A Different High - Rod Dahlberg and Golf

Gra Murdoch
Talking Heads

There are three things you soon come to learn as a customer of Rod Dahlberg: firstly, your board will almost definitely take a coupla months; secondly, your patience will be more than rewarded with a shooter of striking grace; and lastly, don’t bother popping round the factory Friday arvo, because unless it’s pissing rain, or the surf is sublime, Rod’ll be out playing golf, as he has, practically every Friday arvo for the last thirty years.

On the 25th anniversary of the release of 'Happy Gilmore', the second-best golfing movie ever made (the first being, of course, 'Caddyshack'), Ding Alley caught up with this eternally down-to-earth legend for a yak to find out about his love for this golfing caper.

Rod Dahlberg, 67, been golfing 55 years (with the odd hiatus)

I started off pretty young. Would have been 11 or 12, and me and my best mate Woody used to go after school and muck around on the golf course there. This is in Mount Maunganui in NZ. I had about five shitty old clubs, some of them had hickory shafts, and they were too big for me but I loved it anyway, and before long me and Woody got signed up as members and played in the juniors. 

My dad was a good golfer. I remember Arnold Palmer and Gary Player used to have this TV show, called 'Challenge Golf', where they invited two guest pros to match-play, and we enjoyed watching that together. 

But then, as often happens, other things came along and I drifted away from it. Surfing and shaping boards started to take up all my attention. I’d still play the odd round here or there, but nothing really regular.

Once I was established here in Angas, got married, had kids, I became a member at Yamba...gee, about thirty years ago. And as the kids got older, and more weekend time freed up for me, I got back into it.

Mt Maunganui top, Royal Yamba left, and a young Rod slotted on a little red rocket

Maybe the biggest attraction of the game is its simply a fun thing to do with your mates. We’ve got a good crew, about a dozen guys. We go out every Friday afternoon, religiously, unless it’s pouring rain or something. We’ve been doing that for probably 25 years or more. Then we’ll back up on Saturday for the club round, but we make sure we’re the last to tee off in the arvo so we can get a surf in through the morning. 

It's something I really look forward to, hey. It acts as an offset to surfing. No-one can surf every day, and trust me, it gets hard on the body, as you get older, to surf all the time. With golf, there are guys in their 80s and even into their 90s who still play, not too many people in their 80s and 90s who are still surfing. Though there’s a few, it gets too physical.

With golf, the handicap system levels the playing field, which allows people of different ability levels and experience to play with each other. Without going into too much detail, to get your handicap, you play five full rounds of 18 holes, and what you average over par for those five rounds becomes your handicap, which gets factored in to your scoring. 

So, a pro will play off ‘scratch’, that is, a handicap of zero, and someone new to the game might play off a handicap of thirty, meaning they’ll have thirty extra shots up their sleeve for a round. It sounds complicated but it makes sense when you get into it. It levels the playing field, but ultimately, it’s you against the course.

The best I’ve gotten to is about ten but generally I average between eleven and fourteen on my handicap. I’ve never taken it that seriously to the point of obsessing about scores and so on – it’s always been more about the fun and enjoyment – but it’s satisfying to play well, and those rounds where it all comes together are pretty sweet.

Golden hour at Royal Yamba with Rod, at centre, watching intently

The beauty of golf is that even the worst golfer can still hit some good shots, and it’s SUCH a good feeling. It’s pretty well documented how addictive the game can be. I mean, you smack a good drive, and it goes straight and long, or you chip from 120 metres out and get it near the pin, or drain a thirty-foot putt, it’s really, really satisfying… but then you can miss a two-foot putt. 

That hit of satisfaction keeps you coming back. What are the other great feelings – sex, getting barrelled, doing a beautiful turn, or riding a wave really well from start to finish, that feeling of putting it together really well - and just like with surfing, when those moments come together, it feels really effortless and easy, and that’s when technique, rhythm, and timing do more of the work than sheer physical effort.

