Seeing as Dad has fractional ownership in a gorgeous house up on the Pinnacle Point Golf resort in Mossel Bay, I suppose I have had plenty of opportunities to tackle such a great course before – the only problem is, I simply haven’t bothered, because to be quite frank, this golf course is way above my skill level! (After all, I’m little more than a social golfer you know, playing no more than one or two times in a year!)
However, a couple of weekends ago, when Jessica and I joined Mom, Dad, Ryan and Claire for a Lotter Clan weekend away in Mossel Bay, Dad successfully twisted my arm and got me to join him and Ryan for a Saturday 18 hole round on the course – a course which, just as I had suspected, I was horribly unprepared for! :)
In an effort to save itself and pull in the numbers, Pinnacle Point has been forced to drop its exclusive act and in the process lower its playing fees from a somewhat ridiculous R700 in the early days, to just over half of that today. Of course, you are required to play the course with a golf cart, so if you don’t have your own you’ll need to factor that in as well, but nevertheless, it is a decent deal for such a stunning and breathtaking golf course.
An additional thing which they’ve had to open up is the once exclusive club house, meaning that as an ordinary member of public, you can now order food and sit inside the beautiful venue, taking in the breathtaking views as you are forced to take a twenty minute break after completing the 9th.
As I mentioned before, Dad caught me a little unprepared for this one, and on arrival it was noted that I only possessed a measly 5 or so golf balls in my bag, woefully too little as it quickly became apparent that it is quite easy (and normal for a player of my skill level) to lose balls at a rate of 1 to 2 per hole, thanks to the course’s proximity to some nasty fynbos and even more deadly cliff faces!
This meant digging into Dad’s bag for balls, though at the rate at both he and I were smacking balls away, we eventually ended up eating into Ryan’s reserve balls as well!
(Thankfully an early morning walk the next day would reclaim some of these!)
It really is a beautiful course that gets progressively harder thanks to the location, and happily I pulled off some pretty nice shots which I was quite pleased with. We were lucky that there wasn’t really a wind to contend with on the day (not that it stopped me from sending balls out into the sea mind you), and in the end we all enjoyed a fantastic (and lengthy) day out in the sun.
As it ended up, Ryan was the big winner on the day (and deservedly so based on some brilliant shots he managed to pull off), though I’m pretty sure Mom would have liked us to have come home a good couple of hours earlier that what we eventually did (the course was fairly busy) – she’s not used to looking after an energetic little Jessica! :)
Anyway, to check out some pictures I snapped whilst on the course (much to Ryan’s annoyance of course), view the gallery here.
Seeing as I really am more of a social golf player, only really stepping out onto a golf course maybe twice a year if I’m lucky, it is no surprise that up until now, I haven’t dared to tackle Mossel Bay’s Pinnacle Point, a tough golf course that is way above my skill level.
However, this did not seem to stop my dad, who insisted that Ryan and I join him for an afternoon out on what truly is a magnificent course. I ended up thoroughly enjoying my day, despite the fact that I probably lost at least a bucket worth of balls (most of which weren’t mine in the first place!)
Beautiful course, and I for one am pretty happy that Pops managed to twist my arm into playing it! :)
(For the record, Ryan won the day, having played some truly glorious shots in the process)
Mom and Dad’s week at Pinnacle Point session had rolled into play once again, and this time around it attracted the interest of the entire Lotter clan, meaning that Mom, Dad, Ryan, Claire, Jessie and myself were all making the trip through to Mossel Bay to enjoy some well deserved time away from work.
Unfortunately neither of our partners in crime (i.e. Riley or Chantelle) could make it up with us, but despite this we all enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing family weekend away! (And I even got to experience some golf on the awesome Pinnacle Point golf course!)
