Life throws curve balls all the time...today I received mine, but first let me go way back to the beginning...
I took up the magnificent game of golf at age 12 after caddying for my dad a few times on a Saturday morning, at Wakehurst Golf Club on Sydney's Northern Beaches. I moved through the ranks from Cadet, then Juniors, serving time as Junior Captain, playing every Saturday with my dad and the senior members then every Sunday with the Juniors, running Junior comps and festivities even back then. Finally I moved on to full membership. Here I served on the Match Committee, and was apparently being groomed as Club Captain.
In one particular year, 1989, during a 6 month purple patch, I achieved what I felt was about all I could in this magnificent game. I won my first of 2 A Grade Monthly Medals...in the early days the MM was only awarded to outright on the day but changed sometime to one for each grade. I felt a bit ripped off but it was pointed out to me that I would have taken it out had there only been an outright given. Next I scored my one and only Hole in One and a 1/5 in Stableford, helping me and my partner to win the fourball that day. Finally I managed to get my handicap into single figures, proving to myself that I could actually play a decent game of golf. Mind you, under the handicapping system of the day dropping and gaining strokes was fairly easy and a week later I was back to 10, never dropping below again.
A few years later, with a wife, new baby girl and a mortgage, life was different and finding the time for golf became increasingly difficult. Eventually something had to give and after 27 years at Wakehurst I decided to end my membership, a massively hard decision. I took up squash, eventually playing competition. It was a lot of fun, less time consuming, gave me some exercise and was much cheaper (sound like me?).
One day a mate asked me to have a hit (of golf) with him, hadn't hit a ball in 4-5 years, can't remember where we played or how I went but I do remember the feeling...it hit me there and then...I really do miss playing this game of golf, I love it. Financially and time wise I still couldn't see myself joining a club as a full member so I discovered the Riverside Oaks deal of a "lifestyle" type membership. Only being able to play a handful of game s year this was perfect. I said sayonara to the Squash and set about reclaiming a handicap. Just before I did this though I had another social round at Riverside Oaks, this time recording my best ever score of 76 (+4). I don't ever recall breaking 80 before that day. After putting in my 5 cards I was expecting a 14-16 h'cap and sure enough it was 15. I was happy with that considering the amount of golf I could play. I then moved a golf day that I started back in 1988 (and still going today) to RSO which helped me fulfil my 3 games a year obligation there.
In July 2007 I saw this website called Iseekgolf and it had info and offers on it that interested me, so I signed up, but I never knew what the forum was until October 2008, after playing a pro-am with Bob Shearer, I sat down in front of the computer at lunch and explored Iseek. There I discovered the forums and spotted a thread attacking the senior players, basically saying they were a waste of space...and the rest is history.
I got into it fairly intensely, as you usually do with something new, though I was treated, like many newbies, with a sense of caution, mainly due to my all guns blazing entry. Eventually I was "accepted" as one of the forum regulars. Friendships were forged over the keyboard however it wasn't until we decided to have a round and could finally put a face to a name that these friendships were cemented.
I like to muck around as much as the next bloke, I'm just a big kid and I love to have fun but somehow my jokingly talking myself up overtook anything else I had done in the forums and an "urban legend" was born...so I ran with it. The banter was only between a few blokes but as time went on more and more got on the bandwagon, so when the new forum software was created it gave me plenty of room to keep on building the persona, especially with the signature. Desperately Unlucky was to become my "signature "saying and I played it to death.
Unfortunately not many of the great folk in the forums know the real Barnesy05, he was super shy and quiet as a kid, using humour to get him through difficult situations. This carried on for many years and still does, to a point today. I am a very friend orientated person..ie I love to spend time with them, sometimes not a popular choice when the missus just wants us time. I love to help others whenever I can and i really enjoy running events, like parties, large gatherings like club functions and golf days. I am heavily involved in Junior Barnesy's Football (Soccer) Club, managing his team the last 9 years, and holding various committee positions like Vice President and PR-Media (which I am currently).
This takes up a massive amount of my time, luckily work from home, so it is not as big a burden but none the less time consuming. Being self employed should be a godsend but small business is tough, there are pros and cons but looking at all my mates that work in big business, while they talk about retiring here and there, all I can think about is working until I drop. Just before Xmas last year we lost a very close friend after a 3 year battle with cancer. I have lost people close to me before but this one was different, I just found it hard to grieve, sure I was sad but I just couldn't seem to "let go". I thought I got past it, but my missus is still struggling and I think it's fair to say I haven't quite understood why.
Why tell you this? Well I think it is starting to catch up a little. A month or so ago I wiped everything from my signature, changed my profile pic and profile information. The banter was a little heavier than usual, something I should have been able to handle, but for some reason I couldn't. I decided to flick all that was about me and just slip in as the average contributor (never gonna happen though). I was happy that someone else was doing my job of organising the next NCCSSC Golf Day, something I love to do. My golf had gotten progressively worse over my last 3 games, why I don't know but I was really looking forward to getting together with the boys for the Newcastle game.
The banter was its usual self, building up fairly strongly, maybe even a little more than the norm and at one point I did feel like withdrawing, but thought better of it. I played like and absolute gumby, so much so the I never uttered the words desperately unlucky, because I was shite. What was causing it? I didn't think influences outside of golf would affect my game as the golf course is the one place in the world that I can go to and not think of anything but the golf I'm playing. I did notice yesterday however that bad shots were getting to me. It's never happened before.
Now to where I started this blog...today...
I received word that a post I had made was a catalyst for a member to email madam telling him that he was offended by a comment I made towards him and that he wished to have his name removed from the Nationals list and would cease to frequent this site, effective immediately. I was flabbergasted and couldn't work out where or what I had said, I mean I had only recently been PM'ing this member helping him with troubles he was having navigating this forum and all seemed good. He was happy and he was happy to bag me out like everyone else, and I was ok with copping it.
After I discovered what his complaint was I felt shock at first, then gutted.
I have never gone on to this forum and intentionally slagged anyone maliciously, it has always been with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. The use of the emoticons certainly helps. My guts were turning as I sat in front of the screen bewildered. Had all that I have going on outside of here and what thought was under control subconsciously flowed on to my posting? I didn't think it was any worse that what has been posted before, the swear word was hidden when post was saved. I wrote an apology and PM'd it to this member but apparently he won't see it as he has cut off all communications with ISG...so just in case he stumbles across this thread by mistake, here is my message to him:
"I have been informed that I have over stepped the mark and caused you some angst.
Many things around this place are said in jest and my 99.9% of my comments are taken this way. You have seen many of the comments directed at me, I should have bailed long ago, I know they are (mostly) having a lend, but I love the joint and the blokes (and girls) in here and have made some great friendships here.
I wholeheartedly apologise for upsetting you and any ill feeling I have caused towards me, but more importantly towards the Iseekgolf forums and fraternity. The word you may have interpreted was not what I think you think it is...if that makes sense.
If you choose not to return then so be it but I will be disappointed if out of all the posts between us, you have chosen to judge me on that one indiscretion and leave Iseek."
Cheers and good luck
PS: I have deleted the alleged offending comment
It would be easy to just say "meh, so what" but I reckon that this is the best forum with the best people going 'round and to think that one little comment made in jest has set someone off so much that they will never visit again bothers me. However we shall battle on as there are bigger problems in the world.
On the brighter side I'm really looking forward to the Nationals, just hope that whatever is affecting my game is gone by then. Let's see where this journey takes me, if you are interested...I love playing golf with my mates....see you all in October.