A HOLE LOT OF LOVIN’

by Anton Wills-Eve


<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/three-perfect-shots/”>Three Perfect Shots</a>

 

                                       A HOLE LOT OF LOVIN’

 

The top players all agree, golf is a game you play in your head. It’s all psychological.I’m so lucky. My study window just overlooks, if you lean out and use a pair of binoculars, the tenth hole at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at the Wirral seaside town of Hoylake in North West England. It has staged the British Open golf championship twelve times, one of the world’s four ‘majors’, and so also more often than any other course in England. We had it again this year. The whole place was packed for a week with foreigners and it was all great fun.

But try playing Hoylake in mid winter. Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus all rate it the most difficult course in England and it probably also holds the world record for the most number of swear words uttered within a radius of 500 metres of any one spot in a year. I have probably contributed a high per centage.

But oh the short 13th (depending on how the course is set up) is a golf maniac’s dream. The only way you can do it in par three is to hit all three shots incorrectly. Play it as advised by the professionals and you will end up in a bird sanctuary, on a sandy shore with ten foot waves at the wrong time of day, or simply in a bunker in which you cannot even see your feet let alone the rest of the course.

Well if I MUST tell a ‘golfie’, let me take you back 28 years to that wonderful April day when I hooked my drive so badly it struck the pin on a neighbouring green and ricocheted  back onto the fairway, missing the dreaded bunker. This left me a delicate pitch into the wind, only 30 yards from the pin. I smacked it so hard it finished up 30 yards the other side of the green. My playing partner put his bag of clubs on the ground, we carried our own bags in those days. It was to the right of the flag, off the green of course, but towards my ball. He played a decent chip to within 15 feet from the hole and looked happy at the thought of a four. I decided to cut under the ball and try running it across the green and hope it went towards the flag. It didn’t. I tweaked it so badly it shot like a bullet into the the side of my friend’s bag, shot back onto the green and sped like lightening towards the hole. 

Oh wonder of wonders! I’d cracked it so hard it wedged between the flag stick and the side of the hole. I Knew I was allowed to remove the flag stick as long as I did not move my ball. I very carefully lifted the fluttering number 13 high into air and stood in stupor as my ball dropped into the cup for an unprecedented three. I really was on cloud nine.

Now if you wonder how I remember the details of that exploit so well imagine trying to perfect something and succeeding only once in 46 years. Anything at all, believe me you don’t forget a second of it. And every time you recount the feat the exaggerations get just that little bit more unbelievably brilliant. Ah  yes, the only way to play the greatest game really is in your head!

 

Anton Wills-Eve

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