Three months ago I’d never heard of Zoom but it’s provided a lifeline for so many of us during lockdown. We’ve had a regular couple of scheduled Zoom chats each week with different branches of the family and it’s been a wonderful way to support and check in with each other. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a lot of news to report because none of us has been doing too much but it’s so important to keep in contact with folks to support them through these bizarre times. Sometimes it’s the most unexpected people who struggle.
My better half, Brian, is almost Zoomed out at the moment with several additional lengthy meetings a week as a trustee of a local, regional charity. And, of course, the wheels of commerce have been able to keep turning to some degree because of online platforms such as Zoom. But that is not without its pitfalls. Brian was telling me he’d heard about an intensive, dozen-person business call which was beyond boring. The wife of one of the Zoomers realised her hubby was losing the will to live so when she passed by she lifted her sun top and flashed him in an effort to make him laugh. He struggled manfully to keep a straight face – as did the other eleven people on the call. The wife had forgotten there was a mirror directly behind her husband and the whole meeting had got an eyeful!! Amazingly, not one single person mentioned or referred to this unexpected intrusion into the call but safe to say all participants were a little more alert till the end of the meeting!
I had a Zoom call the other day with two Irish PGA professionals, Ian St John from Tramore and Harry Ewing from Carlow, who co-host a new golf podcast called “The 3 off the Tee Podcast”. I discovered their show during many long, reluctant lockdown hours in the garden and found it endlessly entertaining as well as informative. Their guest list so far has included, amongst others, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, mind guru Karl Morris, Andrew Coltart, Peter Alliss and Graeme McDowell, so it was most flattering to be invited to record an episode with them.
I set my laptop up in the dining room and suggested to Patricia (who had joined our bubble for a long weekend) that it might be a good idea not to be drifting past too often during the recording as it might be distracting. She was also aware of the above Zoom story with the mirror and she didn’t want to appear on screen. All was going well until I was aware of the kitchen door opening and the two boys looking off stage right and then starting to crack up. I looked round to see Patricia inelegantly crawling past the back of my chair on all fours, desperate not to appear on camera. It was too late! Harry and Ian sent me the video clip later which clearly showed Patricia appearing from the kitchen, realising she was in view and dropping like a secret agent out of sight! It was hilarious and very tough to ignore and sound reasonably sensible.
Long term colleague and friend Shane O’Donoghue has also been prolific during this pandemic in the podcast arena. A global reporter, observer and commentator on all things golf for over two decades, his podcast “Shane O on the Radio” has a wealth of archive highlighting some of the most personal and insightful interviews with many of the most fascinating people in the game. Is it any wonder my new 2020 hobby is listening to golf podcasts?
One of the questions I was asked by Harry and Ian was to name my dream fourball. Now, I absolutely adore fourball golf and have enjoyed so many of them down the years. There are, however, a couple of recent ones that spring to mind that most definitely will NOT make the grade of achieving the moniker “dream”. One of my “not dream” fourballs is with three of my Delamere clubmates below, Maria, Julie and Chris. They get far too many shots from me and I cannot cope with the flurry of net birdies and eagles they throw at me on a weekly basis! Don’t they realise they’re eroding my fragile confidence??!!! So, no, guys, sorry – you beat me too often to be named in my dream fourball!
What about my mates in the July Club? I’ve written about them all before and that fourball is certainly a candidate for my dream team. I thought, however, that perhaps my response to Ian and Harry should contain a degree of impossibility and improbability about it. My answer may surprise you – and if your interest is piqued you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out who does, indeed, make up the fourball!