I’ve been hors de golf for a few days after being run over by a couple of dogs in the park but the swelling has gone down, the pain has subsided and weather permitting, I’ll be testing the knee out this afternoon in the madness that is the Friday Frolics.
The dogs – a lovely Alsatian and a big, good-natured bruiser of a black lab (not Alice) – were frolicking together and careered into me before I could move out of the way. Apparently, after a small pause I sank gracefully to the ground, which doesn’t quite ring true because I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything gracefully in my life but, then again, who am I to argue with independent, unbiased onlookers! It never occurred to me to ice the knee or take painkillers until it was too late and it blew up, seized up and made me much more sympathetic to everybody with a limp or a mobility scooter.
Nothing seems to be broken and all the red wine over the years seems to be staving off the osteoporosis. It’s probably not a prevention backed up by science but as a member of The Wine Society what else am I to think? It could of course be down to all the free school milk all those decades ago. Is that a YUK I hear from the dairy haters, many of them Scots, sickened by the wee bottles warmed beside the radiators?
Anyway, I’m back out walking in the park, with dogs abounding but I’m keeping more of a wary eye out for just where that bounding is taking them…
There’s always something going on in the park – the Proms are coming up next month and this weekend it’s the altogether more headbanging Crooked House in the Park, with engineers available to analyse the sound frequencies and make necessary adjustments should there be any complaints from the neighbours. One year things were so noisy that one of the DJs, late for his set, got out of his car and said, “Blimey, that’s a bit loud.” Now, where are my earplugs?
While I was taking things easy, I decided to do a bit of spring-cleaning – a bit late, or early perhaps, though looking around, it might take until next spring to get everything sorted – and inevitably there was reading. That’s the trouble with having books and mags in the house – if you start sorting through them, you start reading and before you know where you are, it’s time to go out, eat, go to bed, whatever.
I finished Alan Shipnuck’s wonderful, compelling, unauthorised biography of Phil Mickelson, poster boy of the LIVers who are sending tournament golf into such a tizzy. The PGA Tour are throwing money at the problem, Rory and Tiger are in business together and it’s beginning to look as though the DP World Tour (previously the European Tour) has been left scrabbling for scraps. How’s that for an incisive assessment by an eejit who doesn’t know how to lay out a spreadsheet and rarely deals in noughts of any variety, let alone multiple multiple multiples? Is it really bonkers to believe that there’s more to golf – and life – than spreadsheets?
It’s the Omega European Masters at Crans-Sur-Sierre this week, which used to be a must-not-miss event with a stellar field, many of the star names tempted by the promise of luxurious treatment in a beautiful setting – and appearance fees. The event started as the Swiss Open in 1923 at Engen and has been at Crans, a quirky, scenically stunning course right in the middle of the town, since 1939. It was one of Dai’s and my favourite tournaments and the memories came flooding back when I read that Alejandro Canizares, of Spain and Thriston Lawrence, of South Africa, were sharing the lead after first rounds of 62, eight under par.One of the books I looked at properly for the first time was Dave Cannon’s gorgeous Seve, His Life Through The Lens. Seve won three times at Crans, where his magic seduced the crowds and he was later tasked with revamping the course in his own unique way. He was larger than life and Dave’s book will help those who never saw the Spanish genius play have some idea of his power and charisma. There was no one quite like him.
Back down to earth, at a slightly – ok, vastly – less elevated level of skill, we’ve been sent our instructions for this week’s frolic and true to form, it’s another head scratcher. It’s entitled Time To Change Partners; the game of Dots, with partners being decided at the beginning of each hole’s play.
The instructions read thus: “Players take their tee shot and teams are formed according to where the balls land. The two balls landing to the right of the fairway are designated as one team and the balls landing to the left of the fairway represent the other team. Each player plays the hole as they normally would, using Stableford scoring and the best ball score from each pair. Partners with the best Stableford score mark a dot under their score on the scorecard. If neither partner scores or they both get the same score, neither player gets a dot!! At the end of the round, the player with the most dots is the winner.
NB…In 3 balls the player to the left side, on each hole, after all have driven, plays hole on own and at end of game a blind player is given to gain results per each hole.”
Supremo Sue finished this explanation with “fingers crossed (in emoji form) you all understand”.
Fat chance. Sorry Sue.
But no doubt all will be revealed in due course…