The Hacker: Witchcraft ensures bad spell goes on – maybe I need the broom-handle putter
Sunday 19 September 2010
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.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures