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July 16, 2013 | 02:39 PMMy name is Sue Hinske, and I am the office manager at the Lake Geneva Regional News. I started working at the paper in 1964. I took two and a half years off when I had my first child, came back and here I am still. Something about making deadlines and different duties each day make my job enjoyable.
Our Sports editor, Mike Ramczyk, asked me if I would like to join him for nine holes of golf at the beautiful Hawk's View Golf Club. He wanted an opponent so he could do a story about the experience and also the golf course.
Mike apparently figured if he played against a female senior citizen (still mending from extensive upper spine and neck surgery in March), it would give him a chance to win the match and have bragging rights. So we played but he didn't win. Sorry Mike, maybe next time.
Mike arrived and we went to the first tee. The starter asked for the receipt, which somehow I managed to lose between the club house and the first hole.
The starter finally told us to proceed before a large outing started teeing off before us.
Now Mike is a big man. Probably 6-foot-3ish and twice my weight. I can barely claim to be 5-foot-5 any longer with age and three spine surgeries taking their toll.
But when I said I was going to play off the ladies' tees, the big brute did the same so any advantage on my part was lost. But I will admit playing off the same tees made the game more fun.
Neither one of us had touched a golf club since last year. My concern was that I wouldn't be able to swing the club without hurting myself and it would have all been for nothing. But, after a couple of swings it seemed to be working and the fear subsided. It would be only fair to mention that my opponent's knee started hurting after a couple of holes, so neither of us were physically up for the challenge.
We tied the first hole. Mike got me by two strokes on No. 2, but then I rallied and took back-to-back pars, putting me one up and Mike never caught up. I took several penalty strokes which didn't help my score. I am not one for searching for lost balls that have found water or trenches with weeds and long grass clippings hiding the ball. My motto is to take the penalty, drop another ball and keep play moving. After all, this was not league play where it really counted for something.
Leading up to our game, Mike kept telling me what a bad golfer he was. After a couple of holes, I referred to him as a sandbagger. He could hit the ball a ton and had some excellent approach shots from about 150 yards. He didn't stray too far off the course as I thought he might. The other disadvantage for me was on a couple holes it took me a tee shot and a fairway shot to catch up to his drive. Let me again remind you this big guy was playing off the ladies' tees.
Going into No. 9, our last hole, I was winning by two strokes. He hit a long drive that put him next to another tee box somewhere out there. He then proceeded to put his second shot into the trunk of a tree and when I told him he had to take a penalty stroke for taking a drop, he started whining like a school girl on a bad hair day. So I broke down and told him he only had to count the penalty if we tied the match but no worries. I took a six and he took an eight without counting the extra stroke. I win, I win.
At one point in the game, we let a four-some play through, which was hard for me to swallow. A two-some holding up a four-some is utterly ridiculous, but Mike was taking notes as we played and we were giving each other poor golf advice. We had a little waiting time after letting the four-some through, so Mike was teaching me how to use the camera so I could capture a photo of him taking a golf swing. The camera weighed about as much as a bowling ball, had a huge dial to focus and a shutter button that was a little too sensitive for my liking. I could barely hold the darn thing to my face, let alone focus and click. I want a tripod next time.
I thought Mike was listening to cell phone messages a lot or maybe asking his lovely wife what was for dinner, then I found out he was tweeting or twittering or whatever it is people do on cell phones and computers. I am just learning how to sign into Facebook. I ran into another co-worker after the game, and he already knew how the game had gone. What, really?
Summing up our round at Hawk's View, I would say the weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny, low- to mid-80s, low humidity and gentle breezes. Thank you to our Sports editor for inviting me to play, and I am ready for another match. If the time comes when Mike can dedicate more time to the game of golf, it is my opinion that he will become a good competitive golfer. He is not nearly as bad a player as he claims to be.
Love of the game
I golfed for the first time in my late twenties and loved it. I walked the full 18 holes and counted every stroke. It took me a lot of golf before being brave enough to join a league. I played at George Williams Golf Course for a couple of years until getting good enough for other larger courses. I was a member at Hillmoor for many years until the course closed. My goal was to break into the 70s but that never happened. To the best of my recollection, 81 was my lowest all-time score at Hillmoor. However, I do have my fair share of trophies, prizes, memories and was lucky enough to have two holes-in-one at Hillmoor, the 143-yard No. 17 and the 96-yard No. 6.
I ran the Thursday Morning 18-Hole Ladies League for a number of years. Also, I ran the Monday Night 9-Hole League until we merged with the Wednesday Night League. I think I ran that for only one season. I also helped run the Couples Friday Night League and also the Junior Golf League, which my youngest daughter was a part of for several years.
I still golf and go on golf outings with gal pals. Golf has been an important part of my life. I made so many friends along the way.