One of the best things about club golf is the highly competitive fourball match within the group. Usually, the balls are thrown up prior to play to determine teams. The two balls finishing closest together will result in the owners forming a team. It’s the fairest way to do it. On Saturday I broke with tradition and formed the teams based on age. This little stunt backfired on me big time!

Al and Den (the Oldies) were up against the young guns Lachlan (Al’s son) and me. We usually only play for five dollars, but with all of the sledging that goes on you would think that we were playing for so much more. These little side bet matches can take on a life of their own – resulting in fist pumps, cheers and a real team spirit. On Saturday it was more important than that, it was war!

Dennis started proceedings by complaining about how stiff and sore he was. He usually does this to give his opponents a false sense of security. He must have known that this little tactic wasn’t going to work with his younger opponents, because he then started complaining about the fact he had a new driver (he’s being doing this for weeks too) and wasn’t yet familiar with it. Lachlan and I sarcastically sympathised with him as we prepared to play our first shots.

It’s fair to say that the Youngsters didn’t get off to the best start. It didn’t help that Al made a decisive rule change on the first green. These late rule changes are common, but I should have known that these older, more experienced and cunning golfers had a trick up their sleeve. Al declared that the second ball would count. In most fourball matches only the best ball counts towards the score, hence the name fourball best ball. In our match, if the best two scores were tied then the second scores would act like a tie breaker. If they were the same the hole would be halved.

Unfortunately for Lach and myself, the over competitive old boys were playing incredible golf. We were able to match the best score most times, but were were completely outclassed and out gunned with the second ball rule. When we lost the ninth hole to another ‘three pointer’ we were seven down. It was starting to become embarrassing.

The Youngsters regained some pride on the back nine. We won the 11th and 12th holes and had a sniff on the 13th. That would have made things interesting but as was typical that day a short putt failed to drop (I can hear those Oldies laughing). Our experienced opponents put us out of our misery when they halved the 14th hole. Dennis the Menace made another par when he had a shot, just when I thought my birdie would have extended proceedings further.

We got thrashed 5 and 4. It was bad enough that I lost 5 bucks – worse still Al has been applying my automatic learning principles with great results. Now Den is keen for some lessons too. I’ll definitely be charging these guys full price from now on.

I look forward to the rematch.

Good golfing,

Cameron Strachan