It’s absolutely the best and worst game that’s ever been invented - definitely the most frustrating. Walk around the course on comp day, and you’ll hear a lot of language from off the fairway in the trees where some guy’s having a shocker. It’s an absolute mindfuck. You can be having the best round of your life, and then you just poke one into the trees and the thing turns into a horror show, because, technique aside, the whole game is really played out between your ears.

I love watching golf on TV. The final day of a major is riveting viewing for me, because the mental stamina needed by those guys is amazing. Just the drama and seeing those guys trying to hold it together, their recovery from a bad shot, the way they can shape the ball from left to right or whatever, it’s extraordinary, and the courses they play on are so tough, like you and I would be going around in well over 100, and they’re nailing rounds in the mid-60s.

I guess if you’re not a golf lover then it’s probably the worst thing to watch, but if you’re into it, the good thing about watching it is that there is no downtime. When some players are walking to their next shot they’ll show what’s happening on the other fairway, unlike surfing where there’s a fair bit of watching two competitors staring at the horizon waiting for a set. 

If it’s Chopes or Pipe pumping, then pro surfing is insane of course, and nothing compares, but if it’s Manly, onshore and two foot it’s just not that riveting. I love surfing as much as the next guy and I’ll watch almost all the comps, but even J-Bay, with lulls, you’ll watch maybe five waves ridden in half an hour and it’s just not that compelling.

Rod in the Maldives, 2017

Anyway, back to golf! Your swing is the foundation of everything. And for every golfer, their swing is in a constant state of flux, because there’s so many variables in play.

The only way to get a dependable, repeatable swing is practice, practice, practice. There’s thousands of good, scratch golfers out there, and they all practice like demons.  

No-one can just rock up after not playing for a while and expect to play well. It’s repetition and getting lessons to eliminate the glitches. Like, John Wright, the pro at Yamba...the difference he’s made to so many players’ enjoyment of their game, and that’s replicated at golf courses all over the country. If you want to get halfway good, you need repetition and instruction.

Even the best guys will put one over the fence – there’s so many small moving parts in technique and swing where the tiniest flaw gets magnified, from your grip to the plane of your backswing to your transfer of weight, there’s just so much involved in a good golf shot. The best pros – guys who devote their lives to the game, who’ve been playing since they could walk – can lose something in their game, in their swing, and it can take years to get it back again.

Seriously… it’s a c#nt of a game, if you’ll pardon the expression.

When it comes to teeing off, you see it all the time, punters try to rip into it hard as they can, and you see ‘em getting off balance as a result. Then you see the good guys, and they DO rip into it, but they stay really balanced. Just like surfing, it’s more technique than power.

It’s also very much like surfing in that a lot of really good golfers have very different swings, it’s not like they’re all the same style. 

From the moment you tee off, your mind is engaged. Even reading a putt really well and draining a twenty footer that’s got two foot of break, just getting the pace right. The short game chipping and putting is maybe even more important than the longer game, and getting yourself out of trouble, out of the bunker, or the long grass, or out of the trees, and let’s not get started on the wind factor. Basically it’s never the same shot twice. You’re constantly problem solving, and the rewards part of your brain lights up when you get it right.

Your equipment’s pretty important. The clubs have evolved, the balls have evolved, and if you’re just getting into golf you can pick up a decent set of clubs second hand for not too much. If and when you get serious, you probably want to pick up a good set, and get them fitted to your height, grip and stance. Like a custom board.

There’s a lot of etiquette involved, and it’s all based on respect and common sense. Like, no talking or shuffling around or ferreting around in your golf bag when someone’s trying to take a shot. Don’t play out of turn – the furthest ball from the hole goes first. And be aware of where you are in someone’s peripheral vision, especially when they’re putting.  

You also want to be aware of the playing groups ahead of and behind you too. If your group’s playing slow, let those behind you play through. Similarly, don’t hit up on the group in front, that’s a big no no. If it’s a par three, wait ‘til they clear the green. If it’s a longer hole, wait ‘til there’s no possible way you can reach even close to where they are. No-one likes to get hit by the ball, but they do. It’s pretty much common sense stuff really.

