The Heydon Grange Golf club breathed a sigh of relief as the Griffith motorcade of sensible family cars rolled out of the car park late last Saturday afternoon in a cloud of fine orange dust drawing to a close the 2014 Griffith Golf Tourney.
Every year for about a decade or so my brothers and I have played a round of golf together. In principle, it’s a family bonding exercise; we grew up together, schooled together, then raised families and explored diverse careers across three counties of southern England. In practice however it’s a display of some of the worst golf by some of the most shameless cheats you’re ever likely to see followed by arguments and beer.
Now that our kids are old enough to play, we made up a team of seven. Well, six actually with one walker (me) as I was relieved of my clubs from my garage two years back by a thief and spent the insurance money on a flatscreen TV. Last year I hired clubs for my annual game but this year none were available so I walked. Determined not to let a small matter like not having any golf clubs spoil my day, I took my GoPro along to generally put people off and in doing so capture the missed putts, bunker fluffs and shocking drives for posterity.
While I set out frustrated at not being able to play, I returned to the clubhouse in high spirits after a good walk unencumbered by a golf bag, bronzed by the bright sun and invigorated by lots of fresh air. The others meanwhile were hot, lank and belligerent after a ragged game of zigzags across the flinty fairways, alternating as they had for four hours between tall pampas and murky ponds.
This, it transpired, brought about an epiphany. If you really want to have a good day out on a golf course just leave your clubs at home.