A Golfers Diary - Five Places not to Play Golf

By: Will Hook

Golf is a daft game - after all, the worse golfer you are, the higher score you get! So for all you addicts that are determined to score less, here are some helpful hints to where not to practice your golf game that I've picked up on the way.

1. The Car

Apart from the obvious advantage of practicing your full golf swing from the passenger seat whilst your mother-in-law is in the back, generally the car is a bad place for golf. The little rubber floor mat only allows practice of putts of somewhat less than 9 inches, although in my case this could prove useful. Anyway, some idiot always seems to take a sharp left or right turn immediately after the ball is struck, leading to rather unpredictable results and very often a prolonged period spent with your head upside down between your knees trying to find the ball under your seat. Personally, I have found that a long drive, being somewhat more than 200 miles, makes me rather despondent towards the whole game of golf, as I regularly only manage about 150 yards.

2. The Library

Although there is usually plenty of room for a good sized swing, it seems that the pre-emptory shout of "FORE" as loud as possible, gains no respect at all. It was only warning people for the good of their health! Sometimes I wonder if courtesy is dead. A shame all the same, as those Ming vases on pedestals were really good targets.

3. The Supermarket

It started really well. I worked on day shifts so I went down to Tesbury's at 4.00 in the morning and chose a really long, deserted aisle, took out the 5-iron and gave the ball a hefty thwack. They even provided little golf carts with four little wheels, although I think they needed to get some servicing done on them as they frequently veered me into a stack of beans. Unfortunately they have changed my shift pattern and now I'm on nights. I went to get a tin of spam last week at 4.00 in the afternoon, and Mr Bollinger-Bowles in aisle 4 gave me a right verbal just because my 3-wood shot pinned his pavlova to Amy Smith's Red Snapper down at the fish counter. It was one of my best shots ever, and while I was explaining that they should have been applauding my efforts instead, the local Bobby came in and marked my card. I can't go back there any more.

4. Elsie Frannigan's Olde Tea Shoppe

Another mistake. I thought the little white apron Alice the waitress wears, with two big pockets on the front, would be perfect practice for those little chip shots. I think she had a problem as soon as I got my wedge out. She put her hands over her openings and was playing really hard to get, which I put down as the sole reason for my over-excited lob into table 7's cup of Lapsang Souchong. (On reflection, I don't think muttering "bunker" to Elsie on the way out helped a lot either).

5. The Curry House

By Friday I'd had enough. I decided to chuck the whole golf idea and dump the clubs in the canal. Fortunately my route took me past the local alehouse and I somehow managed to convince myself to drown my sorrows in a gallon of Old Grumblebelly instead. Fred, George and Bob were there as usual and very understanding, constantly trying to take my mind off my sorrow with encouraging words like "It's your round" and "Mine's a Harvey Wallbanger with a splash of Tartare Sauce and an umbrella." A mere nine rounds later and the venue had magically changed into "The Blossoming Lotus Flower of Tranquil Waters" Chinese restaurant down Fleapit Lane behind the Gasworks. Unfortunately the proprietor remembered my escapades a fortnight before with the belly-putter at one of those tables with a revolving upper level and promptly sent us on our way.

"The Tiger's Revenge" curry house was right next door. A vindaloo and four pints of "Great Crested Grebe" lager and confidence in my golfing abilities had returned. I thought they'd understand the obvious place to stick the tee was the tip of the tiger's tail in the Kashmir carpet but apparently not so. The tee removed, I took a fairway iron instead. Remembering all the coaching books whilst aiming at the helpfully attended open front door - I took a nice big divot and the ball sailed sweetly through the aperture into the street beyond. However, before I had the chance to cry "Eureka" the ball struck a lamppost square on and rebounded back through the door striking George, tactfully trying to replace the divot back into the tiger's eye, a glancing blow on his nether regions. Had it not been for the ball finally coming to rest just in front of the size 12 boot of the advancing cook, serious damage could have been done by that cleaver.

Pity, I was just getting the hang of this golf lark.

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