July 20, 2013

Today was a later start than usual because our tee times didn’t start until noon. The Goodboys gathered at breakfast down in the hotel’s restaurant and I had a Belgian waffle with some strips of bacon. Yumm. When we walked outside you could tell it wasn’t as hot as yesterday was – a good thing because Friday’s heat was the most oppressive anyone can remember playing in, and I doubt that if today was going to be the same I doubt the majority of us could have handled it.

On the driving range at Wentworth By The Sea Country Club I found a fix for the poor iron play of yesterday – I realized my grip was too strong and that if I weakened it like Alex Black has had me do with my woods I make better contact and have a more reliable tracking of the ball.

As for our match my partner “Killer” Kowalski and I were playing “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis and “Cubby” Myerow. I went bogey / bogey / par on the first three holes for a really good start, then made a pro-like recovery shot on what we thought was the fourth hole for a miraculous double-bogey before we realized we were actually playing the tenth hole and had somehow gotten mis-directed. My partner wasn’t playing well and seemed distracted to that point so I had to have words with him to make sure we were backing up each other.

Once we got straightened out I had my best drive of the day on the fourth hole, only to lose a 7-iron into deep rough after I talked myself out of the 6-iron I should have hit. It took me three tries to get my ball out that thick rough and had to take a quad-bogie eight – a bad mental error on my part. While I didn’t play great the rest of the nine I still put up a decent 51 on a very tough track. I felt pretty good about that.

It was on seven that we first heard thunder in the distance, so my partner called up the weather radar on his phone app to discover the heat wave of the past week was breaking with a very large thunderstorm cell passing just to our south. Distant thunder is the most beautiful sound for me, so I found it hard to concentrate on golf with the sounds and sights of a big thunderstorm were so near. I was putting on eight when I saw a flash of lightning against my shirt and it wasn’t a minute afterwards before the horns blew.

We all went inside to the clubhouse grill to wait out the storm but nothing really happened. I had a cup of one of the best gazpachos I’ve ever tasted along with a Sam Summer – what a treat! The problem was that sitting around caused my elbow to really stiffen up so that by the time we were all called back out on the course I really had a hard time getting through the ball the next few holes. I’ve been able to handle my elbow pain with Aleves and Anatablocs thus far, but today was the first time that the pain really impacted my ability to swing the club the way I wanted to. Such is life.

I shot a 57 on the back nine, but feel as if I did really well just getting around a tough course and keeping my wits about me. Even my fellow Goodboys were very complimentary about how I kept working my way around the course when I (obviously) didn’t have my best stuff. The heat broke around 4 PM and we enjoyed a delightful six or seven holes with low humidity and a lovely breeze from the west. My partner awoke from his stupor to really slay the course on the back nine, but I struggled to a 57 to leave us a good sixteen strokes behind three teams jammed at the top of the leaderboard:

1. “The Funny Guy” / “Cubby”
2. “Vegas” Clark / “Skipper” Bornemann
3. “2 Times” Proctor / “Possum” Shepter

At dinner tonight at Surf I had littlenecks on the half shell, a wonderful bowl of clam chowder, and some clams chargrilled on the half shell with andouille sausage and paprika-spiced bread crumbs. With a couple of glasses of Pinot Grigio it was all excellent and a fun time was had by all.

Tomorrow we’re playing at Black Swan Country Club and I’ll admit to feeling a little sad about the whole thing. I’ve spent the last 4 1/2 months immersed in golf and it all ends less than 24 hours from now. I’ve received a lot of compliments from my Goodboys friends about the changes I’ve made in my swing, and there’s no doubt that all the hard work I’ve done has paid off and given me a lot more confidence in my game. Yesterday’s 103 at The Ledges was about as good a round of golf as I’ve ever played given the difficulty of the course and the conditions we all had to play under. Today’s round at Wentworth was really hard, especially since like all te other Goodboys I had no legs after all the heat from yesterday. Still, I sorta kinda held it all together to avoid putting up a really big number.

Tomorrow my partner and I will try and post a low number to see just how far it gets us. The weather is supposed to be perfect, I just hope I can swing a club because tonight my elbow is throbbing as badly as it ever has. I’m guessing that both it and me are in need of a nice long sabbatical after working so intensely these past several months. It’s been a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world. To have achieved the respect of my fellow Goodboys and play with a level of confidence I could never have imagined, say, six months ago means a great deal to me. I’ll work my hardest to put up a good number tomorrow and then call it a year.

My elbow will thank me for it, that’s for sure.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 21:23 | Comments Off on Dear Diary…
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