The Hacker: The glass is always half full for Dregs despite the crow's feat

Despite being battered by high winds, lashed by rain and robbed by crows, eight of us gnarled veterans of the golf-writing industry managed to enjoy our annual outing last week. Our little golfing society is called the Dregs because we were always last in the bar at whatever golf tournament we were covering.

Now we like to visit, play and write about courses we never had time to enjoy before. We're still last in the bar but we don't feel as guilty.

Before describing our adventures, I must confess that I failed miserably last weekend in my quest to break 100 in a medal. I came in with 114 which, believe it or not, is my best score of the year and I feel comforted by the fact that a third of the entrants also failed to break 100.

Joining the Dregs for a few days was just the diversion I needed. Our sentimental journeys have taken us all over the country and for the last two years we were in France.

This year we decided to visit south Wales, which happens to be my neck of the woods, and Visit Wales arranged for us to play three superb courses at Royal Porthcawl, Southerndown and the Wales National at the Vale Hotel and Spa.

When we gathered at Royal Porthcawl on Sunday a few drinks in the warm sunshine outside the clubhouse hardly prepared us for the howling wind that greeted us when we arrived to play the following day. Porthcawl's rough makes it a forbidding test in the best of weather but the wind made it merciless.

Between the eight of us, we lost 51 balls, which included two which were picked up by a crow. The language of the two players who saw the bird rob them of two of their better shots would not have impressed the RSPB. It happened to me not long ago and I consoled them with the thought that somewhere there's a female crow going barmy trying to hatch all the balls he brings home.

Our top score was 21 points, the lowest was seven, so my 13 was not a disgrace.

When we turned up at Southerndown the following morning the gale had been joined by torrential showers. Chief executive Alan Hughes made us very welcome and said they had already cancelled a competition that day and would understand if we didn't want to play.

Undaunted, we set off gamely but after five holes we turned back. Putts were being blown off course and our buggies threatened to go airborne. It was a shame because this cliff-top course is so inviting even in those conditions.

The weather for our third round was a vast improvement – still windy but sunny and warmer. We were generously entertained by the Vale's general manager Ben Daniels the evening before, which was reflected in the scoring.

The Vale complex acts as the hub of Welsh sport. Not only is it the training headquarters for the Welsh rugby and football teams – and for Cardiff City – but it has also hosted most of the top teams from over the border. They all try their hand at the massive National course, which is a tough task but usually leaves you with a ball or two and the local crows are far less acquisitive.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage