For some reason I enjoy Golf. Maybe its the joy of tromping around in high heat and humidity. Maybe its the pert caddies. Maybe its for that one-in-a-thousand shot amongst all the slices, duffs, shanks, hooks, and missed putts. Take your pick. So although I am a serious duffer I quite welcome the opportunity to get out on the course for a few holes and into the clubhouse for a few beers post-play.
It was not too difficult to convince me therefore to enter into a charity tournament a few weeks back at New Kuta Golf. The tournament was held to benefit the R.O.L.E. Foundation. It could've been a benefit for the society of wayward oilfield expats for all I care - any excuse is a good reason to play.
So Sunday afternoon Buddy and I found ourselves on the Tee box with a cooler full of beer, waiting for the third member of our flight to show up. Now usually I recommend playing golf with strangers. Its a great way to meet people and its always surprising to find out who knows who. But this time was different. This time our stranger was Mr 18 handicap. I sure 18 handicap has a real name but I really don't care if he does. Anyone who introduces themselves by announcing their handicap is a social equivalent of the guy at the party who talks constantly about his Mercedes parked out front. Furthermore I have serious doubts about anyone wearing sweatbands on a golf course.
After making his presence known 18 handicap then proceeded to the tee box to make his drive. Buddy and I watched in anticipation. We waited while 18 handicap made a few cursory practice swings with his thousand dollar graphite driver. We waited some more while 18 handicap made impressive faux measurements of topography and wind velocity using only his driver - apparently now it was also a sextant, surveying device and anemometer. We waited while 18 handicap made minuscule adjustments to his stance while simultaneously moving his head up towards his target and back down towards the ball - perhaps he was concerned that either the fairway or the ball would disappear if he took his eyes off it - who knows. All I know it was taking way too long to make this shot. Jeez Louise I thought, just hit the damn ball already. Finally 18 handicap took his stroke and fired the ball 260 yards straight into a gully. What a putz! Now there is nothing in golf better than watching someone you don't like make a spectactular bad shot. Makes you feel warm all over. In our case it meant that 18 handicap had to go through his interminable routine all over again but in a way it was worth it. Buddy took advantage of the delay by burying himself in the beer cooler. Not a bad place to be.
Several hours (and beers) our little flight has the dubious distinction of being the last people on the golf course. Thanks to 18 handicap by the time we had finished everyone else had gone home. As the Marshall handed me my door prize he mentioned , "we had to put 18 handicap with you and buddy pj - no one else would play with him".
Now you tell me.