Having not seen Jessica for a whole week now was simply far too much, so for this weekend past I hatched a plan which saw me spend time with her both Saturday and Sunday, thereby scratching the itch and making it a little easier to make it through the next week that she continues her stay with Oupa and Ouma out in Bellville, whilst the creché remains closed for their year-end break.10
Whilst Friday night was pretty much dominated by the awesome XBOX 360 game that is Vanquish (Chantelle is working bloody late at the guest house at the moment, stupid In Season period!), Saturday was a different story, when after a decent sleep I arose and gathered everything I needed for my morning outing.
My plans did receive a little bit of a setback when I realised that I had allowed Chantelle to go into work with her car instead of mine, a problem because my baby car seat is currently inhabiting Monty’s Tucson, thus of no use to me. Luckily this was easily resolved by a quick trip through to the guest house where I switched keys with Chantelle, jumping into her little green Getz and shooting through to Bellville where I met up with Pops and Ryan at the Bellville Lotter Stronghold.
A quick check and pack of the boot, and we were off in Dad’s Lexus SUV, heading straight to Wagner’s Golf Academy in Durbanville, where our mission for the afternoon would be a full 18 holes of their not quite so easy and fairly technical little mashie course.
Seeing as neither Ryan nor Dad have ever played at Wagner’s before, I was at a slight advantage having played there once before (in my previous disastrous outing with Robert where he wiped the floor with me as I continued to whack, and lose, balls left, right and centre!), a fact that I seemingly made use of as I managed to win the first nine holes by a shot and tie for first on the back nine, making me overall winner of the day (with dispute coming from Ryan’s corner. In case you’re wondering, the score was a not so stellar 39 on the front and 40 on the back. Luckily for me, neither Ryan nor Dad fired on all cylinders from the get go!).
Last time I tried to play everything with my pitching wedge, a problem because I wasn’t able to extract much lift out of it. This time however it was sand wedge pretty much all of the way, generating enough loft for me and leading to some pretty nice shots, backed up with putting which for a change wasn’t too horrible at all! For the three hours that we were there in the light breeze and blistering sun, I only managed to lose a single ball, something I’m quite chuffed when taking my last visit to Wagners in consideration!
Anyway, following our successful late morning/afternoon out, next stop for me was a pick up of Jessica from Oupa and Ouma’s house, where I was quite pleased to find that Jess still remembered her old man, breaking into a huge smile when I walked in by the door. (Apparently, she didn’t do this when Chantelle went to visit her during the week, going even so far to get a little upset when Mommy wanted to hold her! Shame, Chantelle was pretty devastated about that!)
Back at my folks’ place, it was a quick bite to eat, before a change into swimming costumes for the whole family, and into the pool where Mom, Pops, Ryan, Jessie and I had a complete ball, frolicking around in the water for well over an hour!
A yoghurt later and it was out for the count for a now dry but exhausted Jessica, while the folks and I wiled away the afternoon by watching golf and tennis, waiting for the little one to wake up so that we could get free (and cute) entertainment once more!
As all good things tend to do, the day did eventually come to an end, and so I dutifully deposited young Jess Jess back with Oupa and Ouma, before hitting the road back to Gordon’s Bay, where I patiently waited the late return of Chantelle from work (with more Vanquish).
Sunday was braai day, as Monty, Cheryl and Rob brought Jessica through to come and braai with us in the early afternoon during Chantelle’s split. Once again it was a scorcher of a day, and for some or other reason I made the silly mistake of braaing using the inside braai. Not my brightest of moments and needless to say, I suffered for it! :)
Anyway, regardless of that, the meat came out delicious as we crowded around the little air conditioner in the lounge, enjoying a great meal and great company, as well as exceptional entertainment courtesy of the always cute as a button Jess!
Eventually it all had to come to an end though, as Chantelle returned to work for her late shift, sparking the return of the Montgomery Clan with Jessica to Bellville, leaving me on mop up duty and then with just enough time to blast away plenty more Russian RIs in the excellent Vanquish on the XBOX 360! (Oh, and maybe I squeezed in a bit of blogging here and there as well.)
