You have probably guessed that despite my stylish Harris Tweed flat cap I am not a snappy dresser – my designer labels say ‘George’ not ‘Pringle’. However, I did get into trouble with Mrs B when I tore a new pair of (supermarket) trousers on the golf course. Well, nearly on the course…
I’d had a bad round. Golf is like life – you can be sailing along when sometimes something bites you and everything suddenly goes bottom over bosom… It was a lovely sunny summer’s day when I stepped out on the course at The Lion’s Lair.
First drive went straight into a tree. And I mean into. On the second hole my ball disappeared way left into some undergrowth never to be found again. On the third hole I struck my drive so perfectly the ball dribbled into the rough in front of the tee and vanished from sight. I sliced my second drive and the ball zoomed into the river on my right. I took about eight shots on the fourth but all with the same ball… a minor triumph. Second shot on the fifth into a pond. Drive on the sixth – a replica of my effort on the third. The short par three seventh was negotiated in six shots. Onto the eighth, which is bounded on the right by a river. I need say no more. Eight holes played and seven balls lost. No disasters on the short par three ninth. Third shot on the 10th went into someone’s garden. Tee shot on the eleventh vanished right into some thick rough. I decided enough is enough.
I trudged off to the practice area. It was beginning to spit with rain. The river which bounds the third meanders down and the idea is you practise chipping* balls over the river onto a green about thirty feet away. I get my few remaining balls out and hit the first with my wedge*. It does not get airborne and shoots with a happy splash into the river. I walk to the river and think it will be fairly shallow and I should be able to rescue my ball. In fact the scenario is better than I predicted. I gaze into the river and there are four golf balls. My mental arithmetic comes into play; rather than nine balls adrift I will only be six balls down. It starts raining a bit harder. From the bank I lean over and stick my arm in but I can’t reach any of the balls. It would, I think, have been sensible if I’d rolled my sleeve up…
Stuff it, I thought, I am not going to be beaten. Probably the best course of action would have been to take my shoes and socks off and roll up my trousers and then wade into the two feet deep pool where the balls were partying. I was beyond being sensible. I made a token effort to roll my trousers up and strode into the river and recovered the balls.
I then wondered if there might be more balls further downstream. The river disappeared under a road at the end of the course only to re-appear on the far side guarded by a small fence. I climbed over the fence, darted down into the undergrowth and saw a ball in the river. It turned out to be half a ball. Climbing back I missed my footing and there was an ominous sound in the area of my rear upper thigh… Oh dear. I wondered: could I get home and into the bath (to prevent hypothermia setting in) without meeting Mrs Bamber?
Glossary of technical terms
Chipping – A chip (in this context) is a short shot onto the green
Wedge – A club with a very lofted face used for chipping and other short shots