Golfing Gnews…….. The Comeback

Tiger Woods, I am definitely not. If there is one thing that he and I have in common, is that we are both making a comeback to a sport we both love (and hate), GOLF.

3

My good friend Bambam got me into the sport waaay back in 1993 or 94. He had brought his golf clubs when he visited us here from the US.  Along with Ricky and Janice, (who was just my girlfriend then), we would visit Power golf (now where Savemore Pasig is) and hit away. I still remember my first golf pro and lesson. His name was Vic Granada and he taught me the basics. It was 20 bucks a bucket and I think 150 bucks for the lesson. From there, even when Bambam left, I progressed to going on my own, or with Janice and my future brother in law Jude and hitting using borrowed golf clubs from Nelson R. I still remember my first game in a fairway. It was at Veterans, with Janno Gibbs (yes that janno Gibbs) and I started at the back nine, and got a triple bogey. I finished that day , shooting 32 over using borrowed clubs.

Soon after, I bought my own clubs, Macgregor Irons  and my pride and joy,a  Callaway Warbird Big Bertha Driver. the IN club of the day at that time.   Shortly after that most of my friends were now into golf: Jay C., Desi, Al, Reggie, Oskie, Ricky,Nelson, Sid and the late Glen B. Boy Blue Ocampo, now a big shot at the APGA, became our “pro” and taught us the finer points of the sport. One of my friends Jimbo, a jungolfer was so happy we were playing a sport he loved.  We would make the long trips to Canlubang Old course, Riviera and Orchard. We would play in Navy, Aguinaldo and in Capitol Hills (with Ariel Rivera no less) I would even play in Binictican in Subic with the Nolido boys. I was really hooked.

Reggie, Ricky, Me, Nelson and Al @ the Old Course in'95

Reggie, Ricky, Me, Nelson and Al @ the Old Course in'95

In fact, when it was time to “formally” ask for Janice’s hand in marriage from my dad in law, it was in a golf course in Valley Golf.  Dad asked me to play with him. Of course I accepted his invite, but to be safe, hehe, I asked Al to accompany me, just in case Dad decided not to make me part of the family and leave me in the course.

Ricky teeing off in Hole #4 of the Old Course. Beside him is the late Glen B.

Ricky teeing off in Hole #4 of the Old Course. Beside him is the late Glen B.

Nelson lines up a putt. "Isang grip sa ilong, este sa kaliwa."

Nelson lines up a putt. "Isang grip sa ilong, este sa kaliwa."

Jimbo at # 1.

Jimbo at # 1

My turn at # 4. Mukhang totoo no?

My turn at # 4. Mukhang totoo no?

Al with a fashion statement at Hole # 5

Al with a fashion statement at Hole # 5

It's Reggie's turn at # 5, and with his fashion statement. Hi-socks indeed!!!

It's Reggie's turn at # 5, and with his fashion statement. Hi-socks indeed!!!

Horsing around before teeing off at the Old Course

Horsing around before teeing off at the Old Course

At The Canlubang Country Club in 1995.

At The Canlubang Country Club in 1995.

When I got married in 1996, that was when golf was really hitting its peak. The rates in the golf courses were increasing and there was so much traffic in the golf courses. It was almost impossible to play during weekends. So my golfing was now limited to maybe once or twice every three months, until I eventually retired sometime in 2004. And prior to that, I was rarely playing anyway. I kept in touch with golf  by watching it on tv and thru Al, who had now developed into a single handicapper, and even led his  Riviera team to victory. Coincidentally, most of my friends, Jay, Desi and Reggie, also went into golf semi- retirement or stopped playing altogether.

Fast forward now to 2008. Again, and old friend from the US got me back to golf. Sid came home last year and invited the guys to play golf. Al and Reg (who had come out of semi-retirement) accepted and were telling me to go with them. I said, Ya sure why not. I went to our bodega and found my golf clubs. They literally had cobwebs, not dust, but cobwebs. I proceeded to the garden to start swinging. While swinging, the golf grips cracked and broke. Finally after a couple of swings, I gave up. No way, not unless I had actually practiced I said to myself. Plus I had no gloves, shoes and other golf paraphernalia. But even at the last minute, in the morning of the golf game, I was still actually contemplating on playing. But common sense got the better of me. “Pass na muna,” I texted to Al and Reggie,” But  I will walk with you in the golf course at Valley, and take pictures.”

Al, Sid and Reggie, at the Executive Course of Valley Golf

Al, Sid and Reggie, at the Executive Course of Valley Golf

Al putting between............

Al putting between............

Sid, Reggie, and Al. Different strokes for different..... shapes?

Sid, Reggie, and Al. Different strokes for different..... shapes?

At Valley, in the last hole,some 140 yards away, Reg gave me his 5 iron and said, fire away. I looked down at the ball, checked my stance, knees bent, waggle, practice swing, aaaand then swiiiiiing and a miss. Ouch that hurt! I actually whiffed and missed the ball. Hehehe dyahi. “One more,” Reggie said, “Relax.” After a deep breath, waggle, slow back swing, POW!!!, Straight and true, over the green!!! Al, Sid and Reggie were clapping and cheering. Wow, Flashdance, what a feeling!

Ready.... aim.....

Ready.... aim.....

