I was going to do my golfing week in pictures this week but Maureen’s opinion, in terms that were unprintable, was that almost all of my photos were unusable, so words there must be.
On Saturday, I went to meditation – nearly an hour of not talking, miraculous and very uplifting – and then Graham Rowley, founder of OldSportsAuction.com pitched up and returned all my unsold items, a carload almost. Oh dear, and the decluttering was going so well (ish). Will have to re-read Marie Kondo’s Life-changing Magic of Tidying and consider eBay. And there’s always the archivists of the R&A. Like me, they hate waste!
Sunday was a tough old day: tai chi, a real joy; then up to the golf club for the captains’ drive-in and lunch as the guest of this year’s captain of vice; the rain held off just long enough for the nine drivers-in to make respectable passes at the ball; and even better Spurs beat Everton 3-2. Lovely.
Monday started with the brain cell being activated at a lesson on how to do online booking. I know, I know, we’re a bit slow on the uptake but we are moving creakily into the 21st century and even I have now put money in my competition purse and entered two competitions online. Hooray. It was such a lovely day that I went out and played nine holes, on my own, starting at the 10th. The experienced 3-ball coming up the 9th said they were going in at the turn and the long-hitting 2-ball comprising the club champion and a sweet-swinging, dreadlocked cage fighter arrived just before I teed off, so they went on and I watched as they both hoicked some sort of iron (who needs a driver?) into the trees on the left! They straightened themselves out and I had a blissful, unhassled 9 holes of some good shots, some bad.
There were more bad shots than good in the comp on Tuesday morning but my partner and I got round dry in just under three hours (it was our shorter Heathland course, admittedly) and I had time for lunch before heading up the A38 to Mansfield for Dave Musgrove’s funeral. Muzzy could be a dour, grumpy old bugger when he chose but he had a smile that lit up the room and a dry wit and down-to-earth wisdom that made him a joy to be with. He lived all his life in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and was a member of Coxmoor for at least half a century. From there, after starting his caddying at the sublime Hollinwell (Notts GC), he travelled the world.
His first Open was at St Andrews in 1964, when he caddied for Jean Garaialde. They played the last two rounds with Tony Lema, who won the title but was to die in a plane crash two years later. Muzzy went on to caddie for Seve Ballesteros and, most famously, for Sandy Lyle, with whom he won the Open and the Masters. Sandy spoke at the funeral.
Muzzy also caddied for Lee Janzen, who had to take a language course to understand him but they coped well enough, winning a US Open together and The Players’ Championship, a huge event with a huge prize fund. “Can I retire now?” Hilary, Dave’s wife, asked. “No,” he said. “But I can!”
Hillie pre-deceased Muzzy but he wasn’t alone in his last few years because he and Arlene, also widowed, got together. They had known each other since childhood and enjoyed their time together, brief though it was. Our thoughts go out to her and the rest of Dave’s family and friends.
It was a bit of a sad old drive from Coxmoor, where the wake was held, to Cheshire that evening but Maureen and I played golf at Delamere Forest the next morning, on a glorious day and life went on. You have to enjoy it while it lasts. Delamere holds a host of memories for Mo, who used to have lessons there from Denis Comboy and became great friends with him and his wife Carol, a stalwart of Cheshire, English and British and Irish golf.
It was Mo’s first 18 holes since her shoulder surgery and despite her local knowledge she couldn’t quite cope with giving me 13 shots (it should have been 14 but she miscalculated!). It had all started so well, with me making a complete hames of the 10th, our first hole and Mo starting birdie, birdie but I holed from off the green for a half (with a stroke) at the 11th, settled down and won 3 and 2. Hooray!
We were having our post-round cuppa while the Lamberts from The Golf Guide were setting up for their comp the next day. It was the first event in their “Race to Mauritius” and their other venues include Royal St David’s, Bamburgh Castle, Ganton and Silloth, to name just a few. None of your rubbish! Have a look at www.the golfguide.co.uk for details.