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
  • 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

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor