OPTIMISM

,,,or the Death Of Optimism?It’s Friday, and the view out to sea is NOT nice, squalls of rain have been trundling through all morning, the weather map is, quite frankly crappy, but because he has just a couple of days (plus the weekend) left of his annual leave a cobber of mine rang to ask about a game of golf. It would be the seventh game in a row for me including last weekend but only the missus sees this as any sort of issue, so I said OK. Ever the optimist? We tootled out to the golf club to find the keeper’s implement shed all locked up (not a good sign). As we pulled into the car-park another brief squall swept through. BUT there seemed to be a wee break out towards the gap so, being the ultimate optimists we got our gear out. No wet weather gear because we’re OPTIMISTS! We had a bit of a wait for our third player so some chipping, some putting, and a couple of exuberant (if somewhat gratuitous) dispatches of old balls into the distant woodlot while glancing a bit trepidatiously towards some SERIOUS rain away to the south-east… but we’re optimistic that any weather, should it arrive, will come from the south-west. Our mate arrived and so we headed for the first tee. Good drive, player one- optimism rewarded. GREAT drive, player two, especially since he normally saves these great shots for those practice drives into the woodlot! Sadly I wasn’t so successful and cut my drive to the right and down in the shallow valley that left me with an awkward ball-down lie for my long second to the distant green. Still I optimistically set myself aiming quite well left of the green knowing the unwritten rule that comes into play in this situation says I will fade the ball, or make it curve to the right. It was initially about 3 or 4 milliseconds after making good contact with my ball that my optimism was somewhat dented when I saw the ball soaring left and going further left towards the rubbish that bounds the left of the first hole. As I made my way towards the point where my ball sailed over the edge of the rough area I carried a certain air of optimism with me knowing that, being winter there hasn’t been much grass growth in there for some time, and due to rain over recent weeks the grass is somewhat matted so there was every reason to optimistically expect to not only find my ball but fluke a half decent lie which would allow my optimism and a lucky stroke to send the ball at worst close to, or at best onto the green to at least give a chance of putting for par! More optimism! Sadly it was about now that my OPTIMISM died- there was no sign of my ball in the area I thought it should be, and the gap that any weather was going to come from had disappeared, completely obliterated by what looked to be MUCH more than a squall. It arrived and definitely wasn’t a squall so… umbrella up and my decision to withdraw from the round was made. I was suddenly optimistic, if that is now the right word, that this wasn’t going to blow through any time quickly. Of course my playing partners called me soft, etc., and they decided to carry on to play 2 &3 which would bring them back towards the clubhouse when they would reassess things. Fine, guys, I admire your optimism, but to me it was now stupidity. I headed back down #1, umbrella buffeting in the wind and my trousers getting heavier around the cuffs. I sheltered under the big trees on #3 and waited for them to come down- I had been brought out by one of them so wanted a voice in the discussion that was going to take place when they arrived! As I looked back up to the 3rd tee I noted one had started walking back without teeing a ball! Hmm- his optimism had petered out as well apparently! My driver teed his ball but didn’t seem to take his normal time over the ball before he’d swung, hit, bagged his club and started walking towards my trees. The nearer they got the clearer it became to me that discussion wasn’t going to really be needed, and this was confirmed when my driver reached his ball, picked it up and trudged onwards. We made our way back to the clubhouse all the while being chased by rain and wind, all probably thinking about a warm fire, a cup of coffee and feet up for the afternoon.
Yep- there’s always a place for optimism but today proved that showing common sense a decent degree of respect isn’t a bad idea at times.

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