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Game On! or How I Won 15 Bucks This Weekend

The golf season came in earnest this weekend. It came with four rounds in three days. Two at my favourite public course in the GTA, Eagle`s Nest, and two at Watson`s Glen. I found my swing on the 16th tee at Watson`s Glen a week ago in my first 18 holes of the year. I shot an 89 but had a promise of bigger and better right around the corner.

RT and I were going to head to Copetown Woods on Friday to join his brother and Canadian tour pro Alan McLean. The spectre of thunder storms forced us to change plans and Rob and I teed it up solo at Eagle`s Nest. Now, either my winter workout has done me wonders or Rob hasn`t found his form yet because where once his drives landed 35 to 50 yards past mine, now he was less than 15 paces ahead. Rob shot a sloppy 79 and I shot a decent 82.

But, the real story of the start of the golf season was Sunday`s round at Watson`s Glen. I showed up as a single at 7am and was told that I would be joining Kevin Holmes` group. Kevin, as it turns out was the person who designed Watson`s Glen and another great 9 hole course around the corner from me (Carruther`s Creek).

I had met briefly Kevin once before and he couldn`t have been a more cordial host. We teed off just before 7:30 and we were off to the races. I hit a great drive on one but ended up in the gnarly rough which caught the hosel of my six iron which directed the ball into the greenside bunker. I wish I could tell you that I got it up and down but I didn`t and ended up with a bogies five.

My round really started on the second hole. I began the long par five with two solid shots that left me about 135 in to the green. I lined up my third with my 8 iron and with a sure and balanced swing I hit a laser beam right at the flag. The ball bounced once on the fringe and released on the green. It was tracking as true as could be to the cup. That it didn`t go in seemed almost impossible. When we reached the green, the ball sat no more than and inch and a half from and eagle.

After a bogey four from the greenside bunker (again) at three, I drove my tee shot at four into yet another bunker in the middle of the fairway. From 110 yards I hit a nine iron out of the sand but the shot was uphill and landed in the tall grass surrounding the green. My third was a gentle chip of about 15 yards. I threw the ball out to the left of the hole and the bowl of the green helped me flush a second birdie!

I won`t go into great details of my bogeys and double bogeys and even triple bogeys. But, I will tell you about that shot at 14. A tough par 5. Your happy to walk away with bogey. Par feels like birdie. After a solid tee shot and a dead straight rescue club, I had 110 left to the pin with a breeze cooling our faces. I drew my pitching wedge and reminded myself to go after it. I stuck the ball solid and took the biggest divot of the day. As I type this note, almost 12 hours later my right arm still hurt from striking the turf so hard. But my ball flew up and it flew straight. I wished for it to travel because I didn`t know if it would get through the wind. And it did. The ball landed within a few feet of the stick. When it hit the ground, the bal miraculously rolled right. Closer and closer to the cup it rolled and then “ it disappeared! The first eagle of 2008!

Of course, that triple I mentioned happened at the very nest hole. My final score of 82 probably should have been a 77. No matter. At the end of the round I joined Kevin and his friends on the deck of the Å“clubhouse to tally up the scores. Everyone was in for dollars and with three skins I walked away with 15 bucks “ some confidence in my game for 2008 “ and hopefully, some new friends that I can join out on the links every now and then for a friendly match.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • You fail to mention the drive on 11 that was 60!!! yards longer than your pavement ball.

    That said, you are a much longer hitter these days. You’ll even impress the women with your length.

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