Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thursday Forecast: "More Rain and Less Golf"

It's been two weeks since I last wrote a report for on the golfing conditions here.  That's mostly because there has only been one more round of golf played at Boulder Hills C.C. since then. It's truly "Monsoon Season" now here in Hyderabad...and, for whatever reason, the south-west district of Gachibowli seems to catch a lot of the rainfall. We got 7 cm last night....probably 20 cm in the last week-and-a-half. The Monsoons are seasonal, and the rains can be intense and long-lasting. There might not be a whole lot more golf played before the season ends and we get into the months of September and October, which I have heard are just "golfer's heaven"!

A bit of a geography lesson: Hyderabad lies in the middle of the Deccan Plateau (also called the (Great) Peninsular Plateau, or Deccan "Plain") - which is a large plateau in India, making up the majority of the southern part of the country. It rises a hundred metres high in the north, rising further to more than a kilometre high in the south, forming a raised triangle nested within the familiar downward-pointing triangle of the Indian subcontinent's coastline.

The name Deccan is an Anglicized form of the Prakrit word dakkhin, itself derived from the Sanskrit word dáksina meaning "south". The Deccan Plain extends over eight Indian states and encompasses a wide range of habitats, covering most of central and southern India.

We are located between three mountain ranges: the Western Ghats form the Deccan Plain's western boundary, and the Eastern Ghats are its eastern boundary. Each rises from their respective nearby coastal plains and nearly meet at the southern tip of India. The Deccan Plain is separated from the Gangetic plain to the north by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges, which form its northern boundary.

Because the Deccan Plateau lies south of the Indo-Gangetic plain, and the fact that the Western Ghats Mountain Range is tall and blocks the moisture from the southwest monsoon from reaching the Deccan Plateau, our region receives very little rainfall, at least by comparison to the rest of the country. The eastern Deccan Plateau, which is down slope from Hyderabad, is at a lower elevation spanning the southeastern coast of India. For the most part, our forests are also relatively dry but serve to retain the rain to form streams that feed into rivers that flow into basins and then into the Bay of Bengal.

You see the term "Deccan" used here a lot. The Hyderabadi professional cricket team is called the Deccan Chargers, the local English Language newspaper (which I read religiously!) is called the Deccan Chronicle. There is Deccan Cement, The Taj Deccan Hotel (five-stars and really beautiful!), Deccan College of Engineering and get the picture. It's all Deccan, all the time!

It's Thursday morning, 8 July at around 8:22 A.M. And,'s raining!! I'm getting a later start than usual because I stayed up watching ESPN - and Spain giving Germany a football lesson. (I'll read all about it again in the "D.C."!!) Despite all of the world interest in the FIFA World Cup - here in Hyderabad, one sport is King: CRICKET! They play it in the smallest, oddest places, too. Pick-up games in dirt lots (there's not a lot of grass outside of some local parks - where signs say "No cricket playing is allowed!")...I even saw some boys playing a "stickball version" of the game on the street nearby...wickets made from stacked-and-balanced crooked sticks, a tennis ball and a mop-handle for a bat! There are some very nice fields, too...and more than one stadium. The local companies sponsor teams for intramural and inter-company league play. My wife Suzanne just agreed to sponsor one of the men's teams for Deloitte. When the season starts up, we'll be going to a lot of Deloitte men's cricket matches, of that I am sure!! I keep telling her that I'll be happy to buy her a cricket bat if she would like to go out for the women's team! She said she'll get back to me on that!

But back to my favorite sport. For the golf course at Boulder Hills, the monsoons are both a blessing and a curse. The summer here on the Deccan Plain this year was brutal. The hottest, they say, in a century. Fahrenheit temps were 105 - 111 for weeks-upon-weeks!! Now with the soothing rains, the ground and the golf course turf is drinking up the pelting drops. And "pelt" they do!! When it really gets to raining hard, each raindrop could fill a shot glass, I swear. The entire course is getting to be so's greening up very nicely!  While the course overall seems to drain well...the bunkers took a hammering and several of them have lost most of their sand. The grounds keeping crew at BHCC does a really good job keeping up - - but - some bunkers are going to take some heavy equipment to fix! The grounds crew are quietly ever-present when you go out for a round of golf!  But I think the course will be playing a little less-than-at-its-best for a while now. Even for the best of greenskeepers, there is no way to "catch-up" if the rain won't "let-up".

I enjoyed playing a quick nine-holes two days ago. I went out with my friend, David, who was leaving last night for a month-long trip home to the it looked like "now or never" if we were going to get a chance to play together before he left. It was going to be nice for me, because - in the rest of the rounds I have played at the country club...I had yet to see another golfer out on the course. People from Southern California will not understand the concept!! So - - raining or not...out we went!! Yes, there was a steady drizzle and, yes, we got wet. But I was playing so well, I felt kind of like the Bishop in Caddyshack...who goes out with Bill Murray as his caddy as a storm is brewing, and then stays out in the pouring rain to finish a round-for-the-ages...only to get struck by lightning and killed after he misses his putt on the final hole - yelling "Oh, rat farts!" at God!

I was not having the round of a lifetime like the good Bishop.  I was hitting the ball fairly well...and I was hitting greens in regulation.  I was in a nasty bunker on hole #2...and that was one of the traps that had taken on a lot of water. The "sand" was hurting, at best, - completey gone and "down-to-the-dirt" at the very worst! The rain let up after about 5 holes. The break in the showers brought out my old friend "Mr. Peacock" on the seventh hole. He's huge...a majestic bird with a full-spread of tail feathers and a iridescent blue neck that is like no other color in nature's crayon box of colors!

The greens - overall - are still painfully slow...and - when they are wet...give even a 10'-putt a pretty good whack! Many putts, especially the uphill variety, will be left short on the best of days!! Of course, being so wet, they can't mow them and roll them properly. The rain and lack of time for me (Amy Suzanne and I had a yoga class scheduled!) limited me to nine holes, but David played the front-side again...BECAUSE THE BACK SIDE WAS CLOSED FOR AERATING AND TOP-DRESSING!! Hey, JohnnyGK - - make sure Boulder Hills makes the maintenance list!! "Know before you go!!"

It will be a while before things heal enough out there for me to go back out.  Thanks for reading our blog! I'll post more about golf in Hyderabad when the rain lets up.'s still raining as I type this final sentence!!


  1. As I expected it sounds like you are bringing a little piece of southern california to Hyderabad. Preach on Father, I look forward to reading about the rest of your tales.

  2. Thanks, Bro. Joe. Still have not found any Sigs here...but I keep a lookout. I mean, I can't do a proper 'Scotsman' without some brothers around, can I??

    In Hoc,