It’s pretty popular among a lot of surfers, I guess the most well-known is Slater, he plays very good golf, plays off three or four. Julian Wilson is a good golfer as well, Tommy Whits, Jake Paterson, they love their golf more than anything. Jack Freestone, Troy Brooks, Luke Hitchings – our local boy –  plays off five or six. They’re good all-round sportsman. But Kelly being Kelly, he’s probably the best that I know.

You don’t have to be a magnificent physical specimen, there’s a lot of pro golfers out there that play brilliant golf who look like they graze in a good paddock. Like I said it’s probably more mental than physical, but nowadays you get guys, the DeChambeaus and the Koepkas and they’re hitting the ball a mile, training in the gym to get that strength.

You’d think that the patience you need on the golf course, the acceptance and ability to move on from your last bad shot, would be instructive for the other parts of your life, make you a better person somehow, but I’m not sure it does. There’s a lot of people who lose their shit out there, and I do too. 

I think the best golfers are the ones who can keep it together. The pro guys have their caddies, who are almost like their psychologist. We caddy for ourselves, so we don’t have anyone to tell us to calm down, just breathe, it’s gonna be okay, it’s just one bad shot, etcetera. We just ask ourselves what the fuck are we doing out here, and maybe have our mates sledging us. 

But I’ll always keep playing, and loving it, good or bad. You’re with your mates and there’s always a few laughs. Some people play for like a hundred bucks a hole, me and the mates play for a two-dollar Keno for the whole match, so it’s pretty high stakes out there...

We’ll also nominate a hole and whoever hits the worst drive shouts a round of beers. (There’s a few other rules for shouts but I’ve gone on long enough.)

I’m happy to play once or twice a week. Knock around in the mid-80s off the bat, that’s a good day, get a few pars, few bogeys, get the odd birdie, it’s a bit of fun.

Golf’s just a great alternative. It’s important to have another interest as well as surfing, whether it’s fishing or playing music, whatever. 

It’s good not to just ‘be’ one thing. 

// ROD DAHLBERG (as shared with GRA MURDOCH)

Comments

Roystein's picture
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Roystein Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 2:20pm

Golf is rad
Great write up
I love playing new courses. Like surfing a new break, taking your ability somewhere new and having to work through the ins and outs

Baron von Spatula's picture
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Baron von Spatula Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 4:26pm

... I seem to shoot my best whilst indulging a coupla spliffs – a masochistic, introspective journey I've named: 'Splendour on the Grass'.

batfink's picture
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batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 1:01pm

There were quite a few years where I was almost invariably enjoying splendour on the grass, and kept a single figure handicap too, just. :-)

Baron von Spatula's picture
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Baron von Spatula Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 11:11am

... well done BF!
Oddly, I play better when not scoring, with my focus being on the act not the result.

stevehamilton_'s picture
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stevehamilton_ Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 6:26pm

rodney likes golf

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 7:27pm

I can totally relate!

Played a bit as a young kid cause my dad was into it but stopped as a teenager cause of footy and surfing.

Got back into it about 10 years ago and joined the local club 3 years ago. Playing off 12 now at the age of 56 and like Rod says, it's not a bad compliment to surfing especially when you can just play when the waves are no good. Also like Rod, I'll play in the Saturday comp around midday so you can surf in the morning.

I never smoke doobs or drink beers while playing cause the game's hard enough as it is....plus plenty of time for that afterwards.

crg's picture
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crg Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 7:59pm

For some reason at about age 19 I could recite the entire dialogue of Caddyshack start to finish.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 8:23pm

Can’t stand the game no interest at all , Dad was a fanatic.

Strangely enough though I love watching the Majors on TV.
Love the slow but sustained intensity and the hushed commentary.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 8:32pm

Great article. Love a round of golf and can relate to everything above especially the high you get when you nail that drive, put it near the pin a hundred yards out, or drain a 20 ft putt. On the other hand It's a complete mindfuck if you duff it off the tee or three putt from a metre out- fark! Been playing for over thirty years myself but never got below mid-teens in my handicap and just don't play or practice enough.

Despite what people may think of golf, its quite egalitarian too- our regular group is me, my dentist, another dentist, a retired surgeon, a bloke who works for the gas company and a bloke who has a massage business. Over here it's common to have lunch after the ninth and then onsen and a beer after the eighteenth. Got a great eagle last year but pars and birdies are few and far between for me.

As for watching golf on tele- love it. Just quietly, Sunday arvo JLPGA will have you witnessing some sublime golf with the added bonus of it being a visually appealing arse-fest.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 8:32pm

Put a little golf course around my cottage. It's pretty rad. Every arvo between 5 and 6 go and play a few rounds of 9 holes. The course is rubbish. Twigs everywhere, gotta go through trees...but....it does have a waterside hole which is a favourite. Just one of those things that's fun to improve at and you think so much about technique...swing. It could have something to do with the 3 months of onshores. Actually...it's that time now. Yew!

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 8:39pm

Dad loved it and I remember hours spent walking around beautiful courses with him, when I was a little tacker. Grandad was a member at St Andrews (the Scot connection perhaps). It didn't really call out to me, but the bro is savant-level good at it. He'd not play for months, rock up at the tournament, and both claim the trophy on the day as well as crash the buggy into a parked car in the carpark while under the stimulatory influences.

Here's one of the greatest golf scenes ever caught on film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5UTWEukt08

adam12's picture
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adam12 Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 8:41pm

When I was about 11 I fell in love with golf. My mum sent me and my dad down to the local K Mart sport section to get me some clubs. He stole them. That same year he got so pissed at the pub he got me to drive him home, about three suburbs away. I could barely see over the steering wheel. He was cool like that, my old man. Still going strong at 90 after a life of red meat, ice cream, no exercise and beer.

NDC's picture
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NDC Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 8:59pm

Like Zen and the Art of Golf Maintenance - but better. thoroughly enjoyed that post - even as an avowed non-golfer. Thanks for sharing Rod/Gra - ripper

views from the cockpit's picture
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views from the ... Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021 at 9:41pm

Bit of trumpet blowing there Ringy! Heh heh

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 1:49pm

Nah mate. 12 handicap is pretty average in the grand scheme of things.

I'd be 'trumpet blowing' if I described our game at Mollymook G.C 2 years ago!

Optimist's picture
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Optimist Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 5:06am

Ive had a beautiful secondhand set of TaylorMade's sitting in my shed for a few months now ready to learn to play......Thank you Rodney, you have tipped me over the edge and I'll start this week.....whether I'll still like you or not next week remains to be seen......
....I also heard that like surfing , golf can sometimes take a lot of balls.

GONAD_MAN's picture
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GONAD_MAN Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 7:31am

I have always liked golf, and played a bit when i was around 20-35. I could go around most course's on par or just under. I used to love the work once a month golf round. One guy, he thought he was Tiger , had the 5k Mizuno Graphite Clubs. I had a set of Spalding clubs. i used to kick his arse every time we played. Gee would he get shitty with me. haha.

stunet's picture
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stunet Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 8:36am

I can appreciate how golf might be cathartic for some people, eigtheen hole escapism or whatever, but try as I might I could never get into it. My most enjoyable moments always involved a golf cart and dew on the grass.

Love how Rod's description mixes between lofty and low ("Seriously… it’s a c#nt of a game).

Gave me a laugh.

canetoad's picture
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canetoad Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 10:49am

Gee Rod. Youve gone to the dark side. I much prefer the shots of you on waves. And thats gotta be the longest bit of Golf gibberish ive ever seen. But you look good. Saw your daughter at the Point a month ago. We have to enjoy every day now. Never really been a golfer but know plenty who are, and addicted too. Enjoy.

channel-bottom's picture
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channel-bottom Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 10:54am

The mental side of performance in golf is incredible.

