Real live heroes in the golf wars

Share
Related Topics

I am fast becoming a showbiz cliché: the Jimmy Tarbuck de nos jours. Since I went to Bermuda for a "celeb" golf tournament, I have been inundated with invitations for similar events all over the UK. I like golf, but very much prefer it when it's linked to an all-expenses trip to somewhere hot and lovely.

It was, therefore, with some reservations that I accepted the offer of a game at Stoke Park in aid of the charity Help for Heroes. I must admit that, apart from getting the exciting opportunity to listen to Brian Mcfadden "live and unplugged", the main attraction for me was the chance to play on the course that was the setting for the most famous golf sequence in movie history: the Oddjob cheating episode in Goldfinger.

I drove up the magnificent drive towards the clubhouse in a fabulous mood, although this was slightly dampened by discovering that Anton Du Beke had pulled out at the last moment. Somehow, despite the obvious blow to the prestige of the event, everyone pulled themselves together and carried on. This is how true heroes behave when all seems lost.

I was playing with Warren Clarke, the actor whose magnificent portrayal of a gay Winston Churchill brought the house down in Bermuda in front of a slightly puzzled minister of tourism. Joining us was one of the heroes, a tough Scot who had been blown up by a shell just outside Uday Hussein's palace in Basra.

Within two minutes of meeting him, I was looking at some fairly shocking X-rays of the poor man's face, half of which had been blown off. As well as his physical injuries, he had completely lost his memory and had to be reintroduced to his wife, kids … his whole life. Magnificently, his main concern, as a proud Scot, had been that when being taught to speak again he retained a Scottish accent and didn't end up sounding like David Jason.

I played my usual brand of "casual'' golf and was soon glad of having stocked up on balls at the shop. It was at about the seventh hole that I asked my military companion what regiment he had been in? The answer was something like "G24 – Black Ops". I looked confused, so he continued: "Military intelligence: I was responsible for interrogations. I was pretty good at it. If one of my boys told me that someone wasn't talking, then I'd pop in and have a word. They'd soon be singing like canaries."

I nodded as though this was the answer I'd been expecting, but have to admit to feeling a little uncomfortable about these revelations. I kept my feelings to myself, however, as this probably wasn't the place or the day to discuss the morality of advanced interrogation techniques, especially when the gentleman in question was holding a five iron.

We did well and ended up in the top 20 (of 22) and retired to the clubhouse for an auction overseen by Jeffrey Archer. Warren Clarke encouraged Archer off the stage early with the sort of forceful, well-chosen words that Churchill would have approved of. All in all, another average day in the world of charideee … although I don't really want to talk about it. That would be quite wrong.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Science Technician

£50 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Preston: A school in Preston require a S...

SECONDARY SUPPORT

£65 - £75 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Due to the high dema...

Tutor required for Level 3 Workskills

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Randstad Eduction are...

Day In a Page

Read Next
NO ballots are stacked on a table during the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh  

Scottish referendum: Some divorces are meant to happen – this one wasn’t

Dotti Irving
 

To see how the establishment operates, you really needed to be at this week’s launch party for Andrew Marr’s new book

John Walsh
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