"I am sorry Sir" said the pleasant, assistant deputy Acting Head Greenkeeper, just after Huttonian had nailed a 250 yard whizzer down the 11th Fairway, 'You are a bit previous Back* Nine does not open until 0930' I looked at my watch. It was 0929. 'Minute to go then' 'No this is the eleventh. You are ten minutes ahead. Clock starts on the 10th tee. You will get entangled with our fairway modulating machinery and the greens will not be ready for you. Suggest you walk through the team ahead and start on the 12th.'
I crested the hill of this 'blind drive' hole. The 11th fairway stretched ahead of me. No Machines; no teams just my ball bang in the middle of the presumably unmodulated fairway. I decided to play on. Then discovered that there was no flag on the green. It was not ready for me? Not to worry. I did not get to where I ought to be today worrying about flags on greens, or the lack thereof. Five iron. Splat. Middle of green. No flag but a hole-5 feet from the ball. Nice three.
Enter stage right on his iron steed. A green keeper, second class just junior to an assistant, deputy, acting Head Green keeper. 'Sorry Sir. You are a bit previous. The twelfth fairway ahead of youis full of modulating equipment and the greens ahead are not ready for you' I looked at my watch 0942. The Tenth hole had presumably been modulated and green ready for 12 minutes. 'Should I wait? I asked. 'Could be a long time, I suggest you carry on on the No 2 Course. I did so glad that I had not paid £125 to play on the championship course (PBUI) and then turned off it to be fobbed off with the £23 Annesley-mind the ladies and watch out for the hackers-course.
AS I went off to the 6th tee on the 'henrun' I noticed Stalker and the Ball Finding Alsatian waiting patiently in the rough beside the 11th Fairway in anticipation the great harvest of balls hit over the blind summit and hooked into the gorse. Which they would be able to see but not the hapless striker. I really could not be bothered to tell them that until the fairway had been modulated and the green prepared they might have a long wait until any more golfers were allowed through.
Patience brings its own reward.
(The image is of the view from the furthest forward of the tees at the 11th. Once the ball has cleared the hill you will not see it again until you have climber over the ridge.
Even then you might not see it again if Stalker has got there first)
* Back as in second 9-you are coming back, eventually.
Labels: Golf, Green Keepers, Norn Iron, Royal County Down