By Larry Canning
THERE IS no doubt the game of golf can turn a reasonable, coherent, averagely intelligent human with a clear sense of what is sportsman like behaviour into a cross between Hannibal Lector and Nick Kyrgios. I, probably like you, have crossed that line between rational person and a crazed tennis player who wants to eat you.
I would love to share some of my experiences with you but you have to promise you will do the same… It’s a case of “Ill show you mine if you show me yours”
I was once playing a pro-am at Moss Vale Golf Club with three amateurs including a mate named Newmo. By the time I had reached the 18th tee it was clear I wasn’t only going to be beaten by most of the other pros in the field but my three playing partners as well. My drive actually found the 18th fairway, which was the first thing resembling short grass I had come across since the carpet in the pro-shop.
It was getting pretty dark so I took a bit of a guess at what club I needed to carry the hazard in front of the green. The split second after my seven iron made contact with the ground roughly two inches behind my ball I realised the only chance it had of reaching the other side of the pond was if the ball had stayed on top of the divot and they both may have floated across.
When I arrived to the edge of the water it was pretty clear this hadn’t happened. Without battering an eyelid my frustration got the better of my ability to think logically and I proceeded to walk straight into the hazard and wade across the water and up onto the green. The worst of it was, the second I arrived at the putting surface Newmo, who is an accredited rules official, reminded me I now had to grab another ball and go back to the point where my nut had last crossed the margin of the hazard. My once light blue trousers now looked like they had been used as the base for huge meat-lovers pizza and there was some strange looking underwater plant sticking out of my left shoe.
After I putted out for a double bogey, I left my clubs outside the locker room, charged straight up to the bar, seaweed and all and had a schooner of the strongest beer I could see on tap. As you can imagine, I was getting some pretty strange looks, none more so than from the tournament PGA official, who looked like if he had stopped laughing long enough, would have given me some kind of breach notice for… whatever the hell PGA rule he could come up with.
I have a mate who I used to work with on radio and he once told me, and about 75 thousand listeners, that he lost his stuff one day at The Lakes in Sydney and bit the cover clean off his golf ball. He went on to say how he’d bitten down that hard he suffered a cramp in the jaw and had to play the next two holes looking like Mick Jagger after he’d been tasered.
My best mate Chris and I were once paired in the prestigious Roseville Gold Mashie and both doing OK until the 12th hole. We both hit pretty good shots on this monster 195 metre blind par three and proceeded up over the hill to see what the golfing gods had bestowed on us. Sadly there was only one ball on the green and a spotter pointing to another which was absolutely dead against the base of a one metre shrub. No words were spoken as we both picked up the pace to almost a jog towards the lone nut which was only about six feet from the stick.
It was mine…..Chris being the most placid human on planet Earth, slowly and unemotionally made his way towards the spotter who came out with the news every pro loves hearing – “Its over here mate, but you’re not going to like it”. His first two attempts of extrication managed to move a big chunk of bark and about six leaves but no ball. The third did actually move his Titelist about 10 feet back to the fairway but Hearny stayed right where he was and continued to smash away at the offending bush. It was taking some time so I putted out for my birdie and watched as Chris continued his onslaught until the shrub finally relented and slowly fell to the ground.
The last I saw of Hearny for about a month after that round was his mum, Marg, leading him off to the car by his ear lobe. Like I said Chris’s demeanour resembles a Buddhist monk on pethidine but I guess on this famous day he succumbed to the most frustrating game ever created.
Now come on readers!!… tell me about the day you finally snapped… Trust me, you’ll feel way better sharing it with thousands of other exasperated golfers.
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