Day 45! Time flies when you're having fun. Before we know it we'll be on the back nine of puregolf2010...
After my century at Gulf Harbour yesterday, I was keen to put things right by playing proper golf at Omaha. And thankfully, for the most part, I did. In fact, Day 45 couldn't really have gone much better.
Omaha is about an hour north of Auckland, on the Hibiscus Coast. Google Maps failed us (actually, I should say, Vodafone failed us) in our hour of need, as we sped up the highway without any real idea of where we were going. "No Service." Fantastic. Our driver - friend, Ben, aka Pato - followed his nose, and got us to the course on time. Well done Ben. It showered most of the way up, but the clouds burned off as we neared the sandspit that is Omaha, leaving us mercifully dry for the most part.
On arrival we were warmly greeted by the lovely Kat. The 8 of us - Mike and I; his folks; Mike's Auntie Jane (from our sponsor, Westfield) and partner Sarge; friends Pato and Mon - then readied ourselves, and laid down the all important haggles for the day:
1. The lowest stableford score of the 8 would attract a penalty of two dry weetbix, puregolf2010 style (consumed straight after the round, without liquids)
2. The second lowest stableford score would attract a penalty of one dry weetbic
3. Michael and I would play our usual February match on the side: lose by 1-5 stablefords, and eat 2 weetbic; lose by 6 or more and you eat 3.
Happily Mike had 29 points to my 35, his being the second lowest of the day (the honour of the lowest going to Pato's girlfriend, Monica). So 4 weetbix for Mike (time: 4 minutes, 45 seconds); 2 for Mon (time: 4 minutes, 40 seconds - very disappointing).
On a more serious note, the course was quality. Originally a 9 holer, in the past decade (2002, I think Kat said?) another 9 were added across the road. The course sits on a fairly narrow isthmus / sandspit, but the designer has somehow managed to avoid a feeling of chlosterophobia. It's a real links, although there are low trees lining several of the holes. The real challenge is avoiding the long stuff - which is very, very long. And messy. If you stay out of it, you can score at Omaha, as it's not that long. Provided the wind doesn't blow you over, that is. Thankfully the wind was fresh but not gale force, so conditions were manageable.
Looking back on the round I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that there is out of bounds or hazard to the left of almost every hole (bar one or two). For a guy that plays a strong draw, that's pretty hairy stuff. As Jeff commented, though, on a lot of holes there was room right, so I did have room to breathe. Hmmmm.
Overriding impression: lovely course, and very hospitable staff. Kat generously shouted Michael and I lunch, and an Omaha Beach polo shirt to take away as a reminder of our day there. We were also fortunate to meet the greenkeepers on the deck afterwards, who told us a bit about the place and about their plans to put more bunkers in on the back nine. Gulp. (Probably a good plan, in all seriousness, just to tighten it up slightly).
Like Day 38 at Ngaruawahia, we enjoyed the company of Jane & the ever mischievious Sarge. As she is prone to doing, Jane led us into a false sense of security on the front nine, and played out of her skin on the back. Somehow Sarge and I - from 3 up - managed to halve the match...again. Fair play to Jane, though; she hit the ball well and managed to carry Mike through the back 9 (notwithstanding that he actually started playing some golf of his own). I suspect her handicap will continue its downward spiral, as she plays more regularly - her swing is better than mine, and I'm off 8!
Sarge's banter was less severe than the other day, but he still managed to entertain the rest of us the whole way 'round. Jane "Beeaauuutiful" Poole, to her credit, was a good sport, and took it all in her stride. And it was nice to be able to share another one of our days with a sponsor; Jane has been good to us both in her personal capacity, and in her capacity with Westfield. The same goes for Sarge - so a big thank you to both of you for everything (including the wonderful barbeque last night).
The locals thought it was cruel that I made Mike eat 4 dry weetbix - and Mike's parents as they looked on couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor lad. But as he well knows, every dog has his day. And after a 3 day losing streak I saw no cruelty in returning the favours Mike has so happily dished out to me. Banter.
Thanks to Kat and Omaha Beach for a great day - we'll definitely return when back in this neck of the woods. I urge anyone in the area to do the same (and to play a fade if they can...).
In the morning we're meeting with a prospective airline sponsor, hopefully to jack up our flights for the year. Fingers crossed.
Posting comments has been disabled.