The Hacker: It's best to stay in the bunker during the Cairo revolution

Hackers are to be found in many other places than looking for their balls in the rough. Take Cairo, for instance. Richard, who has contributed one or two of his hacking experiences to this column in the past, moved to Cairo last year for reasons he hasn't explained.

He's been playing with the British golf society out there but obviously chances of a game over the past month or so have not been good.

However, at the height of the disturbances, he joined his neighbours on night patrol against looters and took along his most offensive weapon, a six-iron.

But his hacker's enthusiasm was rebuffed. "They said they felt safer with their shotguns and hunting rifles and sent me back to bed," reports Richard.

They probably felt his chances of landing a telling blow on a looter was not much greater than sending a golf ball in the right direction.

Sadly, hackers have to put up with these slurs and there are other places in the world where their problems are not confined to how they hit a golf ball.

Wayne, a regular reader and a member of our club, emailed me from Sierra Leone, where he is working at the moment, to report that, despite their recent turbulent history, he managed to get a game.

There is only one course in the country: in the capital, Freetown, two and a half hours' drive away from where Wayne is working.

When he and his colleague Dave arrived, they were warmly welcomed by the club secretary and professional.

"I don't think visitors had troubled them since 2008," writes Wayne. "Unfortunately, since the war and due to lack of funds the course was not in the best of condition but at over 6,000 yards it was quite a challenge."

The course had "browns" instead of greens, with a man employed to smooth them out before putting, and was home to 10 of the world's 12 most deadly snakes including the black mamba, which can move at 14mph and has enough venom to kill 30 men with one bite.

Luckily, Wayne is a five-handicapper and a straight hitter and never missed a fairway. Dave's drives found the jungle on most holes but, wisely, they sent their caddies to look for the ball.

They enjoyed the course and will be revisiting it but Wayne warns that "it is definitely a course The Hacker should avoid".

Perhaps I should give it a try. If anything is going to cure my slice, the thought of a black mamba might well do the trick.

John Berry emails another crow story, this one a little spooky. "Three of us were trying to play a round at Springhead, near Hull, and as we approached the seventh green a large crow swooped down and flew off with one of our balls.

"As we made our way down the eighth, we found a ball in the middle of the fairway, so we knew it couldn't be one of ours," he added. "On inspection, we found the word CROW stamped on it. Surreal, but true."

Before the crows start writing in, however, this correspondence must end and we must return to the normal theme of this column, which is my forlorn pursuit of a better golf game.

Last week I joined the Wednesday swindle, the Chips, who run a tight ship and insisted that I played off 24 instead of 28. Despite this savage cut I managed to score a fairly respectable 31 but, more importantly, my gross score was 98.

Regular readers will know of my many heart-rendingly hopeless attempts to break 100 in a medal over the past 10 years. This wasn't a medal and we were playing off winter mats, so it doesn't count.

I've been fooled by too many false dawns to allow myself to get excited but during this foul winter there have been one or two signs of improvement and I have to confess to a slight stirring of optimism.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Simon Iliffe's tip of the week

No 87: The Bent Left Elbow

There is often so much confusion about golfers having a bent left elbow on their backswing (for right-handed players).

What generally happens as the body loses flexibility is that golfers still try to keep "width" in their backswing and simply lift their arms. This stops the shoulders from turning and the left arm bends, narrowing the width of the swing.

Make sure to turn your shoulders fully, but don't necessarily lift your hands. Keeping the left arm relatively straight is much more important than feeling you have high hands at the top of the backswing.

With a full shoulder turn you'll achieve good power using the bigger muscles, which are in the back and shoulders.

With good flexibility you can still achieve high hands, and a straight left arm for ultimate power and increased club-head speed.

Simon Iliffe is head professional at Bramley Golf Club, Surrey. www.theshortgame.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence