Putting two nines together

2012-04-27 00:00

MANY weekend golfers often can’t put two nines together. How many times in the locker room do you hear about a collapse of 39 on the first nine to 49 on the second nine? What could be the reason for this? It could be the good old South African custom of stopping at the halfway mark for refreshment. Sometimes it’s more than that though — a full meal is eaten. The favourite halfway-house meal countrywide is pie, chips and curry gravy washed down with a bottle of the cold amber liquid.

The golfer with a good first nine would much rather carry on without stopping. In fact, the better the first nine, the more he would prefer to not stop. The break destroys the rhythm and the concentration. The adrenalin is drained from the system that had been pumping so well up to the time of the break.

On the other hand, what about when the reverse applies? A golfer has had a terrible first nine: he has hacked around like a veritable beginner. He welcomes the break. He probably can’t eat anything because he is so frustrated and upset, but he can knock back the contents of a couple of brown bottles. He stands on the tenth tee with a completely different attitude, and lo and behold he plays the second nine brilliantly. He is the typical 49 to 39 case that you also hear about in the locker room.

The “two nines” problem doesn’t apply to professionals. Their problem is to string four good rounds together. Their breaks are from one day to the next. One often sees the leader for the first two rounds crack in the third. Professionals will search for reasons of inconsistency but we weekenders have a good excuse, it’s that break at the halfway-house.

From the 19th hole

A man walked into a supermarket and asked to buy half a head of lettuce.

The young shop assistant working in that department told him that they only sold whole heads of lettuce. The man was so stubborn that the assistant went to ask the manager about the matter.

Walking into the back room, the assistant said to the manager, “Some old idiot wants to buy a half a head of lettuce.” As he finished his sentence, he turned around to find that the man was standing right behind him, so he quickly added, “And this gentleman kindly offered to buy the other half.”

The manager approved the sale and the man went on his way.

Later, the manager said to the assistant, “I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of that situation earlier. We like people who can think on their feet here. Where are you from son?”

“New Zealand, sir,” the assistant replied.

“Why did you leave New Zealand?” the manager asked.

The assistant said: “Sir, there’s nothing but prostitutes and rugby players there.”

“Is that right?” replied the manager. “My wife is from New Zealand.”

“Oh really?” replied the assistant. “Who did she play for?”

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