Day 163: A Happy Draw

Wed. 23rd January 2013

Good place for a mornings distractionToday we consider what there is to do in Hanmer Springs now that we have “done” the Springs. The options we come up with are walking or golf, so we decide it is about time we hit some little white balls as we have not picked up a golf club in over 6 months.

We have absolutely none of the right equipment but the golf club is very easy going with regard to the dress code and has clubs for hire which includes tees and balls. According to the notice the only “no nos” are playing in flip flops (known as jangles) and no bare chests (no jokes please), just be neat and tidy. As my choice of footwear is walking boots, walking sandals or flip flops I opt for sandals and it is a strange experience compared to proper golf shoes. My main problem was the sun was so strong I was afraid of sunburn even with Factor 30 sun cream. Also our left hand cycling glove doubled up as a golf glove! Our attire would not have been tolerated at home at Frilford where we usually play.

Hire cliubs lined up and readyThere was no worry about booking a tee time as the course was very quiet and we were not bothered by any of the other players in front or behind us. I had tried to find a famous or interesting course to play whilst we were in the South Island but the ones around Christchurch were all flat and made interesting by water coming into play. As we had not played for a while and I do not like water hazards I ruled these courses out. Hanmer Springs is in the mountain so it must be a bit up and down mustn’t it?

Stunning views to distract us from the golfThe course was mainly as flat as a pancake with only one pond to be crossed, so hardly a challenging course, but fun all the same. After 9 holes I had taken a three point lead and so there was all to play for on the way home. The 17th was just over 100m and downhill which was interesting as Dave’s ball bounced on the path and disappeared over the hedge, the only lost ball of the day. As we had found two balls on the way around this must be our first ever round where we came back with more balls than we started with!

Shadows on the mountainsAs we totted up the scores at the end and Dave had beaten me by 3 points on the back 9 and so it was all square over the round. Dave hadn’t realised that his 10’ putt on the last hole was to draw the round. With honour saved all round, we went home happy and content for a celebratory strawberry and white chocolate magnum (ice cream). It was a glorious sunny day and so we spent the afternoon sat outside the van in the sunshine putting off the task of repacking our backpacks. We have had three weeks in the van and are now spread out over all surfaces and cupboards. We also had the boring job of housework as we need to clean the van before returning it tomorrow.

As the sun began to go down, the shadows on the mountains highlighted the extent of their contours. The scenery as ever does not disappoint here in South Island. We wonder what sights North Island have in store for us, as we begin to realise six days will just not be enough. Another tough day in paradise ended with home cooked chilli, probably our last cooking for a few months.

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