Part of my rationale for a month's sojourn to Panama was to put those 3 golf lessons I took back in September to good use and finally play some golf. Mrs D and her aunt - Tante Poutine (her name is Jeanne but I call her poutine because she comes from Warwick, Quebec, the undisputed poutine capital of Canada) - hung out for two weeks and then headed back to cooler climes. -10 to -20C in Canada these days. Masochists! No, not really. Eskimos, maybe. For me this is a dream vacation. The best of both worlds. Two weeks in this Central American paradise with the wife, two weeks without her AND four weeks of golf. After all I have to hone my skills before I meet up with Whitey and Killer, the other Dufus dudes, for a fifth week in Orlando. Wait a minute. Bonus. Three weeks without the wife! I miss you honey. Heh, heh, heh, heh.
So that's my plan. Practice golf for four weeks so I can show my brothers a thing or two.
Luckily my brother-in-law's condo community has a golf course. My first game wasn't too bad. Remember, I've never golfed before. I hit a 57! Of course the course (see what I just did there?) at the Bijao (pronounced be-how) Resort is only 9 holes. But hey, what do you want for the first time. I had a blast. I even scored better than my 11 year old nephew. Hey, he's good!
In Panama, at this time of year, you've got to start your golf game early because by noon the temperature's in the mid to high 30s Celsius. So we started around 8:30am and finished in the high 30s Celsius. I shudder to think how long it would have taken us to play a regulation 18 holes…and how hot it would have got.
I made some shots I was proud of. Mostly I made shots I wasn't very proud of at all. I seem to have an affinity for water and sand. But hey, after all, this is Panama. Panama's all about water and sand. One hole in particular was memorable. I addressed the ball. I drove for all I was worth and ka-ping my ball made a beeline for a short stone wall, bounced off onto the sandy ground beside a water trap. Ha, I thought, I could play that. Not as optimistic as I was, my brother-in-law suggested I take the stroke and use my ball retriever instead. Down I climbed near the water to get my ball. I took two steps…and immediately began to sink into the sandy mud. Shit, I thought, quicksand! My mind raced wildly with visions of those classic western movies were the cowboy wanders unknowingly into quicksand and sinks quickly to his waist before lassoing the saddle on his trusty steed and being pulled to safety as the dramatic soundtrack swells. I could hear the soundtrack swelling in my head and I sure didn't have a lasso, let alone a trusty steed. Luckily I was able to extricate first one foot and then the other before the mud had reached my mid-calfs. Boy, that sure was a different take on a sand trap!
One last thing, as I continue to hone my skills. Apart from a driver for teeing off, I pretty much stick to a 7 iron on the fairway and a putter, of course, on the green. This moved my brother-in-law to wonder aloud why I'd spent so much money on my golf set because I never use the other 12 clubs. What with all the balls I've lost so far, he's got a good point. I could have spent that money on more balls!