I knew very little about The Cut prior to our foray down Australia‚??s west coast to Port Bouvard. ¬†To me it sounded like one of those innocuously named drinking establishments, where the proprietor after having come out of a local Polytechnic with a marketing degree conjured something utterly brilliant to them and them alone. ¬†However as always I kept an open mind. ¬†Which as we all know is dangerous, because people inevitably insist on putting things in it. ¬†¬†
Georgia put together a packed lunch that the Queen herself would‚??ve been pleased to unravel on a balmy summer afternoon at Balmoral. ¬†To keep the bounty from decay we used one of those little chilly bins on wheels that looks like a suitcase Frodo Baggins might take on his holidays to The Ritz Middle Earth. ¬†At first I‚??d gathered the intention was to wheel this fing ‚??round the course ‚?? which might well ‚??ave attracted sideways glances, perhaps even ridicule, from the militant kangaroos marshalling proceedings. ¬†Thankfully however Ned pulled The Golden Chariot into a wee side road near The Cut that instead took us down to the point where Australian meets Indian. ¬†What a gorgeous spot for a picnic it was too. ¬†In true vagrant fashion we opened up the boot of the Chariot and sat on the tray, munching down ham and cheese rolls with the enthusiasm of a thousand Oliver Twists as a pod of dolphins meandered by. ¬†Georgia had packed mango cake into the care package too, so we were well fed and slightly comatose by the time we rolled out of the car. ¬†An ideal preparation. ¬†
Grant is the human responsible for all things golf at The Cut (ugly matters such as F&B and accommodation he leaves to less fortunate souls). ¬†Grant is also ‚?? as the ‚??Strayans might say ‚?? a bloody good bloke. ¬†This is a phrase that‚??s thankfully disappeared from my vernacular in recent months, having crept in on the back of 80 days of desert exploration earlier this year. ¬†Semantics aside, y‚??er man would charm the clothes even the most ardent of lesbians. ¬†After a brief chat chat and argument about whether or not we should take carts, we started chasing the little rabbit. ¬†
No less than 7 balls were struck from between the black plates before it was safe to venture onwards. ¬†Ned‚??s first blow was particularly amusing to the rest of us, although less so to Himself. ¬†To the right of the fairway is a stretch of snake ridden brush; to the right of that is an apartment block and swimming pool below. ¬†Had someone been swimming at the time they might well have been knocked out cold by Ned‚??s Titleist 2. ¬†If the green lay at North on the compass, Ned‚??s tee shot took a course of East North East (nigh on due East by The End). ¬†At times like these one wonders whether they know the victim will enough to burst into deep lung laughter. ¬†I decided quickly that I did, and so commenced a Gallus Giggle.
The opening hole itself is in truth one of the better ones we‚??ve come across in recent months, save for the green (which has all the charm of a bad joke). ¬†Still it‚??s a cracker, similar in a way to the first at New south Wales ‚?? except it climbs to the left, not the right. ¬†By the time your legs carry off the back of the green to the next tee an impression starts to form in your mind that The Cut isn‚??t going to be a gentle walk. ¬†
Any traces of lethargy though soon give way to humility. ¬†The Injun Ocean opens up before your eyes in all its deep blue splendour. ¬†Immediately as an insignificant human being In The Scheme Of Things one feels small and of less consequence than a falling leaf. ¬†I must confess the next thing that entered my head was a Great White Shark ‚?? and a wonder as to how many were circling in those waters in the hope of a tasty meal. ¬†Opportunists that they are.
As we paced down the path from the 2nd tee Ned was sharing a tale as he does from time to time. ¬†When he retired, Ned threw his mobile phone ceremonially into a river. ¬†How liberating that must feel. ¬†If we all pause for a moment‚??s introspection I dare say each and every one of us has been tempted by the same prospect. ¬†Ned did it and good on him. ¬†I like a man that‚??s moved by his eccentricities and convictions.
Adjacent to the 2nd fairway is an ominously empty apartment block, no doubt now selling at circa 40% discounted rates. ¬†Sign o‚?? the times. ¬†On such a confrontingly beautiful stretch of coastline how sad it is that someone‚??s gone to the trouble of erecting a big white plastic box only for no one to make it their home. ¬†
From the 5th to the 9th The Cut takes you through the houses that have actually found owners. ¬†Miraculously though these holes weren‚??t contrived or mere money spinners ‚?? as so often can be the case with such developments ‚?? but rather well designed creatures in their own right. ¬†The par 5 5th was particularly good we thought. ¬†
10 may be one of the hardest par 4s in Australia: a sod of a hole that snakes through a corridor of snake territory. ¬†More terrifying than the hole itself was the dragoon of Little Rascals using the tee for a recreational game of bull rush. ¬†We asked politely whether they'd relinquish their playground for a a few moments while we teed off; mercifully they obliged but that didn't stop them ridiculing our Kiwi accents as we hit away. ¬†"I'm beached bro!". ¬†"That didn't even get past the blues..." ¬†Tykes.
From 11 onwards ‚?? right to the finish ‚?? it‚??s fairly breathtaking stuff. ¬†Fun too, especially if you have the Director of Golf to tell you where to hit it. ¬†Grant played the kind of golf I like to watch and wish more people would play ‚?? walk up, have a quick waggle and strike without delay. ¬†Not even a faint suggestion of hesitation. ¬†Lo and behold his methods worked wonders too, his score probably being close to par (on a course where peril along with death and taxes becomes the only certainty in life).
Coming down the stretch a happy glow gripped my face. ¬†The sort of happy glow that‚??s only found when cold beer, hot sun and a good links track come together as naturally as Adam and Eve. ¬†Despite the carefree look in the eyes of two score kangaroos lining the 18th fairway, I knew in that moment that life for us must be better than it is for them. ¬†Because We have links golf.
JP ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†
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