Not being a great multi-tasker (the ever eager predictive text wanted to make that multi-talker, which would be a different thing altogether), I was delighted to read somewhere that that just meant doing a lot of things badly. A bit harsh perhaps but a big relief to those of us more inclined to sink than swim under a welter of commitments.
At the moment one of my biggest problems is keeping up with the Olympics, golf included and I’m in awe of all the radio and television anchors/commentators working feverishly to keep us up to date across all fronts but managing to present a calm (mostly), controlled face to the watching and listening world. It’s like a lot of things really, the pros make it look so easy that we all think there’s nothing to it, that we could step in and take over, no bother, forgetting the years of work and learning, the sweat, blood and tears that go in to such apparently effortless expertise.
However briefly, we’ve all become armchair experts on everything from eventing to taekwondo to diving to beach volleyball to pole-vaulting to kayaking, though the intricacies of the cycling and the sailing have me completely baffled – and exhausted. So much for skimming silkily across the ocean waves – there seemed to be a lot of pulling and pushing, huffing and puffing and last-minute tactical changes of mind-boggling complexity. And how anyone learns to be a skateboarder or a gymnast or a BMX-er without killing themselves is beyond me. All bonkers, completely bonkers. But awesome.
Mum, who wasn’t as tall as she thought she was, said she rather fancied doing the pole vault, not an option for women back in the day. In truth, that was as unlikely as me wanting to be Isambard Kingdom Brunel (“one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history” according to Wikipedia) or a diplomat – “You’re the least diplomatic person I’ve ever met,” was my mate’s response when I confided that ambition…. Ah well, lucky for some of us that our dreams are dashed in private and not in the full glare of the cameras.
Trying to follow golf these days is doing my head in. It’s a constant, not always successful trawl of websites, many of which leave a lot to be desired – especially if you’re looking for basic, straightforward information such as who’s leading or who won. Maybe that’s of no interest to anyone any more – we need videos, social media, movement. And a lie down.
I’ve nearly given up on the R&A and LPGA websites altogether. For instance, the home internationals are at Woodhall Spa this week and the Curtis Cup team will be announced on Monday. (I presume you all know that GB and I will be taking on the Americans at Conwy GC from the 26th to 28th of August and you can apply for tickets now?) Anyway, it’s a real mix of golfers in Lincolnshire, with the senior women and men playing together, plus the boys and girls, in what Phil Anderton, the R&A’s chief development officer, described as “a true celebration of golf”.
The website does explain the format but I’m damned if I could find the results of each day. You know, those things that tell you who was playing whom (preferably with their home clubs in brackets) and what the final result was, not just overall but of the individual foursomes and singles. No doubt it’s all hiding away somewhere and I believe England are leading the way but that’s not good enough.
I have to thank legendsofthelpga.com for some of the most interesting stuff about the US Senior Women’s Open, held at Brooklawn Country Club in Connecticut last week and won by the incomparable Annika Sorenstam at her first attempt. She finished eight shots ahead of fellow Swede and inspiration Liselotte Neumann and nine ahead of the ageless Dame Laura Davies, the defending champion, who summed things up in her own inimitable style: “Cracking week. Course was great. The greens were tough but fair and a great champion in Annika and she’s won by a fair old way.
“After day one I thought she would win [Sorenstam led from the off, starting with a 67, 5-under par]. I thought she looked like the Annika of old and she’s proven it. After day one, I knew we were all in trouble.”
Trish Johnson, who shared 15th place with Rosie Jones, an old sparring partner from Solheim Cups past, had a hole-in-one at the 160-yard 5th in a last round of 72. The Englishwoman used a 7-iron and afterwards summed up the perennial frustrations of the four-letter word that is golf: “I think I had just gone bogey the previous hole. Honest to God, playing this game, one minute you’re up here, next minute down there. Half the time I’m thinking, ‘Oh, pack it in, this game. I flipping’ hate it. I’m useless. And then the next, ‘Oh that was a good shot’!”
The blog’s ace photographer Mary McKenna is not at the Olympics chronicling the exploits of Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow nor at the home internationals at Woodhall Spa but she’s out and about at home tracking the flora and fauna.