Fire... este... FORE!!!!!

Fire... este... FORE!!!!!

I actually hit it... and it flew!!!! Yahooooo!!!!!

I actually hit it... and it flew!!!! Yahooooo!!!!!

In the clubhouse after the game, Sid offered to sell his old Nike clubs to me, and I accepted the offer. Some 5 months later, the clubs  finally arrived around December. I went to the range to try them out. I couldn’t believe how forgiving and light these new clubs are. I also amazed at how HUGE the clubheads of today’s drivers are. They made my old Big Bertha driver look like a 3 wood.

Finally, last week, I got to actually use them for the 1st time in a golf course, at the Baguio Country Club. It was going to be  my first game in around 4 plus years,maybe more. I scored a 91, 30 strokes over. Not good, but considering the rust, and  the extra pounds I had packed all these years, I was happy with the result. I even got 2 pars, but unfortunately some double pars as well. I teed off at 7am and played alone and relaxed. My caddy, Henry, was very supportive and kept giving very welcome advice. Playing in Baguio is very tiring. Up and down, hills here and there. The thin air didn’t help either. But undaunted, and happy with the result of Day 1, I made a reservation to play again the next day. Day 2 ,  this time I teed off earlier at 6:30am. Despite the thick  fog and the cold, I proceeded to cut 5 strokes off my game from the previous day, spiked by a  chip for par in one of the holes. Very much happy with this days’ result, I pushed the envelope and informed my caddy, that I would play again the next day. The 3rd day, I was literally the 1st person in the golf course. The starter and my caddy were not even there yet when I arrived. I teed off again at 6:30am and proceeded to cut another 5 strokes from my previous days score. Yahooo!!!! Sid, I love the clubs, thanks for selling them to me.

A very foggy Hole #1 at the Baguio Country Club

A very foggy Hole #1 at the Baguio Country Club

Watta view!!!

Watta view!!!

Teeing off at hole #11.

Teeing off at hole #11.

At the same hole after my tee shot. 2 putts. Par. :)

At the same hole after my tee shot. 2 putts. Par. 🙂

At hole # 18, where I made another par.

At hole # 18, where I made another par.

I love golf..............

I love golf..............

With my caddy Henry and Ro-anne,the starter after my round.

With my caddy Henry and Ro-anne,the starter after my round.

So now, I am back to playing a sport I once loved, and apparently still do. I used to slice all over the place earning the nickname ,”Mr. Slicerman” from a caddy in the old course. Now I actually pull my shots to the left more often than slicing. Hmm. I welcome anyone’s advice to cure this. So to my friends who are still in golf retirement, tara na. Come join us. 🙂

FORE!!!!!!!!!

SIDE STORY: After my 1st day of golf, I played mini golf in John Hay, with Janice, the kiddos, and Jude. I shot 1 under. 🙂

91

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Golfing Gnews…….. The Comeback

  1. wow, na-senti ako doon ah. sarap basahin… mga 4 years nakong retired from golf dahil sa kaka-kalikot sa kotse… (at least kotse ha!)

    my favorite memory was noong i was so excited with my new nike air golf shoes (white na wingtip)… pareho yung box tulad ng ibang nike air na pang-basketball… tapos when i opened it to show you guys… “nge, ano yan?” wahahaha!

    grabe, daming flashback na memories. goryo – thank you for writing about your comeback. i will definitely be joining you soon.

  2. Hanep…blass from the pass!

    Those were the good ol’ days…baka naman pwede nating gawin uli ito on a rejular basis (sa mga nandito sa Pinas: Gar, Reggie, Al, Dokk, Ricky) kahit once or twice a month man lang.

    Pucha talagang naging habit ko na yang ganyang pagbabasa ng putt…and after 14 years I find myself doing that on a regular basis…

    Mas mabango kasi minsan yung amoy nung grip kaysa sa amoy ng utot ko….hahahahaaa! =D

  3. Ang masasabi ko lang ay “Punyemas!” (‘Di kaya ako ma-ban dito for saying bad words – ala-Club Penguin?!)

  4. Hey congrats bro in law for rediscovering your love for golf. Sino kaya ang sunod na kalaro mo…si Richard Gomez or Aga Muhlach?

    Sayang we weren’t able to join you for the baguio trip. Miguel would’ve accompanied you at Baguio Country Club. On 2nd thought, maybe not because he runs a lot more now. hahaha

  5. wwwwoooooooowwwwwww!!!! grabe yung pictures ang galing. i’m so happy that you’re back in the game. my only wish is to have a REPEAT of playing again with those people in the pictures para may past and present.. same poses ha!… hopefully when jimbo, bam and sid are all in town we can schedule one round and play like old times.. you know?? 🙂 good job gorio and looking forward to many golf rounds with you.

  6. Gary great blog. My golly the ’95 pics were hilarious. I actually had a neck. Hahaha. Good job bro. May our game be great too. Swing away.

  7. Wow! First mention ako.

    Hopefully, I can one day make a return op da comeback like you. For now, I’m in forced retirement since a repetitive stress injury (RSI) from computers makes my wrists sore. Hanap buhay muna, bago golf. Maybe when I retire (from work) I can unretire (from golf).

    Hataw lang ng hataw!

    Bambam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s