Bridges of the 9th Green
“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”
We enter tee No. 1 at P.A.F Skyview GCC Lahore via a wooden bridge. Once we cross this beautiful bridge, we are welcomed by a beautiful, yet narrow and difficult, course. Take my word for it! I would add that the round at this club is undoubtedly a steeplechase. The designer of this club must have been an equine and agile player. He translated that game into a golf course here. The incorporation of water hazards, careful placement of bunkers and restrictions of (OBs) over the boundary, make it purposefully challenging. This course is also known for its wooden bridges. They are symmetrically placed at various points, connecting one freeway after another. The impingement of landing airliners is another obstacle that originates from the skies above. First, these aircrafts bring noise overhead, and the tail wind follows soon after. I wonder whether planes are also bridges connecting us across continents. It’s interesting how a small pond of rainwater on the course can represent a mighty ocean.
Atlantic and Pacific aside! I will describe hole number nine—essentially, it’s water and bridges. Its profile reads Par 4, 420 yards, handicap 7 and a dog leg. The right tree-line boundary of this fairway is OB. Straight in front of the tee in the landing zone is a water hazard. And there is a deep water trench around the narrow island green. The fairway is sloppy and deceiving. It gets more so the nearer one gets to the green. In fact, it's one of the naughtiest holes among the first nine. Pros try shortcuts, hitting over the midway hut—the ball flying high above the adjacent green of hole No. 5 and tee No. 6, all in an attempt to reach the pin in just one or two shots. I have witnessed most of them later regretting this approach. Regulars, meanwhile, tend to lay up before the water hazard around the green. Most of the time, neither seem satisfied with their plan or its execution. Very occasionally, a few happily cross the famous bridge, which I have named “the judgement day bridge.” The only one without a side fence.
Many of us decide on a particular path in life, and then we end up regretting our choices, especially because we usually want the easy way out, yet there are no shortcuts to success. We can also take the beaten path, but that can feel too basic. It’s always best to find that middle ground—one where we can enjoy the journey but also settle for the destination. Problem is, golfers are well known for their greed.
Some cross the judgement day bridge buoyantly, while others do so with a heavy heart. There are many wooden bridges on this golf course. Each one has its own story to tell. Today, I will stick to the bridges at the 9th green. There are three bridges on this green. One brings a golfer onto the green from the fairway, otherwise known as the judgement day bridge, and the second exits to the clubhouse. The brief stay between them sums up the tale of the front nine. The third one connects the 9th green to tee No. 1. It also has a couple of benches attached—somewhere the disappointed golfers can reflect back on their performance. Or even pause in honor of the winners.
This tiny island and its surroundings form the heart of this club. The anecdote that begins with the first steps of an enthusiastic golfer on the first bridge concludes on the last one that exits to the clubhouse. The unforgettable round between these two crossovers narrates a span of significant experience. We may encounter many bridges throughout life; the moral of the tale lies not in where it takes us, but how we carry ourselves. This tale of satisfaction and disappointment reflects the memory and skill of golfers and their handicaps. The pros and the amateurs alike.
In fact, this tee, fairway and green is a true test of patience, examination of skills, and attitude (the litmus test) for each golfer. If patience is a virtue in real life, it's the fundamental ingredient of golf on these fairways.
“If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.”
P.A.F Skyview GCC
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Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.
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