Kapi-Mana News : January 3rd 2012
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Our Team: Charlotte, Craig, Wei Wei and James Denture Care Services Call for appointments on 237 8271 firstname.lastname@example.org 3715474AI Fairway to heaven: Triple challenge Weekend golfer and glutton for punishment KRIS DANDO plays 54 holes in one day to see whether it can be done and ends up blistered and sore, but with plenty of appreciation for Porirua's courses. Idiot golfer: The wannabe golfer barely able to raise a smile following the completion of his round at Titahi Golf Club and his 54 holes. You could hear cartilages creaking when he stood up. Thanks to Ollie Adams for taking the photograph. CONTINUED Page 5 My wife cynically accused me of skiving: That's not work, what're you on about?'' Trying to convince her that playing Porirua's three golf courses in a single day, using up a precious day's annual leave, was like trying to sneak the sun past a rooster. A fruitless task. But I was determined and at 5.30am on a drizzly late Novem- ber morning, I was off. There were dual reasons for try- ing something so silly: 1) Despite several years at Kapi-Mana News, I had never played Titahi Golf Club's vener- able nine holes or Judgeford's challenging 18 (despite driving past the latter every day) 2) It was there to be done. First a disclaimer -- I'm a fair golfer, good days and bad, but I'd always likely be a high handicap- per. I stand on the wrong side of the ball (leftie), am straight but not long off the tee, mostly rub- bish from the fairway, and my putting is reasonable. Everything you are about to read is without embellishment; it includes the penalty shots, there was no kicking the ball back on the fairway and I only gave myself gimmes within a few feet. What's the point in writing about the course you played, the scores you made, if it's exagger- ated? Judgeford So, Judgeford at 6am, right after the gates open. Money into the honesty box, gotta love that about rural Kiwi golf courses. Hire a trundler and then set up for my first swing. It's raining quite hard as I tee off, a decent nudge up the fairway, and I am thinking this is brilliant'' -- out among nature at the crack of the day, a solo round of golf in the rain. Awesome. Now, I'm not going to do a blow- by-blow of all 54 holes, despite my diligence in recording scores and very brief impressions after each. But I will say, to the unin- itiated, hole number one at Judgeford is a sod. It's a par five to start, straight uphill, and I struggled. Lost my ball left with my sec- ond, hacked it close with my third, chipped on and three-putted for an eight. Oh boy. Despite enjoying a nice down- hill walk for the second hole, you're back up into the Judgeford badlands for the next five holes. There are three par-threes on the front nine, handy for your weekend golfer, and I scored just one over par on those. The 116-metre seventh was eas- ily one of my favourite holes of the entire day -- it's an elevated tee and despite my bogeying it, I had an ahhhh, the serenity'' moment as it was just me, the early morn- ing gloom and noises from ducks and cows. By the long, flat par-five eighth I was swinging well and my confi- dence rose as I took a par on Judgeford's easiest hole, the par- four ninth, where you end up next to State Highway 58. The 10th is terrifying for a leftie with a slice, as a com- muter from the Hutt Valley to Porirua could end up with a golf ball off his windscreen. So I played safe with a little three iron, duffed my second but recovered well enough to record a bogey. After the 10th you're on to the other side of the highway via an underpass and the nature of the course changes. It's flatter and longer and does not involve as much uphill trudg- ing. I was making good time (not long after 7.30am) and amazingly the sun was peeking through. These last eight holes were not pretty for me, as my already- dodgy fairway game went to bits and the putting got worse. For me, this part of Judgeford was lacking in character com- pared with the first 10 holes and I struggled to get any poise addressing the ball. Two con- secutive par fives for holes 12 and 13 make life extra difficult if your energy is flagging -- on 13 I seemed to spend a lot of time with the ball below my feet and I'm just not a good enough golfer to work my way out of it. Back on the clubhouse side, I had a birdie putt on 17th and kept out of trouble to finish with a bogey on the 18th. I'd scored a soul-destroying 93, but was happy with my first hitout ever on Judgeford. The back nine was awful for me, but I enjoyed the experience and will return. I drove out of the gates at 8.40am, well before I thought I would. Doing this challenge is a lot easier on your own, I found, as the day progressed. Pauatahanui I've played Pauatahanui twice before, both on very social occasions. It's a long walk and you need to be accurate but, of the three Porirua courses, it's prob- ably best suited to the occasional or learner golfer. It's a 10-hole layout, wide fairways, zero bunkers, with a relaxed, rural feel. There's just no noise as you're miles away from civilisation. The opening hole is a little nerve-wracking -- hitting off an elevated tee on to a fairway many, many metres away, with a hazard right below you. But I was warmed up by now and placed my opening drive smack in the middle of said fair- way. Chip to pin high about 12 feet from the hole, two-putt, par. I was right out of the blocks and had a spring in my step. A bogey on the second (good off the tee, shanked my way to the hole) was followed by two more on the third and fourth, which are 420-metre par fives. The par three fifth is scary -- 139m straight uphill. I came up well short but chipped close and recorded a par. Along with Judgeford's seventh hole, Pauatahanui's sixth has that stop and reflect'' feel about it as you're probably at the highest point on the course, hitting from an elevated tee.
December 27th 2011
January 10th 2012