Day 345 was the beginning of a 2 week ‚??road trip‚?? from Christchurch around the South Island.¬† It was also a special day for me as first stop was Hanmer Springs, my family holiday destination.
We pulled into Hanmer Springs the afternoon before The Big Match after driving up from Amberley Beach and headed straight to the golf course.¬† As we pulled up to the car park a familiar looking figure was putting out on the 18th green ‚?? my grandfather Ernie Poole.¬† It‚??s been a long time since I saw gramp and he was chuffed that we‚??d made it through to Hanmer early in the afternoon, early enough to get involved with the festivities of closing day at the club.¬†¬† Hanmer Springs is very North Canterbury, gruff genuine people for whom the golf course is a hub for social activity. ¬†Managed with passion by the Stead clan the club is home for local farmers, residents and folk up from CHCH all of whom were getting amongst a few beers and a kiwi BBQ to celebrate another good year of golf.¬†
The club captain, Brian Mustchin, gave us an incredibly warm welcome and after we said a few words about the journey a hat went around for The First Tee.¬† In the far corner of the room was Gramp, listening with intent, so I knew I couldn‚??t mumble my words!¬† Seeing the old bugger was fantastic and as always an opportunity to hear about the latest developments in the rules of golf‚?¶ Once life slows down in a few weeks I‚??m sure we will sit down and compare notes on travels through the UK as he and my grandmother were avid travelers through that part of the world.
Both JP and I had been looking forward to playing Hanmer for quite a while.¬† It‚??s a short course but is very tricky with small greens which look flat but most definitely are not!¬† The front nine the holes play through avenues of silver birch trees, very ‚??New Zealand golf‚?? and then the back nine is played around a ravine with quite a few par threes (4) thrown in the mix.¬† Having played hundreds of rounds here the course is very familiar, but for some reason I was shaking like a leaf with nerves on the first tee.¬† The first tee shot calls for a serious draw, which is not my shot shape, which didn‚??t make life any easier!!¬† An opening double put an end to my hopes of shooting the lights out and from there it was a chance to enjoy Gramps company and that of our playing partners ‚?? Steve Chambers (former club champion and general golf snake) and local farmer Oliver.¬†
Highlights of the day must include two putting ‚??the wrecker‚?? for par and making birdies on the harder couple of holes on the back 13, 15 and 16.¬† It‚??s a fairly generous course off the tee so if you have your pitching game ‚??on song‚?? there are many birdies to be made ‚?? unfortunately neither JP or I were quite there and despite racking up a combined 7 birdies we felt we left a few out there!
But that is the charm of the course ‚?? you walk off it with a smile and wanting to play more.¬† And so, not wanting the Hanmer experience to end and whilst Gramp was preparing one of his famous dinners, Bart and I went out for another whirl.¬† One hour 50 minutes later we were putting out on the 18th again.¬† Brilliant stuff.
Dinner with Gramp never disappoints as his sharp wit steals the show.¬† Unfortunately for Bart and his liars dice skills, he was squarely in the firing line after a poor showing.¬† Signing this visitors book was crucial ‚?? my name has become increasingly rare in it over the last couple of years as life has moved me to the North Island..
I missed seeing my folks whilst I was in Canterbury and big bro was graduating from Med school in Brisbane.¬† Now he‚??s back in NZ for some R&R and right now I think he‚??s up at the holiday house in Hanmer ‚?? I‚??m sure like me he‚??ll feel suitably relaxed after a couple of nights there.¬†
Our next game was at Hokitika GC a pure links course on the West Coast of the South Island. ¬†Part of a long drive from Hanmer Springs to Wanaka. ¬†Whilst Bart is writing the blog, I threw together this video - for all those that don't know, NZ is pure. A few videos showing it off are coming....
Posting comments has been disabled.