They say that golf is a good walk spoiled but at the tender age of 14, the proposition that your time would be spent walking, let alone hitting balls with sticks, when you could be loitering around the drive way of the GND (Girl Next Door) was absurd.
One June Saturday my grandfather insisted that we head out to a newly opened municipal course just outside Slough and whilst I didn’t want to annoy him, the conundrum was how to balance his demands with my overwhelming yearning to catch a glimpse of the GND, particularly as it was unseasonably hot and she would doubtless be enjoying the benefits of the swimming pool her parents had recently thoughtfully installed.
The mind of a 14 year old boy is a thing of wonder given its ability to juggle several different competing and unlikely scenarios simultaneously.
Perhaps GND would be interested in learning about golf? Perhaps grandfather would be interested in teaching her next to the swimming pool? Perhaps I could persuade her to travel to Slough due to the tornado that was approaching her house? Perhaps I could practice looking for balls in the safety of my own bushes? Perhaps perhaps perhaps. Perhaps the heat was addling my brain.
20 minutes later I was in the back seat of his car, wistfully staring back at the receding drive way where several teenage boys were making their way towards the GND and her swimming pool. It was very, very, very hot. Clothes would be removed. Bodies would be getting wet but I would be practising my golf swing not half a mile from the Mars factory in Slough, the taste of Maltesers in the air as I swung hopelessly at the microscopic white pill on the ground in front of me.
This wasn’t so much a case of golf spoiling a good walk as completely disrupting a good ogle and potential for a fumble. I got down on my knees, kissed the turf and prayed to the Gods of Bizarre Sporting Weather to get me back to her swimming pool as fast as my grandfather’s Morris Minor Estate car could carry me.
‘Fore!’ Shouted my grand father as he tee’d off. I looked up, praying for rain.