Me and Brothers ThreeBack in July when I was in Auckland for my Mother's birthday I got to play a bit of golf .............
One game in particular was a truly unique and momentous experience and one that, back in the days when I was recovering from surgery etc. I could never have imagined happening.
Me and three out of four brothers all on a golf course together!
I have often commented how appropriate my surname is for a golfer- Linklater
but here we were, all 4 of us Linklaters embarking on a round at the lovely Links course at Waipu.
And check out the name of the cafe we had our lunch in:
Did I say it was raining?
We spent about an hour in the cafe looking out the windows
wondering if it was going to clear, imagining we could see a lightening of the sky off to the Nor'east.
We had already delayed our game by a day because of the weather and now here we all were, three of us having travelled up from Auckland and No 4 brother coming down from Whangarei to meet us at Waipu.
Colin( No 4 brother), had free tickets for a round of golf that he and some mates had won several years ago in a Hospice Charity Fundraiser and as they still had not used them we twisted his arm to use them so we could all play together for my 26th round.
Many thanks to him and his mates for making this 'event' happen.
If only the rain would stop!
Colin went for a reccy to see how bad conditions were:
But we were here now so we decided to stop procrastinating and just get out there in the elements and get the round under way.
Some of us had quite good wet weather gear and others mere flimsy coats but although it was so wet it was not cold. But water running down the collar of your coat is still unpleasant whether it is warm or cold it has to be said.
A quick workout on the Practice Green was had by all
quietly hoping the rain might still ease before we headed out on the course proper.
Well it was a first for me playing golf in such adverse conditions. Hard to line up the shots on a course you don't know when the green is obscured by sheets of torrential rain.
The ground is heavy and very wet and it is hard work getting the ball up and out of the thick Kikuya grass.
There is a bit of action around the bunkers for Bruce and I manage to overshoot the green but not go in the water,Colin keeps hitting too big but Hamish is quietly confident.
We score 8,8,9 and 7 respectively. Miraculously Hamish manages to hold all our scores in his head the whole round as the rest of are just trying to hit the ball!
As we head down the second Fairway the weather gets worse.I am finding it hard to grip the clubs as my glove is soaked through completely and my Katmandu trousers are clinging unpleasantly . Umbrellas are out but even they are no competition for the pelting rain that drives in at all angles. It is a relief to get to the big trees at the end of the green on No2 . We rest for a moment but really we are so wet we must just press on.
I try to take a photo of the brothers on the Green at No.3 but the rain has got onto the lens and from then on any photo I take is strangely distorted.
Somewhere out there the sea is crashing in to shore. I can hear it over the rain and I have a sense of it through the torrent. This course is supposed to have delightful views of Bream Bay but I am thinking we will be lucky to catch a glimpse of it today.
|Sea is out there somewhere.|
I have to admit I can't really remember much about the next few holes as the weather just gets worse and we are all hunkered down into our coats and struggling on with the adverse conditions.There are lateral water hazards to watch out for and lots of casual water too and the rough is thick and very difficult to get out of in such terrible conditions.
Somehow Hamish manages a steady game , goes into some zone or other and never shoots over an 8.Bruce with his set of hire clubs is struggling in the rough a lot, whilst Colin and I are neck and neck on most holes.
Filling in the score card is quite tricky and several cards disintegrate in the rain....
There is a brief easing of the rain as we head up the 6th and we are hopeful of sun and views but by the time we make it to the green it is pissing down again!
|Trying to fill out the card.|
Waipu is one of the longer courses I have played and in the rain it of course seems twice as far as it would do normally I am sure.My pedometer reads 4.8 km when we finally get back to the cars.
We climb Cardiac Hill to No 7.
No 7 is a mere 145 metre Par 3 and looks like a potentially low scoring hole but oh how wrong one can be when thinking things like that in this crazy game called golf. Bruce and Hamish manage to pull off a respectable 5. I muff my drive but refuse to take a Mulligan and play it as it lies(Foolish girl.) scoring a quadruple bogey! Colin just keeps overshooting the plateau where the green hides for a lousy 9.But hey the sun is attempting to break through and the rain has eased off.Things are looking up.
|Finally on the Green- the ground falls away on all sides.|
Yep the sun makes a brief appearance and it is photo opportunity time:
Two holes to go and the late afternoon light bathes the course and a slight lifting of the cloud finally allows brief glimpses of the sea and out to Marsden Point as we head down the very long (495 metres) No .8.
We play the last two holes as the sky lightens up and our clothes begin to steam.
Three triple bogeys scored on this hole and Bruce has his worst of the match(which shall remain unmentioned). No 8 was all downhill to the sea which means of course No9 is all uphill to the clubhouse.
At last some disaster befalls Hamish the Steady
but there is no way any of us can catch him at this late stage.
I score the worst I have had in a while with a terrible 71 and Colin is well pleased to have beat me by 1.
Bruce has a very generous score whilst Hamish wins the day with a fantastic 61.
A most glorious adventure made better by the adversity.
I feel very lucky to be alive and able to spend such a wonderful day with three of my most excellent brothers playing the Ancient and Royal Game of Scotland.
I even wore my new tam'o'shanter for the occasion.
Thanks guys for making it happen and participating so willingly in my golfing odyssey.
26 played................24 to go