You know, I haven’t had a real rant for a long time – when you spend most of your life in hoodies and trackie/tracky bottoms, the dress code has lost its power to incense….Mmm, having re-read that statement, it doesn’t ring true.  As long as there’s a dress code it will always incense someone but fortunately it’s pretty well in hibernation at this time of year.  If we’re out on the golf course at all in this neck of the fairways (our woods are disappearing as we start the long process of reverting to proper heathland), we’re muffled up to the eyeballs in waterproofs and woollies or fleeces or some sort of multi-stretch, windproof, high-tech outfits that deflect all criticism.

Just out of interest I rooted out the trusty Chambers to check the spelling of trackie/tracky (I know, I know, beyond sad – and as it turns out beyond the scope of the dictionary) and found myself reading the definition of tracksuit.  “Loose warm suit intended to be worn by athletes when warming up or training, but sometimes worn by others in an error of judgement.”

Wow, that comment’s more than a bit judgemental surely and certainly written well before the pandemic when even the most stylish of us – and the fashion industry – had succumbed to the allure of comfy clothing.

The tracky/trackie b’s next to the hoody/hoodie: no problems with the cost per wearing, must be 0.00001 or similar.

No, the rant wasn’t about anything sartorial, it was about something audible rather than visible.  Our grand (some would say grandiose) new clubhouse doesn’t really have a ceiling, so the sound tends to reverberate and we oldies with deteriorating hearing sometimes have to concentrate really hard to follow conversations.  A few days ago I was chatting to one of our older members, who was having lunch with his wife and a couple of friends and he was recounting a great story about a coup involving some rare 1927 port.

He was sitting down, I was standing up, leaning in, listening intently when I realised that it wasn’t his soft voice, it wasn’t the acoustics that were making it so difficult to keep track of the details….It was the blankety-blank MUSAK/MUZAK on a continuous crapola Christmas loop.  NOOOOO!  Whose idea was that?

We’re all getting older – well, do you know a single soul who’s getting younger?  We’re all getting deafer but we still enjoy getting together for a natter and a catch up and we don’t need Slade and Noddy Holder – or whoever – buggering things up.  Even worse, December was still in single figures, so who had decided that it was time to roll out the Xmas loop and drive us all demented?

Muzak: it’s in there, even though it should be banned everywhere, especially golf clubs…..

I made my feelings known to all and sundry – including, I think, one of the people responsible – and I’m hoping it won’t be necessary to send for the friend with experience in such matters; the friend who took direct action when his favourite pub discovered Muzak and refused to switch it off.  His solution?  He approached the speakers with malice aforethought and ripped out the wires.  My only worry is that his method could be outdated.  The wireless age might have rendered his wire ire inconsequential, of no consequence or value, impotent.  Might have to resort to jamming…(And I don’t mean sending for Jools Holland and his band.)

No need for Muzak, leave it to the members to make the noise.

One January, many years ago, Dai and I were at the President’s Putter and were thrown out of a restaurant in Rye because we asked – very politely – if they could turn the Muzak down, or, preferably, off, please.  As she handed us our coats, our hostess said, “My husband’s been running this restaurant for 20 years, he doesn’t need you to tell him what to do with his music….”

Oops.

We were the only people in the restaurant at the time and fortunately Dai was so shocked that he had lost the power of speech and allowed himself to be ushered out without complaint.  We found somewhere else to eat and it only took a day or two for the story to make the rounds, with added extras.  Rye’s a small place and tends to be very quiet in the winter…..

Talking of music, have you heard Rod Stewart’s latest?  Initially I thought it was a bit of an odd sentiment but assumed it was because he’d been married several times, though I’m not even sure of that, don’t think he’s in the Liz Taylor, Mickey Rooney league of multiple marriages.  Anyway, I thought the chorus/sentiment was that he wouldn’t want to be “breaking up with anybody else but you….”; turns out my ears deceived me and it’s “waking up….”   Ah.  Sorry Rod.  Hope it’s a hit.

It’s good to hear that Tiger Woods will be having a bit of a competitive hit when he plays in the PNC Championship at the Ritz-Carlton GC in Orlando next week.  After his car crash earlier in the year, even Woods, whose will is a force of nature, has expressed doubts about his ability to reach the heights of winning major titles again; his body is battered and by all accounts he’s lucky to be able to play at all.

“Although it’s been a long and challenging year,” he said, “I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie.  I’m playing as a dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

Nelly Korda is playing with her dad Petr, Padraig Harrington is playing with his son Paddy (the lad who wanted to put ladybirds in the Claret Jug – where do the years go?) and Nick Faldo is with his son Matthew.  The field features 20 major champions, playing with a relative in a 36-hole scramble over two days.  Justin Thomas and his father Mike are the defending champions.  It’s fun but fierce.

Tiger and Charlie making their debut in the PNC Championship last year [PNC Championship/Jose Maria Saiz Vasconcelos]

Wishing everybody who’s kind enough to read the blog a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year and lots of fierce fun on the fairways.