General Fiction posted September 18, 2023 Chapters:  ...35 36 -37- 38... 

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The end of the tournament

A chapter in the book Saving Mr. Calvin

Saving Mr. Calvin - Chapter 30B

by Jim Wile

A story about the origin and the future of the game of golf
See Author Notes for the list of characters and unfamiliar terms.

Recap of the past few chapters: After a week of practice, the matches begin the following Saturday with the “Alternating Shot” matches first. Kirk and Aggie win their match, and Putt and Cat win theirs too, but the other two teams lose for a score of 2-2 at the end of the morning matches. The afternoon matches begin using the “Best-of-4” format. The Pack team easily win their match, but the other team of 4 lose a very close one. At the end of the first day, the totals are equal at 4 points each.

The second day of the matches begins with the eight singles matches. Kirk is in the first pair out and loses his match to the Snog’s best player. He begins following the other matches to give support to his players. Most of the matches are not going well, as expected, because the Snog’s very slow play rattles the Foo players. Aggie, however, is not bothered by her opponent Cameron’s slow play because she talks and jokes with the crowd instead of watching him. She wins her match. All the rest of the Foos lose and it comes down to the final match—Putt vs. Alex—to pick up one more point. Putt is 2-down with 3 to play and manages to win the 10th and 11th holes to pull the match even with one hole left to play. The wind plays havoc with Putt’s shots on the 12th hole, but he manages with the help of the wind to sink a long putt and beat Alex for the win. As the Snogs won 6 of the individual matches while the Foos won only 2, the score now stands at 10-6 in the Snogs favor going into the final set of matches.

The Fast Matches begin with the Snogs turning in their score first, which the Foos hope to beat by a lot to earn the 5 points they need to win the championship.
Chapter 30B
Our round began at 4:00. A few minutes prior to this, our team made its way out along the 1st and 2nd holes. Everyone on the team knew exactly where to be stationed on every hole. We had planned this out carefully and adjusted the scheme constantly during the past couple of weeks to take advantage of everyone’s strengths in the game. Each of us carried our own individual maps, which showed the location of all the holes and where we were supposed to be on each one. As soon as a player would hit a shot, it would be time to move to the next location on the map. The idea was to reduce the time between shots to the absolute minimum by making sure someone was in close proximity to the expected landing point of every shot.

Depending on the layout of the holes, this sometimes required running to the next location. This was especially true of the long string of holes that bordered the North Sea. There would be no dilly-dallying between shots, and it would sometimes be necessary to hit while out of breath from the running.

Putt and Aggie were our two best putters, and they would be stationed at the greens, with Putt taking the odd-numbered ones and Aggie the even-numbered ones. The same idea applied to the best drivers of the ball who kept to a schedule of every other tee shot. We also positioned our short-game specialists near the greens to hit any approach shots that had missed the greens.

The scheme was a thing of beauty when players were hitting good shots, and our best time so far in all the practice sessions had been 13 minutes for the 12 holes.

As soon as our opening tee shot was struck by our best driver, Rory, the hourglass began flowing. The ball landed in the fairway, only a few ells from where I was standing waiting for it. I took little time to strike my shot, and it just missed the green a few ells to the left, where Cat was not too far away. She ran to the ball and pitched it up onto the green with a very good shot, and Putt was able to sink it with one putt for a four on the hole. As soon as he picked it out of the hole, he made a long toss of the ball to the 2nd tee, where our other driver retrieved it and placed it on the sand tee he had already constructed in anticipation of his drive. This drive was a beauty, which split the fairway, where another approach artist like myself was ready to hit his shot to the green. Meanwhile, I had run to the third hole, where I stationed myself, waiting for the next tee shot that would be hit.

The approach shot on the 2nd was a good one and hit the green where Aggie was able to hole it in two putts. She had a rather long toss to the next tee, so she ran about 20 ells before making the toss to Rory, who had moved from the 1st tee to the 3rd tee. Aggie then took off running for the 4th green.

The scheme was working perfectly until an unfortunate incident on the 7th hole. On his way to the 7th tee, as he was running through a patch of heather, I saw him go down hard to the ground. I ran over to him to see what had happened.

“Ah, Christ, Kirk, I’ve twisted me ankle. Stepped in a damn rabbit hole, and it hurts like hell.”

“I’m sorry, Rory. I don’t suppose you can continue on it, can you?”

“Naw. Even if I could hit, I couldn’t make it to the next hole in time. What are we gonna do?”

“I’ll figure something out; don’t you worry about it. I’ll also send some fellows back after the match to help walk you back in. You can lean on their shoulders.”

“Thanks, Kirk. Sorry about this.”

“Not your fault. We’ll be alright.”

