The Hacker: Extending the olive branch in Mallorca did not help my mood

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the only thing worse than playing bad golf is not playing bad golf. And by that I don't mean playing good golf – don't be silly – I mean not playing at all. There can be few forms of organised ritual humiliation that invoke withdrawal symptoms but this game is one, even at the time of year when huddling in the warm rearranging one's collection of ball-markers might seem the more sensible option.

Lately, it has seemed the fates have been colluding to ensure that it neatly starts with Aldeburgh and ends with Woodbridge. Take a recent whistlestop trip to Mallorca, an outing designed to lay before assorted members of the fourth estate the delights of Son Gual, a spectacular upmarket course.

The place is quite beautiful, dotted as it is with olive groves, embryonic vineyards and wildflower meadows and, barely a year since it opened, it could eventually be the island's best sporting asset since Rafael Nadal. Its design, setting and unashamedly luxurious ambience offer much. But sadly, not when we were there. Mallorca claims virtually year-round sun but on this occasion the rain lashed and the wind blew to the extent that the unseasonal freak storms were the lead on the local news.

Judgmental golf was not an option – into the teeth of the gale off the stunning, elevated first, one of our number, who plays off three, failed to make the 120-yard carry to the fairway – and the happiest people on the course were the local peasant folk harvesting olives. Far from having to shake the fruit loose, they let the elements do the job.

Back to real life, three inches of frozen snow covering the car at Luton airport prompted the Heath Robinson-style deployment of a pitchmark repairer, a card cover and my putter head (all that was available in the boot), and a twisted thumb.

The next outing scheduled was a shotgun-start scramble on captains' drive-in day. As everyone left the frolics on the first and headed for their allotted tees, it started to snow. We set off from the 16th and after three holes we'd lost six balls, two on the fairway. Hoisting the white flag on the 18th was a no-brainer and we weren't the first to walk in.

Last week the bug that everyone has had struck, but I'd put my name down for the monthly medal and decided, with the worst of the lurgy over, to soldier bravely on. Part of the ongoing frustration had been the fact I have a new, exciting club, a three-wood with more loft than my old one, which is apparently absolutely guaranteed to improve my game. After six holes, my score was 41 shots and I gave up. I was cold and getting colder, felt feeble and never mind the wonder club, I couldn't hit anything in the bag. I like to think the two facts are not entirely unconnected but, again to almost quote the great Oscar, delusion is the first of all pleasures.

This morning I'm due on the tee for the annual Turkey Trot. The way things have been going, though, a meteorite strike at Bury St Edmunds would be no real surprise. But at least it would prevent me from winning the Paxo.

Suggested Topics
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?