The hacker’s
dream comeback

My comeback after a major operation last week was so impressive one of my opponents asked for the name of my surgeon. It cheered me up no end.
I was apprehensive about my first 18 holes for over three months — and that’s what probably did the trick.
Five hours of surgery to remove the cancer involved a substantial rearrangement of my digestive system and, although brilliantly done, does call for a long recovery period.
The surgeon — himself a hacker but only on the golf course — urged me not to rush it and so I’d been quietly playing three or four holes every other day for a few weeks.
But I wanted to play a full round last week because I have the honour to be captain of the visitors in the annual Cardigan Golf Club v Visitors match.
This is a long established fixture in which any golfers on holiday in the area are welcome to play as guests. They put their names on the list in the clubhouse and, however many there are, the club will pick an equal number of members to oppose them.
Forty years ago it was one of the highlights of the summer with a sing-song in the evening that went on until the early hours. Unfortunately, the event faded out but Edryd Lloyd, Cardigan’s captain in 2010, has revived it and in this third year of its restoration we had a great day with 22-a-side.
It is a novel idea for a seaside course and speaks highly of the club’s generosity and hospitality which belies the traditional image of that part of Wales.
Added to which, it was lovely sunny day. Quite windy but there was great visibly over the superb views they enjoy over the Teifi estuary. The course is in terrific condition, especially the greens.
I’m not sure they intended their hospitality to run as far as letting us win but we did 7-4, and so, for the second year running, I was presented with the magnificent silver trophy which, sadly, they wouldn’t let me take home.
But even to briefly hold the silverware after my first game back was highly gratifying. Unfortunately, I can’t take too much of the credit from my magnificent team who were made up mainly from The Glamorganshire ably supported by redoubtable pairs from the Glynhir and Derllys clubs in Carmarthen.
Partnered by my club-mate, David Virgin, I had the pleasure of playing against Cardigan’s captain, Peter Rees, who plays off 24, and the club chairman, Barry Davies, who plays off 15.
David and I won 4 and 3 but that was largely down to David who never once missed the middle of the fairway and, for a 21 handicapper, had an excellent game.
But I had my moments and came in three or four times, including a par at the par five 13th. I couldn’t believe how well I was hitting the ball.
Peter Rees couldn’t believe it either and wanted to know if he could have the same operation as me. If the NHS pay recommendation fees, I could make a fortune.
Both Peter and Barry will be interested to know that back home in the club medal three days later, David scored 108.
It’s amazing what happens to a man’s game when he gets within range of the match and handicap committee.
The secret of my limited success was quite simple. One of the problems of my game has been that no matter how many times I was advised to slow down my swing, I couldn’t get over the habit of lunging at the ball like Conan the Destroyer.
When you have good reason to take it easy when you are swinging, it makes all the difference and I was amazed how well I hit it. I intend to maintain that tempo and persevere with a few other adjustments I’ve been mentally toying with for the past three months.
Going to try my luck at the Belfry next week with the Dregs — a motley bunch of veteran golf writers
who I am trying to persuade to give me a few extra shots because of my condition. If I can continue the progress there, a miracle could be in the making.

4 thoughts on “The hacker’s
dream comeback

  1. Wonderful news, and an excellent return to the course.
    However, don’t expect to keep the slow swing for more than a couple of weeks!

  2. Welcome back Peter!

    Reminds me of a pal of mine a few years ago who played some of his best golf after a bout of mumps, which makes you swing very sl-o-o-w!

  3. Hi peter hope your taste returns as good as your golf as you know the 19th is The Ship Tresaith. look froward to seeing you there.

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