Royal Roader on My Own – Chapter 80: Baseline Suppression (2)

Tap-

‘Oh, shit!’

The ball was rolling in a slightly different direction than I wanted.

This was the problem with putting. Even when using a skill, it can move differently than I planned.

It was the same right now. In my mind, I was hitting it to go about 10 centimeters to the right of the hole, but the ball was not heading in that direction.

‘I screwed up again……Oh! Maybe not?’

The image on the screen suddenly changed.

It is a good sign that the screen changed. That means that the ball will at least be close to the hole. It might even go in.

The gallery was starting to get anxious as well.

“Is it perhaps heading in?”

“The direction is good! The strength is also good!”

I could feel my heart drop. The hole was extremely large on the screen, and the ball was heading directly towards the cup, different from what I had expected.

And then a moment later.

With a, ‘Clang!’ I heard celebratory noises on the speaker.

Pang! Pang! Pang!

<Nice Eagle!>

“Wow! An eagle!”

“Unbelievable! An eagle on Master’s Island!”

Even I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had hit it wrong.

That means there was only one explanation.

I had misread the direction for the putt. But that mistake ended up putting it on the proper line to roll into the hole.

Which means, the error ended up becoming a blessing.

“Fantastic!”

Clap clap clap.

The gallery showered me with applause.

Jang Yoon Shik could not do anything about it this time. He forced himself to smile and clap, and even did a high five with me.

While we did that, Jo pro and Lee pro each attempted their putts.

They were both about 10 meters away.

They accurately moved their putter, but they failed at a hole-in.

Jang Yoon Shik was the same way. It was only a 3 meter putt, but the break was too severe. The ball looked like it was rolling straight, but it tilted to the side right in front of the hole and stopped.

<Concede. Bogie!>

“Ah. Shit. I was a bit short.”

Jang Yoon Shik let out a sigh in disappointment.

Once we finished a hole, one of the gallery members played the role of banker.

“Alright, let’s balance your accounts. An eagle gets you three more. The rest of you got a bogie, so it is 50,000 won each. You all know the next hole is a multiplier hole right?”

“Wow, thank goodness this wasn’t a multiplier hole. I might have lost 100,000 won in a single hole.”

“Next hole, I need to retrieve the money that has left my home.”

Jang Yoon Shik made up his mind.

The 2nd hole was a par 3 hole around 151 meter from the front tee.

This one had a head wind blowing at 4.5 meters per hour. The wind will make the ball go shorter than we expect.

There is a slight downward slope, but I should be able to ignore that.

But the course difficulty is high in every hole. I don’t mind the fairway being narrow since it’s a par 3 hole, but the green is small and completely surrounded by bunkers.

It’s as if they made the green to look like a castle in the middle of a sandy desert.

Of course, it doesn’t matter to me.

My accuracy with the iron is even better than the driver. I’m confident that my chance of error is less than 2%.

WIth this distance, I should be able to get the ball within 3 meters of the hole cup.

When I played on my own, I barely missed the hole cup in the majority of the par 3 holes. I felt like, if I played ten times, I would get a hole-in-one at least once.

But I have yet to experience a hole-in-one.

It made sense though, since my experience is still short. A newbie, who has played screen golf only seven times, can’t be talking about a hole-in-one already.

“Near and birdie each get one point, an eagle gets three point, and a hole-in-one gets five points. We have a prize for a hole-in-one, so put it right into the cup. Boss-nim, there’s quite a bit of prize money, isn’t there?”

“We should have around 3,000,000 won.”

Each screen golf location has a hole-in-one prize bin. If you put 1,000 won into the prize bin and make a hole-in-one in your game, you get all of the money in the bin.

But for there to be 3 million won, they must not have had a hole-in-one in a long time.

Of course, we put 1,000 won each into the bin before we started the game.

“Oh, it seems good enough to take. Newbie, put it right in the hole. If you can put that in, your admission will be confirmed, no question about it.”

I started to smile.

Is there anyone in the world who wouldn’t like a hole-in-one? Everybody wants one, but the ball doesn’t go into the hole.

I was the same way. It was always close, but never went in. That made me want it even more.

But today, I had a good feeling for some reason. I feel like I will get one today.

Maybe it is because of the, ‘Lucky eagle,’ putting from Hole 1. Luck tends to travel in a group.

I might as well play it up, since I’m feeling good. That’ll make the atmosphere lively as well.

Since I was first place in the last hole, I am the owner. I stood at the tee first, and got the gallery going.

“Member-nims, would you like to see a hole-in-one?”

