The Hacker: First date with my custom-fitted irons was a reality check
Sunday 30 January 2011
Relationships, eh? Great when they're going well. But when they go wrong, oh dear. Worst of all, maybe, is the disappointment of shattered hope. When you think you've finally identified that match made in heaven and it turns out to be something infinitely more down to earth.
It is commonly held that the nearest and dearest should not get involved in anything either competitive or instructional and the same may apply to those who wish to become significant others. And a golf course is the one place that is guaranteed to throw any shortcomings, on either side it has to be said, into sharp relief.
Picture the scene. Your first game and the mood on the tee is one of happy and relaxed anticipation, as yet unclouded. The drive goes well, or as well as it ever does. Ditto the fairway wood. Now the shot to the green. What do you think? A nine iron? Fine. Well, it would have been had you not shanked it into the trees.
But hey, early days together. That approach work is always tricky and, given the circumstances of really wanting it to go well, there's bound to be a bit of tension. Think kind and generous thoughts.
Second hole. Again, we're all right until the green gets within range. Try a bump and run with a seven iron but darn it, bit of a hurried swish there, and the ball seems to have thinned itself past the pin like an Exocet and off the other side into the soggy rough. Keep calm and carry on smiling, though; say nothing at this stage.
But a couple of Hunter Mahan moments follow, another horrendous shank, and you start realising that there is possibly a bit of a theme of incompetence developing here, one you could do without. The holes pass, the round progresses, lips become thinner, eyes narrow more frequently. And after several shots so heavy and unsubtle that they might be considered worthy of an entry in the Andy Gray Bumper Book Of Wit And Humour, comment becomes superfluous and your playing companions look slightly embarrassed by your choice.
These days, there are so many ways to find your heart's desire, some riskier than others. I'm old-fashioned enough to think that you don't commit seriously until after a period of getting-to-know-you, even if not all about you. But, swayed by modern mores, I went not so long ago to the equivalent of a speed-dating session; arranged marriages sometimes work, after all.
Before any sort of set-up or contact there was a questionnaire about what I wanted from the prospective new togetherness, on both an emotional and physical level. Some of the latter was slightly unnerving; those bits about length and stiffness, for instance.
But it all produced what was supposed to be compatibility. Perhaps naively, I paid my money - quite a lot of it, actually - made my choice and waited for the phone call and its promise of the Snow White scenario of having time to smell the flowers as we skipped down the fairest way of all, accompanied by a whole flock of sweet birdies.
Sadly, our first date was a reality check. All right, perhaps the conditions weren't ideal; it was cold and wet, not conducive to any sort of gentle touches and I'm well out of practise anyway. But there was little forgiveness, as I was assured there would be, from the other side either and this partnership is going to require quite a lot more work than was initially envisaged.
There is no going back, though, and I will be updating our status on Facebook. Or maybe that should be Clubfacebook, as I try to bond with my brand-new set of custom-fitted irons.
Latest in Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Jose Mourinho says Chelsea deserve to be setting pace going into Christmas fixtures
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Sir Alex Ferguson on Jose Mourinho: 'He's good looking, speaks five languages, wins everything - it's unfair'
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader