Jessie and I love having guests to stay. When you?re a bit lazy about socialising, bringing the party to your own house is a great way of staying in the loop. And, given most of our university and work friends live in either London or Edinburgh, seeing them generally means a stop over for either them or us. It?s much better if it?s them.
The only problem with guests is they seriously interfere with my amateur golf career. I?ve thoroughly enjoyed having my old work pals Tom, Jon and Chris up from London this weekend but I have missed the September Stableford and the final of the Deeside scratch team knockout.
It?s only in the harsh gloom of Monday morning that I?ve considered this. While the lads were here I was far too distracted to think about golf: Walking, barbecuing, watching the Rugby World Cup, drinking and more than a little gardening. I set the boys to work moving my compost heap from halfway up the lawn to the far end of the garden. Quite an epic task as it turned out. Thanks guys.
We had a great laugh, mostly reminiscing about our days in London but also trying to outdo each other in a game Chris had seen at a stand-up show. Its premise is: Think of a celebrity and invent a TV programme they might be commissioned to make based on their name. A couple of examples were: ?Hugh Grant?s Huge Rants? ? The bumbling floppy haired actor gets on his high horse, and, ?Christopher?s Big Inns? – The pantomime dame tours some of England?s most sizeable ale houses. The only notable golfing suggestion was, ?Bernhard Langer?s Clangers? ? The German star takes a hilarious look at a selection of golfing bloopers. I?ve just thought of another actually: ?Luke Donald Ducks? ? Members of the public throw rotten food at the young English golfer while he attempts to avoid getting egg on his face.
It?s rather silly but very good fun. If anyone can think of more potential golf related TV spoofs please write in.
I wrote last week about the abandonment of the second round of the Considine Trophy. I was hoping the committee would decide to reduce the tournament to just one round (this was because I was in the lead after one round.) Well, they haven?t. The second round will be replayed next Sunday afternoon. It?s not ideal for me as I?ve got yet another guest coming next weekend ? I really must start trying to shake off some of these blasted friends. He?s leaving on Sunday morning but I?m going to have no chance to get any practice. In fact, it looks as though, come Sunday, it?ll be a full ten days since the last time I played golf. A ludicrous layoff, I?ll surely have completely forgotten how to swing a club by then.
I have played golf this week but only once. I suppose, however, if you?re getting just one round in then Turnberry isn?t such a bad venue. I was invited down to see the alterations that have been made to the Ailsa Course in preparation for the visit of the Open Championship in 2009. The journalists attending were unbelievably lucky, not only to get a chance to play the great links but also because the weather was stunning. Clear blue skies, warm and no wind, the place looked spectacular. With views to Arran and the Ailsa Craig out past Turnberry?s famous lighthouse, this is undoubtedly the most scenic of all the Open venues. The course was in immaculate condition and, with some clever new bunkering and more dramatic changes like a complete shifting of the 16th fairway and a fabulous new tee at the 10th, the layout has certainly been toughened up. Even though I was playing appallingly I still enjoyed myself immensely ? for me that?s the sign of a wonderful golf course.
I?m off to the West Coast now to stay at Jessie?s parent?s house for a couple of days. That means no golf and very little talking about golf as none of her family play. I must think positively: This extended de-tox will see me return to the game completely refreshed, free from the niggling faults that have crept into my swing recently and ready to shoot low on Sunday. Who am I kidding?