It was Opportunity Knocks, wasn’t it?  That was the programme where Mr Muscle Man made his name, doing all sorts of ghastly things with his bodybuilder’s body.  A bit of muscle in the right places is more than acceptable – chance would be a fine thing, especially at this age – but I’ve never been a fan of brick outhouses, bulk for the sake of it.  Some people are built bulky, with no need of the gym – South Sea Island rugby players spring to mind – others have bulk thrust upon them.

In fairness to Bryson DeChambeau, golf’s newly minted Incredible Hulk, he thinks there’s method in his madness; it’s all designed to increase his swing speed so he can bomb the ball miles and reduce most courses to a pitch and putt.  There’s no finesse, just a ferocious swing designed to hit the bejaysus out of the ball.  It’s ugly but effective and if that’s the future of professional golf, I won’t be the only one falling asleep in front of the telly.

There were lots of viewers for the golf from Colonial because all sports fans have been starved of live action but golf needn’t kid itself that it’ll hang on to large numbers of neutrals once more active sports get under way again, notably football.  If the men’s game degenerates solely into a long-driving contest – and big hitters have always inspired awe and attracted attention and admiration – it’ll lose its soul.

In one interview Bryson The Bulk was talking about his new routine and mentioned health but the last thing it sounded was healthy and well-balanced – an endless diet of protein shakes is not my idea of proper eating.  Let’s hope that his partner or significant other is similarly obsessed – or a tolerant soul.

To be fair to Bryson – again – he’s an intelligent man with a scientific bent and he’ll have more than a plan B, not that he’d call it something that simple.  His opening shot at the RBC Heritage yesterday was a considered affair with what looked like a rescue of some sort, not a full-blooded, all-out-attacking thwack with a driver.  Harbour Town is considered a thinking person’s course and it’s where Nick Faldo had his first US victory, in 1984, the week after the Masters, at what I think was then called the Sea Pines Heritage Classic.

A Kiawah alligator, best viewed from a safe distance – a bit like an angry Foldo, sorry, Faldo…[photographer unknown]

Dai and I were there, cutting short a lovely holiday on Kiawah Island because Faldo was doing so well.  At least he won, even though his first words to Dai when we arrived were an unfriendly, aggressive:  “What were your headlines after the Masters then?”  “No idea,” said Dai, baffled.  Those were the days before the internet and Dai hadn’t thought to have anything faxed out.

Turns out Faldo had been told he’d been christened “El Foldo” back home after a final round of 76 at Augusta the week before, plummeting him from a share of third place to joint 15th, eight shots behind Ben Crenshaw, who had a 68 to win his first green jacket.  As far as I know, not even The Sun had come up with such a headline, let alone The Guardian but what player lets the facts get in the way of a good grudge….

Photo of Nick Faldo by Dave Cannon, on the dust jacket of the book by Bruce Critchley.

Harbour Town is a lovely spot but even lovelier was Daufuskie Island, a 40-odd minute ferry ride away, home to three super courses, including one that used to be called Bloody Point, much to our delight – I’ve probably mentioned it before.  When we were there, decompressing after the Masters, with a view of all the tournament paraphernalia across the water, one of the young pros was astounded that we had no interest in going to watch the golf.  He didn’t realise that we were golfed out after the Masters.

With Dai on the ferry between Hilton Head and Daufuskie, heading for some R and R

It’s amazing what you come across when researching (!) the blog and Mo was up in her attic looking for photos when she came across a stash of letters she’d written home from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.  I’ve been working my way through them and there’s lots of stuff about playing in college tournaments that also featured players of the calibre of Nancy Lopez and Beth Daniel.  What I hadn’t realised was that my sister wasn’t just a golfer in the making but also a potential rugby star, a woman ahead of her time.

I think she was going out with a rugby player at the time – who knew there was such a thing in Texas? – and Lamar must have been trying to start a women’s team, so Mo signed up.  She started at centre according to her letter but moved to scrum-half when the original scrum-half broke her finger.  Why that didn’t ring alarm bells for someone who was intent on playing golf, heaven only knows.  Anyway, Mo wrote:  “I was brilliant…I was about the fastest on the team and I played very well.  I really fancy myself as a second Gareth Edwards or whatever!  Mind you, at the moment I ache all over….”

Mo once harboured hopes, briefly it must be said, of being the female Gareth Edwards….

The team didn’t survive another year.  Thank goodness for golf.

Finally, a lesson for all those heavy-footed golfers who can’t cope without rakes in bunkers.  It’s another reminder of how old you are when you can remember the days when there was no such thing as a rake by every bunker; when you were taught to smooth out your footprints with a few sweeps of your foot – or your club.  It’s really not that difficult – and even a poor effort is better than the dirty great hoof prints left by any number of thoughtless, selfish gits.  Probably the same people who dump their empty bottles and cans on the course.

It’s your golf course too, you know.  Treat it kindly.  Look after it.  And please, take your litter home and learn to smooth out the sand.

Sue Marchant demonstrating how to smooth out a bunker without using a rake.  Further instruction available on request.