xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' The Font of Noelage: The Confessions of a Golfer

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Confessions of a Golfer

Mark Twain once said that golf was a good walk spoiled.  On the other hand golfing legend, Lee Trevino, said it was the most fun that he ever had with his clothes on!

Which serves to remind us that the world is divided into golfers and non-golfers?

In that respect I was quite unique. I was actually a non golfing golfer. I had all the gear...bag, boots and buggy. I really looked the part. Unfortunately what I did on the golf course bore no resemblance whatsoever to the grand and ancient game. I spent so much time in the rough that people asked me if I had been coached by Harry Butler, after his popular TV show of the 1970s, “In The Wild”.

Although I no longer play the game myself it should surprise no one that golf is the most played game in the world.From  Scotland, where it all began, to Japan where they have multi tiered, artificially grassed indoor driving ranges, golfers of all shapes, sizes and abilities take swipe after swipe at that little white ball. In my case it was definitely a case of swipe after swipe... after swipe. Quite often I missed the ball completely.

To a golfer, missing the ball altogether is most annoying. It is doubly annoying, really, because many years ago some smart alec good golfers established the tradition that if you had a “windy” (no, my dear, nothing to do with your digestive system) then you had buy your playing companions a jug of beer.

For years I had fellows clamouring to play with me. At first I imagined that this was due to my rugged good looks, elegant charm, rapier like wit and extremely modest disposition. But, no! It was merely in the hope that true to form, or lack of it, I would have some windies (does sound a little like digestive trouble, I'll admit) out on the course. They were rarely disappointed and enjoyed copious quantities of free beer at my expense.

 I had windies on the tee, on the fairways, in the rough, in the bunkers and on two infamous occasions on the very putting green itself.

On the first of these occasions I faced a 6 metre putt. About 20 feet in the old money.
As I lined the ball up with the hole I was distracted by a large black ant moving towards my ball from the rear. I swung at it and despatched it to the great anthill in the sky. 
My partners, however, all insisted that I had played at the ball and missed.

Rather miffed at their strict interpretation of the rules, and in something approaching high dudgeon (by the way, does anyone ever act in low dudgeon, or even just plain old dudgeon for that matter? But I digress.) I pushed my putter forward. I was determined to make very firm contact with the ball. Unfortunately my dudgeon was just a little too high. My club pushed forward too quickly, hit the ground behind the ball, bounced over it and took a small divot on the other side.

My ball was still on the green, as were my partners who were contorting themselves in paroxysms of mirth.
One, almost purple in the face, rolled around spluttering, “Guinness Book Of Records...two windies..(chortle)...two windies on the...on the..(long pause as he gasps for breath, his face now magenta)...on the green!”

Apparently these people saw some humour in the situation

Needless to say I had to purchase TWO jugs of beer as a result of that incident.

Back in the clubhouse my “friends” gleefully poured MY beer into other members’ glasses and cheerfully recounted the sorry event. For the remainder of the evening I suffered in silence as various people came up and told me, “ You know,Noel,  the main problem with your swing is that you are standing too close to the ball...after you’ve swung at it!” Once more the clubhouse would erupt in uproarious laughter.

A lesser man would have given up there and then.

 However, I did play one more game. It was at the beautiful Country Club course in Donnybrook where I happened to be teaching at that time.

I drove off from the No. 1 tee. The ball sliced viciously out of bounds across the roadway that runs between the fairway and the club’s bowling  greens.

As luck would have it, the Club Captain was driving up to the clubhouse along this road at the time and my ball completely shattered his windscreen. This obviously startled the life out of him. He swerved off the road, down a steep bank and rolled on to the bowling green, gouging out huge chunks of freshly mown turf as he went along.

In the process he knocked over three bowlers, crushed an eski full of cold cans and completely demolished a shelter shed erected at a busy bee earlier that very morning. Fortunately for the Club Captain, the car stopped rolling when it came to rest on top of the recently purchased electric “ride on” motor mower. Naturally enough, the Greenkeeper was not impressed by these proceedings. He was on the motor mower at the time.

After a while the confusion died down. The captain and the greenkeeper were extricated from the entangled machinery. Together, with those bowlers who could still walk, they proceeded up the bank to where I was standing on the first tee.

“Hey, you!” exclaimed the captain. “Do you know that you just sliced your ball out of bounds, smashed my windscreen, caused me to crash onto the bowling green, colliding with several bowlers, gouge up the greens, demolish the shelter shed, wreck the mower and nearly kill the greenkeeper?”

“Yes, I saw it all” I answered truthfully.

“You saw it all! You saw it all! Is that all you can say?” exploded the captain. “What are you going to do about it?” he yelled.

“Well, I’m not really sure what I CAN do about it.” I replied.  “Maybe if  I dropped my left hand down the club and brought my right wrist over a fraction it would straighten out my slice and...”

That was when they took my golf clubs off me.

Anyone want to buy a pair of golf shoes?

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