The Hacker: As if playing this game isn't enough of a lottery already

The bubble has burst. Our glorious run in the foursomes knockout ended on the 18th green in the twilight of Thursday evening and led to an unseemly dispute on the club veranda.

The dispute was not with our opponents, I hasten to add. Graham and Steve were worthy winners of an enjoyable game, and considering we were three down with four to play we did well to take it to the last.

Then, as we were shaking hands, came a loud burst of applause from the crowded clubhouse. We turned to acknowledge it but it wasn't for us – the winner of the monthly prize draw had just been announced.

To our amazement, it was Richard Jeremy who won the £650. Richard had been playing in front of us, and thereby hangs a tale.

In order to promote togetherness, conviviality and bar takings, we have been holding a monthly club night over the past couple of years, and to boost attendance a cash prize is awarded to a member whose name has been drawn at random bythe computer.

The strict stipulation is that you have to be in the lounge at the precise moment the draw is announced. If you are on the course, in the spikes bar or even in the toilet you cannot claim the prize. When the prize isn't claimed, £50 is added to it and, consequently, it often rolls up to a large sum.

The higher it goes, the more members are attracted, and with a curry and a quiz also on offer the place is jam-packed with men,women and juniors.

It irks me that consideration isn't given to those out on the course playing in official club competitions, and at this time of the year you have to play your knockout matches when you can.

Never one to miss a chance to ferment a small rebellion, I suggested to the other three in our match that if one of us happened to be drawn as the winner we should challenge the committee on their decision to exclude us.

It so happened that Richard, who was playing Peter in a singlesknockout, had started behind us, but we called them through on the eighth. Actually, they sneaked through while we were looking for a ball in the trees, but that's another story.

We saw them finish while we waited on the tee of the par-three 18th. Richard had won so he went to the spikes bar to buy the drinks and Graham, the steward, told him he should be in the lounge, where they were about to do the draw.

Richard rushed in and less than 10 seconds after he entered the room his name was called. By the time we got to the veranda he was there looking very pleased with himself and surrounded by well-wishers marvelling at his good fortune and hoping to get a drink out of him.

I reminded Richard that if we hadn't called him through he would have still been on the course and therefore ineligible to pick up the prize. I figured that £50 each would be a fair recognition of our contribution and it would still leave him with £450.

I'm not sure how to interpret his reaction, but I think he was indicating that he needed two hours to think about it and I am sure he will cough up when he thinks it through.

Meanwhile, the episode at least reinforced my view about the absurdity of a golf club discriminating against members who are actually in the process of playing golf.

I put my argument to Ivan, our immediate past captain, who conducted the evening. What are we, I demanded, a golf club or a lottery club? The question was still being argued about until late that night.

As for our defeat, we were two up after four but thereafter bunkers were our downfall. But that's the trouble with high-handicappers, they have a habit of playing like it.

Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice