After scoping out the golf course earlier, we were at the Clubhouse just as the rental office opened, ready to play. The signboard indicated that there would be a "Silver Haired" discount for golfers 56 and older, but that identification would be required - passports for foreign tourists. I was a little miffed that the man in the rental office didn't even ask me for ID. Anil is definitely a "silver-haired" player but I was hoping to pass for his "much younger" wife. Rats!
It was a bright sunny morning, but we were sure that it would rain in the late afternoon, as it seems to do here every day. The one advantage of rain every day is that the course doesn't need to be watered, just cut very often. That probably helps to explain why the green fees are so low. Anil had been itching to play since we arrived in Tanah Rata but he had put out his back while typing on the computer at Starbucks. Bad luck! Finally it was better enough that he felt he could give it a try. We teed off at 9:30 am on wet grass - there had been a deluge the previous day and it was still early.
Anil has not hit a golf ball since the middle of Sept 06 - but he was in fine form - without any practice swings to speak of. I was glad you were not here to see how many times lady luck was on his side. There were so many incredible bounces that went exactly his way. This may sound like he was not in fine form, but I have to tell you that most of his drives were straight down the fairway and his distances were not at all short despite the sore back, rusty elbows and rented clubs!
Now, how was my game you may ask? Game, who ever decided that this was a game? Thank goodness Anil is not a competitive kind of guy or I would have stopped short of the third hole. He is really encouraging with me and I had a great time. We decided early on that he would hit his drive off the blue tees and then hit a drive for me from the red tees. I knew that I would never last 18 holes if I had to do the drives myself. It worked very well, but this did mean that Anil had to do 36 drives with his bad back. Sometimes he hit them both from the blue, and it's amazing how many times the two balls ended up side by side in the middle of the fairway.
Anil reminded me that I have to tell you about my putt on the first hole. Somehow I managed to sink a 20 ft-curving shot. I played a lot of mini-golf in my younger days and this has stayed with me so that I was able to make quite a number of putts during the course of the afternoon. I won't even talk about the rest of my strokes; amateur would be too much praise.
We had a lot of fun and the daily rain held off until we were done. We were the only people on the whole course after the first nine holes, so we really took our time and Anil gave me instructions on how to chip and use the various clubs. With a stop for lunch, we were at it for over six hours and I was exhausted when we were done. We called for a taxi; there was no walking 4 km back to our hotel, and the skies opened up just as the taxi arrived.
All in all, it was a great day. Hope all the golfers reading this get out on the course soon and have as much fun as we did.