The wettest day of puregolf2010, without a doubt. But what fun we had at Club Pelican anyway.
The madness kicked off with a photo shoot for the local rag, The Sunshine Coast Daily. Brett had us in all sorts of compromising poses. Photographers have had real fun with us this year; we are but putty in their hands. Dean - the Pro at Club Pelican, who joined us on course - waited patiently and even lent a hand in procuring props for the photo shoot (cart, "USA?" sign, clubs, etc). Bless him. Eventually Brett had his shot, and it was down to business.
Dean's a Kiwi of Central Otago extraction, and has lived in our stomping ground (Christchurch) for the last few years. Christchurch being the big village that it is - with 2 degrees of separation - he knows a lot of folk we've grown up with, including one of our good mates, Dougie. What a small world. Anyway he only recently came to Club Pelican, some 4 months ago, but seems to be settling in nicely (he lives with his partner in a plush apartment in the adjacent Crowne Plaza Hotel, overlooking the 18th hole). He's also in the process of building his client base, so if you live in the area and are looking for a lesson (top value at $90 p/hour), drop him a line.
The golf was pretty slow; the group 2 or 3 ahead rather selfishly played at snail like pace and held the rest of us up. Initially this was aggravated by the torrential rain too. But once we were so wet that we no longer cared and indeed embraced our lot (this only took a couple of holes), nothing really fazed us and we just enjoyed each other's company. God we got wet. No umbrellas; waterproofs were about as effective as tissue paper; and the rain seemed to be coming from both sides and above. Hilarious. The cat that named this place the Sunshine Coast was having a laugh - and was probably a Scotsman.
The rain aside we managed to appreciate what a quality layout Club Pelican is. You may have heard of the designer - a chap by the name of Gregory Norman. Apparently he has blonde hair and can play a bit. Word around the traps is that his golf courses tend to be too hard, and can't be played with much enjoyment by The Average Golfer. Certainly we've seen glimpses of this at some of the other Norman tracks we've encountered this year, but I don't agree entirely with the murmurings of the masses. In any event it's certainly not the case with Club Pelican, which is very fair.
CP has some cracking holes too. Like the 16th, a par 5 that narrows and narrows and narrows as you approach the green. Or the 5th, a dogleg left par 4 that's bordered entirely on the left by water, has a stream guarding the front of the green and is patrolled by several officious looking kangaroos. Or the 12th, a short par 4 that's driveable off the members' tees in favourable conditions, is listed in some book as one of 1001 holes you must play before you die, and holds particularly fond memories for me because it was kind enough to give me a birdie.
Standing on the 14th tee (waiting, of course) the rain got as heavy as rain can possibly get. There was a lovely moment where we all stood there, looked at each other and laughed. No one moved a muscle. When the time came to step up and hit the wee white thing, there was a sense of anticipation among the others - none of us knew which way the ball was going to go (and whether the club was going to fly in the same direction).
On 16 I flew a 3 wood into the greenside trap, which is also home to a small forest (not small actually, just a forest). On this occasion it was also home to a lake. My ball was 10 inches under water and, under normal circumstances, I would've taken a casual water drop. But because I was so wet this was too good an opportunity to miss. Dean readied the camera; I waded into the middle of the "bunker"; and swung for dear life. Needless to say I didn't make contact with my ball; all I hit was H2O. Good clean fun.
By the time we reached the 18th tee green it was pretty well pitch black. If I hadn't been a guest of Club Pelican, I would've told the muppets in front just what I thought of their slow, selfish play. But I was and therefore I didn't. However I can name and shame them: Tom Wilkinson, James O'Callaghan, Phil Terry and Joe McLaughlin. (I read the timesheet). If you jokers are reading this, get your act together.
On a more serious note (those weren't their real names, I didn't think to look at the timesheet until 30 seconds ago), slow golf didn't tarnish what was a pearler of a day. Sure, we were glad of a hot shower at the end - but having embraced our soaked state early in the piece, we just got on with it and had a good time. 'Twas particularly nice to chew the fat with a fellow Kiwi on the way round, and interesting to compare notes on cultural differences between the humans on each side of the Tasman Sea.
Thanks Club Pelican (Dean, in particular) for making Day 111 a memorable one.
A soaked JP
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