Having had a hole in one, played the Old Course at St Andrews and bumped into Nick Faldo coming out of a toilet cubicle at Wentworth, I sometimes wonder if there is much left for me to accomplish in golf. However, among the things I would like to have done but haven’t is bury my sand iron in the skull of those playing partners who have exclaimed well out when I’ve thinned one out of a greenside bunker into a lake.
Although it has never been on my wish list of things I would like to achieve before I die, I nevertheless notched up another first earlier this week when playing The Carrick on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. It might sound pretty pathetic when I eventually get around to telling you about it but it was a moderately exciting at the time.
Although it isn’t terribly relevant to the story, I should nevertheless first like to say that The Carrick is a superb new course that remarkably only opened a year ago. What is remarkable about a course only opening a year ago, you might wonder? Well, that’s not the remarkable thing. What is remarkable is the fact that the course is in great shape despite having been open for only 12 months. The course is beautifully laid out, the greens are superb and the fairways are wonderfully lush. One of the reasons the course is so well established, I concluded, was because of the perma-rain they experience up there from Jan 1 through to December 31. Remarkably, since I was there for only 24 hours, it rained continuously for at least 25 of them.
Anyhow, if you have a set of waterproofs that you want to test to the limit, be sure to play there. And if you’re looking for a truly top-class hotel to dry out in afterwards, there’s the stunning Cameron House right next door. The combination of the two guarantees a great weekend break. And if you get fed up with the rain, there’s a superb spa to keep you amused.
I suspect you now want to know what it is I did for the first time when playing The Carrick. Are you ready? No, I didn’t cheat but I did use an electric trolley for the very first time in my entire life. Although I can now hear anticlimactic groans rippling around the globe, I was very excited and was almost instantly converted to their cause. Buggies are an abomination but electric trolleys are brilliant. After initial problems figuring out how the thing worked and twice nearly having my right arm ripped from its socket, I eventually got the hang of it and enjoyed using it.
Since you’ve persevered this far, I’m going to let you into an embarrassing secret. About three years ago, using a pseudonym, I won an electric trolley from a golf magazine for the prize letter of the month. All I’m prepared to add at this stage is that it wasn’t Golf Monthly. An impoverished freelance, I saw the opportunity as a legitimate way of supplementing my absurdly modest income. The cunning plan was to flog the trolley on eBay but I never got around to it. But now that I’ve been initiated into the fun world of electric trolleys, I propose to hang on to it. Unless, that is, anyone would care to offer me £150 for it. Selling something to one of my faithful readers, now that would be a first!