My golf game this morning with Dad didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, on my part. I knew I had it coming – no gym for the last three weeks as I’ve been working and attending classes at night. And my last session at the driving range over the weekend, was dismal.
To think that, just a couple months ago, my drives were long and straight and I had broken the 160 metre barrier with my driver. Shows how quickly your standards can deteriorate with neglect.
But I had fun. Well, it being my first time playing a game at my club, I was what Singaporeans commonly refer to as ‘blur’. Meaning, absolutely clueless. It didn’t help that the golf instructor my Dad hired, was an old man who spoke mostly Hokkien and Mandarin, with a smattering of English.
When we made our way to the green, the only way I could tell that he was talking about me, was when he said, ‘char boh’ meaning girl in Hokkien. Soon he came to realise that my knowledge of dialect was nearly nonexistent, and we ended up conversing in a mix of Mandarin and English.
It was only nine holes, but twice my ball ended up in a gutter or stream of some sorts. Which reminds me a lot of my more recent attempts at bowling (another of those used-to-be-good but not anymore stories).
My drives were still pretty powerful – if only they went in the direction I wanted. Once, my ball shot off, nice and straight at first, then veered increasingly to the left, and hit a big tree right in the middle with a loud THWACK. Lots of leaves and twigs were shaken out, followed by a dazed-looking bird which fell a couple of metres, picked itself up in mid-flight, and fluttered frantically out of my way.
“I’m SO, so sorry!” I called out, not knowing if I was speaking to my dad, the golf pro, the tree, the bird or to Mother Nature in general. I crossed a few OB markers, which would’ve cost me mucho points in a real game, especially as my errant balls hit the trunks of other trees.
Now, at the driving range, the ground is level, and the artificial grass mats are hard. At times, I swing hard enough into the mat to shave off a layer of green plastic which gets stuck on my clubheads.
But on the course, I was afraid of digging up the turf. So when I swung I sometimes subconsciously lifted myself away from the ball. I also apologised to the grass I had displaced, and spent too much time patting the earth back into a hole I had created. Hurry! The others warned. Don’t slow down the play. I scurried back into the buggy.
Once, at the putting green, Dad was about to make his shot. The instructor said to me, “Pick up the pin!”
Baffled, I looked around. A pin? Surely he meant a tee? Did we leave a tee behind just now?
I started to walk back to the spot where we teed off. No, no, said the old man, and gesticulated at an object near me, embedded in the hole.
“Oh, you mean, the FLAG,” I said. I felt so confused. I lifted it up so my dad could putt his ball in.
My best shot happened to be a fluke. On one of the last holes, I was on the fairway after one of my less dangerous drives, trying to land on the green. Trouble is, I was at the base of a slope and couldn’t for the life of me, see the flag.
“There,” said the pro. “Where??” asked the ‘blur char boh’. He told me, it’s in between the trees. I thought I saw it, and aimed my shot to the right.
Being a tense player, my shot once again hooked to the left. And landed, just feet away from the putting green. Which wasn’t too bad at all! I had aimed at the wrong target, but had unwittingly landed my ball in the right area.
My best shot was soon followed by my worst, on the last hole.
I was once again, at the border of the putting green. Dad checked my half-swing to make sure I didn’t overshoot for the umpteenth time. It looked good.
I swung. By the time I realised I had suddenly lapsed into my full-powered ‘driving range’ mode, the ball had shot out of the course, and into the adjacent car park! And that, folks, was just my 9 iron.
Fortunately, no vehicles, passers-by, or any more birds were injured in this incident.
I might be arranging for more lessons on the green in future, and will work on restoring my accuracy. When I do improve, would anyone be interested in a game? 🙂


  1. deb

    You sound like a fairway hazard just like I’m a road hazard at this point in time! Haha… But hey, we’ll get better! WE WILL!!! Hrmph.

  2. Bel

    HAHAHAHA! This triggered memories of the little piece you wrote for Miss Lee… how the birds in the trees stopped singing in fright…
    To this day, my mother still laughs when we talk about the Durian Incident.

  3. vantan

    Haha! Bel, just a few nights ago, I was driving home one night when I noticed a lone coconut lying in the middle of the road.
    I immediately thought of the Coconut Incident!!!

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