Yesterday’s lashing rain might have been welcomed in the drought-lands of eastern England but it made hell of a mess of our golf course in Wales and our winter league matches were postponed. However, this might have worked in our favour because Bob and I were due to play Porky and Maurice Flynn again.
We beat them five weeks ago and it is very unusual to play the same pair twice in the same ten-week session.. But that’s what the draw threw up and Maurice was claiming a sudden improvement in his game that would help them get revenge.
Like me, Maurice is a 28 handicapper but his game is even more erratic than mine. Playing foursomes with him is like playing with a suicide bomber — you never know when he’s going to go off.
Peter Edmunds — nick-named Porky because of his passion for pork pies and bacon sandwiches — is a very good five handicapper and, although a commendably patient man, he does get occasionally frustrated.
The previous Sunday, he and Maurice were three up with three to play but managed to lose on the first sudden death hole. Porky’s tolerance level took a dive and he decided to have a word with Maurice about his grip as they trudged back to the clubhouse.
Porky had never seen a grip like it. There was a gap of three or four inches between his top hand and his bottom hand. It was the sort of grip you’d use if you were sweeping the garden path. There was no way he could hit the ball properly so Porky introduced him to the interlocking grip. Maurice said it felt very strange but thereupon started whacking the ball straight.
He went out practising during the week and couldn’t believe the difference. ‘Why hasn’t anyone told me before that my grip was all to hell,‘ he demanded. He couldn’t wait to get on the course yesterday and help Porky to smash us. The fact that Porky scored 40 points in a Stableford competition on Saturday did not augur well for us.
Alas, the rains came and play was impossible. The postponed matches will now be played next Sunday and with any luck the delay will play havoc with his new grip. Not that Porky will allow him to slip back to his old ways because he has a pressing need not to be on the losing side to me again.
Indeed, the club is buzzing with the possibility of me securing an historic hat-trick over him. Considering the yawning difference in our handicaps it would also be regarded as a miracle.
But we are talking about foursomes golf in which anything can happen. In last summer’s foursomes competition, John Dodd and I were rank outsiders and when we were drawn against Porky and Matt Davey, the clear favourites, everyone expected a massacre. Indeed, two members promised us a bottle of champagne if we brought off a giant-killing act.
We played out of our skins to record the shock win of the year and Porky was mocked unmercifully. When we were drawn against each other in the winter league he was thirsting for revenge but we won two up and once more he had to endure a gauntlet of mickey-taking
Fate has now brought us back together in combat for the third time. If Maurice gets his grip right we ought to get a whacking. But who knows?
At least, we have avoided the wooden spoon. We have both won three matches — two of theirs came when Maurice was on a cruise reportedly paid for by Porky — so there will be nothing on it but Porky’s pride.
Next Sunday is the final stage of the winter league and the pairs at the top and at the bottom will play Stableford as well as match-play in case tie-breakers are needed. One pair, Shaun Begley and Steve Jarvis, haven’t won a match. Their opponents, former policeman Dave Hancock and ex-Cardiff RFC and Wales ’A’ flanker Bob Lakin, have won only one. It is all tense stuff.