Having been down here to play the front nine at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club a few weeks ago, Alfie and I managed to round up a couple of other guys and head back for the much anticipated back nine.
The reason I titled this blog ‘The Final Nine’ is because unlike my first experience here on the front nine, and like many big screen films, the sequel was a little dissapointing.
The weather again was rather gloomy, as Nairobi seems to be at this time of the year, and it started to rain gently just as we arrived. Undeterred, we made our way up to the Proshop, where we were told our socks (the same ones I wear for every round of golf) were too short and that three of the four of us would each have to buy a pair of $10 Foot Joy socks, of the correct length.
Immediately this put our backs up, but after speaking to the Club Captain, he agreed to let us play (this time) on account of the fact that we are all tour guides and aren’t able to carry sufficient knee length socks with us around Africa in our backpacks.
There was still a light rain falling, but we tee’d off on the 10th hole, none of us hitting particularly good balls, but we were off. My two new playing partners, GP and Kobus, both work with me as CEO’s (Tour Leaders) for G Adventures, and neither of them have played golf of late, or much at all to be honest, but we were going forward.
By the time we reached the 10th Green, a two-ball had caught up to us, so we waited for them on the next tee and let them through. Up on the 11th green, as we were getting ready to putt, we heard yells from the fairway behind us and saw balls flying rapidly our way. As we continued to complete our hole, a rather irate woman, of European origin and accent, came marching up the fairway yelling at us that we were playing too slowly and we should have let them through, to which I ‘kindly’ informed her that we were going to complete our hole and then do just that, and that she should not expect to play through a group who is already on the putting surface. At which time she marched off to the 12th tee, her playing partner, walking behind her, was visibly embarrassed by her behaviour.
At this point my annoyance from the Proshop incident was increased and I found it hard to enjoy the rest of the round. As we played up the 15th hole, we were met by one of the club house staff, who had obviously been given an earful by the ‘friendly’ member we encountered, on the completion of her round. We explained to him our side of the story and assured him we would let faster groups through, at the correct time, if we needed to.
The rain came and went for most of the morning and part of the early afternoon, which our rather slow nine holes had taken us into, but it was never hard enough to force us to think about stopping.
I don’t know whether I was just looking through slightly tainted eyes on the back nine that day, but it didn’t seem quite as pretty or enjoyable as the front nine had only a week earlier and while the front nine was one of the most enjoyable and prettiest nines I have played in Nairobi, this probably was my ‘Final Nine’ at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club, I can do without the attitude when I am going to have fun, relax and play golf on my time off.