Me and Clement Attlee

13 05 2017

churchill

If you mention Sir Winston Churchill, most people will think of his bloody-minded leadership of Britain in World War Two and his determination not to give an inch to the Germans. I, on the other hand, tend to think of his withering put-downs of political opponents. Perhaps Churchill’s most famous insult was his reply to the Labour MP Bessie Braddock, who accused him one evening of being drunk in the House of Commons. “I may be drunk, Madam, but you’re ugly – and I shall be sober in the morning.” He also had a particular dislike for the Labour leader Clement Attlee, whom he described as “a sheep in sheep’s clothing” and “a modest man with much to be modest about”.

It’s this last quote that I think about when I try to describe my ability at golf. I have a lot to be modest about. I’m not a terrible golfer – I nearly always break 90; a few times a year even 80 – but there’s nothing about my game that would lead the casual observer to think that I have learnt much from the 100+ games that I’ve played every year for the last decade or so. Normally, it doesn’t matter so much – the group of guys I play with range from a 7 handicap to a 19, so my handicap of 13 puts me pretty much in the middle of the pack.

But it’s when I play with other – much better – golfers that the trouble begins. For a start they all hit it further – and I mean much further – than I do. For example, today in the last round of the Glacier Greens Pairs Shoot Out I hit a perfectly decent tee shot on the first hole – right down the middle, maybe 180 yards. My opponent then also hit it centre cut, but 85 yards – 85 flippin’ yards – further than my effort. The format being alternate shot this week, my partner Doug McArthur, then had to hit a hybrid from 170 yards while our oppos hit a sand wedge from half that distance. A few minutes later – just after missing a three foot putt as a matter of fact – I found myself muttering the dreaded words “Sorry, partner!”

And so it went on. Doug and I would discuss where he’d like me to hit the ball. I’d then hit it somewhere entirely different, Doug would conjure up a miracle recovery shot and I’d tap in for par from a couple of feet. I wasn’t quite as bad as I’d been in the pouring rain two weeks previously – when I’d not contributed on a single hole (other than, as Len Doyle somewhat unkindly pointed out, holding the umbrella over Doug’s head as he selected clubs) – but I wasn’t a whole lot better. Somehow we (i.e. Doug) cobbled together a decent score (always difficult in an alternate shot competition)  and were definitely still in contention when we reached the last hole. Doug hit a great drive, leaving me with a straight forward shot of 100 yards over the – gulp – pond and a greenside bunker. Well, I cleared the pond…but not the bunker. But wait! In this competition each player gets a mulligan and somehow I hadn’t used mine yet. I dug into my bag and produced another ball. “What are you doing, Dave?” asked Doug. “We’re not in the water, are we? Are you sure you’d clear the pond with your mulligan?” Put like that, the honest answer was no. “I’ll play it out of the bunker and you make the putt.” It sounded like a pretty good plan, although I wasn’t looking forward to the ‘me making the crucial putt’ bit.

As it turned out, Doug made things easy for me. His beautiful sand shot rolled to within three inches and even I couldn’t mess up that tiddler. An hour or so later, the score cards were all tallied and the team of Brooker and McArthur had won the 44 team gross competition by a single shot. OK, let me express my contribution by rephrasing a well known saying:

“There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’ – but there was an awful lot of Doug!”

Thanks, partner!

Dave B.

shoot-out-may-2017

Glacier Greens Shoot Out winners, May 2017: on the left, gross winners Doug McArthur and Tonto; on the right, net winners Gabe Tremblay and Al Cabilan. (courtesy: L Doyle)

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12 responses

13 05 2017
GtheSBer

Well done, David. You must have made a shot or two yourself!

13 05 2017
Bagger Dave

Yep. It was either one or two, Glennie.

13 05 2017
Len Doyle

Ya done good David and I guess when the newspaper comes out next week your Scottish wife will have to put up with a dozen or so clippings stuck to the front of the fridge for a few months.

13 05 2017
Bagger Dave

No question, Len. I’ll be sending clippings to the folks back in England (if it doesn’t make the front page of the Times, that is).

14 05 2017
Mike

The thing that strikes me is the fact that David managed to find 3 people shorter than himself.

14 05 2017
Bagger Dave

Yeah. Amazing what you can do with a couple of bricks found lying around on the patio, eh Mike?

14 05 2017
Steve Ellis

Congrats Dave!

Steve Ellis

14 05 2017
Bagger Dave

Thanks Steve. It was a fun three rounds.

15 05 2017
peter507c

I do know how Doug must feel; hit a ball, drag Dave; hit a ball, drag Dave. Been there, done that Doug. Now I’m off on the PMS tour of Australia.
See ya

15 05 2017
Bagger Dave

Have a great trip, Peter. Australia seems like the perfect place for a criminal such as yourself.

17 05 2017
John

Hi Dave Hope you’re well. Can you change the email address to john@mccomishfamily.co.uk Hope you managed to see the cherries on tv. Went to most of the home games and also went to the Liverpool and Chelsea away games. Great entertainment. Best wishes John

Sent from my iPad

>

17 05 2017
Bagger Dave

Hi John. Email changed. Great season for the Cherries, though when push comes to shove I’m still a Saints fan. Love to Pat and family.

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