PAR WARS: ROUND 2
The rules of PAR WARS are simple.
We play matchplay with handicaps (Phil is giving me two strokes this trip).
Whoever wins the most rounds in a holiday is the winner, and she or he gets to feel smug in victory until the next vacation.
The Sub Par Golfer’s Account
It was time to change up the course and get down to business. No more “holiday golf” where the course is wide and inviting – no, we were heading to Kahili where the greens are smaller, fairways more narrow, holes are uphill and downhill and most importantly, THE WIND HOWLS. Rated the 9th best course in all of Hawaii (4th on Maui), it really is a pleasure to play. I still think it’s easier than Chamonix (I think this about most courses), but not on a windy day…
When I say the wind was howling, I mean it was HOWLING. This was not easy golf. One sideways rotation of the ball and it was away. Whoosh. Next fairway. Keep it low, keep it straight, and still, you would do well to pray. We also had three bouts of sideways showers along the way, interspersed with sunshine (and rainbows, as is customary in Hawaii). But it was hard golf.
My front nine was shockingly bad. Started off with a double bogie up the hill to the first (1-down). Then I made my only par on the first nine to come back even in our matchplay. Bogie after bogie followed, then a double and another bogie to finish off the first nine. Phil wasn’t playing a whole lot better, but just better enough to have two points on me.
I was hating this. I’m used to winning in Hawaii, and I’m not even sure I’d ever been two down in the history of PAR WARS. I was fuming. My putting on the front nine wasn’t bad but I was on in regulation ONCE, and that single time was the only time I three-putted. What a pile of shite.
The second nine I buckled down and started to concentrate. A few bogies and a couple pars got me back in the game. It was damage control at this point, with the wind and the rain taking its toll on everyone. Minus-2 turned into minus-1 turned back into ALL SQUARE. I was getting somewhere. Then out of nowhere Phil drained an enormous putt for birdie, making my regulation-nearly-birdie par look like a pile of poo.
Anyway, after that my par-bogie-par finish wasn’t enough to compete with his par-par-bogie ending and I…llll, I llllooo-, I lossss—. Hold on I can say it. I loossssss. T.
Whatever, read it however you want. Ugh.
So, that’s that and the next round I’m gonna kick some ACTUAL ARSE. This was just a wee slip-up. No stress…
We decided the venue for the 2nd edition of PAR WARS should be Kahili golf club, set at the foothills of the West Maui Mountains. Kahili is slightly upmarket facility compared to Maui Nui but still affordable for cheapskate golfers such as us.
The greens are Bermuda grass like Maui Nui with the grain affecting the roll of the putt – remember, the grain is fast towards the sea and slow towards the mountain – I was getting used to this now so I thought I was in with a chance. I still had to give her 2 shots though and that irked me as it always does.
I got off to a good start and went 1 up on the 1st but then we bounced back and forth for the next 4 holes to be square on 5 but I went 1 up on 6 and was 2 up at the turn.
I was struggling with the putting again though. My old rules didn’t seem to apply now. At Kahili, if you’re putting with your back to the mountains, facing the isthmus of the island, you have the ocean to your left and right – so which way does the damned putt want to go? I found myself studying the “burn” around the hole and getting on my knees looking at the grain.
After halving the tenth hole, Michelle had a shot on 11 and won the hole, and she won 12 after I missed the green and all of a sudden we were back to square. I’d had a convincing lead but was now on the back foot and Michelle’s competitive grin had started to surface.
To my surprise we halved 13. The white tee box was set at 150 metres and the ladies tee was about 100 metres – how can you compete? The 14th was no better – a par four, 400-metre hole for me and a par four, 300 metre hole for Michelle. Luckily, she had a nightmare and I took the hole. Then on the 15th, I sunk a huge swinging putt that put me 2-up. She was against the ropes now and had to do something special to stay in the game.
Unfortunately she didn’t pull anything out the bag so with the 16th halved I’d won 3 and 2 – we were all square in PAR WARS. This was unprecedented, not only had I won a game but I was level-pegging.
Back to Maui Nui next – 5 days time.
Miss Round 1? Read it HERE.