The Hacker: Playing off the wrong-colour tees gives me the blues

It was by far the best drive I've hit off the first tee in a competition this year; high, straight and long. When my two playing partners stepped up, neither could match it and I was feeling buoyed up for a good round.

Then, one of the trio who were playing behind us reached the tee and shouted: "Why have you played off the yellow tees when you should be off the blues?"

My heart sank. Stupidly, I had teed up my ball between the yellow markers instead of the blue competition tee 15 yards back and my partners had followed suit.

They weren't very happy because it meant there was a two-stroke penalty and we had to re-take the drives from the blues.

To say I was furious with myself is putting it mildly and my ill temper produced a half-cocked pull that trundled through the trees that separate the first and the 18th fairways.

My attempt to loft a nine-wood over the trees almost succeeded but caught a top branch and dropped back. I then tried to punch a low shot through but it skewed off a tree trunk and rebounded to the middle of the 18th green.

Those heartless souls around the clubhouse who had witnessed all this were doubled up with poorly-suppressed laughter as I dropped the ball off the green and made another forlorn attempt to clear the trees.

To cut a long story short, by the time I reached my original drive I'd taken eight and was still 150 yards from the green.

My recent slight improvement having been built on a relaxed approach to the game, I was in no fit state to acquire the state of mind that the late, great Seve Ballesteros described as "tranquilo".

However, after reaching the ninth with the grand total of 11 points I did manage to introduce a calm composure into my swing that produced an amazing 18 points in six holes.

I then hit an almighty slice on the 16th and my tranquilo went with it. Despite not scoring on the last three holes I still finished with 29 points but how much better would it have been without that mistake on the first?

The tranquilo also went missing a few days earlier when I was called in as a late replacement in a friendly match which has been played annually for 40 years between members of Royal Wimbledon and The Glamorganshire.

It took place over three days; the first round at Cardiff Golf Club, the second at Royal Porthcawl and the third at The Glamorganshire.

I was called upon to replace one of the visitors who couldn't get down for the first game. The problem was it was the Glamorganshire lot who chose me. If the Wimbledon team suspected that they'd been landed with a stumer by their rivals, they were far too polite to show it.

But when I drove into the woods twice off the first tee it would have been very difficult to think otherwise. I had the pleasure of partnering Steve Hamer, who was chairman of Swansea City in the early Nineties, who fought manfully to keep our opponents Dave and Malcolm at bay.

I did buck up and managed to come in on a few holes but they finished us off at the 17th. But it was an enjoyable game followed by a highly convivial curry night.

I didn't see them again until after the third and final round when I discovered that Royal Wimbledon had lost the series by just one game. I was grateful that none of them mentioned the pivotal role I'd played in their downfall.

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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most