I took off then, to alert two of our other players to a modified plan which I thought of on my way to meet them. I then ran back to the 8th fairway, where I took my normal position. Uncharacteristically, our other driver of the ball hit a big hook on his tee shot on the 8th hole, deep into the long grass in the rough on the left. This one might be hard to find, which would waste minutes. The drivers had been instructed that if they ever hit a tee shot where finding the ball in a reasonable time was in doubt, they were to stay on the tee for no more than two minutes before moving to their next location in the event they had to hit another ball. Taking an additional penalty shot would be preferable to wasting too much time looking for an errant ball. It took me almost the full two minutes to find the drive, and when he saw me getting ready to hit, he was then able to advance to his next location.

We were back in action, but we had lost precious minutes. The loss of Rory as well as the wild tee shot took a further toll on the scoring. In an attempt to make up for lost time, we started losing accuracy and began wasting a stroke here and there, which also added further to the duration. By the time we reached the final hole, we knew it would be close. We were a couple of strokes over what our best stroke total had been in practice and also a few minutes behind our best time.

Our other approach shot player unfortunately skulled his second shot to the 12th green, which went sailing over and into the hedge behind it. Cat had to run around from the front, where she had been waiting for any shot missing the green, and found the ball right away when the crowd pointed to where it was. She was allowed a free drop, which she took. Our score total at this point was 51. Assuming we could get down in two more strokes—a pretty tall order when hitting toward a hole at the back of the green that sloped away from back to front—that meant that we would need a time of no more than 15 minutes to shoot the 68 it would take to win. I think we were already very close to that amount. Cat’s shot was crucial now, and she took a few extra seconds to line it up and get comfortable over the ball. She struck it with a nice click and lofted it high onto the green, where it struck the ground on the very edge and started rolling toward the hole. It was a masterful stroke, as the ball took a beeline to the hole, gently nudged the flagstick, and fell in. She had holed it for a 52! The moment she did, the hourglass was stopped. No one knew just yet the final outcome, but the crowd went crazy for Cat’s holed shot, knowing it may well make the difference in the match.

Putt, who was standing at the back of the 12th green watching, ran up to Cat, threw his arms around her, and lifted her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist and raised her arms, punching the air as the crowd cheered and cheered. When Putt finally let her down, he planted a big kiss on her mouth. They looked at each other in surprise and kissed again.

This may be the start of something new for them!

I found Aggie, and together the four of us met the official, who had been keeping our score, over at the scorer’s table where the hourglass was. They compared notes and had the final totals, which they fed to Hamish to make the announcement of the match results.

I had previously asked some fellows to keep an eye on Hamish and make sure he ceased drinking this afternoon so that he would be sober enough to make an accurate announcement of the winner. They were successful in this as Hamish took to a podium that had just been placed on the 12th green and faced the crowd. The tension was palpable, as it held its collective breath.

In a loud, clear voice Hamish said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the final results of the Fast Match are in. The Snog team rounded the links in 49 strokes and 44 minutes for a combined score of 93. The Foo team rounded the links in 52 strokes and a whopping 16 minutes for a combined score of 68. The difference is 25, which means five points for the Foos and victory in the Fast Match.” The rest of what Hamish said was drowned out by the crowd, who knew that the total put the Foos ahead by one, giving them the victory for the entire tournament by a score of 11 to 10.

Pandemonium ensued within the crowd as the Foo team and the Snog team came out onto the green and shook each other’s hands. Many hugs and pats on the back were given as well. When this was done, the Snog team left the green, and Hamish presented our team with the silver cup that had been in possession of the Snogs for the past two years. The winning team would keep this cup until it was won back by the other team. The Foos clasped hands in a long line and raised all their hands in the air, as well as the silver cup, as the crowd continued cheering and whistling and enjoying every moment of this long-sought victory.
(2 more chapters until the end of Part 2. Part 3 will begin next week.)

skulled: A shot in which the bottom of the club hits the middle of the ball, resulting in a poorly hit, low shot that often goes too far when hit by a short iron.

CHARACTERS - 1458 Scotland

Kirk Pate: A 22-year-old house builder and part time soldier from Foon. He is the narrator of this part of the story.

Putney Pell (Putt): Kirk's best friend and business partner in Foon and a fellow soldier

Alex MacGillycuddy: Kirk and Putt's childhood friend who lives in the nearby town of Castasnogwary and is a fellow soldier

Aggie Lang: Kirk's 22-year-old fiance. She runs the Bonnie Brae Inn and Tavern owned by her father

Jack and Isla Lang: Aggie's younger siblings

Hamish MacLachlan: The Bonnie Brae's resident tippler

Cameron NicEachainn: One of the captains of the Snog team along with Alex

Catriona (Cat) Clark: One of the golfers on the Foo team
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