set . . . mumbling under his breath how they were giving him the horse-laugh in the clubhouse . . . I didn't hit any of those on the range, which was a mistake. . . everything was right all day long, couldn't finish anything and get around. . . .8^D. . .

As you can see from this picture of the first fairway, as Mr Science notes, not a very dynamic course . . . .

Mr Science Reports on our round . . . his round was so much better than mine, that I felt like he needed to compose this one . . . my version would be too full of @#%@#s and (*@#^^#@s . . . if you know what I mean . . . 8^) . . .

Palmbrook CC, a private club that lets the public in during the summer, to beef up the revenue stream.  In contrast to the golf course, the restaurant was packed.  They must have a high monthly minimum restaurant charge to beef up the revenue stream, too.

The course is very typical of Sun City.  I guess they're sort of limited by the topography.  It's all flat land, and if they tried to move much dirt they'd have big canyons after the first rainstorm.  The one outstanding feature is water on every hole of the back 9.  There's a series of streams and ponds, and the course runs up one side of it and back the other.  Insidiously, the water is on the right every time.  Jeff Hardin is to blame for that.  He worked with Greg Nash on several courses, notably Los Caballeros, and was obviously influenced by him, or perhaps it was the other way around, as this one opened in 1973 and I think Nash's courses are mainly newer than that. 

It all started on #6, really.  After OB's and 7's on #1 and #2, I went par, bogey, bogey and was really looking forward to the beer on 16.  But then I hit my first green in regulation on #6, a par 5, and made par.  Likewise on 7 and 9, with a scrambler on 8.  On 10, I drove into the hazard left of the fairway (just before it crossed to the right side), and played the 2nd shot from an inch or so of water on concrete.  I ended up making a 10-foot breaker for a Jacques Cousteau par.   11 is a par-3 over water, where Cactus Dave skipped it all the way across, and up onto the green.  I hit my 7-iron too pure, to the back fringe, and made par.  12 was a "regulation" par, after hitting my 80-foot approach putt up two tiers to gimme range. 

13 was a bit exciting, as I pulled my drive behind a tree and had to hit a pitching wedge back to the fairway.  Fortunately, it is a par 5 and I was able to wedge it to 6 feet and made the birdie putt.  14, 15, and 16 were more scrambles, making par putts of 6, 8, and 5 feet.  Then on 17, a true black swan event:  on the green in 2 on a par 5.  It's 505 yards, and I hit a big drive down the middle, and a prodigious 3-wood, about 230 yards.  The 33-foot eagle putt lipped out, and I had to settle for birdie.

That was when I started looking at the card, and noticed that I was -2 for the past 12 holes, and could break my previous best of -1 for 9 holes.    The drive on 18 went awry to the left rough, and I had 150 yards with a big palm tree almost in the way.  I pushed the shot a little, and it hit a palm frond, and came up short of the green.  The chip was mediocre, and I pushed the 8-foot par putt. 

What I have to do is play 20 holes.  Take a couple of 7's on the first two, and then start the round for real, and remember not to look at the scorecard no matter what
I think this picture of the 10 hole basically sums up the back 9 . . . or . . . it'll have to do, since my camera battery died here . . . oddly enough, if you take a flat-wide-open course and put water on it, the margin of improvement is minimal . . .

WHile Mr Science was tearing up the back 9, our playing partner that we joined mid-round, a member, asked how we liked the course, being that he and the other members are kinda proud of this course, which has only recently started letting non-members play, during the summer. I grunted something non-committal, but Mr Science diplomatically enthused, "It suits my game!"

"suits-your-game?" I queried him as we walked back to our cart from a green.

"Yeh, Flat & wide-open . . .I'm 2 under . . . but I didn't say it was my favorite course" . . . 8^D