I had to travel to pick up someone at the airport Saturday and since my club was packed I decided to play a round of golf at a course I had never played before. I set a tee time and asked if I was playing with anyone and they said no.I get to the course and it is fairly busy but no playing partner however I easily caught up with the twosome in front of me (one of which informed me later he had picked up ball on the first hole, as the round progressed ). I played 5-9 with two guys, a dad and his recent college grad son. Dad was an average player and son was very athletic but erratic although my game was nothing short of twice my handicap that day. The "kids" dad stops after 9 and we keep playing. The guy is nice and easy to play with but the conversation we had was interesting. He tells me first that he just started playing golf a year ago and he spends every day at the golf course after work (summer job before grad school) at 3 since the summer started. He has all the typical "newbie" delusions. Thinks he hits it farther than he does, inconsistent irons and no short game. He also takes multiple second ball shots, granted this course is under construction and some of the back nine are temporary tees and some holes. Along the 11th hole he talks handicaps with me and says he is a 7 handicap, his best round is a 76 and that he doesn't post his scores very often because he does want give strokes to people... Indeed, I was perplexed. I just smiled and played along as he also told me that he has no short game and hates practicing it but will hit hours of driver shots... This guy totally reminded me of me sans the the thought of being a 7, let alone a 27 handicap my first year playing. I am sure my out driving him was annoying but if he keeps playing and getting better technique, I am sure he would hang or out drive me regularly. He used to play college baseball and probably no used to not being better at sports than others around him so golf might be a hard pill to swallow. All in all I enjoyed the company, conversation and of course, the unintended humor.
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My regular knucklehead playing partner has been commenting to me (after handicap lowering rounds) about how these scores are not good because they will affect the scoring for our team in the hokey league we play in on Monday nights. He tries to suggest ways of avoiding posting scores because we need the higher handicap to place better. I keep telling him that I am not playing golf to win the league and have no interest in "strategically" posting my rounds to avoid getting strokes. He is a nice guy and hardly a cheater but this damn league thing is consuming him. Personally it is just an excuse to play "fun" golf and have a few beers with the team for me. I just don't get it. I refuse to compete seriously in handicap based competitions so my handicap is only for me.
After getting 4 inches of rain in an hour, our course was flooded which was probably for the better. This gave me a bit of a break from the pressure of scoring but made the round kind of lack luster. We had holes 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 ,15, 16, 17, 18 open. Course plans to be fully open by tomorrow. I don't know, is it worth playing when it like this or should I have done something else today?