March 10th 2012,
So, today I am going to talk about my golfing experience here in Stellenbosch. So me and my crazy friend Chris Moskal decided that we wanted to go out golfing while we’re here in South Africa. So I called the Stellenbosch Golf Club and signed us up for a tee time on Saturday March 10th at precisely 12:16pm. We had to rent clubs obviously, so I called to make sure they had ladies lefty clubs (because they are not common) and they did, so we were all excited and really for Saturday to arrive. So we met at 11 and called a cab to take us to the Golf Club, and our cab driver was fantastic and he wanted to talk all about America and what was worth seeing there, he was also impressed that young, American students wanted to go golfing while we were in South Africa.
We arrived at the golf course and went to the Pro Shop to check in, but right before that Chris had been eating a Sweet Chili Chicken Wrap and proceeded to spill it down his pants, therefore justifying the “American Slob” stereotype. As the manager was checking in our tee time he told us that he had entered us into the Saturday competition and asked if that was fine. I looked at Chris and he looked at me with both of our mouths hanging open in disbelief and pure fear, and of course Chris being a good sport as he always is said “Yeah, that’s fine” as I was shaking my head “no” furiously at him. Then the manager proceeded to tell us that we were to be paired with the Club’s financial managers, and after that I felt the need to cry/faint/run whatever people do when they are told nerve racking news. Of course, Chris being the jovial sort was quite excited to play with them as I was not. Then, the manager informed us that we could not partake in the competition because we did not know our handicaps, but that we were still to be paired with the financial managers of this pristine golf course. Then we were asked as to whether we wanted a buggy or a trolley, with common sense, and being used to walking I asked for two trolleys, and Chris agreed. When they brought the pull carts to us, Chris gave the guy a weird look, and then leaned over to me and said disappointedly “I thought trolleys were golf carts.” We exchanged for a buggy and Chris was content.
Finally 12:16pm rolled around and it was time to tee off, we met the financial managers, Andre and Evert who loved to speak Afrikaans to one another, so Chris and I could only assume they were saying bad things about us. They also asked us to keep track of their scores *(and this will come into play later in the story).* They asked Chris to tee off first, and of course being the first hole and under stressful circumstances Chris whiffed the ball. After the men teed off, Andre and Evert looked at each other and decided that they needed a drink before straying too far from the clubhouse. Chris and I assumed it was because it was going to be a long game judging from his first shot. As we started getting into the match, Chris and I quickly realized that they were very good and we were very, very bad.
On the 2nd hole I was using my 5 wood to get up to the green and I accidentally hit a goose and went into the water. On many chip shots Chris and I often almost hit Andre or Evert. On the 6th green as we were waiting for the group behind us to pass, Chris and I were making small talk with Andre and Evert and Chris proceeds to ask them what they do for a living, as I slap my hand to my head, they give each other confused looks and tell Chris that they are the financial managers of the course, which we had already been told by the Pro Shop manager. On the 9th hole a bar maid was waiting at the tee to send in drink orders to the clubhouse, Chris ordered a water and the waitress asked “still or sparkling” and seeing that her Afrikaans accent was quite strong, Chris didn’t understand and replied with a firm “YES” and after getting confused looks from all of us, I leaned over to him to repeat the question. By that point, we assumed that Evert and Andre thought we were mentally ill. On the 11th hole, Chris and I looked down at the scorecard to realize that we hadn’t kept track of their score for seven or eight holes, I casually asked Evert if I could borrow their score card because I missed the eighth hole scores, they proceeded to tell us that they weren’t keeping their own scores and that we were supposed to have them. Chris and I were so horrified, over the course of the next two holes we plotted dozens of different ways to get rid of the score card, and here are a few of the plans…..
1. Chris: Let’s pour water all over the golf card and say that the scores are illegible.
2. Emily: Throw the card out of the golf cart and say the wind blew it away.
3. Chris: Hide it in my backpack and say we lost it.
4. Emily: Hide the pencil in the golf cart and say that we had no way of keeping track of the scores without the pencil.
5. Emily: Rip it up and throw all of the pieces out of the golf cart.
What I ended up doing was that I wrote down fake scores and we made sure to keep track of the rest of the game in hopes that they didn’t remember their 5th hole’s score and so on.
On the 13th hole, I grabbed an iron in hopes to lob my ball over the large stumpy tree that sat in front of me; Chris was sitting in the cart behind taking photos of the course, the mountains, and the beautiful landscape that lay around us. I smacked my ball and it proceeded to bounce off the tree, back into the cart where it hit the roof and then hit Chris smack in the shoulder, Andre and Evert definitely got a good laugh out of that. When we finished the game, we went to the clubhouse so we could buy Evert and Andre a drink for having to play with such poor players such as ourselves. After buying them a drink, Chris and I got up to leave and Chris casually asked Evert if he needed anything from us, and he said no, so Chris and I called the cab and ran as fast as we could out of the clubhouse without ever giving the men their scorecard back.
Never will I ever be allowed to be put in a competition with financial managers in a foreign country, because not only did we make Americans look bad, we embarrassed ourselves and crushed our thoughts of thinking we were “good golfers”. But, otherwise it made for a great story!