April 21st 2016
Today I played in a golf competition with my Grandad and a bunch of policemen. My Grandad is somehow a member of the Police Society despite never being a member of the police, I don’t know how that works. It also happened to be the first game of competitive golf I’ve ever played. Golf is the sport at which I have always been most competent, and I’ve played casually, and frequently, but never competitively. As a result of my Grandad being one of the better players in the society, we were paired up with a bloke who was also one of the better players in the society. The three of us went round together, the two competitors, and me, the guest/straggler.
Grandad invited me as a guest, and to be honest, I don’t think I embarrassed myself (or him) too drastically. I hit the ball consistently further and straighter than either of my playing partners, I just can’t putt for shit. To begin with I was quite anxious about making a fool out of myself in front of Grandad’s friends, but the fact that I consistently hit the ball 80 yards further than the 3rd and 4th best golfers there (out of 26) did a bit for my confidence. When I was on the golf course I was okay, but before and after the round, in the clubhouse, I was a bit of a recluse. Shaking hands and forgetting names as soon as my Grandad introduced me. I was, by about 30 years, the youngest there, and they were all big and loud ex-Policemen, so I was reasonably intimidated. And it turns out, that although I thought my score was shite (see the aforementioned awful putting), I didn’t come last. I came somewhere in the upper end of the bottom half, I think. Which wasn’t bad for my first ever competitive match, I reckon.
We scored it using a, new to me, points system called stableford,wherein the objective is to get the highest points, instead of the lowest, which breaks all my previously known rules of golf. Odd. You get more points for hitting fewer shots, and you get given occasional ‘free shots’ dependant on your handicap. Golf’s a weird game.
After all 26 players were finished prizes were given out for the 4 people with the fewest shots (handicap dependant), and thus the highest points, as well as a prize for the person who played ‘most golf’ i.e. The person who took the most shots, and thus had the lowest score.
Get it? Me either. I didn’t win anything (there was no longest drive competition), which confirmed my place in the upper end of the lower half. Grandad did. He won a tenner for getting a 2 on a 3. Which was technically a net 1. Or was it a gross 2. I don’t know, I’m still learning.
Our other playing partner was the kinda guy who took golf seriously. He had a word with me for walking across his line (admittedly a mistake on my part), he had a £200 gadget that told him the exact distance to the flag and what club he should use, he took his glove off when he putted for God’s sakes. He kept reminding me “You drive for show, you putt for dough” whenever I missed a putt. Me? I don’t wear a glove at all, I kinda just pick up a club and hit the ball in the general direction of forwards. My Grandad’s like that, too. Maybe that’s where I get it from. Otherwise you get in your head too much.
Until tomorrow, that’s never advisable.