Red-faced
in Bermuda

Bermuda was its warm and sunny best on Monday when we played Turtle Hill, a superb par three course that wanders around the lush green slopes surrounding the Fairmont Southampton hotel.

It was an idyllic scene, especially to refugees from the remorseless UK winter, and certainly not the place to perform an air shot in front of one of our major sponsors.

Thankfully, my three playing companions on the 12th tee managed to restrain themselves from falling about as my driver wafted harmlessly over the ball. It would have helped that they are regular readers of this column and aware of my frequent lunges into awfulness.

It also happened to be rare error of mine in an otherwise half-decent performance in a Texas scramble which our team won by a healthy margin.

I’m here with a party of journalists and celebrities to promote Bermuda as a golf destination which is not the hardest job in the world because the place is a golfing paradise because golf courses cover ten per cent of its area.

On Monday, representatives of the island’s business and tourism world joined us in an AM AM tournament. I didn’t expect anyone to want to play with me but Richard Mosley, chief executive officer of HSBC Bermuda, actually volunteered to do so because not only does he follow thegolfinghacker he used to read me when I wrote for the Observer 20 odd years ago.

He was joined by Andrew Elliott, who is something big in insurance, and Arthur Jones, a financial expert, and we had a brilliant day.

Tony Jacklin was in Bermuda recently and after playing Turtle Hill he rated it as good at the par three course at Augusta National and it certainly deserves the comparison. Whether you are playing to elevated greens, those steeply below you or across water they are all hard to hit.

The version of Texas Scramble we played required we use at least three tee shots from each player. This produced a slight complication because Arthur, a former Bermuda amateur champion, hit 16 of the 18 greens and it was difficult for the rest of us to get a look in.

It wasn’t so bad for Andrew, off 12, and Richard, off 20, but a tall order for a 28 handicapper, especially one who didn’t even get off the tee on one hole.

On a 200-yard hole my drive hit a palm tree and hardly got halfway and had a tall stand of trees between the ball and the green. They generously decided to take that as one of my tee shots and to my everlasting pride my wedge cleared the trees and landed smack in the middle of the green.

It was a very enjoyable game, we all sank our share of birdie putts and despite my air shot I felt part of a excellent round which is the beauty of the Texas Scramble format. Our finishing score of 47 gross meant that we had averaged 2.55 strokes per hole which on a tough par three course is good going.

We each received a leather man-bag and a voucher to go back and play a fourball at Turtle Hill.

The next event is the two-day Hackers Cup — nothing to do with this hacker, I promise — in which I and my fellow journalists face a formidable team of celebrities headed by Sir Steve Redgrave who is justly rated our greatest Olympian after winning gold medals in five consecutive Olympics.

James Bolam has been a star actor since the 1960s when he began the highly successful television series The Likely Lads. More recently he has played a leading role in another television hit, New Tricks, and plays Grandpa in the CBBC series Grandpa in my Pocket.

Warren Clarke, star of Dalziel and Pascoe, is another well-known actor with a long string of screen appearances to his credit including playing Winston Churchill, a character he frequently lapses into when having a drink.

Sion Tudor Owen has a long history with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has appeared in many films and television series. He also plays off a six handicap and is member of the ‘Foreballs’ golf cabaret

Dom Joly is a television comedian and journalist who writes for the Independent on Sunday.

Sarah Stirk is a golf presenter for Sky Sports and writes for various publications. She plays off seven. Georgie Bingham is a radio and television presenter and has worked in the US for ESPN.

One thought on “Red-faced
in Bermuda

  1. You were missed at St Andrews and we could have done with some of your warm weather.Everything went well. Hiedi sends her regards and hopes to see you next year. Doddy

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