On this fine Tuesday we played at Remuera, which is a fine course. We had fine company too - in Geoff and, on the back 9, Liz - so everything, in fact, was fine. Except for the fact that my eye balls are sunburnt. I need sunglasses.
I also need some serious swing surgery, because today the ball was traveling to all corners. On several occasions Geoff cheerily informed me that he'd NEVER seen anyone hit the ball where I had. Confidence building stuff. I will say though that on each occasion I managed to scrape together a par - albeit a bandit one. Michael played far prettier golf than I did, but again he fell victim to crap-putting-itis. He had 40 putts, none of which were singles - every putt he hit was either preceded or followed by another. I had my own worries too - aside from the pinball style golf - including a 2 stroke penalty on the 13th for playing the wrong ball on the green. Careless.
Remmers is a pretty pleasant place to spend a Tuesday afternoon. Taking its name from the affluent suburb in which the course sits, Remuera doesn't feel like a place that's short of a buck. The facilities were extensive and, from what I saw, first class. The grounds were mature, and to reach the carpark one must first navigate a long, snaking driveway. There's something about long driveways...they make a place feel infinitely more stately. Another notable experience was my chicken and avocado sandwich, which Geoff kindly shouted me before our round. Sumptuous. At Remuera even the sandwiches are posh (NB: I use that term in a positive way).
The golf course itself is undergoing renovations and, I understand, has been for several years. Geoff was of the opinion that these are for the better; subscriptions, he said, were up - so they must be doing something right. There are a couple of temporary holes in play, but they didn't feel all that temporary - in that their temporary greens would be the envy of a few greenkeepers around the country. My compliments to the greens staff. The same congratulations must go to Dad's Army, who do voluntary work on the course every Tuesday, pruning the roses and so on. You couldn't count the number of flower beds on the course - so Dad's Army must be a very busy bunch indeed. We met a couple of their number today on the 8th tee - good humans.
Our companion for the day - Geoff - offered a balance of good conversation and quick wit. The further around we got, the more intense the sledging got. When we play with him again next week I'll feel comfortable getting in his ear from the outset. On a more serious note, it was interesting picking his brains about The First Tee (he is on the Board, and was one of those that got it off the ground) and his other business interests. Geoff appears to have a good few strings to his bow. The same could be said for the lovely Liz McKinnon, who joined us for a hit on the back 9. Liz is a pro, manages the junior section of New Zealand Golf, and has a 10 month old daughter - Aileee - whom she brought around with us today. Having played on the European Tour for a few years, sbe can certainly hit a golf ball, and was only too happy to offer a couple of much needed swing tips (although probably in vain). Liz has also worked with The First Tee, and is running a Pro Am fundraising event at Clearwater on the 21st of Feb - the proceeds of which will go through The First Tee, specifically earmarked for developing junior girls' golf in Christchurch. If you'll be in the area, there are still a couple of spots left (teams encouraged) - click here for further info.
The more and more involved we get with The First Tee, the more good people we meet. I don't think it's a coincidence that the program attracts these wholesome humans - it's obviously got something special, something that these people 'get'. Whatever it is, it has clicked with Michael and I - although I have never before been described as a "wholesome human", and I'm not about to label myself as such. Seriously, though, get in behind it. Check out the website; learn about it; if you want more info ask for it; if you feel moved by what they do, donate whatever you can (no amount too small) to them through our site. The more kids that go through this program, the better. It's quite simply really.
Think we might start interviewing playing partners - with their permission - after each round, with a list of 5 basic Qs. Input invited.
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