The Hacker: Now even the celebrities are ganging up on us lesser mortals - Golf - Sport - The Independent

The Hacker: Now even the celebrities are ganging up on us lesser mortals

Celebrity golfers are not like ordinary golfers. They may play ordinarily for much of the time, but their fame makes them invaluable to charity golf events.

"Celebrity" is an elasticated word that seems to stretch wider in meaning every year and has even included me on the odd occasion when the organisers of a fundraiser have been so desperate they'd recruit anyone to fill the gaps in their money-making fourballs.

Unfortunately, claims to celebrity status do not include the spending of most evenings celebrating, so I have notproved worthy.

But in Tenerife the other weekend I played with a few entitled to the description. As I wrote last week, we were a dozen blokes from different professions and backgrounds on a highly enjoyable golf trip.

Luxuriously billeted at the new Abama Hotel Resort on the west coast, we played three courses on three sunny days, and recognised everywhere we went, even by Tenerifians, was the actor Ross Kemp.

Formerly of 'EastEnders', Ross pursues his calling in a variety of roles. Recently returned from Afghanistan, where he filmed a documentary series for ITV, he opened this weekend in 'Snow White' at the Wimbledon Theatre.

He spent much of his spare time on the trip learning his part as the wicked henchman. It is very difficult to play golf when you can sense someone behind you all the time, but he did win the last day with 33 points.

Ross took up golf after finishing playing rugby and is a member at a club in south London so, unlike many charity golf celebrities, he has an official handicap which is 18.

Someone who I am sure will be making more appearances on the celebrity circuit is the comedian Dom Joly, who also writes for this paper.

I was assured before the trip that Dom was an even worse player than me, so when I lined up against him on the first day I felt fairly confident. Then I hooked my first drive out of bounds and he sent his a mile straight down the fairway.

I said: "I thought you couldn't play."

"So did I," he replied.

It turned out that he'd spent the previous week having lessons from his local pro, and the result staggered even him. He came in with something like 30 points and was a revelation for the rest of the trip.

I asked him what exactly he'd learned. He said he'd been told to remember three things: soft hands and a slow swing were the first two, and I can't for the life of me remember what the third one was.

The upshot was that his golfing life has been suddenly transformed, and personally I hope that watching someone suddenly discovering that playing golf is a pleasure instead of an embarrassment will bean inspiration.

All I can say about my golf is that I improved each day, and my final round of 25 points was more than a few of the others scored. But I still finished last, and for that I was presented with a signed copy of Ross's book on 'Gangs', based on his award-winning series on Sky TV.

I don't think that was very fair on him. It was the first time that I'd ever heard of a celebrity booby prize.

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

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory