First of all, a bit of a disclaimer, in an attempt to prevent the non-golfers from running off somewhere else without giving me a chance to persuade you that the WHS (world handicap system) is something worth knowing about and can, in the right hands, be really, REALLY interesting.  That’s a lie of course.  Even in the best of hands – and we at Whittington are blessed with those – the WHS is a brain-numbing, over-complicated concoction that’s enough to put you off golf for ever.

Fortunately, when the latest iteration comes in on the 1st of April – you’ve got it, April Fool’s Day; why on earth would anyone launch something on that date?  Even I, fool that I am, would wait until the 2nd.  And, this year, the 1st is Easter Monday…Pass me the eggs please.

It’s simple really.

Anyway, we had a seminar a few days ago as Fiona, one of our handicapping experts, attempted, with the help of slides (or whatever they’re called in these ultra-techy days), to explain the changes to us.  Right away that meant nothing much to me because I’d given up trying to understand it all years ago, once handicapping became uber complicated in the interests of….what?  Standardisation?  World equality?  Mathematicians?  Statisticians?  Makers of sweet cartoons designed to simplify the complicated stuff for us swingers of clubs and compilers of (often large) scores?

Hope you’re keeping up.

And, crucially, the creators of the web sites and apps that mean all we golfers have to do is input (yuk) said scores and leave the work to the system.  Oh, how I sometimes long for the day that all the satellites fail and  we have to revert to pencil and paper.  What would we do?  Panic, I suppose.

Anyway, once I knew that I didn’t have to understand any of it (my default mode when it comes to maths and understanding anything other than simple adding up; Dai’s school report saying “Mathematics is a form of witchcraft to Davies” comes to mind), I switched off altogether.  After all when something – rounding I think – is described as “just an equation really”, that’s it for me.  It’s shameful really.  I’d be ashamed to admit that I was illiterate but being next to innumerate doesn’t seem to bother me.  After all, by some miracle I’ve made it this far by dint of the odd bit of approximate totting up.

That ignorance is one of the reasons why I was keen to go to Paul Johnson’s talk “Follow The Money…” at the Lichfield Literature Festival but, wouldn’t you know, golf got in the way.  Instead of acquiring a bit of economics knowledge I was at the Captains’ Drive In, a tradition that dates all the way back to 2014.  I know this for a fact because I was LC (ladies’ captain) in 2013 and didn’t have to go through such an ordeal.

Spot the left-hander.

It was fun, five nervous people teed off the 1st – two hit respectable drives that stayed on the fairway, three hit decent efforts that didn’t.  Then we all played seven holes afterwards, met new people and had a delicious carvery.   I stayed off the wine because I was driving and giving blood the next day – donation No. 65.  My ambition is to match the number of donations to my age and that’ll take a bit of effort.  I might just be able to squeeze in another three this year and at least three more next year, veins and general health permitting.

Having missed out on Paul Johnson, a friend managed to get tickets for the last event of the Literature Festival, the shocking story of the Post Office Scandal, laid out before us by Nick Wallis, the journalist who, along with others, persisted and persisted and persisted and eventually got to the  truth.  The story isn’t finished and it doesn’t get any less horrific.  We staggered out into the night staggered at the lies and duplicity of a supposedly fine and upstanding public institution.  The more you learn about the whole affair, the more disgusting it becomes.

Awesome is the only word for the investigation.  Most of the other words are unprintable.

Not remotely in the same league, merely in the bloody irritating/annoying category and mentioned only because it’s a subject dear to my heart – at the moment; even football fans may have their limits…

Our (Tottenham’s) home match against Nottingham Forest was scheduled for Monday week, the 8th of April at 2000 hours, so I decided not to go – a kick-off that late means getting home in the very early hours or paying for a hotel.  I put my seats on ticket exchange and somebody bought them.  Then, lo, this email arrives:  Dear Supporter, Due to planned industrial action and substantial travel disruption across the rail network scheduled to take place on Monday 8 April, our home Premier League fixture against Nottingham Forest has been brought forward to Sunday 7 April, 6pm kick-off.

“This decision has been taken on the recommendation of an emergency Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting – chaired by Haringey Council and including representatives from the Club, emergency services, transport partners and the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust – and in agreement with the Premier League, on the basis that only one of the six stations that serve our stadium will be running on April 8….”

There was quite a bit more but one thing’s for sure:  it’s not easy organising a game of football.  Maybe I should just stick to golf.

A playable golf course despite the torrential rain we’ve been having.