The Hacker: Untimely call of nature leads to a wee bit of bad feeling - Golf - Sport - The Independent

The Hacker: Untimely call of nature leads to a wee bit of bad feeling

There are few more volatile subjects in golf than slow play. Too much hanging around waiting to play a shot can reduce the mildest of golfers into slavering, impatient beasts.

It is a curse that affects every level of the game, from the top professionals to the most hopeless of hackers, and it has nothing to do with how good or bad you are at the game – indeed, you'd bet the hacker to nip round the course a damn sight quicker than most pros.

The fact that one is taking 68 strokes to complete a round while the other can take at least 108 has nothing to do with it. The pros are so painstaking they take meticulousness to new extremes. Their deliberations have caused the authorities to crack down on slow play in the big tournaments, and the players are all subject to having the stopwatch put on them.

At golf's much lower levels, however, policing the pace of play is not so easy, and many are the ugly arguments that frequently flare up.

The problem has inter-national dimensions, too, as anyone who has played behind Americans and Germans would confirm. But it is not always a simple matter of golfers dawdling over their game. There are many other factors that can add slow-moving frustration to your round.

For instance, our group of three in last weekend's medal were rudely castigated for causing a massive hold-up. Yet we were totally innocent.

Since we took over 300 strokes between us we couldn't claim to be the quickest trio on the course, but we did notice that the group in front of us had lost a hole and a half on the one in front by the time they had played the sixth.

Then, when they reached the par-three seventh, one of them was caught urgently short and the nearest point of relief, as it were, was a copse of trees 200 yards away.

By the time he had crept into the copse and crept out again we were approaching the tee. They promptly lost one of their tee shots, and after a fruitless search they eventually calledus through.

I had the misfortune to hit the same tree twice – don't ask – and by the time we completed the hole we must have been three holes behind the next group.

Since this very large gap was now in front of us we were regarded as the guilty laggards, and even though we made up a hole we were shouted at from all sides and even attracted a visit from a member of the match and handicap committee.

We actually took four hours and five minutes for the round, which wasn't too bad under the circumstances, but groups further down the line took 20or 30 minutes longer.

While we sat on the verandah drinking our well-earned beer we were verbally assaulted by every finishing group.

One man actually threatened never to play in a medal again, he was so distraught at the time the round had taken.

Needless to say, we became irritated at trying to explain our innocence, and the exchanges became a touch heated.

To think that one call of nature could cause so much bad feeling. If only I could think of a word to describe it all.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Suggested Topics
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week