Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My arrival at Woodstock Golf Course (near Ennis) on Sunday morning could not have been worse. My 10am tee time reservation had not been put in the book and the time sheet was packed. The rather unhelpful lady (there’s a thin line between efficient and officious) in the shop didn’t seem bothered that I wouldn’t be able to get out. I said I’d wait and see if there were any groups coming that I could join, to which she replied that I wasn’t allowed to play as a five ball. I was this close to saying “Duh!” but I resisted.

[Photo: approach to the downhill par 5 10th]
The timesheet had some blanks after 1 o’clock so I said I’d play then instead and I returned to the camper van to do some work. I returned at one o’clock to find my name had not been put on the timesheet and that the relevant slots had since been booked by other groups. The original lady had gone by this stage and I ended up walking the course, in a bad mood!
I confess I wanted to dislike Woodstock, but it wasn’t easy to do. It’s a nice parkland course and it will mature impressively. I was down on the 7th – Index 1 – where a small lake provides the drama for 7 and 8. And here I watched four swallows playing over the reeds. We have swallows nesting at home but I had never seen this: they had picked up a piece of white fluff (a small feather I guessed) and were racing around the place, dropping it every few seconds. As it floated down to the water, another swallow would swoop in and catch it. And this went on and on.

[Photo: approach to the par 4 18th]

I was also impressed on 13 when a member of one of the groups I was following, hit his second shot to about five feet, still smoking his cigarette. Even when I congratulated him the fag stayed firmly in place.
It’s part of a hotel but I found it a bit grotty (I finally get my dig in). Besides, friends of mine had put me up for two nights just down the road. Nothing like a bit of home comfort. When I got back, Christine asked for a tour of the camper. Her three kids came too, and so did their friends. My four berth camper ended up with about ten kids aged between 3 and 10 crawling all over it. Frank (Mark and Christine’s youngest and the only boy in the group) got behind the steering wheel straight away. One of the girls who I didn’t know asked me if this was my home. When I said ‘yes’ she looked around and screwed up her face in horror. Nothing like an 8 year old to put you in your place!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kevin -

    Sorry to hear about the (let's be frank..) crappy situation in general. TSheets.com makes a tool mainly for businesses to track employees' time, but I just had a thought...How convenient would it be (have been) for Woodstock to have an online timesheet for both players and management to monitor turf times?

    Now where's that suggestion box I've been looking for? ;)