After the disappointment of traveling to Irvine last week and not being able to play due to course flooding, I was really looking forward to getting out there and playing a very exclusive golf club such as Western Gailes. This is one of the few traditional clubs where normally you need to arrive in jacket, collar & tie and leave the same way, but the professionals were allowed to forego this rule for this event thankfully.
The day did not start off well as both my friend ( I played with last week at West Kilbride) and I were running behind before we left Cumbernauld. I think he could have been doing with not playing that day as he was trying to organize a lot on the way and I could tell his mind wasn’t really thinking about golf. I can empathise with this as sometimes business and family life can take over with very little time for golf and I have first hand experience of this. We did just about make our check-in time though and managed to get to the tee with time to spare. On the tee we met our playing partners, Fergus and Colin, and very quickly we made our introductions and got going due to time constraints.
As we started the wind suddenly got up to about 40 miles an hour and believe it or not stayed constant for the whole round. For those of you who have never played Western Gailes, the first 4 holes run straight north with the next 9 holes running straight south. The final 5 holes run north again so you have a course that is one giant long strip that runs up and down the Ayrshire coastline. Combining this with a 40 mile an hour easterly cross wind you have what I would describe as the most difficult conditions to play golf in and if I’m being honest was not very enjoyable. The one positive moment of the day was when I was walking up the 3rd hole with Fergus and we got to chatting about our golfing history and life in general. This ended up being a 5 minute long conversation which gave me the opportunity to discuss my faith and what the Logos mark on my ball represented. He seemed pleasantly surprised about the role and wished me luck in going forward. Of course we know ‘luck’ is not something that God deals in but I wasn’t about to spoil the moment and left it at that.
After a very long and torturous 18 hole experience we left for home after saying our goodbyes to the boys and we both contemplated what felt like our worst game of golf ever. We talked about how impossible the conditions were and that you really need to go out in conditions like that with a completely different game plan which may not be the prettiest to watch but would get the ball round. We didn’t really prepare for that and got caught out badly. I have never been a particularly good wind player but have always much preferred playing into the wind or down wind rather than a strong cross wind.
Looks like I need to go back to school when it comes to wind play as coastal courses can throw up these kind of conditions and we can’t complain as long as the course is open and ready for play.
In life we are always going to have very challenging days and the honest truth is we will not enjoy these experiences. We can only reflect and be thankful that we got through it and somewhere in there, if we look hard enough, there will be something positive we can take from it. Nothing is wasted.
In his service,
Vincent Brown, Golf Professional, Logos Golf Ministries Ambassador on the Tartan Tour
You can contact Vincent by email on firstname.lastname@example.org