So yeah, after reading all of the above, definitely a good weekend that was had, even if wifey was on duty for most of it! :)
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Both men are playing well, but they are being held up by two women in front of them who are moving at a much slower pace. Joe offers to go and talk to the women and see if they will let them pass. He gets about 3/4ths of the way, stops and jogs back.
His boss asks what the problem is.
Joe replies, “Well it turns out that one of those women is my wife and the other happens to be my mistress!”
Phil shakes his head and starts walking towards the women himself, determined to finish his round of golf before lunch runs out. Preparing to ask the ladies to let them play through, he too stops short and turns around.
This time it is Joe who asks, “What’s wrong boss?”
Phil replies, “It’s a small, small world Joe, and by the way, you’re fired!”
She takes her stance and her husband can see her trembling.
She putts, misses, and consequently they lose the match.
On the way home in the car her husband is still fuming, “I can’t believe you missed that putt! That putt was no longer than my willy!”
The wife just looked over at her husband and said,
“Yes dear, but it was much harder!”
A couple of Saturdays ago I joined my brother-in-law Rob for a round of 18 at Wagner’s Golf Academy in Durbanville, originally a driving range only operation, but now expanded with a little mashie course on the side, perfect to polish one’s short game in other words.
Now I have never been on a mashie course before, and what I knew about the term “mashie course” was pretty dangerous – it’s just a small little golf course isn’t it? So on arrival, Rob ordered himself some breakfast while I grabbed a bucket of balls for the driving range, intent on shaking loose the cobwebs seeing as I haven’t swung a golf club for well over a year now! Anyway, armed with the knowledge of “small golf course”, I practiced with a club range from my five iron through to the nine iron, actually firing off plenty of decent strokes, so much so that I walked back to Rob pretty chuffed with my pre-game form!
Of course, it was at this point he presented the score card which detailed the holes’ lengths – most of which fall well under 100 metres, meaning that had I actually wanted to practice properly, I should only have broken out my pitching wedge – because that and your putter are basically the only clubs you’ll be needing on the course!!
Playing 18 holes is pretty cheap, I think it cost me R70, plus a little extra because I needed to buy balls seeing as my bag was empty, and the playtime ended up being a couple of hours, though that said we were stuck for a bit behind a slow moving group and of course had to make a half way stop for that obligatory beer!
The course for the most part is in pretty good nick, only one or two of the greens aren’t up to scratch, it’s fairly accessible and provides a nice stroll around the nine holes (different tee off spots make up the 18 count), and there are a couple of nasty obstructions that have been planted in your way to make things tricky, from bunkers, ditches, trees, shrubbery, right through to low overhanging power lines on the eighteenth!
It turns out that Rob is actually fairly decent with the clubs, and he ended up with some fantastic shots and a good score, while I on the other hand proved once again that apart from hitting balls a fair distance (which I demonstrated time and time again), there really is little else I can actually do right! (Well, my putting wasn’t all that bad, now that I think about it.)
I struggled the whole way through, for the most part using far too much power on each and every stroke, resulting in numerous lost balls (on a mashie course!?!) and lots of scavenging trips down into the river for Rob (seeing as he is so eager). In other words, if it wasn’t for the shot limiting “ring” system, my scorecard would have looked pretty bleak.
Anyway, at the end of the day though, I didn’t hit any cars, thoroughly enjoyed the outing, and have decided that I now need to practice along the side of the house before I attempt it again – because make no mistake, it really was THAT lekker an outing! :)
(Besides, can’t have the brother-in-law thinking that he is better than me and all that… :P)
As he passes through the swinging doors, he spots a sign hanging over the bar that reads:
COLD BEER: R15.00
CHICKEN SANDWICH : R18.50
HAND JOB: R250.00
Checking his wallet to be sure he has the necessary money, the old golfer walks up to the bar and beckons to the exceptionally attractive female bartender who is serving drinks to a couple of sun-wrinkled golfers.
She glides down behind the bar to the old golfer.
“Yes?” she inquires with a wide, knowing smile. “May I help you Sir?”
