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Rain delays, or Mother Nature's 'Talk To The Hand' moment

It happens to the best and worst of us in equal parts. When it happens, you believe a higher power has a cruel sense of irony. The longer you golf, the more likely you are to have a fantastic round derailed by one.

Yes, rain delays are the golf gods' way of saying to you, 'Nice try, slick, but not today'.

And for the average golfer, having your round interrupted by rain usually happens in stages. It starts when you either make your tee time or decide upon waking on a slightly more-humid-than-usual morning that you can probably squeeze 18 holes in before cutting the grass and washing the car later in the day.

You make it to the course and as you're hurriedly putting your shoes on and grabbing your clubs, you note that the parking lot doesn't seem to be as full. You are mildly gleeful as the pro shop rings you green fee through but you don't catch the reason for no carts being allowed out today.

Okay, there are a few clouds in the distance but they won't come anywhere close. Or if they do, you'll be long done your round and they'll actually provide you with the perfect excuse to put the grass and car wash off for another weekend.

Enthused, your opening tee shot goes surprisingly straight and you would swear that the thunder you hear from on high is applause from an invisible gallery. Surely, it's just a coincidence.

By the time you putt out on the sixth green and - shock of shocks - you're two-under and should have been twice as good had it not been for that sudden gust of tornado-like wind making your eagle opportunity come up a good 20 feet short. But no matter, you still tapped in for par!

You're now closing in on the turn, and those clouds that seemed so far away not so long ago appear to be encroaching on the course. That wind keeps coming back, but it just helped you drive a short par-4, so you just know that Mother Nature is on your side today.

After a quick stop in the pro shop for a drink and a snack (and a befuddled look from the pro when you mention how you think you're just getting warmed up in time for the back nine), your tee ball off the 10th mysteriously comes up a good 176 yards short of your intended target. And you don't remember it being quite so dark out for 10:37 a.m. before, but you just push all those nagging thoughts out of your head.

An odd string of double-bogeys haunts you for the first four holes on the back 9, but your favourite hole is just ahead and all you have to do is negotiate this pesky par-3. For some reason, the flag is now bent over sideways so you think the wind might be out of the left.

Finding your shot over near the next tee box confirms that suspicion.

Okay, you arrive at a nice, long, straight par-5 and you pull the big dog out. It's let you down a few times, but you can feel a good swing coming. Or maybe it's a wet grip that you forgot to dry off. Either way, you can feel it coming and it's going to be looooooooong.

After playing your second shot to a good chipping distance, you walk the extra 20 or so yards to pick up your driver after air mailing it from the tee box. You were right - it was long! And that weird rumbling noise is back, seeming to have settled in over your head now.

Your next tee shot is perfect. And by perfect I mean that thing you just hit that only a Shank-A-Potamus could love is offset by what has to be that same eagle-depriving wind from before ... leaving you perfectly in the middle of the fairway with a clean look at that limbo bar you last saw at the world championships which, for reasons you can't explain has a flag on it from your course.

Walking off the 17th and still trying to figure out why you couldn't find that ball in the puddle on the right of the green over near the trees, you notice it's started to rain. Well, that's not going to stop you with just one hole left. Hacking your way up the last fairway and reaching the green-side lake that you always thought was a sand trap, you go looking for your ball retriever and realize it's in your garage.

Taking out your longest iron, you balance on the lip and try to fish the ball out because you don't want to get your socks wet walking in to the trap. And after tapping in for a could-have-been-worse 8, you go to record your score and find the card in your pocket has the consistency of a wadded-up spitball.

And just at that moment, the clubhouse's weather alert siren sounds. Another thunderbolt rolls across the sky. Packing your clubs away but not bothering to change out of your spikes, you hop in the car and think to yourself 'at least I didn't have to get a raincheck'.

And remember, it could always be worse. You could be this guy...

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