For the first time in my life I have been disqualified from a golf tournament, before I even hit the ball a single time. It all happened less than a couple hours ago and I'm still recovering from such an unexpected disappointment.
It's not like I did anything bad, or did I?
My official start time at the Dutch Senior Open was 14:20 but for some reason I had 14:40 engraved in my mind. Although I've been living here for a long time, I still have problems with the 24-hour clock they use in Europe.
I purposely arrived very early so that I could spend much time warming up for this important event I'd been looking forward to for many weeks. I registered myself an hour before and started practicing and getting loosened up.
At two thirty I went to the first tee. Some official lady came up to me and asked if I was "Keffin" Gish. When I said I was, she said that I had missed my starting time of 14:20. That's not possible I answered, my starting time is 14:40. She pointed to my scorecard and there it was perfectly clear: 14:20 indeed.
Proof that I was indeed mistaken.
What bad luck. They were very strict and would not make any exceptions to the rule. When I gave her an emotional story of looking forward all year to the event that was my big highlight, taking off two days from work, their final cold judgement wouldn't budge an inch. I even got a little desperate and said that I suffered from a slight form of dyslexia, meaning I often can't help but mixing up the numbers. Too bad, those are the rules and we are very strict. No I would not be allowed to play in a later flight. They wouldn't even refund the fifty euros registration fee I paid less than an hour earlier, what a waste.
(I will write them a polite letter and appeal for a refund of the fifty euros which I believe is a reasonable request)
What's even stranger is that I had a bad dream last night. I dreamed that they wouldn't let me play because I was wearing my new white golfing shoes. For some reason these shoes didn't not adhere to the official rules, and no matter how I pleaded they would not listen to me. It was one of those frustrating dreams where you have almost reached someplace, but at the very last moment you get prevented from going any further because of some bizarre and nonsensical reason. Like running a race but right before you cross the finish line your legs freeze up or turn to rubber and you cannot move while everyone else passes you by in a flash.
Scorecard which clearly shows my start time.
Perhaps it was my subconsciousness trying to warn me in a symbolic way: that the start time I had registered in my mind was incorrect. Too bad that I did not remember the dream until afterwards, when my disqualification and resulting ruminations brought back that faraway memory of a dream. So much for mysterious spiritual messages when you cannot heed to them as well.
I learned my lesson the hard way and know that I need to be extra careful next time. This has been yet another exciting day's journey in an unpredictable life.
Shake it off, adapt and go on. Life continues as usual.