This Kookaburra was a close as I could get to a birdie today

Yesterday I hit my first ball before first light. When you can't see the ball you rely on feeling the ball strike and muscle memory to guess the trajectory and angle of the ball flight and then most importantly hearing it bounce, so it was disappointing when the ball clicked off the ball club face but then there was dead silence.

I played a provisional ball which had the unmistakable splashing sound of the ball landing in the drink and my third ball suffered the exact same fate as the valley echoed with the sounds of splashing water. My only hope was to find the first ball. I wandered up to the front of the green and took a cursory look around the fringe and front edge, a hopeful glance across the putting surface was to no avail, it was only after searching the three green side bunkers did I discovery why I never heard the ball bounce. My ball had buried itself and plugged in the face of the pot and that is why it never made a sound. The good news was I wasn't playing 5 off the tee the bad news was it was going to take two shots to extricate it from the sand.

I had planned to play 18 holes then join the members competition at 730am and then disqualify myself for playing on the course prior to entering the comp. Unfortunately it turned out that Thursday was a fixtured Ambrose teams competition so it wouldn't have been fair to join the field and make my partners ineligible from the competition, so I cancelled the plans and opted instead to head home early for some quality time with the family. A few games of cricket, some table tennis with the boys was a relaxing morning before making the 120km drive late in the afternoon to meet the 13th Beach Golf course for the first time.

Its funny looking at the GPS unit in the car and seeing that the time till arrival of destination is 1 and & 1/2 and I was thinking well that's the equivalent to a round of golf. The three hour round trip out to Barwon River consumed more than 3/4 tank of petrol, required driving more than 240km behind the steering wheel and cost me 36 holes of playing time.

It was enlightening to meet some other 100 Hole Hike participants and to get some insight in to what to expect on the day. After a brief meeting and information session it was time to go out and tackle 13th Beach for the first time ever. The course was not as forgiving as the Riversdale course that I have been practicing on.

After an easy two putt Par on the first hole I was thinking the course was gonna be a easy. The second hole quickly brought me back down to earth with a thud. Blind driving holes and a hurricane winds quickly brought my game unstuck, by the end of 18 holes my golf bag was 11 or 12 golf balls lighter and the score card had more 8's than a Chinese mobile phone directory. I finished the day with a score in excess of 100 and I have quickly discovered the importance of keeping the ball in play although it was not an easy task when the wind was carrying well struck sand iron 40 meters off target.

It was good to play with a fellow hiker to get a feel for the tempo of the day, although the two of us struggled with the strong winds and we wasted lots of valuable time walking around in circles trying to find golf balls in the thick rough.

After hitting my first shot 20 minutes before Sunrise and then given that I played me last shot into the green in the dark at 905pm one could be forgiven for thinking that I had successfully completed the 100 Hole Hike but in reality only clocked in 41 holes for the day.

This Golfer's Participation