Oh how quickly time goes by whilst you are having fun. The first three scores of Q3 are in, and it does seem like we have entered the season of our discontent as the cold begins to bite into the bones and chill the ground. The winter quarter has never been our high scoring or most competitive one when looks back in the annals of the club, but a debilitating mist looks to have set in, esp post a very competitive Winter Classic that produced a worthy winner and podium.
The result of the Chairman’s Cup match the weekend after our Winter Classic (finished 4th?) might suggest that we are still suffering from post-tournament blues. Plus the two RMH official games afterwards producing a top score of 29 points does not make for easy reading, or writing.
The Winter Classic scores however suggest that when glory is sight and the chips are down, this club can deliver the goods.
In this regard, we should maybe cast an eye back a month or so and remember as well as acknowledge a worthy champion that emerged after three days of intense competition at Pecanwood Country Club, at the foothills of dithaba tsa Mogale (Magaliesburg mountain). The die was formally cast on Day 1 when the form player that is Azwi Khampha stormed the caves around the mountain range and put on the table a 37 pointer worth its weight in gold and menace. He was obviously in the mood and would take some chasing if he was to be collared on the line. With Bheki and Ngobese (34 points), Tebogo and Sekete (33 points) not out of sight, there was a full promise of fireworks. There surely was still a long way to go, and history suggests that not too many Day 1 winners/leaders have gone on to win it all (Tebogo’s stonking 41/77 at RJK East being a major outlier).
As Day 2 began to stir in the platinum belt and a promise of a 30 degree in Autumn, many had dreams of bettering their scores and beating the golf course into submission, esp with all three days unfolding at the same venue. But alas; life is never that easy and one plus one always equals two on a calculator but not on a golf course. This esp after the customary rough ReMmoho night running into the AMs.
The cat was now firmly cast amongst the pigeons as the day’s final scores were tallied. The day’s top dog was only on 35 points, being the hometown boy Sekete, and four others in absolute hot pursuit on 34 points (Tebogo, Thato, Ngobese and Livhu). Was that ex-champion Steve Mkhawane on 33 points, and a whole coterie of pretenders on 32 points as well? Was this the ultimate sign of the hometown boy and sensible bookies favourite beginning to find his footing, casting off the weight of expectations and hitting his straps, or would there be a sting in the tail and an upsetting of the applecart? But the club’s heavy lifters were still in the lead and no one was going to rip this one off their jaws without a fight.
A North Sotho idiom says “noga ga e latelelwe moleteng wa yona” meaning, you do not go challenge a snake in its “home” pit. As the customary rough ReMmoho night wound down, a photo emerged of the algorithm genius seemingly in prayer, and issuing his customary false prophesies. This one should go down in history. Was that him issuing another prophesy to win it all? Eish!
The author remembers an innocuous but maybe telling incident of two of the heavy lifters seemingly in a daze and not having secured a cart in time for the tee-off, running around everywhere like headless chickens trying to find the last golf cart to get them on their way. It would not have looked good to any occultists trying to con anyone out of the hard earned money and predicting a winner. But in the end the winner did emerge from their patch-up golf cart.
There were birdies by the bucketload of course as the sun got high up and the putters began to sizzle. And as a titanic struggle began to take shape on the 2nd nine and the margins were being counted in single points, the rarest of rare birds in golf even decided to grace the occasion by its presence. In front of all of his peers, the hard hitting Livhu Magadimisa, subject of king Mphephu Ramabulana, smashed a hole-in-one into the par 3 17th. One cannot help but quote Shakespeare “ To be or not to be…”. Was it a towering fade, or a penetrating draw onto that slightly elevated green? More will continue to be told in the coming years about this sighting of that rarest of birds, esp as the story grows into legend and later into myth. Much love from all of us Livhuwani, and you have now joined the most exclusive of clubs.
Day 3 play was suddenly at an end and a champion was going to be crowned nomakanjani. The day’s top scores were being mentioned in hushed toners as the scorecards were being collected. Ex-champion Mandla Mthethwa was on 36 points, Joe Ralebepa on 37 points was on a seeming kamikaze mission, and Livhu on a sultry 39 points (83 strokes).
Suddenly an LOC member mentioned a name off the beaten track, of a man who had practiced so much and previously threatened to win everything, and all kinds of damnation and fury. He had sculpted together a thing of beauty, a score that has previously almost always canonized a winner. He was on 40 points (80 strokes to boot!), and on his home patch. No one could begrudge him the title.
All hail Sekete Mokgehle, now the great son of ga Dikgale.
You are a worthy winner of the Winter Classic. There should be more where that came from.