Although I am inherently a modest man, my ambition has always been to achieve a sort of immortality through golf. My original plan was to accomplish this by winning all four majors in the same calendar year. The nearest I got was in 1982 when I was runner-up in consecutive mid-week Stablefords at my old club Hendon. Like my golf, my memory is failing somewhat but I think I was second in the March and April competitions. I do, however, distinctly recall feeling enormous pressure to pull-off a unique hat-trick but crumbled under the pressure and recorded a paltry 23 points in what was probably the May mid-week Stableford.
In parallel with maturity has come a progressive lowering of expectations. Four majors in the same calendar year has by stages been reduced to the point where I would happily settle this year for maybe one ?nearest the pin? prize which, let?s face it, isn?t going to earn me a place up there alongside the likes of Hogan, Snead, Nicklaus, Watson and Woods.
And so I have had to become somewhat more inventive if my dream of long being remembered after my final putt has lipped out is to become a reality. Dr Stableford is my role model. Although doubtless a decent enough GP, my hunch is that he was only a modest golfer. But his name has been immortalised through his scoring system.
I once tried to introduce a similar system which was less dependent on the number of shots and was altogether more inventive. For example, you could score a point by hitting a sprinkler head and lose one by mentioning Tiger Woods. However, I have to confess, keeping tally was rather tricky, which probably explains the rather disappointing take up.
Anyway, I was in Morocco at the weekend for the Fifth World Executive Challenge, which was played over the very lovely course at the Palmeraie Golf Palace near Marrakech. The tournament was both an individual competition and an international team event at the same time. The former was straightforward enough while the latter aggregated the best three scores on each team on both days. Although the latter sounds reasonable enough it was spectacularly unfair because some teams, notably France, had a great many more competitors from which to choose the best scores. France inevitably won quite comfortably.
The new Agran Scoring System would have levelled the playing field by factoring in the number of players in each team. To be fair to the organisers, they weren?t able to use it because it wasn?t quite finished. To be honest, it?s still not entirely ready. However, I am confident of being in a position to unveil it before the Sixth World Executive Challenge gets underway next year. Whether I?ll be invited back after questioning the fairness of the competition is another matter entirely.