Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Wynford Vaughan-Thomas on: Golf

Golf.  Billiards on an oversized table...but with fewer balls.  Especially on ladies' day.  What's the point of it?  A golf course has to be the only place on earth where you'll find fully-grown men squatting down to inspect a hole.  Well - apart from a doctor's surgery, I suppose.  No; I simply don't understand the appeal of wandering around a field, trying to thwack a small ball into a hole in the ground.  I have played golf...and it didn't go well.

See; I was invited by a BBC bigwig to play a round on Aberdyfi links back in 1974.  For some reason, people with a lot of money (the ones who own black Range Rovers) seem to think that playing golf makes them look distinguished.  It doesn't.  It makes them look like they got dressed in the dark. 

His name was Beddan Jones.  He arrived at the golf club in a cream Triumph TR5; his comb-over flapping in the breeze while the sun bounced off his bald head.  I could see his golf bag jutting up on the passenger seat like some kind of substitute wife.  His actual wife, Buddig, was a formidable woman; built like a brick shit house with an attitude to match.  Frankly, if I had a dog with a face like hers, I'd shave its arse and walk it backwards...but I digress.  He sprung out of the car like an epileptic Cocker Spaniel; strode over to me and shook my hand with such gusto that I thought my eyes were going to fall out.

He suggested that we should start the day in the club house.

Three hours later we staggered on to the course; irretrievably crapulous on whisky.  Beddan attempted to show me how to tee-off; piercing his golf shoe and promptly tottering into a bunker.  I got the gist of it though, and managed - by closing one eye - to tee-up.  While Beddan occupied himself with trying to claw his way out of the bunker, sand in unmentionable places, I rummaged through his clubs and found the biggest one I could; because logistically that would give me a better chance of hitting the ball.

I'll never forget the sound that echoed between the dunes mere seconds after the club flew out of my hands.  It was like someone hitting an unripe watermelon with a sledgehammer.  Just as Beddan had managed to stand up; the poor bugger.

He didn't press charges and the dent in his forehead was easily covered with a trilby. 

Rugby's the game for me.  You know where you are with 30 burly, sweaty men in shorts.  It's less dangerous than golf, too.

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