The Hacker: Past captains never die, they just shuffle off and get plastered - Golf - Sport - The Independent

The Hacker: Past captains never die, they just shuffle off and get plastered

After a few weeks in the clouds, I was returned to earth with an abrupt lack of gentleness in a past captains match last week. That'll teach me to think I was on the edge of a breakthrough.

My partnership with John had seen us win our first two matchesin the Stoddart Cup, a foursomes knockout tournament, to reach the last 16.

On my own, I had won my first-round match in the Veterans Cup against Trefor, who is a better player but had to give me five shots, which proved to be the telling factor in a very pleasant game.

Then my four-man team taking part in a charity day finished in fourth place which, while not a triumph, at least brought a prize. It also meant that for the first time in my life I had been rewarded in four events in a row.

This was heady stuff. I approached my next challenge with confidence, which is not my normal companion on the way to the first tee.

The occasion was our annual match against the past captains of Creigiau, a club to the north of Cardiff with whom we have a long association.

They say there's nothing more past than a past captain and it is sadly so. For one year you are the much-respected figurehead of the club, addressed deferentially as captain, and there are forelocks being tugged as you pass by.

It is not an easy job coping with the many problems that life in a busy golf club throws up – as well as keeping the peace between warring factions.

But it doesn't take long to go from being at the very centre of things to being on the outside, frustratingly uninvolved. You soon find yourself among the bunch of gnarled old-timers who occupy their regularseats in the bar like unemployed magistrates taking a patriarchal, and largely disapproving, view of what is going on around them.

It's no wonder that members of this ignored fraternity gather together. Every region in the county has a past captains society and they meet regularly to play each other. And most clubs have past captains matches against other clubs which, at least, get rid of the old sods for a day.

I was partnered by Richard in our fourball better-ball match against former Creigiau captains Bill Fear and Tom Hunter and it was clear from the start that we were in trouble.

Richard had been on holiday for three weeks during which he hadn't picked up a club and I didn't look as if I'd handled a club in a year.

Not that it made much difference because Bill and Tom played very well and dovetailed perfectly. When they learned before the start that I would be having 11 shots they weren't very happy.

However, it soon became clear that this was not a generous allowance and, being gentlemen, they didn't mention it again as they set about kippering us by the 15th.

What made it worse was that we were the only Glamorganshire pair to lose in what was otherwise a handsome victory for our club.

In my quest to harbour only positive thoughts, I prefer to remember my previous outing when my foursomes partner John and I defeated Phil and Mike in the Stoddart Cup.

They, too, had knocked out a fancied pair in the first round and gave us a tough challenge with Mike, particularly, playing a canny game.

A plasterer by trade, Phil plays off 26 and did not have his best game while I somehow managed to hit a few telling shots at the right time. We won at the 17th.

Phil was recently asked by the captain if he'd do a spot of plastering for him. Phil said he would do the plastering if the captain would teach him how to play better golf.

The captain thought about it and said: "It would be easier if you taught me plastering."

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

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

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones