Hackers must be careful not to further upset our fellow golfers . We cause enough trouble behaving normally and we had a indication of the annoyance we can create in our Jubilee Stableford tournament last weekend.
They didn’t want us in the first place. Historically, this was always an event with an 18-handicap limit which they wanted to maintain even when the handicap limits were removed five or six years ago. We eventually won the battle to get the full allowance and the opening of the floodgates to the high handicappers that was forecast hasn’t materialised.
Last week’s competition was won by an eight handicapper and only two plus 18s were in the top ten — that’s probably too many for some purists but it is hardly a revolution, just fair.
Unfortunately, there are other problems hackers can cause which can’t really be excused and one of our members overstepped the mark.. Having been embarrassed myself on several occasions, I am not going to reveal his name.
Besides, I’ve nothing got to brag about. I was lucky to play in the company of two gents who were aware of my chemo problem and were very patient as I hacked about. Tim Edds, who plays off ten, and Chris Burns recently reduced to a 19 handicap.
I wasn’t a complete disaster and was putting for points on most greens. However, not many of them disappeared down the hole and when I totted up my total of points I had only a miserable 13. I was happy enough to be able to complete the 18 holes so I wasn’t too bothered.
It is amazing how those who don’t do too well can take some solace from those who do worse. When I walked into the bar, Andy was sitting mournfully.
’How many points did you get?’ he asked.
As soon I told him, he whooped and set off an a lap of honour of the bar. He had 18, which he felt was a vastly superior total to mine, and it cheered him up immensely. Hackers thrive on moments like this.
Curiosity, and the hope that that someone had performed even more wretchedly than me, took me down for a pint next day and when I looked at the list there was a score of six.
Six! That’s low even by my standards. I made some enquiries and discovered that the man concerned took the game up last year and this is his first full season of competition.
Sadly, he hasn’t got quite the hang of it. I spoke to the two members who played with him and I know them to be the most patient of men. They were quite happy to put up with his failings but not his insistence on finishing every hole not matter how many he scored.
They would hit the ball much further than him and then wait near the green for him to slowly catch up.
But the golden rule in Stableford is that you pick up once you can’t score …….. apparently he went on and on, putting out for tens and elevens. As I said, his partners are very patient men and the round did tend to drag on.
It’s fine in a medal round to finish each hole, as painful as it is, but in a Stableford you kindly leave the stage when you can’t score. I trust he has learned his lesson.
In my own defence, I have to say my major fault was getting the ball near to the hole but not in it. I didn’t drive all that badly and in fact out-drove Tim on two occasions which was mainly due to a duck-hook creeping into his swing.
Mind you, one of his drives went 80 yards while mine went 81 yards. But I’ll take it.
Tim, who is a lawyer with the Welsh government, managed to get 30 points while Chris, an IT man at the University of Wales, had 20 points after eight holes. He then lost a ball up a Lelandii tree and slumped to 35. But it was still a good round and he followed it up by winning the Bank Holiday medal.
His handicap will soon come tumbling down. Mine might take some time.