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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
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

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on