With apologies to J. R. R. Tolkien.
Just another Sunday they called it, just another day. As it happened, it may have been the turning point of things to come. With isolation gripping most of the country, we in Queensland are fortunate enough to be able to get out to play with some restrictions in place. Better than sitting at home like Stickers for the past 2 weeks playing with nothing except himself.
We set up a 4 person comp, playing in 2’s for 6 holes then swapping partners (Stickers favourite pastime) for the next 6 and again for the final 6.
Stickers vs Singlets in one group and The Yank vs The Shooter in the other. It started early with Shooter hitting a 3 iron to 20 feet on the first hole and casually 2 putting for a birdie 4. 1 up.
The Yank hit a great shot on 2 to make par net birdie, maybe he wants to make a game of it I thought, then Shooter lets the driver out on 3. On the Twin Waters web site, the 3rd is described as ” A long par 4 with a difficult approach and a par on this hole will be harder than it looks and well earned.
Its not too hard when you smash it 53 meters from the hole, for fucks sake. Ok, we were a little forward than the back tee. All square. Shooter wins the 4th and 5th to quietly retire The Yank. As always, very professional, very business like. He just wants to see good golf, hang the expense, at his age he is happy to be alive and outside.
7th tee, change partners (again Stickers). Now with a win under his belt Singlets faces up against The Shooter. I must admit, he is looking like an athlete these days, fresh from the pro shop where the most money you can make these days is selling coke and mars bars. You can tell by the look in his eyes and his bulging wallet, he wants this. He wants it more than a 50 member social club hiring 25 carts.
9 iron, sounds flush, lands on the green and runs to the back edge about 20 feet away, “nice shot Singlets” was the call from Shooter, Singlets looked up and gave the hat tip as all good club pro of the year recipients would. Shooter hits a smooth little wedge to 15 feet, just inside Singlets (probably not the first bloke to be there). Hole is halved in birdies, looks like we have a match here.
Halve 8 with Singlets making a standard 5 and Shooter holing a standard 25 footer for par, great up and down there Shoot. Singlets hits one of the worst hosel rockets the gallery have seen for a while down 9 and Shooter leaves the 30 footer for birdie an inch short. 1up.
10 is halved in par after Shooter misses an 8 footer, Singlets wins 11 to tie it all up with 1 to play, two ordinary tee shots, Shooter gets the club caught in the rough and is 10 yards short of the green, Singlets gets his preferred lie in the bunker and hit a great shot to 20 feet behind the hole. Shooter gets his up and down and now Singlets has this to get an unlikely win. Sadly it slides by the right hand side, Singlets is spewing, this was his chance to change his life.
Shooter is a little disappointed but is now focused on the last 6. The Yank has little trouble dispatching Stickers to second place. Last 6, this is where the money is. Bring on Stickers.
Stickers starts telling me he has a new grip and a new method after watching 2 weeks of Youtube videos in isolation, fucks sake, this guy needed to get outside. Away we go, Stickers flushes one, the iron shot is 10 yards short of the green, Shooter flights one from 92 meters into 5 feet and casually rolls it in for birdie, 1up.
14, Stickers has hit his 3rd to 12 feet and just missed the putt on the right hand side of the hole, cant get away with misses with The Shooter, after a deft pitch with the touch of a gynaecologist, gentle yet firm, Shooter taps in his 3 footer for birdie, 2up. Bad second for Shooter on 15 to leave him 30 feet from the hole, 2 putt for a half, Shooter rams a birdie putt for a half on 16 misses, makes par to lose the hole, back to 1up.
Standing on 17 tee, Stickers thinks he is still a chance, he has been locked away for too long and obviously has no grasp on reality, does he not understand he is 1 down with 2 to play to The Shooter, fuck me. I tell him I am going to make 2 (birdie), 3 (eagle) to finish and really give him the pineapple, spiky end first.
He scoffs and says the he remembers when Shooter had a soul destroying 11 down 17 one day and there was another day on the same hole where it would not come out of the front bunker and Shooter made 7. I said, whilst those examples are true and now part of Twin Waters folklore, that will not be happening today. Strap your self in this ride could get rough
Stickers hits a blocky, toe draw, slightly fat hybrid over the right bunker, heading toward the deep magoombie almost in the same position as the infamous 11, he was however short of the trees. Playing 202, 183 to carry the front trap, Shooter looks at the bag, the dappled light moves with the shadows and Shooter is deep in the thought process of club selection. One last look at the bag, sunlight reflects from the perfect club, 4 iron.
The sound from the club is pure compression, the flight is perfect like and Peregrine falcon, precise and true, Shooter, with that steely gaze watches and Stickers mouth drops at the site of what he described as one of the best 4 shots he has seen in his life. I challenge him to find 3 better.
Stickers flubs the chip a little, 20 foot away, makes 4. Shooter casually holes his 15 footer for 2, part one complete. Stickers looks shocked almost despondent. We get to 18 tee, his shoulders have dropped, his bottom lip has a small quiver. I tell him that there is no shame in this result, he has done better than I thought, I am only -3 for these 5 and he should be proud of the effort he put up. I think when you get some encouragement like that from an idol, mentor or icon if you will it helps. I know it helped Stickers.
Shooter hits it high on top of the right hill on 18, another 4 iron down into the apron of the green, again, a pitch that you would watch over and over on repeat if you could stops 2 feet from the hole, Stickers makes his 5 and as all professional do, left the stage for The Shooter to close out a casual birdie to shoot -4 the back 6 and a expertly constructed 68.
Singlets and The Yank have completed a very well rounded all square match. Singlets ends with 1 win and 2 halves, The Yank ends with 1 win, 1 halve and 1 loss, Stickers needs the ATM to hand out the winnings but has 3 close results and Shooter ends with 2 wins and 1 halve.
Shooter has struggled for a little while but it seems today some demons were exorcised and the good times are here for a while. Bring that shit on.
Back on top Shooter out.