Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cherry Blossom Squeeze

My current trip started today – 3/6/08 – a journey to Clare and Galway and the courses along the way. Another three weeks and 29 courses. The weather is perfect and the sun is out when I arrive at Carrick-on-Suir Golf Club at 7.45am. It would have been earlier but the signpost says 2km and after 3km I turned around, convinced I’d gone too far. It really is at the top of the hill, high above the town. The lady in the shop sent me back again and it was interesting to see someone get out of their car and go into the shop, leaving the car door open and the engine running.

Carrick-on-Suir suffers from the same problem that many country courses have to endure: it is a bit too far to make the effort. But, like many country courses, that is wrong! This course is worth a trip, and the views of the Comeragh Mountains are an added bonus. [Photo: par three 4th]

Good showers too – those big heads that point straight down and drop gallons of water on you. Mind you, I was a bit dubious when I saw a container of shower gel scented with Cherry Blossom & Pearl. Whatever happened to real men! [Photo: the walk to holes 10 to 17 at Carrick-on-Suir]

On my drive to Cahir Park at lunchtime I was overtaken by three motorbikes – big Harleys sporting grizzled and bearded men in sunglasses. Emblazoned across their backs were the words “Sons of Silence.” As the Harleys roared past with that deep-throated roar that could be heard for miles, I wondered if they appreciated irony.

Cahir Park was busy. Seniors were out and playing slowly, but in front of me was a fourball of lads, with only two bags. Progress was slow and it gave me time to practice around the greens, so I wasn’t complaining. Cahir Park is a laid back kind of course, clearly divided by the wide River Suir, which divides the old, curvy holes from the new, water-drenched holes – all designed by Eddie Hackett. There are several places on the new 9 where you won’t get your ball back if you stray towards the wet stuff. [Photo: the pretty par three 3rd]

After I left I drove through Tipperary town and stopped for provisions at a local supermarket. I was looking at the bread when a lady walked up and started to squeeze every loaf of bread in sight. This one, that one, the one over there… and I wondered how many times each loaf gets squeezed before someone finally takes pity on it and takes it home. So, do you squeeze?

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