Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life Gets in the Way

I've played only 27 holes over the past three weeks, as "real life" has taken precedence.

My last full round of golf took place on Saturday September 13th, as I shot a solid, bounce-back 74 (+2) at St. Catharines from the blue deck after my horrific 85 the weekend previous.

This was to be good preparation for the Niagara Men's Tour finale, scheduled to take place the next day at Thundering Waters GC.

However, we got hit with heavy rains on Saturday night and Thundering Waters closed their doors for the day on Sunday, leaving the Tour without a course to play. So the event was rescheduled to the following Sunday and I just stayed at home and watched football.

I had to go to Toronto for a set of business meetings from Monday to Wednesday but a really scary, almost life-changing accident took place on Tuesday night.

My wife, who is eight months pregnant, was trying to carry a piece of cake into our family room when her foot gave out and she fell...right on her stomach.

Thankfully, her cousin was able to get to our house to take her to the hospital while I sped home from Toronto to meet her at the hospital.

Initial tests showed that the baby's heartbeat was still strong...thank goodness! However, my wife suffered a broken foot in the accident and in addition to some other complications earlier in the pregnancy, its resulted in her not being mobile whatsoever.

So I had to get her a wheelchair for the house so she could get from the bed to the washroom and I also had to take Wednesday and Thursday off work to take care of her. One of her good friends was nice enough to take the day off on Friday so I could go into work but unfortunately, there was no one available to help out on the weekend.

That meant I had to cancel my tee off time on Saturday that I had at St. George's G&CC, one of the top-rated courses in Canada...a course I had waited YEARS to get an invitation to. Devastation is the only word. I did end up playing a quick nine with Cal in the AM but my heart wasn't in it whatsoever and headed home quickly after a nice breakfast.

It also meant that I wasn't able to participate in the season finale on the Niagara Men's Tour, which was rescheduled for Sunday at Ussher's Creek (Thundering Waters was unavailable). This was a huge blow, as I was in position to possibly win the whole Tour after winning the previous event at LochNess Links.

But family comes first.

Thankfully, we got great news on Monday, as we had a followup ultrasound appointment and everything looks great with our future child. What a huge relief! And my wife, while still having lots of trouble, can at least put a little bit of weight on the walking cast she has, so she can use a walker to get around some of the time.

Not sure how much golf there will be for the rest of '08. I'm hoping to get out once this weekend so we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. The golf season is really starting to wind down and my game is beginning to suffer quite a bit after all of the tournament grinding I've done this year.

Quick update on the past couple weeks on the course. It will become quite clear why I haven't wanted to talk about golf lately ;)

On Labour Day weekend, I played golf all three days. On Saturday, I shot an ugly 80 in preparation for a fun little money game held Sunday morning at the esteemed Mississauga municipal course Lakeview, which has held two Canadian Opens in the past.

What a neat little course! It tops out at only about 6300 yards from the tips and the course rating and slopes aren't anything to write home about. However, this has to be one of the tighter tracks I've ever played. A Canadian Tour event was held the previous weekend so the rough was up quite a bit and I had two shots where I barely advanced the ball in the thick grass.

There were 20 guys out for the mini-tournament, with everyone throwing $50.00 into the pot. There was money for skins, for a team game (four man best ball) and for individual scores.

I made two deuces in the round but still could only muster an 80 (+9). Our team (which included Bernie and Joey B) finished second with a -5 total, three shots behind the winners. I finished out of the money in the individual game and both of my birdies were cut up so I left town a loser. Still, a really fun event and I've been invited back for next year so I'm looking forward to tackling Lakeview again. Course knowledge there is probably worth an extra three shots at least.

Monday is was back to St. Catharines for another mediocre round of 79 (+7). By this point, I've completely lost confidence in both my driver and my putting, not a good combination!

This past weekend started a bit more promisingly, as I shot a decent 75 (+3) from the Blues, one of the first times we played that deck all year. The course was soaking wet due to heavy rains on Friday night and it was pretty cold so we decided to move up for one day. I hit 8 fairways and hit 11 greens so I was pretty happy with the result. The putter failed me though, as I only one putted four holes all day.

At least I had a bit of confidence going into Sunday. I brought out a guest from the Men's Tour and he joined Cal and I for the round. I was OK for awhile and was only +2 through the first eight holes before the wheels fell off.

And boy, did they EVER fall off!

I bogeyed the ninth then missed about a two footer for par on the 10th after hitting a great little lob shot from a horrible lie. +4 through 10.

I mention to Cal that the round feels very similar to my second round in Club Championships and he asks if I'm going to mail it in from here.

Haha. He was spot on!

I snap hooked my tee shot on 11 into the long grass on the left, a place I've NEVER been before. I hit my second off a tree and it ricochetted right back into the hazard.

Then I did it again!

I finally duffed it out then proceeded to SHANK my next shot almost out of bounds right.

Lying five, with both Cal and Phil laughing their ass off, I just shout "I'm done!"


I'd continue the awesome play by pulling my tee shot on the par three 12th into the hazard and making another double. I'd bogey the 13th and 14th as well before finally making my first par on the backside on the 15th. I'd par 16, bogey 17 then triple (!) 18 after nailing a gorgeous slice onto the #406 highway.

My score? 39-46-85 and that's a "Computer" 85, as equitable stroke control dictates that I take a maximum of a double on any given hole.

Worst round of the year by far from a playing perspective and I just don't have any fight left in me. It will be very interesting to see if I can get up for the last Men's Tour event, which takes place on Sunday afternoon at Thundering Waters GC.

I always play better when the outcome means something so I'm hopeful that my poor play lately is just an abberation.

Time will tell.

I'm not sure I'll be doing an Oviinbyrd writeup but we'll see. Kind of tough to talk about the course without pics, as I don't want to go against their wishes of having photos splashed on the web.