Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Ugandan public holidays are both the best and worst days to play. Usually the big clubs will have a competition, so play is slow, on the other hand, there is no traffic, and one can drive to golf in a reasonable time. The solution to the conundrum is to either play early OR go to a smaller course. (Lugazi or Namulonge). In mid-October we tried the early route with mixed success.
5 of us met up and played Entebbe at 0900 in 2 groups, the Dutch crew included Billy (an Englishman who lived in Belgium for 10 years, McTim, and American with 7 years in Amserdam, and Olav, one of the flower growers from Wagagai Farm. Simon and Andy were the English team, but they went off the back side, and by the time they got to the front nine, the pace of play was glacial, so they retired to the 19th hole early.
The cloggies slogged it out and finished (well almost, as we skipped a hole and a half, dropping our balls 120 yds from the pin on 18 and turning it into a par 3). It was the only hole on the course where we all managed a par!
Entebbe has the best fish n chips of any course in Uganda, altho, now that I think about it, it maybe the only course where you can get fish n chips, but it's still quite good, and good value.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
I'd forgotten how difficult the Mehta Club course is for those who have never played it before. I took 7 unsuspecting high handicappers to Lugazi yesterday for the "1st Annual Barack Obama East African Eid ul-Fitr Match Play Invitational" and, well unsurprisingly, I won the Obama for President t-shirt. To be honest, I left the prize at home, so didn't tell them about it, as I didn't want to disapoint them. I'll give it away next time (when we play Entebbe, hoepfully ont the 9th of October, our next public holiday). The guys (and Clare) couldn't help but pull out their drivers on the tees, and of course found that Lugazi will bite you if you challenge it. Lot's of time spent looking for lost balls in woods/swamp/long grass. Here are some of the worst offenders ;-)
Personally, I played a very conservative course management round, irons off the tees, and got 10 pars and a birdie, with only one double for an 81 (I think). The wheels came off a bit on the last four holes for me and my team, and our string of 5 straight pars gave way to 4 bogeys.
Good thing we played Criers n Whingers or the score would have been truly astronomical. We played morning and afternon matches a la Ryder Cup, with Clare and I dominating Simon and Aubrey 4 and 3, while Steve n Billy beat Micky and Andy 2 and 1 in the morning Fourball.
After a huge Indian lunch, We played threesome BestBall against each other, and I believe that Micky, Billy and I (team score 39) crushed Aubrey, Simon and Steve. A tropical downpour put paid to adding up the scores, as we rushed to pay the caddies and get in the cars before the storm broke (some made it and some did not).
The wettest ones found their bladders stimulated by the sound of so much falling water, so we made the Collne Hotel in Mukono our 19th hole. When we got tback to the Game, we found Steve's car had been clamped, but got that sorted easily.
All in all a fine day of golf, the Ndali Lodge crew were amazed to find what a little gem Lugazi is. They claimed that the Toro Club is just as hilly, but I remain skepitcal. Next time. I hope to get them to play a Shambles at Entebbe. We'll try and pull in the Entebbe Dutch flower crowd for this one.
We also need to investigate Ranch on the Lake, as they appear to have a very ambitious plan! This would be ideal for a weekend round, as we could all take the kids and leave them poolside.