The Hacker: Witchcraft ensures bad spell goes on – maybe I need the broom-handle putter

My remarks last Sunday, innocent as always, about how the new Equality Act is going to affect our golf club, were not taken by some ladies in the humorous vein that was intended.

They were particularly appalled by my idea of how to preserve our men-only bar when the act comes into force next month.

I proposed that in order to defend this precious sanctum – which has existed for 120 years – against invasion from those who might not obey our strict rules regarding strong language and rude jokes, we should put a urinal next to the fireplace and rename the bar the "Gents".

This would have the double effect of guarding our traditional haven and saving the more elderly from having to go behind the hedge alongside the 18th on a cold night.

Although desperate times call for desperate measures, it was not a suggestion that I expected to be taken seriously but it did get some support. When I popped into the bar on Wednesday, there was a notice – taped to the wall next to the fireplace – bearing the words "Peter's Pisser".

My low ranking in the affections of the ladies section dates back to the early 1980s when I was in charge of the winter league.

One Sunday lunchtime before I delivered my report on the morning's play to the packed bar, the captain asked me to make an announcement.

On the previous evening, the club had staged a Halloween dance and the walls had been decorated appropriately, the centrepiece being a broomstick supplied by the ladies captain.

This had gone missing, said the captain, and it was imperative that it was returned immediately. I duly relayed this to the 100 or so men assembled. "This is a particularly serious matter," I said, "because she had to walk home." This flippancy did not go down too well in certain quarters and it is only just dawning on me that the plague on my game began around this time.

I don't believe in witchcraft but some of the weird happenings that befall me on a golf course can't be easily explained away by the usual shortcomings of a wretched player.

In my long quest to break 100 in a medal, I have often felt that I am doomed never to succeed. Perhaps, a supernatural force is ensuring that I stay doomed.

Last Wednesday was an uncanny example. In the September medal last weekend, I ruined my card at the first when I happily flipped from one greenside bunker to the other, six times, ending with an 11.

In a bid to make early amends, I decided to try my luck for the first time in the midweek medal.

Eirian agreed to join me which was good news, not least because he has a buggy on account of having had five hip and knee replacements (he had one hip done twice, if you are wondering).

We started at 8am, it was a beautiful morning and I felt on the brink of a great day. Then I shanked my drive into a bush. I took a drop and shanked it again. Then I missed the ball altogether.

Never have I suffered such an abject failure to connect with the ball properly. I took a 12 and Eirian suggested it might be better if we had breakfast instead.

I insisted on continuing and finally abandoned my card when my ball got stuck up a leylandii tree on the 12th. God only knows how many I would have scored.

I would go for a lesson but I do not want any more tips on stance, grip or swing. I want someone who can lift a spell.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
film
Life and Style
tech
News
people
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'