Softrite has quite a few payroll customers in the Mutare area so I went down there a couple of weeks ago to sponsor the Wednesday afternoon golf competition at Hillside Golf course.
My long-time friend, Kevin Woodward, has finally retired from caddying for leading professional golfers around the world and taken up the pro-bono role of Club Manager for Hillside. The course if looking spectacular at the moment especially considering that he only has 5 employees to do all of the maintenance. As usual with any district golf course around Zimbabwe, he is being ably assisted with this by a few of the local members who have been seen driving the tractor, and pulling a mower, along the very green fairways.
Once again, I stayed at Gordon’s B&B (020-67200) – 4 years after the sudden death of its founder, Gordon Adams, it is still by far the leading suburban guest house in Mutare. It is not far from the golf course so I was up early on both mornings for a brisk 4km run around each set of nine holes – all the while singing my age old running song – Oscar Hammerstein’s “Oh what a beautiful Morning”.
I played 18 holes on the Wednesday afternoon with Kevin and budding young Braydon Amm. Kevin is definitely one from the old school hitting such easy, down the middle, shots with his original 2nd hand set of golf clubs – his driver is a proper, wooden Ben Hogan 2 ½ golf club! After watching my poor driving on the first few holes, he spent the rest of the afternoon trying to persuade me that one has much better views from the red tee boxes!
They have had a lot of rain this year and this was very evident from all the local water puddles dotted around the course. It was such a pleasure playing with 15 year old Braydon – he has already represented the U/19 Zimbabwe golf team. Even after “blanking” 2 holes Braydon still managed to go around the course in level par! – definitely someone to look out for in the not too distant future – on the par 3, 8th hole, in very windy conditions, I duffed a 5 iron whilst Braydon hit a very easy gap wedge to within 2 feet of the pin.
On the Thursday morning I spoke to Kevin a little about encouraging more youngsters to take up the sport. We spoke to Braydon and his Mom, Pam Amm, about starting up basic golf clinics for Junior golf on one or two afternoons of the week. The idea being that there are so many old golf clubs lying idle around the homes of past golfers. So starting this Thursday, 2nd March, they are going to have kids from one or two of the local schools just hitting golf balls for an hour or two with Braydon showing them what can be done if one perseveres with the sport. If you would like your kids to join in, or have influence in arranging for any other local school to come along, then please contact Pam (0772-210-277).
Gone golfing Mike G.