Something clicked today. ¬†Not in the sense that my golf magically turned a corner, and that I‚??m now on track for an appearance on the PGA Tour. ¬†Quite the opposite, in fact. ¬†Today Michael and I played awfully (again). ¬†BUT ‚?? and I stress the but ‚?? I couldn‚??t have been less fazed. ¬†Sure there was the odd mutter; and of course I‚??d prefer to be making birdies on every hole (wouldn‚??t we all?). ¬†But ‚?? there‚??s that word again ‚?? there was an air of satisfaction within me, a contentedness that marks a great departure from my days as a frustrated junior golfer, when bad scores ruined one‚??s week. ¬†It might be that expectations have been lowered by my downward slide into chopper territory. ¬†I could speculate for hours.
The more likely explanation ‚?? at least in this case ‚?? is that today‚??s course, The Lakes, was beautiful; an absolute pleasure. ¬†Set in a lush valley running through the Coromandel Peninsula, a couple of hours from Auckland, this course is a must play for all golf tourists. ¬†It‚??s not long, but it is tight ‚?? and there are more hazards than the West Bank. ¬†Bank on losing a few balls. ¬†Also bank on being pleasantly surprised when you step onto (almost) every tee. ¬†In my short golfing career there are few courses I have played on which all (or nearly all) of the holes are quality. ¬†The Lakes is one of those few. ¬†Even the short holes ‚?? which can be weak at some resort courses ‚?? demanded careful attention. ¬†As did the 560m par 5 on the back nine (I forget which hole number) that took me 8 blows to finish. ¬†Mike and I did a lot of laughing at ourselves today, and even started marking down after each hole how many hazards we had visited before finding the bottom of the cup. ¬†(There were a lot).
We came across a notable French chap - whom we named Francois - playing with his (quite glamorous) wife. ¬†I say notable because Francois was very short, but his shorts were very long (pulled up to just below his nipples, to be precise). ¬†Mike nearly killed him on the par 3 10th, by smoking an 8 iron to the middle of the green at the same time as Francois and his other half were emerging from the bushes. ¬†Entirely Mike's fault, and didn't do much for Franco-Kiwi relations. ¬†Funny though. ¬†Francois wasn't impressed. ¬†The other funny thing about the wee Frenchman was this: he teed up the ball wherever he liked on the tee block - whether between the markers or otherwise. ¬†If the markers didn't suit him, he'd just tee up off to the right, or the left. ¬†The French...
The bad golf aside ‚?? I feel like I‚??ve been scribbling those words a lot lately ‚?? it was a great day, and I‚??m already looking forward to my next visit to The Lakes. ¬†The chaps in the pro shop were hospitable, and kindly spotted us cart (I‚??ve got a couple of blisters already, so the cart was very welcome) on top of our green fee. ¬†Weather was epic too. ¬†Apres golf we zipped round the corner to our mate‚??s bach in Pauanui. ¬†Jay has been an unbelievable host...wait for it: she took us on a tiki tour of the town; let us use her washing machine (crucial); made us dinner (we cleaned up, mum, before you start); bought us a box of beers; and is now sitting brainstorming with us about who we should tap on the shoulder for a game of golf. ¬†So a BIG thank you Jay ‚?? hopefully Mike and I can repay your hospitality beyond this year. ¬†(There‚??s a photo of the lovely Jay in our photo gallery).
Tomorrow we‚??re off to the Waikato region, to play at Lochiel. ¬†After the game we‚??re heading to our mate‚??s farm to do some milking, fencing, etc. ¬†Should be a giggle. ¬†Until tomorrow...peace, JP
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