Saturday, June 21, 2008
Got over there and the parkinglot was vacant - perfect! -- the temp was 113, but I got my blue gatorade, wet a towel with cold water for my neck, and headed for the first tee. There was a single still floundering around out in the fairway and while I hadda wait a bit. After I'd hit, another single pulled up . . . if he's crazy enough to play in this heat I didn't figger he'd slow me down, so I said, "Y'all wanna play? There's a single I want to play thru up there."
He said he was game so he hit without much preamble, we shook hands, and ambled off in our separate carts down the fairway . . .
Now . . . Pace of Play is another one of those things that everyone talks about but nobody ever does anything about . . . and it's always someone else's fault, if you know what I mean . . . anyways, after the incident in Texas a few years back, I've been a little skittish about the issue, tho' that hasn't lessened my strong feelings on the issue . . . I've been on both sides of the deal, and so I feel I am objective, nonetheless:
- once my friend Scotty & I played at Gus Wortham on a Friday Afternoon, since I was going out of town that weekend, and we figgered to walk a quick 9 on the way to the airport, but we played so fast -- at one point playing thru a single -- that we got all 18 in, and I still made the plane! The look on that duffer's face as he skulked in the woods while we played thru . . . 8^D. . .
- another time, at Scott Schreiner in Kerrville, I was playing by myself, walking, trying to stay ahead of a 4some of Retirees on a very hot afternoon . . . just before I dropped from exhaustion, I finally waved them thru . . . they were thru and gone before I caught my breath . . .
- there were many times at Walden, when Scotty & I were played thru by jokers smoking big cigars, racing around in their carts, while we were walking . . . it sorta upset me sometimes, like seeing someone guzzle a fine wine or wolfing down fine cuisine, rather than savoring the exquisiteness of Walden, if you see what I mean . . .
So this fella, Craig, & I raced around Sanctuary on a sweltering Friday Afternoon . . . at one point he said, "I figger the quicker the better at 113 degrees." If I had my druthers, I'd be walking, in the Thoreauvean sense, but this is Arizona, one just can't be walking around in 113 degrees playing golf . . . you just can't carry enough water.
One might ask why we would play golf under such dire conditions, and we might answer about our Love of Golf, or the attraction of deserted golf courses, or the fun of Rapid Play . . . or we might just say if you have to ask, you won't ever understand, anyway . . . I had a woman ask me once if it ever got too hot to play golf, and I said. "No. It might get too cold to play golf, if there's actually snow on the ground, high winds, ice falling from trees, and the threat of frost-bite, but as long as you got enough water, it can't ever be too hot to play golf."
We played in 2 hours, from 3:45 to 5:45. He had a hard-luck 88, and I had an 85, with 6 missed-birdie-putts.
The greens had just been top-dressed (aerated and sanded) and I figger that cost me at least 2 birdies, not to mention some other lost strokes for par, and the same for Craig . . . the balls weren't rolling very true, and the speeds were very inconsistent . . . on 3 downhill lies with short-irons, I came over-the-top and airmailed the green . . .I had 3 straight "virtual-birdies" on 6-7-8 (using the desert-drop-rule), which I don't know whether to attribute to Rapid Play or to say despite Rapid Play. . . didn't have any eagle chances on the 3 par 5s (6iron to the greenside bunker on #4, bladed chip on #13, fairway bunker on #18) nor on any of the short par 4s.
The cart-barn youngster was teasing Craig that he'd taken so long to get around (everybody there seems to know Craig), so I apologized for slowing him down that extra half-hour, which was good for a laugh . . . then we high-fived and promised to do it again, soon, was good fun . . . then we raced home to dinner.