There’s only one place for me to start this week – with apologies to Laurie Canter, it’s not with his first round at the Italian Open – and that’s with Sue Spencer’s 69 on the new interim course at WHGC on Tuesday. We’ve now moved into the new clubhouse – I had my first sausage and egg bap on Monday after an 0730 start, delicious – so our 1st hole is the old 5th, then we play what was the 4th as the 2nd, the old 2nd becomes the 3rd and on we go, one hole behind what we’re used to (the new markers are a bit simpler than the old stones, which were auctioned off). Anyway, it means that the incomparable Spenny, who is getting better and better with age, set the new course record. She even had a couple of bogeys, so, scarily, there’s plenty of room for improvement!
That translated into 40 points, so Sue won the comp too and we had a glass of prosecco to celebrate. Jayne Fletcher, my partner, played really well for 39 points and came second, unhindered by my rather wimpish effort of 31 points. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that my game, while deserving of a four-letter description, is not really golf. Jayne took a photo that illustrated that to perfection.
That was confirmed the next day when I went to a Taylormade fitting and had my swing speed measured, along with the distance the ball went and various other depressing figures. Bryson DeChambeau should try playing this game with my numbers! Mind you, I didn’t have to glug down endless protein shakes or add 40 pounds, or whatever, to increase my yardages – I just had to use a more modern, up-to-date club. My clubs, which were, in fact, Dai’s, as Maureen reminded me, so hardly designed for me, are 15 years old. Technology has moved on a bit (mostly in a good way) and, of course, so have I (mostly in a bad way), so Mark, the fitter, had little difficulty in finding a club that improved my performance without any need for improvement from me. Hooray.
Canter’s numbers were spot on at Chervo Golf Club, San Vigilio di Pozzolengo, Brescia (what a marvellous language Italian is, whether you speak it or not) yesterday. The Englishman had a round of 60, 12 under par and was in severe danger of becoming only the second man to card a 59 on the European Tour – Oliver Fisher is still out on his own in that regard and since there was placing in Italy, Canter couldn’t even claim a course record. Still, the man who lists Bath rugby and red wine as his interests, couldn’t stop smiling: “It was just one of those days where you’ve just got to enjoy the ride. It feels great.”They’re not so happy in Ireland, where the government has put the country into lockdown and golf is now on the list of banned pastimes, despite being the poster sport for social distancing. People are not happy and there have been plenty of sarcastic comparisons popping up on social media and a petition to change the decision.
To finish, here’s a joke for you, sent by a friend who thought it might be a little risqué but I think it’s OK, though it’s maybe not for the more squeamish. Anyway, here goes (it is/was American but I’m sure you’ll understand the terminology).
A little old lady was walking down the street dragging two large plastic garbage bags behind her. One of the bags was ripped and every once in a while a $20 bill fell out onto the sidewalk. Noticing this, a policeman [who didn’t draw his gun; presumably the little old lady was white] stopped her and said: “Ma’am, there are $20 bills falling out of that bag.”
”Oh, really? Darn it!” said the little old lady. “I’d better go back and see if I can find them. Thanks for telling me officer.”
”Well, now, not so fast,” said the cop. “Where did you get all that money? You didn’t steal it, did you?”
”Oh, no, no,” said the old lady. “You see my back yard is right next to a golf course. A lot of golfers come and pee through a knot hole in my fence, right in my flower garden. It used to really tick me off. Kills the flowers, you know.
”Then I thought, ‘Why not make the best of it?’ So, now, I stand behind the fence by the knot hole, real quiet, with my hedge clippers. Every time some guy sticks his thing through my fence, I surprise him, grab hold of it and say, ‘OK, buddy! Give me $20 or off it comes!’”
”Well, that seems only fair,” said the cop, laughing. “OK. Good luck!
”Oh, by the way, what’s in the other bag?”
”Not everybody pays.”