Being a golf fanatic is proving very difficult this week. Every attempt I’ve made to shirk other more important responsibilities and indulge my obsession has been foiled and things are not set to improve.
On Monday morning I was looking forward to our usual five pound roll-up match at Banchory. Every week a decent group of retirees, semi-professionals, professionals and others (me) assembles at 1.15 to start the week with a spot of banter and a good competitive knock. But, when I checked the online start sheet, I was astounded to see the course was closed for the afternoon because of an outing playing to a shotgun start at 1pm. I know, on a Monday in late September! Still, it was for a good cause – the Grampian autistic society – and I reasoned I have to put up with this sort of thing to enjoy the low subscription fees at Banchory. But, it didn’t stop me feeling disappointed. At least I would be playing in the Alliance on Wednesday, I thought.
The weather forecast for today has been pretty dismal ever since I first checked it over the weekend. But, like all golfing obsessives, I remained optimistic and was sure a change in wind direction would alter things or that the meteorologists had simply got it wrong. When I woke this morning it was grey and drizzly but not raining heavily enough to threaten play. I felt positive.
We made the journey to Aboyne in light rain but the precipitation became more intense as we walked towards the clubhouse to check in. By the time we returned to the car to get our kit, it was raining steadily. Back at the clubhouse the pro was standing outside looking at the sky with a philosophical look on his face. “Looks pretty set in now,” he said. “Still, the greens wont flood because the greenkeeper tined them earlier in the week and he dressed them heavily.” I found this prediction greatly heartening. I don’t care how hard it’s raining as long as I’m allowed to battle round.
We struck off and fought our way through worsening rain for six holes before the hooter sounded to call us off the course. I could have spat. I was already soaked to the skin and, although the course was pretty sodden, the greens seemed to be holding up. But, various tales of flooded surfaces on the back nine were told in the clubhouse and it seems some of the course was unplayable.
I’m always slightly sceptical when I don’t see the puddles first hand. How do I know there’s not just one group out there somewhere having a poor day that makes an arbitrary decision to call it a day? To be fair, it was the greenkeeper who cancelled play this morning so I couldn’t really complain. I did complain though.
Now I’ve no more golf scheduled this week and am feeling frustrated. At least the Ryder Cup starts this Friday, I hear you say. Oh, don’t get me started on that one.
A friend of Jessie (wife) has made the incredible decision to get married on Ryder Cup weekend. Actually, it’s not her fault, she’s not a golfer so will have no idea how stressful I’m going to find it sitting in church as the Saturday afternoon foursomes matches get underway. Jessie has categorically forbidden me from smuggling in a radio to surreptitiously listen to 5 Live during the nuptials and I don’t think I’d be too popular if I have headphones in as the canapés and champagne are served afterwards.
I’ve just thought harder about it. Friday will be spent travelling south so I’ll miss the afternoon matches and Sunday will largely be spent travelling back. Bloody hell, I’ll do well to catch any of the action at all!
That’s it. I’m off downstairs to delete every episode of Fifi and the flowertots and Chalie and Lola from my “Sky Plus” planner to free plenty of space for some hardcore golf recording. After that I think I’ll visit the driving range then the pro shop, then my clubhouse for a drink. I’ll get my golfing fix one way or another.