Used to play occasionally with a mate who played off zero handicap. When he played with a group of mates, he could bomb the ball 250 metres straight, swing it both ways in the air, just incredible to watch.

He would then enter tournaments like the WA Open, play in a foursome of similar ability. When he watched them driving similar distances as he could (and knowing he couldn't dominate them like his crew of hack mates), he would mentally crumble. Drives went into the trees, putts wouldn't drop and he would go around in 10 or 15 over par instead of the 2 or 3 under when he would normally do. The ability (or lack of) to play under mental pressure was key.

garyg1412's picture
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garyg1412 Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 11:08am

Played an unusual round of golf on my honeymoon with my newly wed!! Place we stayed at was quite primitive. The second par 5 hole was also the landing strip and we had to wait while the local kids chased the cattle off the runway/fairway and only played through after the plane landed. The greens were surrounded with barbed wire to keep the sheep off. On the 5th hole I think it was my wife hit a cracking one wood drive much to her joy only for it to hit a cow standing on the fairway square in it's arse. Luckily it wasn't a bullseye ('scuse the pun) and the ball was recovered. Don't play anymore because it actually is a c#nt of a game for those of us with a short fuse.

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dougie.kercher Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 11:11am

I was a pretty decent golfer in my teens. Made the vic state squad and won a junior championship at a big Melbourne club. Got into surfing shaping and manufacturing for myself watercooled, zappa, and newline. Had enough of sanding in my early 30s and turned pro at golf. I still coach on the Gold Coast so if anyone reading wants an intro 1 hour lesson for 20 bucks message me on Facebook.
I'd do it for free but people don't take it seriously. Hope this post is ok to put up. Cheers Doug

garyg1412's picture
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garyg1412 Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 11:14am

"As for watching golf on tele- love it. Just quietly, Sunday arvo JLPGA will have you witnessing some sublime golf with the added bonus of it being a visually appealing arse-fest."
Zen you been hanging out with Rudy Giuliani have you??

Bob Sacamano's picture
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Bob Sacamano Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 12:44pm

I agree that "It’s good not to just ‘be’ one thing". I excel at being ordinary at a few hobbies. Sticking to one would pay off more but its nice to have something like golf that isn't so reliant on winds tides and swell.

jfs's picture
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jfs Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 12:51pm

Best board I have every ridden was a Dahlberg 7" gun. Snapped it at Honolua Bay. My two favourite sports are surfing and golf so really enjoyed hearing a legend with the same passion. Good waves will always trump playing golf but on a Sunday when its 1 foot and a sea of people hassling for waves it is nice to be able to head off to the golf course instead. Thanks for the article ( and for your boards ! ) Rod ( note I replaced the 7" with a 7"2 Dahlberg )

D-Rex's picture
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D-Rex Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 at 4:48pm

I've heard of boards getting smaller but a 7 inch board must be hard work, jfs!

Jamyardy's picture
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Jamyardy Wednesday, 3 Mar 2021 at 2:38pm

Cool Insight !

bipola's picture
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bipola Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 at 2:40pm

during my divorce i took up golf for 12 months bought clubs joined a club 900 bucks
i played seven days a week and i would get there early to do the front nine. i lost sooo many balls i would spend hours in the trees looking for them. one day a golfer asked me if his crew could play on, when i realized you could get them to play on so i practiced at that hole all day trying to par it instead of playing 9 holes i ended up paring some of the 3 par holes over the year. good fun wouldn't do it again

nickca's picture
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nickca Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 at 4:08pm

I like how the clubs provide a green belt in many coastal towns.Imagine all those courses as housing developments!

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 at 4:37pm

Best game I ever had, I managed to get the ball over the bridge, around the chicane, and into the ferris wheel, almost dropping into the moat but miraculously landing in the hole after bumping off a dislodged piece of chip bark.

The fluffy panda I won still takes pride of place on the pool room.

Can't stand the real thing, BTW.

Craig's picture
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Craig Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 at 4:58pm

I think I'd really get into golf if I had the time for it. Always love looking at the lush, tree lined fairways and courses tucked away on back roads that cast long shadows in the morning/evening golden light. One day! Great interview by the way.

