Okay, as an 18-handicapper I am allowed to dream, so here goes. After walking the famous fairways of Augusta National this week, I decided to get the sticks and give it a whack round – just for a bit of fun. This is all in my head, you understand
Here’s the damage…
1st – Tea Olive
Par 4 – 445 Yards
Tip my hat to the crowd and hastily take my driver from the bag. Rushing my swing in eagerness to get away, I slice the ball high and into the trees aligning the right of the fairway. Nobble a 7-iron back in to play, before hitting a sweet 5-iron just shy of the green. Chip-and-run the ball up to ten feet. Two putt for a double bogey. Walk off saying to my caddy: “I don’t know what all the fuss is about.”
2nd – Pink Dogwood
Par 5 – 575 yards
Nice Open fairway, but still need to keep it right. I achieve this with my trademark slice, which I tell my partner was meant to be a gentle fade. Top a 3-wood 50 yards. Fly my 4-iron and think I’ve gone through the back of the green, but look slightly embarrassed when I’m still 100 yards short. Wedge on to the green. Get the read on the putt all wrong and can it 20 feet past. Takes three more putts for it to drop. Triple bogey eight.
3rd – Flowering Peach
Par 4 – 350 yards
Fancy my chances here. Nut my drive slightly to the left, leaving me with 120 yards to the front of the green. Knife a 9-iron, which trickles through the back. Duff a chip, but then hole a 20-foot triple breaker and give it double fist pumps to the joy of the 20-something gallery. Par
4th – Flowering Crab Apple
Par 3 – 240 yards
Not confident with the 3-wood after my nobble on the second hole, but am talked into it by my caddie. The inevitable top is followed by a fit of pique and “I’ll never work with you again accusations.” Play my second from where the ladies tee should be, catch my 5-iron thick, but it runs down the hill and onto the fringe. Leave the first putt ten feet short, force the second ten feet by. Two more putts for a triple bogey six.
5th – Magnolia
Par 4 – 455 yards
Still at odds with my caddie, I drill my drive all of 230 yards. Pick the tee up in one swooping movement with a pat on the back for my bagman followed by a Monty-style skip which hopes to suggest that my previous moment of rage was all in good humour. Hit approach into the trees, chip out, 6-iron runs onto green and two-putt. Bogey five.
6th – Juniper
Par 3 – 180 yards
Hit a nice draw with a gentle six-iron downhill. Get the ball on the dance floor and have a 15-footer for birdie. Read it all wrong though and it rolls 16 feet past. Two more putts. Bogey four.
7th – Pampas
Par 4 – 450 yards
Slice my drive so badly that it runs onto the 17th fairway. Apologise to Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle. Then get the fear and top a 4-iron as I rush to get out of their way. This begins a ‘top fest’, which results in me picking my ball up and pencilling down a quadruple bogey eight.
8th – Yellow Yasmine
Par 5 – 570 yards
Pretty much all uphill, I give my drive everything only for another slice which this time ends up in the trees that run along the left-side of the 18th fairway. Manage to rip a 7-iron over the trees, and then somehow connect with my 3-wood, getting the ball up to the fringe. Putt off the green rolls to the right-hand side. Three more putts. Double bogey seven.
9th – Carolina Cherry
Par 4 – 460 yards
Drive finds the middle of the fairway. Decide to take a 5-iron for my approach as wind is slightly behind and downhill. Catch it flush and give out a far-too-loud “Get in there” before watching the ball sail into the left-side bunker. Fail to get out first attempt. Second runs through the green. Three putts from there. Triple bogey seven.
Next page: Undone by Augusta – Camellia to Holly