Ken on the Course
Following Darren Clarke’s momentous win at the Open last week, I’ve been thinking about my sporadic and highly-handicapped golfing career. Amidst a plethora of shanks, snap-hooks and the odd pin-seeker here and there, I can’t help but be reminded of one of the most hilarious moments of my life so far… and it’s all thanks to my Dad.
We had just begun our pursuit of the back 9 on what was a boiling hot day. Dad had offered to pay for a buggy as he didn’t fancy slugging around in 25+ degree heat all afternoon. I managed to find the 11th green, with the old chap tugging his approach shot just left. On exiting the buggy with my putter I left him to park up, chip and meet me on the green. Nothing could have prepared me for what was to happened next…
My excitement of a rare birdie opportunity was harrowingly cut short by the noise of dear father careering off into the greenside bushes. Not to be saved by 40 years of driving experience, the combination of a tight turning circle and occasional senility of the man saw him take a nosedive into the Moors Valley river.
After initial thoughts of ‘Shit, is he dead?!’, I then took to dragging my shock-ridden father out of waist deep water – much to the amusement of passing dog-walkers and cyclists. To be fair to Dad, his precise 9.5-esque entry into the water had kept the buggy perfectly upright and balanced on the river bed, keeping the clubs dry! We rescued the bags and called the clubhouse to explain the situation.
“Hi there. Our buggy is-errr… sort of in the river. Mind sending someone down to help?” Brilliant.
The cavalry arrived armed with tractor and rope. The excavation began, though not before a delightful lady from the group behind had asked us to keep the noise down. Really?! Should have chucked her in as well, get her to fish out my 9 iron instead of one of the rangers. A successful recovery operation and buggy bear was back on dry land, having miraculously escaped with only a bruised nose.
A soaking wet Dad and I made our sheepish way back to the clubhouse where, after exchanging insurance details, I decided to drive us home.
Never did attempt that birdie putt…