The Road Hole

I was not due to caddie yesterday so was having a stroll around St Andrews, when my phone went and it was Matt ( ‘the gruff chap’ who’s a really good guy) asking if I could do a three twenty on The Old Course. I readily agreed because I like caddying there and the buzz about the place.
Turns out we have four genial Americans and I have my first lady player, who introduces herself as Toni, which she pronounces oddly but which I put down to a lower Kansas drawl. There is a huge good natured looking chap called Scott who looks like he’ll be fun and has one of these swings that shouldn’t be seen in public.
Toni started off playing pretty well but her game started to deteriorate around the turn when she decided to try a bottle of Tennant’s. Over the next few holes she started to reprimand herself after hitting bad shots. ‘You divot Michelle!’ was one which I thought was a bit weird coming from a girl called Toni! I reflected that it may be an obscure American ‘golf talk’ thing. Anyway I was enlightened a few holes later when she declared that their group had used an extra name to get through the ballot! Fair play I thought.
Anyway we came to the famous 17th. The notorious road hole. There were quite a few onlookers out for an evening stroll. Scott got up first and was visibly nervous as quite a group was about to witness him negotiate one of the most exacting and famous drives in golf. His caddie rightly told him to hit for the ‘Course’ word in Old Course Hotel on the shed attached to the hotel just eighty yards in front. He stood awkwardly with his massive frame over the ball and took one almighty swipe. ‘Whoosh’ the ball left his club at an angle which I think defied physics or did some quantum thing, and soared over a fifty foot safety net, strategically placed, to protect the inhabitants and structure of this five star residence. It hit the gutter on the fourth floor and shattered the pipe which cracked and a sizeable bit of plastic fell to the ground. A couple on the second floor pulled back their drawn curtains, and the guy opened the window and shouted ‘fore!’. We were in stitches and Scott was mortified. However to his credit he did immediately play another, as more anxious faces peeped from the hotel windows, and bashed it up the middle.
It ended an amusing round and I guess the onlookers never knew golf could be such fun.

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