No bunker faces!

Photo by Mark Nolan, Gisborne Golf Course, Victoria, February 2009

Photo by Mark Nolan, Gisborne Golf Course, Victoria, February 2009

People make all kinds of faces when they play golf.

When you address your ball perfectly at the first tee, and visualise your drive rocketing the ball out of sight and in line with the pin, but then you send it directly into a hole in the nearest tree trunk, the face you make is usually one that asks “Have I really got 17 more of these to look forward to?”

This is the “tee’d off” face. There are no signs anywhere asking you to avoid making them.

Then once you have got your money’s worth out of the green fee by zig-zagging across multiple fairways and taking umpteen shots to get within striking distance of the green, you are now making “Can this hole get any worse?” faces.  No signs. Still no avoidance required at this stage.

Your approach shot to the green looks promising but it is slightly under cooked and thuds deep into the bunker.  You were probably wearing your “Hopeful recovery” face, and but then you quickly replaced it with your “That’d be right!” face.

Let’s see, with the lost ball that is still hiding in the tree trunk; and all the zig zagging, you figure that you are “On the beach” for 9, and, at best, even with your most creative accounting, you can only recast it as a 7.

You reach the bunker, with thoughts of hurling your clubs into the nearby river and heading straight for the clubhouse for a double scotch, when you are suddenly greeted by a sign that categorically demands that, from the moment you step into this massive sand hell-hole, you avoid making any kind of facial expression whatsoever. The “Tee’d off”, “Fairway”, and “Approach” faces were fine up until now, and possibly even encouraged, but the “Bunker” face is simply not going to be tolerated.

You casually check the area around you, just in case the facial infringement police are lurking in bushes nearby, and once satisfied that you are not being filmed, you freely break out every conceivable bunker face that you can think of; and you do this before, during, and after your 6 attempts to get that stupid little white round thing out of the trap. The “blow the raspberry” face is your favorite, accompanied with a little jiggly dance and unflattering hand gestures, however the spray from your swing coats your tongue with sand and little insects.

The other 3 people in your golfing group cannot understand how you can be experiencing such levity when they have you at 15 strokes and counting … sorry, there is no creative accounting when other’s score you.

The sign also asks that you to rake the bunker after you exit. You do the right thing, but before you drop the rake back into the ditch, you use the handle end of the rake to draw a large round face with a big tongue poking out.

Then you head off to the green, putter in hand, and prepare for your best “lipped out again!” face. Your putter lands in the river and you head off for that double scotch.

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