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FORE! - Defeat followed by instant revenge
HAVING Thursday and Friday as my weekend quite often makes it tricky for me to find golf partners, so when my friend Russ revealed he had a week off work, I quickly persuaded him to play both days.
Russ has quite possibly the fastest swing you are ever likely to witness. If I tried to swing as hard as he does, I very much doubt I would even make contact with the ball.
Of course, there has to be a drawback, and Russ’ problem is a slice, which he generally controls by aiming well left of the target. A great strategy until he hits one straight.
Our first round was something of a titanic struggle, with the lead passing back and forth between us over the course of the front nine and both of us playing some decent stuff.
There was nothing between us as we stood on the 11th, where I crumbled under the pressure while Russ excelled.
I got extremely lucky when my tee shot somehow ricocheted out of a deep drainage ditch and then proceeded to hack my way up the hole on the way to a nine.
Russ on the other hand hit a perfect three-wood and then smashed a nine-iron the best part of 200 yards onto the green to set up an eagle putt. Sadly, he three putted, but the par earned him a four-shot swing.
My spirit was all but broken and it was well and truly smashed at the 15th, when I took four shots to get out of a bunker, making my position unrecoverable.
I got my revenge the following day as Russ failed to hit form and also enjoyed a real ding-dong battle with my old nemesis – brother in law Steve.
There was nothing in it after the front nine and while Russ fell away, Steve hit form at the start of the back nine and was three shots ahead with just four holes left.
I clawed two back when he made a mess of the 15th and 16th holes, meaning there was only one in it approaching the tricky par-three 17th. I went first and hit a fine shot, leaving the ball around 15 feet from the hole, but Steve got inside that and we both made par.
The game looked up when I duffed my way down the last, a par-five, while Steve was up near the green in two. However, his short game let him down. I putted out from about 25 feet to make par, leaving Steve needing to hole a six-foot tester to level.
Sadly, he made it.
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