“Of course.”

“Let’s see it.”

“Show it to us.”

Everybody started to raise their voice as if they had been waiting for this moment. Some of them must be quite drunk since they even lifted their hands way up in the air.

“Alright then, here comes a hole-in-one. The ball will suddenly disappear from the green, so keep your eyes open wide and pay attention.”

Of course, I was joking. The members all knew I was joking as well.

But everybody knew how to enjoy the atmosphere.

“Here goes the 3 million won shot.”

“Let’s see it!”

I seriously got in position and readied myself.

Once I got there, everybody had good manners and quieted down.

The head wind should decrease around 10 meters, so I need to think about sending it about 160 meters.

It is my favorite distance. I can send it exactly 160 meters with the 5-iron.

[5-iron 160 skill: Intermediate level 4, 16%]

Clang- Bang!

The screen changed again as soon as I hit my shot.

“Wow! The screen changed again!”

“Wow, your iron shot is killer too. Just what can’t you do?”

Nothing to be surprised about. I haven’t played much screen golf, but the screen changes like this every time I hit the ball.

Because of that, I wasn’t expecting much. It always looked like it would go in like this before the distance was a bit off or the direction was a bit off.

But today, something felt a bit different. The direction and speed both seemed right on the mark.

The gallery was really anxious. They stood up and started to shout without realizing they were losing their voice.

“Wow! Isn’t it going in?”

“It might go in!”

I could feel my heart tremble as well. It was because the screen changed with the hole cup in the middle. The ball that was rolling toward it was accurately heading for the cup.

And then a moment later, the speaker blasted out a whistle noise and celebratory blasts.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

<Hole-in-one!>

“It went in.”

“Unbelievable. A predicted hole-in-one?”

“Continuous eagles from the beginning. Especially on Master’s Island. Crazy.”

Even I couldn’t believe it. To experience a hole-in-one on my seventh time playing screen golf. And a continuous eagle. Today must be my lucky day.

I guess it was about time a hole-in-one came out.

I just barely missed it every time i was on a par 3 hole. There were three or four times that it was really really close.

It would be weird if it never went in. I can just say all of the luck I have been gathering in those near misses has been redeemed today.

The boss counted the money in the prize bin and handed it to me. There was a total of 3,120,000 won.

“Wow, we finally have a owner for the prize money.”

“Newbie, you should pay for another dinner.”

Why not? I can even pay for ten of them. That’ll all just help grow my network.

“Of course. Just pick the date.”

“He really is a good one. Haha.”

I instantly became the focus of the gathering. Everybody was looking at me, and all of their conversations revolved around me as well.

With that being the case, the other members couldn’t help but feel alienated.

Jang Yoon Shik, who was supposed to go after me, felt that way for sure.

“Alright, let me hit as well. Give me some attention too.”

The atmosphere finally calmed down a bit once Jang Yoon Shik raised his voice.

Jang Yoon Shik was still grumbling.

“Even if I make a hole-in-one, it’s useless. There’s no more money in the bin.”

Stop talking about putting it in, and worry about getting it even close to the cup.

Even though he was talking like that, he was really focused. Almost like he was determined to really get a hole-in-one.

And then, he finally swung his wood.

Clang- Bang!

It must have made a proper impact. The sound is refreshing.

But the end result was not that good. He hit it so well that the ball looked like it would shoot past the green. But there must have been a hook on it, as it finally tilted a bit to the left.

Puuk!

<Bunker!>

“Shit! I need to bring the money back home, but it looks like more will leave instead.”

Jang Yoon Shik paid the bunker penalty of 10,000 won, as he grumbled.

But he really shouldn’t’ be grumbling. It was because he hit really too well. If it didn’t fall in the bunker, it would have gone into the forest past the green and ended up as an OB.

The other two people were not much different. It was just that their distance was short, so they fell in the front bunker.

But they were all pretty good with their bunker shots. They got it within 6 meters, and finished the hole with two putts. All three of them recorded a bogie with a +1.

“Time to pay up. Since he had a near and a hole-in-one, he gets an extra six points, so it is a 9 swing difference for each of you. Since this was a multiplier round, it is 180,000 won each. Since all of you got a bogie, next hole will be a multiplier hole as well.”

I earned 520,000 won in just that hole.

If it continues like this, I should be able to earn a couple million won after all 18 holes. Although it would still be less than half of the hole-in-one prize money.

But that was my mistake.

Golf is a mental sport. If your mentality breaks, your swing breaks down so badly that it becomes disastrous.

Jang Yoon Shik was that way. Maybe he was aggravated by my continuous eagles, but his swing suddenly started to break down. Topball, shank, duff shot, he hit them all.

It wasn’t too bad in the first half, but it completely broke down in the second half. If there was a lake, he fell into all of them, and if it looked like he avoided the lake, it went into the forest.

He must have been completely suppressed by me.

Puuk!

<Double Par!> [1]

“Ah! I’m about to go crazy. Why am I so bad today?”

Jang Yoon Shik angrily scratched his head.

It makes sense for someone with that type of personality to be completely annoyed. After finishing all 18 holes, he was 27 over par, at 99 strokes.

The other two were the same way. Once Jang Yoon Shik broke down, they were affected by him, and fell apart as well.

But they were still better than Jang Yoon Shik, and only went 18 over par, for 90 strokes.

Since it was like that, I didn’t have any desire to play well either. It was like if a pro soccer player was playing against an elementary student.

Because of that, I kept attempting outrageous shots.

Like thinking it might be possible to send the ball 360 meters with a driver.

There were a total of five OB or hazards because of that. Since I kept having those, even with a ton of eagles and birdies, I was only 4-under par by the 17th hole.

And the last 18th hole.

Everybody had holed-out, and I was the only one left. It was the last 3.2 meter putt.

Is the last hole a bonus hole? The course is difficult, but the green was easier than I thought. There was a slope up and down, but none left or right.

I just need to send it straight for 4 meters.

I carefully pushed the putter, and the ball quickly fell into the hole cup.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

<Nice birdie.>

My final score was 5 under par, at 67 strokes. It was the worst I’ve done lately.

But the members thought differently. They were causing a ruckus, saying 5 under par at Master’s Island was a terrific score.

“Wow, he is a total pro.”

“I’ve never seen anyone do so well at Master’s Island.”

“Did our Lions finally get a good player? You’re amazing, Kang pro.”

For them to think so highly of me for such a score. I can tell the level of the Lions Golf Club.

But I should be modest in a situation like this.

“I was just lucky. The ball traveled really well today.”

“It wasn’t luck. We can tell. Kang pro is the real deal. I think your average strokes must be under par.”

I guess I can’t hide it. They are all golf fanatics anyways. They would be able to tell by just looking at my swing.

I just lightly laughed.

Director Han Sung Tak and Director Ji Sung Joon seemed satisfied as well, like they had seen something good for the first time in a long time, and were clapping their hands.

But they must be calm people. They weren’t causing a big ruckus like the rest of the people.

But the atmosphere suddenly started to change.

The thing that changed it were two words; ‘Winners’ and, ‘Revenge.’

“Hold on, we might be able to get our revenge in the exhibition against the Winners.”

“Ah! We have that exhibition next week!”

All of the members opened their eyes really wide, as they had expressions of anticipation.

Han Sung Tak and Ji Sung Joon were the same way. Those two calm people suddenly became really excited and became more aggressive than the rest.

“Right. Revenge. Director Bae from K headquarters said he was coming as well.”

“We really need to get our revenge this time. How much longer do we have to watch Director Bae rub it in?”

DIrector Han Sung Tak even grasped my hands tightly.

“Kang pro. Please show us your true skills.”

Director Bae from K headquarters?

It must be the director from KBC station, MBS’s competitor. Not only were the stations competitors, it seems the competitive spirit between staff members is severe as well.

Well, that is the world of men. You can’t take the competitive spirit out of men.

The competitive spirit between Han Sung Tak and K headquarter’s Director Bae seems to be really serious for that calm Han Sung Tak to make an expression like this.

Then I can’t stay out of this. If I helped them with this revenge, I can get much closer to Han Sung Tak and Ji Sung Joon.

And there is also a pretty famous screen golf competition in around a month.

That was one of the reasons I wanted to join the Lions Club. You can’t join as an individual. You can only join that competition as a member of a club.

If it is an exhibition between golf clubs, it should be pretty good practice for the real competition. The thing that I am lacking the most in is experience.

“I understand. I will go and destroy all of them.”

“The rest of them are not that good. You just have to beat Hwang pro.”

“Who is Hwang pro?”

“He is the Winners’ ace. If you can beat that friend, I will treat you to a nice meal.”

“Is he that talented?”

“He is amazing. Any time he hits, he gets under par. We have lost four times in a row because of that friend. Now that I think about it, he should be pretty similar to Kang pro in age.”

______________________________________
[1] When you swing double the amount of par. I.e. in a par 3, you had 6 strokes.


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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader : Borderline Masochist

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