Thoroughly teed off

Peter Warland on the tall tales spun in the game of golf.

Peter Warland

“I haven’t seen you up on the golf course lately,” said the young woman when we encountered one another in the Mall the other day. “You playing somewhere else?”

I recognized her as an ex-student of mine and, doing the necessary math, I calculated that she wasn’t all that young. I couldn’t remember her name but I am used to that; I have trouble with my own sometimes.But the golf question bothered me; I don’t play golf; I have only ventured on to golf courses a few times and on each occasion I just grew frustrated.

Swish/expletive!

It all seemed to be so pointless. As someone wise once said, ‘It’s just a nice walk spoiled.’

I don’t think that that was Confucius; probably somebody smarter, like Dame Laura Davies.I have a few friends who have ventured timorously into the mad world of golf and actually escaped still wearing ordinary clothes; my buddy Bill, for example.Bill Purtzer, who is certainly no relation of the famous Tom Purtzer, has a golf club that looks like a cross between a Stone Age club and an assegai.

It was probably modelled on the weapon used by Saint George when he murdered that dragon. Anyway, Bill told me that one day he took that club and a half dozen golf balls to the hut up on Lakit look-out for some practice swings. He’s a frail looking guy so I wonder if he had employed his son Little Bill to carry that club for him, and maybe the balls too.

Now, Bill can talk bull-tweety at times but he claims that one of the balls he managed to hit made a sonic boom as it passed over Fort Steele and disappeared. He also claims that a friend from PoCo (Port Coquitlam-almost-on-sea) saw an article in the local paper about a woman finding what she thought was a miniature space craft in her window box and her husband, being the cautious type, sprayed it with Raid, just in case there were tiny space invaders in it, just like in that story we read in school years ago.

I wonder how many golfers have yarns like that to regale their guests. I bet Ken Green didn’t find it necessary.My lovely wife certainly didn’t. She was extremely reticent about her deeds on ‘The Links’. She was no Holly Sonders, that’s for sure; more of a Whirling Dervish in Blue Jeans.

Several players claimed that they damaged their backs whilst ducking at Tee-off time.I have a rich cousin who lives in Devon in England but he has gone insane. He now travels to France and even to Florida in order to waste his money on golf; he has to; he is the president of the local golf and country club and it is expected of him.

He tells me that golf in France has taught him some extraordinary French expressions which startle even Parisians. In Florida, he claims, they’ve got him into clothing that can only be described as ‘dorky’. He even says that he also carries a special club when in Miami to deal with alligators, although most Americans that he encounters solve such reptilian encounters with the guns that they normally carry.

I told my cousin that, should he venture into the wilds of The Kootenays for a chukkar or two, he’d only need mosquito spray and, maybe, a bear banger. His dorky clothes would fit right in.

Jake Edwards (no real relative of the famed Danny Edwards), a highly imaginative acquaintance from Invermere, says that whilst he was helping his girl-friend get it right as she teed-off up on a course near Fairmont, the fly of his pants became entangled with the zip on the back of her skirt and so, slightly embarrassed, the pair of them had to try a swing, back up, try again, back up and so on until they were behind the cub­-house where, he claims, the cook threw a bucket of cold water over them.

But there again, golfers are not noted for the veracity of their claims, are they?