What good is a blog if not to a) flex your creative muscle and b) vent your desire to have a good moan now and again.
So it was with sun on my shades and peace in my heart that I pulled into the public car park (note the use of the word public – it’s a word that will be featured prominently later in this story) that finds itself adjacent to the Fortress that is the Chorleywood Golf Club.
The Station carpark was full so for the price of a 5 minute walk back to the station you can leave your car for a few hours in the aforementioned PUBLIC car park. As it transpired, this too was pretty chokker due to a plethora of golfists and a few runners (it’s a cracking place for a run, Chorleywood Common) enjoying the spring sunshine. An elderly lady arrived just before me so I waited as she cruised the area looking for a slot.
Satisfied she had found a home for her Rover, I trundled into the car park and manoeuvred into what appeared to be pretty much the last space. I was immediately approached by a stout woman of purpose who burst from the Golf Club like a Cruise Missile. Sporting a strong and sensible Chorleywood Golf Club jersey (Men’s size “large” I’d wager) she dabbed at my window with a gnarled finger. I wound down. “Are you parking here?” she barked. Affirmative. I had already parked here. “But you can’t!” she replied, colouring visibly. “That’s the Turning Area“.
I’m not saying she had a big mouth but Grand Designs would’ve called it a “Space”. She had the kind of face that spoke of the Colonies; Darjeeling tea, punkerwallahs and scones. I had chosen what the Golf Club had decided (secretly in a moonlit conference no doubt over a glass of port) was the “Turning Area“. Despite oodles of room in and around the PUBLIC Car park, and an exit wide enough for several of the many 4x4s already abandoned nearby, the area I had selected to deposit my car was designated the only way that the craggy and brightly coloured Chorleywood Golfists had privately (and unilaterally) designated their “Turning Area“. Criminal.
I had to ask on what basis such an area was established given the amount of room it appeared to embrace. At this, Miss Trunchbowl drew herself upwards and with a quiver of the liver-spots on her ample jowl announced “It’s…a…Convention!”.
Well. What could I say to that? The pringle-clad ball-chasers had drafted a Convention for car park etiquette but had forgot to put a note in the Parish Magazine.
I could only conclude that either a) Chorleywood Golf Club members had such severe collective arthritis that their elbows were unable to turn sufficiently to park and remove their cars without an airfield of space to turn in or b) their misguided belief in the quasi-ownership of their (sic) PUBLIC car park meant that casual visitors were expected to recognise the glowing sanctity of their own special, unmarked turning space and bugger off.
Look, I don’t generally dislike anyone by default; innocent until proven guilty. And golfers? well, my brother plays off a 3 and he’s a good egg. But this experience served to remind me that some people actually seek exemption from the human race by making their own rules and expecting the rest of humanity to obey them. They’re a disappointed bunch. Perhaps rural golf is not a game at all – maybe it’s a cult or a genetic predisposition. One with rules, clothing and (ahem) conventions all of its own. Just Saying.