Well, so first, I have to do a little housekeeping . . .
Round 2 at Hodkovicke was not a success for me . . . 49-49=98 in the rain, but the rain wasn’t what bothered me . . . just miserable putting . . . I wisht I could blame it on the rain and the sub-standard greens, but I tho’t the course conditions were good. Good enough to make me regret some of the harsh things I said last time about Hodkovicke . . . it’s still mostly flat, but it’s a good muni-quality course . . . there weren’t as many mosquitos this time and I was ready for ‘em anyway, so let’s just say it: Dave’s putting sucks, and when Dave’s putting sucks, he doesn’t score . . . no matter how close he gets . . . missed a 3 footer for par on #4 that told me all I needed to know . . . I didn’t really total it up, but easily 8 or 9 3putts, and a slew of missed, makeable 1 putts . . . wound up with 26 stableford points so not a total disaster, but . . .
I had my first birdie in a coon’s age on #18 . . . a 250m par 4 with a green heavily bunkered, enuff so that I don’t feel tempted to let the big dog out . . . I hit 5wood both times around . . . first time: popped it up into the right rough; caught a flyer on my approach, to the back of the green; 3putted from there . . . SOP . . . 2nd time: gravitated a 5wood high down the middle to 30m short of the green; popped a 1/3Sw onto the front of the green that rolled right by the cup . . . I tho’t it might go in; finally made that one knee-knocker (3ft) for my birdie . . . No Indignity Too Small, that’s what I always say . . . 8^D . . . I did also play the par 5 #8 perfectly the first time thru, but missed the birdie with a putt from the fringe a foot and a half to the left . . . jeebus . . .
Anyway . . . today . . . took two busses to get to Hostivar . . . the change didn’t go well . . . first bus was late or something, so I calculated that the next bus would get me there with minutes to spare, so still ok, that’s the margin I had allowed for . . . unfortunately . . . I had selected the wrong stop . . . I jumped off according to my plan, but quickly recognized that I was not at the right place, from the prior visits . . . so I desperately hoofed it down the street to the next busstop, hoping it would be where I wanted to be . . . so I had a nice warmup of a 1 klic hike before my round . . . 8^) . . .paid for the tournaj expeditiously, tended to Nature’s Call, stripped off my rain suit, since the sun was coming out, and huffed up to the first tee, Howdied everbody, the starter said ‘You go first, and I was ready . . . but as I headed to the tee, the punk starter said, “And next time, please come earlier!” . . . .
I didn’t turn around, just went ahead, but I said, “Dude, I missed my bus.” Then hit a jaw-dropping majestic drive down the left side . . . didn’t bother me . . . and he STFU . . . I was partnered with a couple of Czech natives and another woman . . . couldn’t have been better company . . . they spoke very good English (even if somewhat limited), and were just very amiable. On the second hole, after I blasted another drive 50m past the pack, the other woman Anna told me, “You must be a very good golfer!”
“Well,” I demurred, “I play sort of an American Game, you know, long on power and short on strategy” . . . 8^) . . . “If I could putt,” I added, ‘I *would* be dangerous!”
“Dangerous?” she guffawed . . . hadn’t heard that sorta English afore, I guess . . . 8^) . . .
And that was the story of this round, Big Drives Down The Middle, pretty good Approaches, miserable short game & putting . . . wound up with a 41-43=84, and I *know* I had 4 3putts a side . . . I don’t think I had any 1putt pars (and no birdies) . . . so this duffer cain’t complain about 84 . . . but D-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-d-e, I’d had a 37 on the front without those 3putts, and on the back, I finished double-bogey, par, and quadruple-bogey in a flurry of bad-putting and club-throwing-temptations . . .
This lowered my handicap to 14.7, which means I am gonna have to fix that putting our I’m gonna be a perpetual also-ran . . . .and now that I’ve won 3 of the last 4 tournaj I’ve entered, I kinda got usta winning, if you see how I mean . . .
My prizes for this tournaj win were a cute little trophy, a blotto of slivovice, a coupon for a couples treatment at a beer spa (if you’ve ever heard of such a thing), a book of golf tips (in czech, natch), and, OH! a sleeve of golf balls . . . I put ém with my other balls in my bag and forgot . . .
Now comes the weird part . . . I won the B-flight first leg of the Prazsky Pohar, because my dilatory play over the last year-and-a-half had raised me to 18.1, and the cut-off for A-group was 18 . . . I knew this was gonna cause problems . . . 8^D. . . so after that round (81 strokes / 46 stableford points ) my handicap was lowered safely into the A-flight to 15.1 . . .so I was competing in the A group for the next two rounds, and they award the Prague Cup based on the total number of stableford points *in your flight* . . . even after the scores were in, they didn’t make any announcements for over an hour, and I figger it was me causing the consternation . . . I do feel kinda robbed . .. cuz all I got was a 2nd place cup for B-Flight, because there was some sand-bagger that did the same thing from C to B that I had done from B to A, if you see how I mean . . . 8^D . . . another weird thing is he sits about 10 feet away from me in my office, in different groups, so I didn’t know him, never talked to him, but he got the giant 1st place trophy for B-Flight, while some young flatbelly I know from Motol got the 1st place in A-Flight . . . 8^D . . . my prize for that is the very nice smaller sized cup and some coupons for free rounds at the 3 courses of the Prazsky Pohar. . . .aint’ that sumthin’ . . .
Possibly, my best hole . . . totally gravitated my driver 250M down the left side (right side is OB and railroad tracks) . . . then skyed a 9iron with a divot so big it hurt my right wrist . . . my partners were calling it a pizza . . . Seve & Sergio call them "pork chops", I told them . . . it looked like a calzone, more than anything else . . . missed the birdie... I was the closer ball in the pic . . . but you can see the ball mark in front of the hole . . . with a divot like that you'd think it would stick more . . .
Then on #6, I just wanted to point out the only major change I had seen on the course... they've converted that bunker on the right side of the green from a very unusual feature that I liked: an outcrop of stone . . . if you miss that green right, that's a devil of a bunker they tell me, but if you had hit that stone work your ball might've caromed any direction 50 m . . . I know mine did . . . 8^D