There are days, believe it or not, that Huttonian almost hates playing golf on the Royal Co. Down (PBUI
) Like this morning. With about 2" of rain falling on the first tee at 7am we had to cancel our regular sparrow burp match. By 11-30 the sun had come out and the wind dropped to a reasonable 60mph. So I went out for a quick few holes assuming that I would have the course to myself. Quick? Well up to a point. All went swimmingly (no pun intended) until I had three holes of a speedy 11 or so to finish. Then suddenly in front of me (they must have ben out t about 5am or late last night)loomed the garrulous 4.
These are Newcastle's answer to Duns' Cardiac Three. But (a) there are 25% more of them (b) they are much slower (c) the play the holes in the correct order. Once behind them there is no hope of escape and (d) they talk; endlessly. And this is not a trousers tucked into socks brigade. 'Let me pass yokels. I am a MEMBER' They are members
-creme de la creme of Norn Iron society: direct descendants of William of Orange or if on the other side of the great divide-grandchildren of mediaeval Popes. They walk very very slowly. All will gather round the player in action and watch him-then reform as a gang of 4 and proceed on their purposeful crawl. They talk as they play;they talk when they are not playing; they take putts very very carefully and methodically. And when they miss, they take them again(having not been quite careful enough first, second or even third time round)They leave their trolleys between you and the green and then retrieve them very very slowly before going to the next tee. And you watch impotently, twitching with the desire to whistle a three wood up their fundamentals and watching the next shower hurtle towards you from the Mournes. You pray it doesn't materialise otherwise the Gang of Four will strip off their light sweaters and put on all their rain gear, galoshes, water proof pantaloons, purple anoraks and a change of base ball hat with its RCD crest. The shower over, back to the autumn collection all either in the middle of the fairway or on the green.
One of them slipped into a bunker at the 18th in trying an improbable shot which would have daunted Mr Woods. He fell on his ball and slightly bruised his backside judging from the verbal pyrotechnics wafting on the breeze. I laughed.What a way to finish! Finish? Premature I fear. The air and sea rescue from the depths of the sand trap meant another ten minutes delay and then off to lunch amidst much hilarity and back slapping.
My frustrated and pent up rage rocketed a five wood to within 15 feet of the pin. Did I sink it? Of course. Birdie three
Quite a good morning really.