I haven’t played much golf lately. Stop it, on the back row there… I know what I do on a golf course only very distantly resembles golf. I have been convincing myself that my various aches and pains are not due to old age or over-weight (Mrs B’s favourite and repeated explanation) but to serious golf injuries. After the heels episodes I mentioned in my previous diatribes I have had a bad back. No doubt if I asked her Mrs B would say ‘Too fat’ so I haven’t bothered.
Anyway, while a bad back does preclude whacking golf balls about and, of course, gardening and painting windows and other household chores, it doesn’t prevent walking round the golf course. Firstly, it’s good exercise, secondly I can occasionally see other punters who are no better at the game than I am and thirdly, I can hunt for golf balls.
Callloway, Donnay, Dunlop, Maxflite, Mojo, Nike, Noodle (I ask you!) Pinnacle, Precept, Prostaff, Ryder, Slazenger, Spalding, Srixon, Strata, Swingmaster, Titech, Titleist, Top Flite, (can’t they spell?), Ultra, Wilson – these are a few of my favourite things. There are so many golf ball brands you wouldn’t believe it; mind you, they are all probably made in the same tumble down garage in the Far East where some poor 8 year old gets 2p for every 50 balls*. I think I have mentioned this kleptomania thing I have about golf balls on more than one occasion, but I have to say that since my incapacity it has got worse and I can see I may need professional help so I have decided to write a letter to an agony aunt.
I share it with you below.
Well, that used to be your name – so if I have got it wrong I’m sure you’ll understand and excuse me. I need your help. About a year ago I decided I would take up golf. Actually, my wife decided as she didn’t want me getting under her feet, so handed me a jumble sale set of clubs as soon as I retired. At first everything went normally. I couldn’t hit the ball straight; I fell over; the ball ended up further from the hole than when I started. Even if you are not intimately familiar with Tiger Woods’ world I am sure you get the drift. Slowly, however, I noticed two things. I became more concerned about losing golf balls than whether I was making progress with learning the game. I started measuring success when I had finished a round with whether I had ended up with more balls than I had started with.
As time went on and I got a bit fitter I started having pains in my feet and then my back –not enough to stop with me walking round the golf course, you understand, but enough to prevent me playing golf or decorating, or gardening come to that which Mrs B thought might be useful occupations in which I could while away the hours…
So now I spend my time searching in the various nooks and crannies of a golf course looking for lost balls. I can even find them when they are buried in the ground by using thin-soled shoes and detecting the bumps in the ground. Clever, eh? Earlier this week I walked up the river, which abuts the course I walk round, looking in two-foot pools for lost balls. I have now got so fixated that I am sorting them into different colours (I have a very nice pink one and one that’s electric blue that’s my pride and joy) and into different brands. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it…
I’m told I need help so I am writing to you. What can you suggest?
Yours in desperation, Old Bamber
If I get a reply I will let you see it…
*Legal disclaimer for the benefit of any golf ball manufacturers
Look, this is a joke. I’m sure your balls are best and you wouldn’t dream of not paying your workers top-notch money to work in luxurious conditions and produce the best golf ball money can buy etc. etc.