Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tues 4th May: Green Day at Takanosu Golf Club

Teeing Off At Takanosu

Our party of seven split up into two groups, with four Japanese players in the leading group, and Jaime, Nobu and David bringing up the rear as Nobu was a complete beginner and David an "improving learner"...

Nobu was distinctly nervous at the prospect of teeing-off whereas David was utterly calm. For a start, nobody was following too closely behind us at as we sallied forth to the first hole. Secondly, the prospect of not being the bottom player for the first time in his golfing career was a prospect that David rather relished...

The course at Takanosu consists of a lot of longish narrowish fairways that feature...
  • a lake that wraps round much of the 18th hole and invites you to lose a ball on the approach and another if you overshoot the green...
  • an impossibly huge gully that serves as a gigantic maw for weaker players' balls...
  • a craftily placed stream just right to receive the ball of anybody (such as myself) who needs two shots to get 200 yards from the tee.
  • a gaping bunker just in front of a par three green, complete with a steep bank on the green side...
Jaime and Noda were competing for a ¥1,000 prize. What Noda didn't know was that our group was playing the Mulligan rule...

Mrs W was playing with a youngish Japanese chap who had a penetrating drive but a poor finish, by all accounts.
Mrs T was competing with David and Nobu, but took advantage of the ladies tee to keep ahead of the losers.

David's practice session the day before paid off and he managed to avoid double figures right up until the 9th hole, despite stopping for a beer at the fifth. However, after a couple of beers over lunch David's performance underwent a dramatic transformation. His driving from the tee dramatically improved as he remembered to apply the "transfer weight over right leg to your heel on the upswing" trick and managed to drive two or three balls up to 200 yards in a straight line and also delivered a straight shot with the number 6 iron off the tee on a par 3 hole, landing just short of the green.

However, when it came to driving the golf buggy, David came to grief as he grappled with three golf clubs, the steering wheel and the accelerator which he kept glued to the floor as he took the buggy over a sharp rise and down a slope where the path curved to the left. David got tangled up with his golf clubs and crashed the buggy straight into the fence. Happily, the fence was made of old railway sleepers and did not give way. A quick application of reverse gear and all was put right again, more or less.

Work with the middle irons also faded somewhat until the 18th when David managed to loft the ball onto the green, but by then he had racked up three more double-figure holes and a total score of 141 and a "handicap" of 69!
Nobu struggled with the driver and sent numerous balls out of bounds just a few metres away. On several holes in the second 9, Nobu reached "10" on the fairway, but David couldn't extend his lead because he reached "10" on the green!

Nobu's final score was 163.

Golfer's Progress: Feeble and Ready-To-Halt bring up the rear.

Jaime came in in the low 90's, pipping Noda to the top spot.

It's well worth playing golf at Takanosu if only because the bath feels like heaven afterwards.

In the evening all but Jaime gathered at a Spanish restaurant in town called Barca to celebrate the day.



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