My golf is in the doldrums. I cannot hit my hat. I couldn?t hit a 10 gallon hat. I probably couldn?t hit the enormous Texan wearing the 10 gallon hat.
Last week I mentioned that I?d be playing the Berkshire. Ever the optimist I hoped that being away from the rigours of the coast and back amongst my native environs, my golf would improve. To quote Anthony Newley ?what kind of fool am I??
One doesn?t realise what a large variety of flora and fauna there is at this magnificent course until you get as close a view as I did last Tuesday. We are told always to make time to smell the flowers and admire the trees. Well I certainly did that.
It was a gloomy figure that walked through my front door that evening, and despite my daughter?s best efforts to distract me, jumping up and down, throwing up on my suit, I wouldn?t be cheered. Until that is, Peter called.
Peter Charles, 9 handicapper and one of my favourite people in the golfing universe, is, how can I put this, rather prone to lapses of concentration on the course.
For example: once during a medal, playing the par 3 8th at Richmond, Peter hit a darting 7 iron that never left the pin. I was convinced he?d holed it, but when we reached the green we saw the ball directly behind the flag barely and inch from the cup. It was only when Peter reached for his putter, to tap in for birdie, he realised that in the excitement, he?d left his bag on the tee.
That day he?d been playing the first round of the Richard Mills 4 ball, The Stage?s premier winter competition, and was determined to put past lapses behind him. He?d read in one of his multitude of golf books that one should drive slowly to the course, thus arriving in a relaxed state of mind. He drove to the club as if taking his test: never exceeding the speed limit, letting other cars through at junctions, anything that would engender a relaxed state. Arriving at the club he parked, switched off the engine and exhaled.
When he reached for his shoe-bag on the back seat, a sixth sense call it what you will, told him something was wrong. Facing him were the angelic smiling faces of his five year old twin boys whom should have been dropped off at school.
When he finally returned to the course, having dropped the boys and breaching every traffic regulation in the process, he was not only five minutes late for his tee time, but so flustered that golf proved beyond him.
He not only lost the match that day, but went a long way to proving the female held belief that men are rubbish at multi-tasking. He also improved my mood immeasurably.