The Shooter knew it was only a matter of time and the day had finally arrived. The last pro-am in this current rotation for The Shooter and the last one in a long road trip for The Flusher from Rose Bay, The Sydney Grinder, The Pros Pro, the man at ease with NSW elite and the only man I know with a money tree, The Angry Ant.
To say the Shooter was nervous was an understatement, practice rounds are one thing and we have had many, tournament rounds, in the heat of battle, when it all counts, those rounds are another. Only the strong survive and The Angry Ant has survived many.
We start on 7, by the time I get to the tee, The Ant has introduced himself to the hammy’s, they are sponsors and he told them that they will be doing the team card, their own cards and anything else they can think of, we are here to do our own cards and to play. Shooter rocks up and the hammy’s are a bit quiet, shell shocked if you will, let’s play.
Fuck, The Angry Ant has scared the Christ out of them, one guy hits it 2 meters forward and 7 sideways, looks like a long day.
Shooter hits the right hand edge of the fairway and The Ant is also on the right, he punches a sublime pitch shot to 20 feet, cleans the club and walks on, fuck me what a sight. Majestic. Shooter of course, attempts a punch shot left and under the tree but it turned out it was straight and high into a branch, fuck, now it’s in my wheelhouse, a 30 yard pitch from a tight lie, up a slope to a green sloping away, fuck I love golf. Flub it on and make a bogey.
The next punch shot on the next hole is also short, “I’ll fuck em, I’ll putt it, says Shooter. The electric eel rolls it 5 feet by and I miss that. +2.
One of the hammy’s is on 11 or 12 or maybe he said 18, who knows, the other one had never played before and was missing it, playing out of turn, talking while others were hitting, walking in lines and talking on the phone, I could see the temperature rising in The Ant, it won’t be long.
Shooter birdies 10 to get one back, doubles 11 after trying to hit a high draw from the trees on 11, instead I hit a dome that went 2 feet off the ground and hit The Ant’s buggy seat and then had a ricochet out to the fairway, then Shooter hits a piercing iron shot into the trap, first double of the day comes 5 holes in. The Ant pumps it off the next tee, disappointed with the second shot but being the player he is, 5 is the worst he could have had. Shooter hits a 3 iron flag high but it’s 20 feet off the green, in a culvert, under a tuft of grass, fucking beauty was my reaction. Can’t get a club on it and yip the shit out of the pitch shot. It moves forward at least, fuck me. It's moved a foot.
Chip it on to 15 feet, miss that, make 6, fuck off.
Shooter's head is only held on by string now, you know the thin brown shit you buy at the newsagent type of string, not the industrial stuff, not the string line type stuff, the flimsy cheap ass shit.
The Ant and The Shooter haven’t spoken for a hole or so, Shooter too busy kicking his head and The Ant is in grinding mode, I’m trying to get out of his way and just watch a genius at work. Two flushed shots down the next, while 3/4 pants with elasticised legs hammy looks for his ball, Shooter hits his second. The flubbed 6 iron rockets off the toe, hooking hard, almost low enough to take out the exposed ankle of phone talking hammy guy. Fuck that’s a shit shot I thought, glad it’s run left so my next shot is blocked out by the trees, what a fucking day.
The Ant goes about his business, methodical, stealthy, like a cougar stalking his prey.
Now Shooter has to hit a hard hook around the trees to an elevated green, a par 5 is still in play, oh fuck, that didn’t hook anywhere near I needed it to, oh Joy.
30 yards, out of scungy, shaggy, grass, it’s also sitting at the bottom of the grass on the mud, short sided, over a bunker, I got the fucking quaddy here. Flub, bunker, knife bunker shot 20 yards over the green, hits the top of a temporary fence and comes back into the GUR, drop it out, knife the chip and 2 putt for 8. String broke, fucking cheap shit, head off.
I asked The Ant if he had 5, no, he had 4. So much sooking, I didn’t see one of the great birdies.
Toe flub 3 iron into the left trap up the next, I’m even kicking the grass when I walk now. Half way up the hill I look in the bag, a 56 degree wedge is staring back at me, fuck, I thought I lost that.
A quick count and the worst is realised, that is the 15th club. Fortunately, a rules official is close by, I plead for a DQ, the best he offered is 2 shot penalty for each hole to a maximum of 4 shots, by the time I get to the green the hammy’s and The Ant have putted out. I make 4 then advise what’s happened. Score cards get adjusted, attitudes get a realignment, give a fuck o’meter doesn’t register.
Now it’s flag hunting time, round is fucked, flub the next tee shot of course on one of very few 190 metre dog leg par 3’s, the fucking thing has a tree in the middle of it for fucks sake. Get it up and down for par.
The next tee shot, finishes in the deep right bunker, absolutely fucking dead, high lip, short sided, downhill, down grain to the hole, Shooter hits a sublime bunker shot, beautifully weighted, it flies softly over the lip, lands like a pensioners turd (that’s soft) and gently rolls into the hole for a 2, oh yeah, Anklets goes off, hammy on 11,12,18 or whatever almost trips as he runs to high five The Shoot.
The Ant is not impressed with the Anklets guy or 11,12,18 guy, he has a putt from 3 feet for par. When they won’t shut up and anklets phone goes off again, he reminds them he is a professional golfer, we aren’t there for fun, we are there to play for money. 11,12,18 guy gets it, Anklets rolls his eyes as he explains to his girlfriend on the phone that it’s not bad if he gives her a Dirty Sanchez because he doesn’t do it with anyone else, he gives the sly wink and a nose tap to The Ant as he says it. Fucking Anklets.
Shooter and The Ant stripe it up 17, Shooter makes his 6 footer for birdie. The second shot into 18 is ordinary, embeds in the front trap, a so so trap shot a a three wiggle completes the double to put a nail in Shooter completely.
Pretty sure The Angry Ant makes 3, smartass fucking pro.
6 to play, the first hole is a short par 4, after hitting the tee shot, I realised they have moved the OOB in, perilous tee shot to say the least. We both stripe it again, Ant is 5 yards off the green and The Shooter is in the green side trap, that’s how we do it in the pro’s. Needless to say we are disappointed when we both make 4.
Shooter makes birdie down 2 by hitting it flag high for 2 on the par 5, The Angry One, lays up, bounces off a piece of board in the fairway into the piss, not fucking happy to say the least. Why is there a piece of board in the middle of the fairway in the lay up zone anyway.
Shooter tries to do the right thing and give Anklets a bunker lesson on the 3rd, he continually takes an 8 iron in and leaving it there or almost killing people, it’s a waste of time, he is still talking about Dirty Sanchez and his flatmate named Gary. He is a weird fuck.
The Ant stumps an 8 iron down the next to 6 inches from 162. 162, not only is he angry, he is fucking long too, fucking 8 iron !. Shooter rolls in his 18 footer so the pro’s both register birdies there.
Anklets makes a 5 for 1 on the last hole of the day for his only point of the day, it was excruciatingly bad. 1 stableford point, 11 beers, 78 phone calls, 37 bunker shots, 46 putts, 1 pair of anklet pants with way too much elastic in the ankles, 6 stories how he used to play golf all the time and 1 very bad haircut. No wonder The Ant was off him.
At the end of the round, we start the long walk back to the clubhouse, it’s another day that started with so much promise and had the light extinguished so soon.
One highlight was getting to watch The Angry Ant grind it out and another was learning you can only get penalised 4 shots for 15 clubs.
Back to the practice ground for The Shooter, back to Sydney for The Angry Ant.
Penalty Magnet Shooter out.