WEATHER forecasts can be both a blessing and a curse for golfers in this wonderful country of ours.
When the experts get it right, knowing that rain is on the way is very helpful, saving players a soaking, but it can be very frustrating when they get it wrong.
On numerous occasions, I have been left cursing after waking up to bright sunshine, having cancelled a round due to a poor forecast, but it’s even worse when unexpected rain arrives.
That was the problem encountered by me and three friends when we embarked on a recent round.
The forecast had us believing that, despite the clouds gathering overhead, we would remain dry. Sadly, the weathermen were only correct for our opening hole.
After that, steady drizzle further chastened us as we hacked around, leaving us wet through and in a worse mood than ever.
The scores were less than glamorous, but things reached a head for my friend Russ when we reached the seventh tee.
Having made a good par at the previous hole, he had what can only be described as a nightmare.
He just about made contact with his tee shot, the ball only moving about a yard in a sideways direction, while his second attempt to get going resulted in an air shot, causing him to launch his three-wood about 30 yards down the fairway.
It was at that point that he decided he wanted to use the errant club again, and having retrieved it, his next effort was a duff that didn’t make it as far as his club had moments earlier.
A 12 was the result!
I was not doing much better, with my putting letting me down again. I hit the green with my tee shot at the par-three eighth, but then proceeded to de-green the ball with my first putt, not for the last time during the round.
Russ had more fun on the ninth tee, playing a total of three provisional balls thanks to some more wayward hitting, eventually taking a 10.
Unfortunately for me, my brother-in-law, Steve, somehow managed to rise above this terrible play to lead me by seven shots after 12 holes.
I managed to peg him back to a three-shot lead, but that was as close as it got, with Steve carding a decent round of 98 to reduce my lead in our annual series to 6-4. Squeaky bum time.