‘Tee’s the season for a hole-in-one’

NEW BEGINNINGS (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2014 - 12:00am

Blessings can be found in many places. For my lady BFF Christine Dayrit, she found it on the golf course when she made her very first hole-in-one during the holiday season.

“Life is like a game of golf. We are the golf balls and the good Lord gives us the power and right direction,” she said. These thoughts reverberated in her mind as she embarked on an early morning round of golf in Tagaytay Highlands last Dec. 15. She often intimated to me what her beloved father, Ting Dayrit, taught her: golf lightens, sweetens and lengthens life for those who love and play the game.

“With golf’s sudden rewards and little turns of drama, the possibility of perfection may lie just over the next rise. Time stands still, life becomes a living dream and all is suspended as that golf ball falls like a gentle raindrop in a dew-laden grassy hole with penultimate timing and perfection,” Christine philosophized, still ecstatic about her hole-in-one. It would perhaps take forever to take away that feeling of joy brought to her by her very first hole-in-one.

Christine, who is the VP for marketing of Miladay Jewels, chairman of the Cinema Evaluation Board and travel columnist for The Philippine STAR, is a tournament player. She only practices when there is an upcoming tournament. In the past, she would even bring her former lady caddy and play a round of golf a day before in the particular golf course where the tournament would be held.

On the day she made a hole-in-one, she was actually practicing for the upcoming tournament on Feb. 21 in Tagaytay Highlands. Our dear friend Lyndon Tan, who has a lettuce farm in Silang, Cavite that produces the now organic “Salad Time” vegetable brand, joyfully referred his caddy Melissa Rojas to Christine. Melissa is also the champion among all lady caddies in Tagaytay Highlands. Lyndon just picked up the game of golf recently. 

Christine recalled having played three rounds of golf over the last three weeks before making that victorious shot. She gamely teased her caddy that she was practicing to make a hole-in-one. Melissa even asked why Christine aspired for a hole-in-one right away, why not a par, an eagle or a birdie. Christine quickly quipped, “Why aspire for anything less than the best?”

So, on that foggy Sunday morning, just when the sun’s gentle rays illumined the Taal Volcano and Taal Lake as well as the verdant landscape of the Tagaytay Highlands’ very picturesque and challenging course, Christine excitedly walked the course as she often does. She narrated to me how she shot her very first hole-in-one.

“This is exactly what happened on the sixth hole. I  pulled out my iPod to listen to inspirational music and as I put the earplug on my right ear, the song Corner of the Sky from Pippin flowed through. My left ear listened to my very efficient caddy Melissa who helped me calculate the yardage while handing me my 7 irons. I even queried if I could use my small S yard driver but she shook her head and I obediently followed,” she said.

So, there, Christine swung her club with a grip not too tight nor too light as she remembered the teachings of our dear friend Yvette Lee who gave her some golf tips a few days before at a driving range. “Aim the ball, grip like holding a bird, swing up low and slow, faster on the downswing.”

She adjusted her golf cap lower and instinctively hit the ball. The ball took off in an arch — a bright orange ball against the sky — before dropping with picture-book fluidity on the green far below her. It hit the green, rolled and then disappeared.

“My eyes scaled the ditch below me, the terrain in front of me and the dense forest around me. All seemed like poetry in suspended motion,” Christine recalled.

Then all of a sudden, the screams of her caddy Melissa shattered the early morning silence. “Hole-in-one! Hole-in-one!” 

“Those were the sweetest words any golfer whether professional or amateur could ever hear! To be honest, I can’t remember the walk towards the pin as my heart was pounding like a drum in my chest and in my ears! The marshall escorted us to the pin way below from where I made the legendary shot,” she ecstatically narrated.

How did she feel when it finally dawned on her that she made a hole-in-one? 

“Like a puzzle of nature that was instantly solved, the orange ball glistened like gold as I looked down to actually see it in the hole. I thanked the good Lord that everything was exactly where it ought to be — especially my golf ball. I felt a festive intoxication of euphoria surging through my being that blissfully defined me. It was truly a modern day miracle, a gift from Above. I felt transported to another realm of existence that turns life inside out. I felt at once that hope springs eternal and nothing is impossible,” she said.

She continued to quote one of her favorite authors Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Indeed, tee’s the season for a hole-in-one! In the Chinese zodiac, Christine is a Fire Horse and this New Year promises to bring her countless joys. 

Blessings can be found everywhere. For my BFF Christine, she found it on the golf course! And each day for her feels like a happy holiday. 

If you happen to see her around these days with that certain sprightly gait in her walk and an infectious smile, you know why.

(For your new beginnings, please e-mail me at bumbaki@yahoo.com. I’m also on Twitter @bum_tenorio. Have a blessed Sunday!)

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