Eddie is the voice inside my head.
We first met Eddie back in the Spring as he attempted to guide me around the final few holes at the lovely Notts Golf Club. Read that story here.
Eddie’s language is not always that clean and his opinions can sometimes be controversial. In fact it is a good job that I am the only one that can hear him as I feel quite sure that if he could speak out loud then he would have landed me in court several times. Nevertheless he does help to keep even the most mundane of days exciting.
On this occasion, we catch up with Eddie and myself on the 15th tee at Wensum Valley in Norfolk. Things have been going OK during the round, but several missed short putts have left Eddie dangerously close to a complete meltdown.
15th Hole – 350 yards Par 4
(Eddie’s voice in italics)
OK medium length par 4, water left and right from the tee but the fairway is wide. My 3 Wood stinger has been working well so that must be the shot.
Eddie likes to call this particular shot his ‘stinger’ as it brings images of Tiger to mind. Eddie likes to believe that his version is similar to the GOATs. In reality it is a steery, stunted, safe type of shot that usually goes around 230 yards.
A horrible swing leads to a chopped, loopy shot that flies to the right, miraculously not reaching the water but finishing in the rough behind a bush only 200 yards from the tee.
For Fucks sake.
Eddie is in no mood to chip out sideways.
Shit or bust time.
Water left. Water right. Bush 10 yards in front. Lie bad. 150 to green. 7-iron hook required. Hood the face. Ball back in stance. Hit it hard.
Eddie is fully committed. The ball clips the far right leaf of the bush but takes the hook spin. Running like an overweight Sergio Garcia from behind the bush to see the result, Eddie is delighted to see the ball finish on dry land, just short and left of the green.
Plenty of green to work with. 9-iron chip and run should do it.
The chip shot is struck well, but appears to be travelling too fast until it clips a lump of (previously unseen) duck poo. This helps slow the momentum with the ball finishing 4 inches from the hole.
Eddie looks around to see if his playing partners have noticed the lucky break. They have’nt. He takes the compliments of a good shot without an ounce of guilt then taps in for a remarkable Par and 2 stableford points.
16th Hole – 383 yards Par 4
There is around a 100 yard walk back to the 16th tee from the 15th green. In turning to survey the scene from the tee, Eddie is flabbergasted.
Holy bollocks, what did they do with the fairway?
The fairway here, is in fact around 20 yards wide, with water all down the left and a line of trees hard to the right. With a 15 mph right to left crosswind, this is a tough shot.
3 Wood. Forget the stinger, just trust your normal swing.
The swing is good, but the shot is a slight pull, dangerously close to the margin of the hazard and also heading for a group of ducks who are resting on the land.
Do you have to shout FORE for ducks?
The first bounce is visible, but the outcome from there not clear.
Good news. The ball is on dry land and no ducks were killed. A thickish lie in the rough though.
175 to the green. Water to carry. Lie does not suit a 6-iron. Lets go with 8 and make sure we carry the water.
The 8-iron comes out well, comfortably covering the water and finishing 15 yards short of the putting surface.
Fairway lie. Front pin. Lets go with 58 degree and carry it to the putting surface.
A nice shot, releasing slightly to 4-feet beyond the hole.
4 feet downhill for Par. Bumpy green. Missed several of these already. Oh just hit it.
A tentative stroke and the ball never looks like falling. Taps in for bogey and one stableford point.
A disgusted Eddie is red with rage, but decides to turn his back on me with silence being the chosen strategy.
17th Hole – 394 yards Par 4
The silent treatment continues onto the next tee.
A dog-leg left with trees flanking both sides of the fairway. There is no thought or hesitation in choosing Driver. The ball is absolutely hammered over the trees on the corner of the dog-leg to within a short-iron of the green. Eddie seems satisfied that his approach was the best one. I am in no place to argue.
Eddie is talking to me again.
Pin at the back. 120 yards to the hole. Pitching wedge. Could do with a birdie.
The shot is average, a slight pull but catches the left of the green and the club is good, leaving around 15 feet for a birdie.
Uphill but a big left to right break. Not one to race at the hole and leave 3 feet back down.
Unsurprisingly the putt is left 6 inches short. Taps in for Par and 2 stableford points. Eddie screws up his face but keeps his opinions private.
18th Hole – 478 yards Par 5
The hole sweeps uphill and then falls left to right down the slope. Driver has to be the Club to go for the green in 2. A fade with the slope will do the trick.
The swing is not good. In fact it is a double-cross, with the ball starting down the left but drawing instead of a fade. Looks pretty open over there though.
Upon reaching the ball, Eddie cannot believe his luck. It is sat in the middle of the first fairway, with a wonderful view and line towards the 18th green 230 yards away.
Yippee-Kai -Yay motherfucker! (Eddie likes to quote Bruce Willis from Die Hard when he is happy). 3 Wood – lets rip it at the green.
The strike is slightly off and the ball finishes at the base of the steep bank at the front of the green.
Blind shot. 58 degree needed to carry the bank in front. Lets be aggressive and finish with a birdie.
Eddies aggression is not matched by the shot, which pulls up 20 feet short. A familiar groan from Eddie.
Eddie cannot muster much enthusiasm for the putts. A safe first effort is tapped in for a Par and another 2 points in the Stableford.
The end result was 35 points in the Norfolk Secretaries Autumn Meeting. It was a tough day with a swirling wind and a long course. Incredibly this was enough to take first place and with it another important lesson for Eddie and myself that you do not have to play perfect golf to win – you just have to have a better score than everybody else.
What is even more incredible is that it might even be Eddie that makes the difference between winning or not on these tough days. Nobody tell him.