Ryan Brooks, a former club champion at Whittington Heath, who has hopes of making it to European Tour School, had a hole-in-one at our 4th hole yesterday but it was not just any old hole-in-one; it was hard-earned, taking as it did nearly a day of unremitting toil.
Remember the agonies of Edoardo Molinari, brother of Francesco, the Open champion, when he was given 500 goes to achieve a hole-in-one and failed? Edoardo hit the pin at least once and came agonisingly close on several other occasions but he didn’t make it and at the end collapsed flat on his back on the tee. It’s well worth a look on YouTube. Apparently the odds on a professional golfer scoring a hole-in-one are 2,500 to 1, so they are relatively rare beasts and feted accordingly.
They’re flukey things, holes-in-one, arguably revered above and beyond what they deserve and last week I had them trumping a 59, still a rare score at the top level. Triple acer Ali Gibb was on Woman’s Hour this week, interviewed by the sainted Jenni Murray, who has no clue about golf but ventured out of the studio to mark Ali’s unique feat – three holes-in-one in 36 holes, on the same day, on a proper golf course. She’s now renowned throughout the golfing world (Ali not Jenni, who remains steadfastly untouched by the game: “Chips? I thought you were going to give me a lesson, not lunch……”)
Ryan may not reach the heights of a Woman’s Hour feature but his was a monumental feat nonetheless. He holed out with his 716th shot (roughly 10 rounds worth) and was out there beating balls for six hours and eight minutes. The 4th measures 172 yards from the white tees and he teed off just in front of them, using a mat to save tearing up the turf. His club of choice was “a soft 8-iron”.I was there for shot No 700 and Ryan had a nice rhythm going, pausing only to let members and visitors play through. If only I’d stayed a little longer!
Ryan took centre stage because the Pros’ Charity Challenge, an annual feat of endurance and record breaking undertaken for the captains’ charity, had to be postponed because Mike Raj, our head pro, was poorly. He and Dan Whitby-Smith were to spend 12 hours – from 0730 to 1930 – playing the course, on foot, with only one club each. They’d both decided on a 7-iron but, who knows, that could be subject to change now that they have more time to think. Why on earth are they attempting this? Well, they’re both lovely men if completely daft and every year they rack their brains to come up with something suitably demanding to boost the charity coffers and leave them on their knees. It’s The Alzheimer’s Society this year.
Last Sunday, we had a charity cricket match at Tamworth Cricket, Hockey and Squash Club, a ground usually graced by more skilled performers than some of us on view. We did have proper cricketers on each side but they had to dumb down for the women who had never learned to play and the children who were just starting. At least it meant that I was bowled at underarm, with a soft ball, so did not have to wear pads (have you ever tried walking in pads, let alone running in them?) Somehow I scored 7 runs and managed to avoid doing much in the field other than retrieving the ball (a proper, hard, red cricket ball) from the hedge. I hadn’t appreciated that you’d have real trouble playing cricket if you were colour-blind. Aren’t red and green the colours that cause the most problems?
Anyway, somehow, despite having only eight players in the field, we managed to win and Karen Crarer, the ladies’ captain, received the trophy from Mike Raj.
I suppose I’d better explain the lovely image at the top of the blog. It’s to celebrate my most exciting moment of the week – I know, I know: Get A Life……..I came home yesterday to find an intriguing parcel in the postbox. What on earth had I been sending for? Aren’t I meant to be saving up for some long-haul trips and limiting my non-essential spending? Well, I removed the packaging, put it in the recycling (I would have inserted that annoying emoji with the halo but couldn’t work out how to do it on this machine) and screeched with joy. There was a slim, dark navy blue tin with the Spurs logo on it and not a Nike swish in sight, thank goodness. There are few things I like better than a good tin and this one has a picture of our new stadium on the inside of the lid, oh dreams of glory, glory days ahead!
Just one last word, about Tiger versus Phil in Las Vegas in November. Why? No, don’t even try to explain or justify it. My first last word was Yuk. And I think that’ll do. I double checked that it’s a bona fide word, in the dictionary, so that’s me expressing extreme distaste or disgust and total disinterest. And that really will be my last word on the matter.