The Hacker: Extending the olive branch in Mallorca did not help my mood - Golf - Sport - The Independent

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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food