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

Technical Manager – Heat Pumps

£40000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: They ...

Test Job

TBC: Test Recruiter for iJobs: Job London (Greater)

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

A long way to go before we reach Dave Eggers's digital dystopia

Memphis Barker
 

August catch-up: dress to impress, words to use more often, and the end of the internet

John Rentoul
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis