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My round I think!

Jan 31, 2016

I don’t play golf - although I know that a lot of you do. It’s just something that has never appealed - maybe it’s the mode of dress which you never see anywhere else but on the golf course. Maybe it’s the bright colours. Anyway I suppose I also subscribe to that hackneyed statement once made by Mark Twain when he described golf as ‘a good walk spoilt’. 

The reason I mention this is that I recently accepted the opportunity of playing a round of golf, and after having been along to the United Colours of Benetton to buy some appropriate clothing - especially looking for anything involving tartan - and after borrowing a set of clubs, I was ready to go. I must admit that I had played on a few occasions in the past and was well aware of the tensions that this ‘relaxing’ game can inspire. 

Needless to say I made a point of telling everyone how useless I was, and as I stood on the first tee, I acted out the complete opposite of reticence. I did not want anyone to think that I was in any way competent at this game and made a point of broadcasting this to all and sundry. My turn arrived and with a nonchalant sigh and a degree of floppiness I placed my ball on what I believe is called the tee. I then looked casually around, gave a smile of negative aspiration and, with half closed eyes, hit the ball as hard as I could ….  It landed in the middle of the fairway and, according to my fellow players, in perfect position. 

I then went through the same process on the second and third holes, with similar results. As we approached the fourth hole someone said to me: “You really are a naturally gifted player, you should definitely consider taking this game up, I’ve rarely seen anyone hit the ball so accurately.” I thanked him profusely and then swaggered towards the fourth tee, seeking to effect the demeanour of Tiger Woods on a good day. 

There I was, one of the finest golfers you would ever encounter, full of ambitious expectancy and eager to prove how good I was. I placed the ball on the tee and, trying to remember my putative golf lesson, I stood with my legs appropriately apart. I then gripped the club in the way I had been taught and hit the ball without moving my head. Can I just say that the ball left the tee like a bullet and had great distance on it, but the effect was somewhat diminished when I was told that, apparently, the  Sainsbury’s car park was considered out of bounds. Disappointing! 

To cut a very long story short, this is the way my game continued - in a miasma of downward spirals. At one stage it was suggested that I wait for them at the nineteenth hole – but there didn’t seem to be a nineteenth hole! Nobody seemed to want to speak to me after that; although I did hear somebody remark that it had been an opportunity to visit areas of the golf course which they didn’t even know existed; so at least they’d had some enjoyment.  

Is it like this with life in general, do we often try too hard and then fail as a result? Maybe not, because, generally speaking, it’s surely the case that the harder you try the more you achieve, and the more that you believe in yourself, the more likely you are to succeed. So what went wrong? 

Well I must confess that in my case it was the other way round: the less I believed in myself the better I got, and the harder I tried the worse I got. Not the sort of moral that I would want to pass on to the kids – that is, ostensibly, unless they were playing golf.  

I cannot, however, allow this statement to go unchallenged – even though I said it myself - for this philosophy is based on the premise that my first three shots were anything other than lucky ones. My remaining shots were governed by my will to succeed being exceeded only by my lack of expertise. So maybe I should just simply give up the game.

The one thing I will say is that I am left with a grudging respect for those who do play golf. It certainly is much easier to write about than to play.  

I would also add that my knowledge of the game has certainly improved. After hitting my very first shot of the day, someone said to me "wow you hit that ball a fair way". At least I now know why they call it a fairway!  

Although; I would like somebody now to explain to me why golfers appear to dislike their mechanised transport so much? On quite a number of occasions during my round I did hear the term ‘stupid buggy’ used - at least that’s what I thought they said. 

Anyone for tennis? 








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