I managed to get in another 18 this weekend, this time at Dyker Beach. The weather was borderline nice, which made me waffle over the matter about a hundred times before finally giving in.
Since there was (naturally) a lot of people at the course, I was placed in a foursome which was a little weird for me. Because I'd played most of my golf alone for the last couple of months, it was sort of like a feral child being reintroduced into civilization. They were distant concepts to me, but I was more or less able to recall the etiquette, politeness and small-talk that I had learned in a previous life. Still I managed to step in someone's putting line a couple times.
Of course the beast inside chafed most at the four-plus-hour pace of play. In the normal human world four hours is pretty damn quick of course but in my spectral, solitary world of winter golf that's damn near a form of torture. After every holed putt I had to restrain myself from sprinting off the green and to the next tee.
I started the round with some decent play but the shackles of foursome golf began to sap my energy and will around the middle of the round. On the 8th, a mindless three-putt. On the 9th I laid sod over a simple wedge shot and followed that up with a four-putt. Waves of futility and apathy began to wash over me.
|Stealing the flag at #15 is a favorite activity of the at-risk youth that hang around the Dyker.|
|After taking the flag, they scurry into the nearby woods. I blame the parents.|
I should mention that while the course is in decent shape, most pins were placed in dickish locations, continuing that Dyker Beach tradition of management going out of their way to spoil people's rounds. Let me clarify. It is obviously the duty of the superintendent to cut the holes, but when he is given carte blanche to indulge his dumb juvenile impulses at the expense of the paying customer it is absolutely a damnation of management, which in this case is headed up by some pink necktied pantywaist who is way more interested in wedding cakes than he is in golf course maintenance.
When I got to the tenth tee, a middle-aged couple was standing there trying to tee off, in an attempt to cut in front of us. The man asked me about our group and how fast we were playing, etc. "Uh, a normal pace," I muttered back while I prepped to hit my shot. He probably sensed my internal rage and offered a concession: "Oh ok, you guys can play through then."
Now this is one of those instances that for me indicates a kind of personal growth, perhaps. If such a ghetto golf encounter had happened a couple years ago, chances are I would've jabbed an angry finger at the guy's face and exploded into a tirade about cutting in line, who the hell are you, there's a whole train of golfers behind us, where did you even come from, you don't even belong here, etc, etc. But these days, I guess I've become so weary of the riffraff around here--so idiotic, so predictable--and anyhow in the grand scheme of life it is more insulting to simply not acknowledge a person's existence, which is exactly what I did. A la fellow legitgolfer Mr. Kuehn I simply stuck a tee in the ground and went ahead with my business, not in the least acknowledging this guy and his gracious invitation.
After that I perked up. Maybe it was good to get my hackles raised, get the blood flowing. I had shot a disappointing +9 on the front side, but there was no need to give up on the rest of it. Plus did I really want to get shown up by the two Chinese guys in the group? Hell no. No offense to them, they were nice fellows and serious about their golf but no way should I be getting outscored by these hackers.
|My drive on 18 found a little squirrel hole.|
Again the pins were insanely hard, but I played some good shots on the back nine to soldier in with a 5-over 40 and an 85 total. Way off my goal of 78 or better, but not a shameful effort. I know this is really scraping, but the heavy rain has stopped, and I might just get one more crack at it. It's going to be below 40 with high winds, but after all my bleating about master of layers and all that, well I can't really balk at that now can I?