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster Thursday, 4 Mar 2021 at 6:52pm

Give it time Craig.

When I was your age if someone had told me I'd spend $350 on a putter I would have said punch me in the face and knock some sense into me.

Not so now.....

synchrodogcal's picture
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synchrodogcal Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:27am

my nan (rest her beautiful soul) got me into golf in the late primary school years, gave me some hand me down right handed clubs, took me up to the local course for a few lessons, but i didn't really get into it because i was just getting into surfing at the time & at that age it was a no brainer as to which activity was going to take priority

fast forward to my late teens & i found myself pulling beers at the local club & as part of that deal you could play a round for a buck, so i started to get back into it, this time as a lefthander, which i think was more natural for me... i'd hack around 9 holes on my break, was just nice to get out in nice surrounds, a handful of good shot was enough to sustain the interest

started working with a local tradie not long after that & he was right into it, so friday arvo's was either knock off early and go for a wave, or knock off early and go for 9 holes while drinking the obligatory few cans... good times!

now in my late 40's and still hacking around, love it, never had a lesson since those primary school days, but don't feel the need, i like the social aspect and the gentle competition between a couple of mates, no prize on the line apart from pride.

to be honest golf (when we could play it) helped keep me sane in lockdown vic last year, couldn't get to the coast, so walking around in some lush parkland hitting that little bastard white ball just took the edge off the monotony

as posted above, that one smashing drive, or drained mega putt gives you a fuckin buzz, not barreled off your tits buzz, but a buzz no less

reckon i'll play til the day i cark it

Gra Murdoch's picture
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Gra Murdoch Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 11:31am

Nice one mate. Sums it all up beautifully.

jezza64's picture
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jezza64 Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 12:39pm

Picked the game up from my grand parents and father. Became obsessed with it. Fully immersed. Club Captain, committee member etc etc. Low single figure handicap, -1 off the stick my best effort. Better at it than any other sport I had tried.
Then, empty nest and started using my weekends to stay in my parents caravan at Ocean Grove and got back into surfing.
Golf quickly took a back seat, to the extent that I quit my club membership.
Hadn't played for four or five years when a mate asked if i wanted to have a hit.
Third hole at Royal Ocean Grove, shortish par 5, back to back 4 irons and chipped in from off the edge for an eagle.......... didn't feel any excitement at all just meh whatever.
Golf is lost to me...

batfink's picture
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batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 1:14pm

Started with plastic clubs for Xmas presents when I was about 5. They'd only last for a few weeks. Been playing for over 50 years, used to play junior pennants which was a great way to learn about handling pressure.

It can teach you a lot about yourself, if you let it. Can be very character building, or destroying, depending on how you react to it.

Have played a lot of sports, but golf and surfing remain the most difficult and the most enjoyable, and the scenery for both can be joyous even if youre going shit.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 2:21pm

Word!

I'd have to add snowboarding to round out my three most enjoyable pastimes but if the waves are off, a lazy stroll around a course is a good way to kill time.

batfink's picture
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batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 9:01pm

Yeah, snowboarding, just not quite as accessible here zen, but has the same elements, amazing scenery, skill, high degree of difficulty.

Snow sports, in Australia, just requires a level of commitment and a very seasonal perspective. I used to walk to the golf course when I was an early teens. It was about two and a bit miles, but hey, I was young.

Snow sports just weren’t accessible for me.

Craig would have some good perspective, and no doubt he gets some freaking good photos.

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zenagain Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 4:19pm

Two true stories recounted to me about my dad (god rest his loving soul) by my cousin, both avid golfers.

Dad had played most of his adult years and was pretty handy with the clubs enjoying a single digit handicap for as long as I can remember. My cousin was an amazing golfer playing off or below scratch and him and dad really enjoyed playing together.

