A Hole in One: Not an impossible dream!

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Sister Act : Jenny and I on our respective Par 3’s at Cowra and Mullumbimby Golf Courses.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I thought  that landing a hole in one was an impossible dream. Something only achieved by golf whisperers,  players who can actually play the game with some finesse and seem able to coax, caress and cajole their clubs and balls  into behaving beautifully, fulfilling  golfing desires. Players like my sister, Jenny who after many years of playing A grade and representative golf,  landed her first hole in one last year at Cowra Golf Club. Teeing off on the 5th, a Par 3 with her trusty nine iron, Jenny saw her ball sail toward the pin. However, it was only when she and her group walked down to the hole, that she could celebrate.  Her ball was lying there, nestled in the cup! Although she has won many events over the years,  she told me that this hole in one was the most special.

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Cowra Golf Course is a beautiful country course in the Central West of NSW.  With lush fairways and  challenging bunkers, there are one or two hills that will give you a cardio workout.  I had a wonderful time playing there with Jenny while  hooning around in her golf buggy. You might like to check out our adventures here.

 

But I thought wrong! Even a relative newcomer to golf such as myself, who  has enjoyed many mishaps on her golfing journey and who steps up to the ball, swings and hopes for the best, can land a hole in one. 

My special moment happened a couple of weeks ago at Mullumbimby Golf Club.

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Beautiful Mullumbimby, a country paradise.

There I was competing in our monthly medal round, hoping against hope that my score wouldn’t blow out too embarrassingly, when the unbelievable happened. It was the 12th hole.  A par 3. The hole is bordered by water on both sides and as I stepped up with my driver,  I remember having a few, stern,  silent words to my pretty blue flowered ball. “Don’t even think about going for a dip in the pond! I know you like to swim but  this isn’t the time for fraternising with the geese. You don’t want to get dirty, I only bought you yesterday … Just fly up in the air and you’ll see how soft and lovely the grass is on the green.”

Maybe my ball listened,  maybe I followed through properly or Lady Luck intervened … I don’t know.  All I know is,  I watched as my ball sailed to the left, curved around and landed softly just before the hole and rolled in.  Picking up my ball from the cup, I actually felt a bit guilty. I know how many really good players are out there who haven’t been rewarded with a hole in one and here was I with one. It didn’t seem fair somehow.

That guilty feeling didn’t stop me from being absolutely thrilled when I was presented with my first sporting trophy since I was the 16 years girls swimming champion at school, something I achieved through participation not skill.

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I think the flowers did it!

What has been particularly heartwarming has been my fellow lady golfers’ reactions. They were genuinely thrilled for me. But that’s golf isn’t it? It’s the comraderie as well as the personal challenge that keep us coming back.  And persevering.   And truly, if I was able to sink a hole in one, there’s hope for all golfers out there.

 

 

Carting it up at Cowra Golf Club

 

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While Golf presents many challenges to the newcomer, it opens up many new ‘fun’ experiences. Last week, I crossed the Blue Mountains and tackled a ‘real’ country course, playing  a social game with my sister, Jenny on her home course in Cowra.

To make the most of the short time available to us, Jenny suggested that ‘carting’  was the only way to go. This was a first for me but I soon learnt that golf carts can add another dimension to your enjoyment of the game and as a bonus, mastered the basics of  ‘golf buggy driving for dummies’.  On a lovely Spring morning,  I  found myself a passenger, with Jenny in Formula I mode, zipping here and there, up and down in this little red rocket.

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Prepared for any  eventuality

All I had to do was sit tight and enjoy the view until …  our balls landed on opposite sides of the fairway. Jenny  parked, grabbed a wood and hopped across the fairway where she  hit an imposing second shot. It soared and soared some more.  Meanwhile, I managed to dribble my  ball  a reasonable distance down the fairway. Not a bad outcome, I thought.

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Yay! No trees for me on this hole!

But then Jenny asked me to drive the cart over and pick her up. “But I can’t drive a cart” I replied.

‘It’s easy, all you do is put your foot down.”  Gingerly, I pressed my foot on the pedal (motorised vehicles and I, have not had a mutually rewarding relationship) and the cart inched its way across the fairway. The red rocket had become a red slug! “Harder” yelled Jenny. I pressed harder and the cart responded. It likes me, I thought as we zoomed over to Jenny. I could get used to this mode of transport, especially on hot, humid summer days!

It was so enjoyable playing with someone who knows the course well. When the greens are fast and the bunkers are lurking,  such knowledge is invaluable.

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Loved that there was no water to negotiate, only the odd bunker or two or three.

 Alas, they haven’t invented a personal golfing drone which can fly around you, assess your game and make suggestions for improvement as you are playing, but I think my sister,  Jenny is the next best thing.  For  weeks, I had been having trouble with teeing off and hitting on the fairway and I didn’t know what was wrong.  In practice, all seemed well, but as soon as I was on the course … disaster! What Jenny picked up was that I had taken some of the coaching tips too literally. I practiced my chipping, being mindful to put my weight on the front foot. Then, when I was instructed to tee off the front foot, I thought that meant that my weight had to be on the front foot when I did that too. I didn’t realise that I was trying to hit balls like a one legged stork!  Once I was playing on an even keel, everything was better. I was even able to hit out of the rough in front of Jenny’s friends, Robert and Warwick. Even though I felt like a murderer, beheading innocent daisies in the process.

Golf finished and some bargains found at the Pro shop, where the new golf Pro, Nathan Stubbs was having a sale, it was time to return home for a leisurely lunch.

Spring has sprung at Cowra and Jenny’s garden was bursting with colour.

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The first roses are out as is the wisteria.
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The may bushes and daisies overlook Cowra in the distance

I loved looking out through the rose arbour, over the paddocks and seeing them dotted with sheep and lambs.

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I know they’re small, but the lambs are there!

And of course I had to say hello to Marjorie, Jenny’s pet lamb who is now a very large sheep. It was time for her annual haircut and it was funny to see how her friends in the paddock didn’t recognise her after Paul had  shorn her!

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This is Marjorie looking sheepish and trying to hide in the grass now her fleece has gone.

All too soon, our visit to Cowra came to an end but I’m looking forward to my next visit when perhaps I’ll tackle the whole 18 holes. Country golf courses are so worth exploring!