Friday, February 15, 2008

Golf Match #7 Larry Establishes His Dominance

Bill and I played match #7 last Sunday. It did not go well for Bill as I closed out our W*****/VQ Cup match 5.5-1.5. The final score on Sunday was 85-87.

I played relatively solid on the front nine and eventually built up a 7 stroke lead before I slid back and Bill started playing better on the back nine. He never led and after the first few holes he was never closer than 2 strokes.

There was not anything special about the round except for the dispute I got into with a golfer named Tom who was in our foursome.

Tom and his friend Larry were paired with us for the round. Tom is a new member of the country club and probably a 15 handicap. I am guessing that he is of Japanese descent. The tee times were set up as a shotgun start because there was a tournament later in the day that the club needed to set up.

We started on the 5th hole and by the 8th hole, Bill and I realized that Tom and Larry were very slow golfers. On the 8th green, Bill and I had finished our putts while Tom and Larry were still reading their putts. Since the group in front of us was already on the 9th green and there was a fivesome waiting on the 8th Tee, we decided to speed up play and tee off on the 9th hole.

Bill had already teed off and I was into my preshot routine, when Tom called over to me, “Excuse me I don’t mean to be rude, but I believe I have honors.”

I looked at Bill and asked, “Is he serious?” Bill shrugged his shoulders.

I backed off and was going to start my routine again, when Tom explained, “You can’t go against the rules of golf, this is a country club after all.”

I picked up my ball on the tee and explained, “We play ready golf here. The group ahead of us is already on the green and the fastest golfer in the club is waiting behind us. I don’t want to get yelled at by him.”

Tom did not like that explanation and proceeded to put his ball down and tee off. I was in shock. He never raised his voice and he was very polite about it, but I could not believe that he was going to play with honors in a casual round of golf. The reason I brought up his race it that maybe because of the importance of tradition in the Japanese culture that he has this belief about playing in turn.

I teed off and sprayed my shot to the right. I quickly realized that I should just let it go and forget about it, because if I spent my mental energy trying to change Tom’s mind, it was going to hurt my golf game.

Bill and I both decided to bear down and play better and not give up the honors the rest of the round. I think we succeeded for all but one or two holes the rest of the day.

The funny part of the round was on the 16th hole. I hit my tee shot to the right and it cleared the fairway bunker and then disappeared. We looked all over and could not find it. So I had to drive back to the tee where, Bob and 4 others were in the process of teeing off. Bob is the one who puts together the weekly game and is the fastest golfer in the club. I explained that I had a lost ball and had to reload. I then told him the story of Tom and his Honors. Bob’s mouth dropped wide open like I had told him Phoenix Country Club was going to host the Masters.

In the Men’s grill after the round, I told the story again and found out that one of the guys was scheduled to play with Tom on Thursday. He promised to straighten him out.

I really don’t have a problem with following the rules of golf. I wanted to help Tom because if he plays slow and follows it up with playing in the correct turn, he won’t find anyone at the club who will play with him.

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