There’s always the risk of a disaster hole in a medal round

2011-01-27 00:00

A MEDAL round always carries the risk of having a disaster hole. It’s the same challenge each time we play medal. Avoid a disaster, we keep reminding ourselves. In theory, the lower the golfer’s handicap, the less chance there is of racking up a big score on a hole, but it happens. Let me tell you about an incident a couple of weeks ago.

A golfer was having a good round in the Monthly Mug, and then a freaky thing happened. He had a relatively easy shot to the green on a par four. He inexplicably hit his ball off line; it hit a tree and rebounded into a position where he had to slice his third shot to find the putting surface.

He tried but hit it straight out of bounds. He dropped another ball and hit it 20 metres short of the green in the rough (that’s five shots played). Then his playing companion said that he had found his original ball and it was not out of bounds, so he picked up his provisional ball only to find that the ball that was found in bounds, was not his.

Now what? He had played five shots, lost a ball and his provisional ball was in his pocket.

He was mortified. He had felt this agony before, the dreaded realisation that he had fallen victim to the cruel luck that the game metes out to golfers week in and week out the world over. The golf gods had got him… or was it the fickle finger of fate?

He could hardly think straight but it was imperative not to enter a “no return”.

Should he go back to the place where he hit the ball out of bounds? That would be his seventh shot and there must surely be some sort of penalty for lifting his ball.

Before going through all of the options of what he could or should have done, which does include playing two balls and getting a ruling later, he took the advice of one of his playing companions and dropped a ball where his provisional ball was lying before he lifted it.

He chipped onto the green and two putted. That’s an eight. Our golfer knew that there was a penalty of one or two shots to be added. It turned out to be only one stroke, so he recorded a nine. (See Rule 27,2b). It destroyed his afternoon.

Much later at the 19th hole, he took great delight in describing his misfortune blow by blow. What a strange bunch we golfers are.

Last weekend’s results:

Maritzburg Golf Club held its annual Royal Cape Trophy competition on Saturday. The winners were D. Trodd, D. Bottomley, T. Engelbrecht and B. Woods on 210 net. In second place were J. Naidoo, V. Harry, L. Franklin and D. Zeelie on 211 net.

Victoria Country Club held a four-ball alliance on Saturday. The winners on 93 point were A. De Valence, K. Perumal, C. Harvey and R. Naidoo. In second place on 92 points were R. Kleinhans, B. Fourie, R. Davis and P. Claasens.

From the 19th hole:

The golf club had an unexpected visitor last week. David Hasselhoff walked in and ordered a beer. Alex the barman said, “It’s a pleasure to serve you Mr Hasselhoff.”

“Just call me Hoff,” said the actor.

“Sure,” said Alex. “No hassle.”

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