The old golfer leans over the bar and whispers, “I was wondering young lady, are you the one who gives the hand-jobs around here?”
She looks into his wrinkled eyes and with a wide smile purrs, “Yes Sir, I sure am.”
The old golfer leans in even closer and into her left ear says softly, “Well then, be sure to really, really wash your hands real good, because I want a cheeseburger.”
Ah, the guys at Vodacom Golf Village, Somerset West. Persistent really. You see, I’m quite keen of finding something new to keep me busy and get me outdoors on the weekends that Chantelle works, meaning the time to work on my golf game is now finally at hand. Now the Vodacom Golf Village situated next to Somerset Mall is pretty much the only golf driving range I can find in my area and so I contacted them via email to request information in terms of prices, times, etc.
Of course, having heard horror stories regarding their persistence before, I made sure to remove all telephonic references out of my signature before hitting the send button.
Their response was pretty quick I must say and a certain Victor contacted me back via email, though outside of operating times he was pretty stingy with information, instead insisting that I come in for a consultation in order to discuss month to month membership pricing schemes. Needless to say, I iterated that I’m not a particularly keen golfer but was rather just looking around for a place to knock a couple of balls about, thus interested in comparing day visitor prices to membership prices and so make a choice based on the projected number of times I would visit the driving range (which is probably only like four times in a month by the way).
Not to be outdone by my apparent lack of interest, Victor then went ahead and phoned the company line which he tracked down based on my footer image and email domain, which thankfully I avoided answering by virtue that I was out to gym at the time he phoned, leaving poor old Kim to take a message for me – obviously I instructed her to ignore any further calls from him.
So he shot back to the email route and after a couple more rounds, I finally got the day visitor price out of him but despite all my questioning and egging on, I couldn’t drag any sort of membership fee out of him. So I pretty much thanked him for his time and stopped the email conversation.
Four days later and I got another email in my inbox from Victor informing me that it was a special “invite a guest” day at the driving range on Saturday and wouldn’t I be interested in coming in to have a chat – all I needed to do was confirm my availability so that he could make the necessary arrangements.
Now annoyed by his unwanted persistence, I declined.
However, this doesn’t mean that I was particularly put off by the driving range itself. Having worked out that it would be really stupid to take a membership out now going into autumn/winter when the chance of playing every second weekend is pretty slim due to the wind and the rain that usually accompanies the seasons, as well as input taken from Pops and Ryan, I instead opted to go out on Sunday and sign in as a day visitor – where I noticed just why Victor had been trying so hard to hook me in – basically the whole page of sign-ins consisted of day visitors only!!
So for an entrance fee of R79 (and a little extra which I had just for some reason spent on purchasing brush tees at Sportsman’s Warehouse around the corner) I got unlimited access for the day with unlimited balls at a place that opens at 08:00 in the morning and runs all the way through to 18:00, giving a person plenty of time to mess about.
As it turned out, I must have emptied a good six or seven buckets of balls during my two or so hour stint at the driving range, practicing my shots with just about all the clubs in my bag, including driving, putting, chipping and even some bunker play! In fact, I hit so many balls that I completely worked through the thumb of my glove that I’ve borrowed from Pops and Ryan, meaning I now need to go out and get a new one for the next time I venture on the mats! :)
As for the driving range itself, I was suitably impressed that it covered everything a person needs, with a large number of side by side tee off areas (though you do tee off from rubber with astro turf mats), two nicely sized putting greens and a tucked away chipping and bunker shot area. Flanked by two pubs/restaurants there is more than enough options when it comes to taking break and as a whole, their whole team responsible for filling up the buckets and clearing off the balls from the range did a pretty damn good job, meaning you never sat in a situation where you’d have to stand around and wait for balls to become available.
The only drawback from my day out at the range? The whole of yesterday I sat with an extremely stiff and sore back, not to mention my rather tender right arm forearm.
Sigh, the sacrifices one needs to make in order to challenge a tiger…