A Couple of Canterbury ExcursionsWinter................
Nothing much happened on the Golfing front.
In August I did training to be a Guide at the Botanic Gardens .
Each day as I walked to training I passed the Hagley Golf Club and on several occasions thought I would play a round on my way home.
But the weather remained inclement on training days so games in August were few and far between.
However,the guide training opened my eyes to the wonders of conifers.Trees I have always liked but never truly appreciated in their full glory.
As spring came on I suddenly noticed how they all have such very different cones( in effect these are their flowers) and in a variety of subtle colours.
Hmm and what sort of trees line the Fairways of most golf courses ?
So now my golfing expeditions become botanical peregrinations as well. And what mighty fine specimens I have found.
|Abies amabilis-Red Silver Fir|
Yes I realize dear golfing buddies that...
what with the checking out of the birds and now the photographing of exceptional conifer species it really is better I play golf alone and allow plenty of time to get around the course.
Although I hope you appreciate that I do make an effort to turn a blind eye to the wonders around me and focus on the game at hand when playing with the 'ladies'.(Truly Denise I do!)
But back to Golf!
For Denise's birthday Wilma purchased some vouchers off the Treat Me site so that Denise and I could have a game on a real posh course.And so on a gray Christchurch day in September we set off for to the foothills of Canterbury to play a round at Terrace Downs Country Club and Golf Resort.
Gee it was posh!
Once I had gotten over being blown away by the marble bathroom and toilet facilities that I could fit two of my houses into we settled into Golf the way rich folk play!
You don't lug your trundler around behind you at such a place. Everyone is allocated a cart.And at 6406 metres around the course it is just as well ! Of course with a cart to carry your gear and speed things up we felt we easily had the energy to play more than our usual 9 holes , so we played 3 extras whilst Wilma retired to the balcony of the restaurant to watch us over a nice Shiraz.
|Yes I can just see her standing there waving to us on the 11th.|
It was fantastic to be out near the mountains and away from the beastly Easterly and gradually the layers of wool had to be removed.
The Fairways were long and wide but hazards abounded.
|Denise surveys a water hazard.|
And often all around the greens in case you overshot.
The Greens as you can see were immaculate and with all the cherry blossum flowering it was aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well as uplifting to the spirits after a long winter in the city.
But without a doubt the most challenging and just had to be played hole was No 10.
This is one of the most interesting holes I have played to date. Right up there with the tee shot required off the 6th at Waitakere.Even though we had finished our nine holes and retired to the carpark for a quick bite of lunch(yep! we could not afford food at the restaurant)we felt compelled to at least play No 10 .From high up on a terrace just below the Clubhouse you must launch your drive off a cliff and out into the void to try and land the ball on a very small bit of fairway being very careful to not drive too far thereby missing the green and rolling into the very smelly lake beyond.
Yep! it had to be played:
|And a lovely drive it was too.|
Good day out Wilma , Thanks. x
But those carts are a bit alluring!
So commodious- with a place for everything-pencil,scorecard,water,camera and layers and layers of clothing that progressively got ditched as the day warmed up.There was even a special thing on the back for cleaning your clubs and ball.
Early October I played in my first competition match at another club.
I nervously joined a phalanx of ladies to play my 29th course.
I wasn't in the prize money today though with a mere 14 Stablefords.
|61 ladies heading out to play.|
A Canterbury course I definitely wanted to play this year was Akaroa.
The opportunity finally came at Labour weekend when I booked a nights accommodation through Treat Me and we went and stayed in a dinky wee crib that used to be a croquet clubhouse.It was tucked into the bush just before Akaroa township and although the road noise was bad in the afternoon come the evening we were surrounded by bellbird song and with a fantastic view up the harbour to reward the eyes after a hard round of golf.
And it was a hard round with all the challenges I love. This was no boring flat Canterbury wide- fairwayed doddle. No siree!
There were bridges to cross and washed out tee-boxes from the last big rains when the river roared down the hills.
There were tricky shots across the boulder strewn river and over cliff edges, not to mention the CONIFER hazards too.
|An interesting approach shot!|
But I had my lovely caddy along to push my trundler up some of the hills and enough lucky shots to keep me smiling all the way to the 9th Green.
I was still smiling the next morning when we woke up to snow and felt blessed to have made the most of the sunny late afternoon to have that round of golf at Duvachelles instead of waiting till Monday as planned.
And so now the score was 30 courses played and 20 to go..................