Anyway, playing a round at my dads club they were following a couple of hackers, all kitted out but wlth no ability. Said it was the most painful front nine having to follow these two while more groups were banking up behind. The two hackers didn't have the nouse or the courtesy to call anyone through. After the ninth dad suggested to my cousin to forego the usual beer and get out on the tenth to get ahead of the two gumbies.

As dad was teeing up (par 3, solid 6 iron to the pin) he hears behind him "ahem. what do you think you're doing?" It was one of the go-slows from the previous painful front nine. Dad replied "teeing off." Old mate said- "excuse me, we're members here,,," Dad replied "what a coincidence, so am I, now if you don't mind".

Dad told my cousin later he was shitting himself, don't fuck this up, don't fuck this up but he got off cleanly and plopped it about 2 foot from the pin. My cousin teed up, sweet as, put it about a foot inside dads.

"See ya fellas" and they left the two hackers standing there, mouths open. Said it was one of his finest moments playing the game.

Second, same course another time, par 5 long fairway lined by eucalypts, dog leg to the right with a couple of water hazards. Dad teed off and uncharacteristically totally hooked his drive and his ball was sailing away OB. With a loud crack the ball hit a big gum and flew back inbounds, lucky bounce safe but then was right on track to fly into the water hazard. As luck would have it, an unsuspecting duck bore the brunt of the ball bouncing of its back and the ball just plopped back onto the fairway for the perfect lay-up. Saved his par

All my cousin could say was "do that again."

I miss my Dad.

batfink's picture
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batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 9:06pm

Sweet story zen. The better you get, the more you can’t stand slow play. Hackers are fine, they often move along quite quickly, it’s the semi-serious amateurs that are most painful. Your dad and cousin sound like good playing partners.

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ringmaster Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 6:36pm

Animal interference....

If you play at Anglesea G.C a few times you will definitely experience the annoyance of a good shot down the guts failing to run out to it's full potential cause your ball banged into a kangaroo lounging on the fairway.

Gra Murdoch's picture
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Gra Murdoch Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 6:43pm

Interestingly, the Roo ratio at both Anglesea and Rod's beloved Royal Yamba is quite similar. I think it was my mate Macca (ding alley drawerer) who told me once that he saw (or maybe his old boy did) a male roo get sconned by a golf ball, turn to the roo next to him and start punching on, thinking that old mate had thrown a sneaky punch.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 8:58pm

I was playing at the Sheraton Mirage in Port Douglas and in the distance next to one of the water hazards was a huge Salty just kicking back. Suffice to say we gave it a wide berth and any balls lost to the water that day, stayed there.

Beautiful course btw.

batfink's picture
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batfink Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 9:07pm

Don’t know Anglesea, or Yamba, but I reckon Nelson Bay has as good a kangaroo count.

synchrodogcal's picture
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synchrodogcal Friday, 5 Mar 2021 at 7:46pm

brilliant stories, zen

the sublimely ridiculous, or the other way around

groundswell's picture
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groundswell Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 7:38am

If any newbies or whatever want to get into golf i suggest getting this game on x box one- Rory Mcilroy pga tour on x box one. it teaches you all about what clubs and drivers to choose among so many other things. Its the best golf game ive tried.
Dont get the playstation version its not as good.
The only minor complaint is you control spin after the ball is airborne. also long putting is tricky.

rogerdodger's picture
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rogerdodger Saturday, 6 Mar 2021 at 10:25pm

Yep. Well done Rod. Been doing the exact same thing for 20 years...ie. Friday arvo golf with a bunch of mates. To me, it is an important part of what living is all about. I've seen too many mates et al working themselves to the bone making enough dollars to cover the Mc Mansion mortgage etc while forgetting to enjoy life. Balance is the key. I'm lucky enough to be in the position to surf, drum, fish and golf...often. Live your life and be happy people.

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Sunday, 7 Mar 2021 at 6:44pm

Cant see the attraction.

quadzilla's picture
quadzilla's picture
quadzilla Tuesday, 9 Mar 2021 at 6:46am

Best thing about golf is getting to the 19th,thats the good part.Koont of a game!