Monday, August 23, 2010

Hackers Delight - Noonan!

Saturday was my company's annual golf outing.  During last year's outing, my team came in first place team in the second flight.  No trophy, but we did get a medals and gift cards.  Big deal, it's only the second flight, right?  That is true, but the prizes for the second flight were the same as the first we didn't have to try nearly as hard.  To me that is a greater return on investment.  Hopes were high for a repeat this year.

Admittedly, I am not a great golfer.  It's just one of those things that I don't really get excited about.  I don't mind golfing.  I think it is kind of fun, and I like getting out in nice green grass and trees.  My dad is a big golfer, so I have been around golf most my life.  I took lessons as a young kid and I played on the high school golf team.  Well, I practiced on the high school golf team.  I never came close to making the competition team as I didn't take it serious at all.  I would drive with my putter, I would do dances to the rain gods, I would dump the basket of balls at the driving range and take a swing at the pile.  I didn't take the game seriously, for me it was more about screwing around and having fun.  Mini-golf had a lot more draw for me that regular golf.

It's not badminton...but still I dominate.
I am slightly better now...I try a little bit.  I don't play much and practice even less.  It had been almost a year since I had last played before Saturday's tournament.  Of course, I knew I would do awesome.  The tournament was a 4 person, best shot in which I competed with my dad, my brother Ryan, and another gentleman from work.  Even though I expected to play awesome, I figured I would let the other three do most of the they felt like they were contributing to the effort.  I wanted them to feel that they were doing well.

We started on a  122 yard par 3.  This hole was a prize hole with a contest for closest to the pin on their first shot.  I'm all for prizes, so I pulled out my 8 iron, took a single practice swing and hit the ball onto the green.  I was a little disappointed that it was still about 25 feet from the hole...but for my first shot in about it year, I thought that was pretty decent.  I was the only one on my team to make the green.  Seriously?  These were supposed to be some serious ball strikers.  But don't worry, I'll handle it.  We walk up to the green, I grab my putter and sink the 25 foot putt completely cold for a birdie.  This game is TOO easy.

Since we were the first team to play the hole, I was the first one to be marked for closest to the pin...even though I personally didn't think it was a great shot.  The putt was awesome though, so I right down my name more for the effort on the putt than the drive.  I figure I have done enough to carry my team for the day and I start slacking off.  I through in a brilliant shot every now and again when they struggle but for the most part I work on perfecting my sweet slice when I swing.  I figure why make it so difficult for everyone else to keep up by hitting the ball straight down the fairway?  I am up for a little challenge and will take the challenging  shots from the rough and the woods...just to make it interesting.

Chupacrabra...not nearly as good
as he claims to be.
When we return to the clubhouse and the scores are added up, I realized that a terrible mistake had been made.  I had overestimated how well the rest of the teams would do.  We did one stroke too well to win the second flight again.  Dang it!  I wanted a all suck for sucking so bad!  I can't be expected to reign in my natural talent enough to do THAT bad.  Do you want me to do the Tin Cup thing and only play with my 7 iron?  So unfortunately, I was not good enough for my team to win this time...I am sure they doubted my skills so I am going to blame them for not having faith.

All hope was not gone however.  We did not get the trophy but there were still the prize holes to consider and I know I was in the running for closest to the pin.  Sure, it was a pretty horrible shot.  Sure, there had to be no way that my shot could have been closest out of everyone competing.  You must keep faith however, and just believe that you will win.  I was not disappointed.  The official 'winner' of closest to the pin was within 12 inches and wrote their name down as "El Chupacabra."  Everyone knows that the El Chupacabra is a liar and horrible at golf (plus not officially enlisted in the tournament).  The next golfer in line for closest to the pin with a drive about 6 feet from the hole was the tournament organizer.  To avoid any appearance of cheating or unfairness, the organizer always declines any prizes.

I was the next and the last on the list to claim the "Closest to the Pin" prize.  You may say, "But you just won by default..."  And you would be right.  I will gladly claim any "By Default" prize.  You will also be mistaken because there were some pretty extraordinary factors involved in my winning of this "By Default" prize.  I supposed it could all be coincidence, but I prefer to think of it as fate.  I was destined to win.  After all, how often does the mythical El Chupacabra make an appearance to help someone win a prize?  Fate.

I won my choice of putters.  I had three to choose from.  I chose the Wilson Harmonized Center Line Mallet Putter.  I usually use a banana-style putter than I got from for $1 about 10 years ago.  It works well for me but I have always been interested in trying one of the bigger mallet style putters just to see what it is like.  Mostly, I chose it because it had a very cool looking and white with red stitching.  I thought it was very stylish looking.  I figure I am good enough already, it is now time to look good while I am playing.

You know you want to touch my shaft.

I'm golden, I tell is near impossible for me to lose.  Maybe I should play the lottery (or as I like to call it - tax on the mathematically challenged).

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