The Hacker: Memories of the Baa-Baas' invasion leave me feeling a little sheepish

My worst ever performance on a golf course was much easier to endure because it took place on our Barbarian weekend.

I don't mean Barbarian in the way my dictionary defines as "an uncultured or brutish person: a lout". We do have plenty of those at our club but I mean Barbarian as in the world's most famous rugby touring team, whose links with The Glamorganshire golf club go back to 1901.

That was the year the Barbarians first included Penarth RFC on their Easter tour of South Wales. They played Penarth on Good Friday, Cardiff on the Saturday and before going on to play Swansea and Newport spent Sunday at our place.

Whether or not they'd played before, each player had to join in the Baa-Baas' peculiar version of golf in which air-shots didn't count and if there was a dispute the players were expected to sit on the green and discuss it over a bottle of Worthington.

Then they adjourned to the bar and had a sing-song with club members who thoroughly enjoyed mixing with the finest players of the time.

Unfortunately the Easter Tour did not survive the arrival of professionalism and ended in the 1990s but the memory lingers on, and during my medal round a few weeks ago our captain came up to say that 35 rugby players from Holland were waiting in the bar for someone to tell them about our connection with the Barbarians. Would I oblige?

They were members of the Tovaal club who were playing a couple of matches in the area and wanted to pay their respects to what was the Baa-Baas' only regular home.

I told them a little of the history and showed them the Springbok head won by beating South Africa in 1961, and they kindly presented me with a Tovaal RFC hat. I said I was quite moved and that it was the first time anyone had given me a Dutch cap but nobody laughed.

I was also able to tell them that after the Easter Tour ceased we were determined to maintain the tradition. Every year we hold a Barbarian golfing Sunday in which the Baa-Baas and the clubs they used to play against take part.

This year we had 20 four-ball teams and the trophy was won by one of the Baa-Baas teams comprising 1971 British Lion Geoff Evans, former Wales coach Tony Gray and current players James Barter and Nathan Thomas.

Derek Quinnell, another veteran of the historic 1971 Lions, made a great speech and the evening became convivial enough to allow me to forget the previous day's disaster when I scored a wretched 121.

As well as all the memories, the Barbarians bequeathed us an impressive silver cup in 1925 for us to play for annually. It was in that prestigious event that a combination of shanks, lost balls and one air-shot led to me besmirching their name with a disgraceful score.

In the bar much later on, one of our better players who had come in with a 72 said to me sympathetically: "I can't imagine scoring 121." "That's funny," I said, "I can't imagine scoring 72." That's what makes golf such a great game. It's a mystery to us all.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum