My boyfriend is a golfer. I bounce home regularly from the yard with announcements telling him the likes of ‘oh my god I jumped a MASSIVE* fence’ (*massive to me people, don’t get excited) and he will smile and say ‘ well done that’s awesome’. So yeah, he is great and supportive and puts up with me buzzing for hours like a kid on skittles just because the horse behaves. Bear in mind he will also come out with things like ‘so if you got up on that professionals horse could you jump those fences’? (eh, in a word, no) and ‘oh can you do that dressage move?’ (eh, if its on tv, probably no) and the classic ‘sure if the horse did it yesterday why wouldn’t she do it today?’. I have realised what the problem is though and it really is not his fault– unless you have ridden horses you won’t have the concept of participating in a sport where the main piece of equipment has a mind of its own. I can regularly see the appeal of being involved in a sport where the main piece of equipment needed A) doesn’t cost the earth, B) is inanimate and therefore does not have moods, opinions and feelings, C) does not need shoes every six weeks, D) cannot potentially kick you in the head ..…I could go on. Anyway, golfers of the world, to avoid any more confusion on your part at the hands of us horsey people, let me explain how it works for us…..
Picture the scene. You have practiced long and hard for a golf competition. You put in the prep work, took lessons, cleaned all of your gear and got all of your equipment ready. It is the morning of the competition and you go to fetch your golf clubs. They are clean on one side and filthy on the other. Yes, you spent ages cleaning them the night before I know but they have taken it upon themselves to have a little lie down in some mud and poo. So you roll up your sleeves and re clean the golf clubs and keep them close by you when you pack up the rest of your gear to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again. You wrap the entire length of the golf clubs in protective covering just in case you go over a speed bump on the way. You lock the house and go to put the golf clubs into the boot of the car. Except the clubs do not want to go in. No particular reason maybe they miss their friends, don’t like the colour of the car or just know you are running late. You get them as far as the edge of the boot a few times before they merrily dance backwards across your lawn. Your neighbour stands behind them, uselessly flapping his arms and making comments about bad behaviour while you open all of the car windows in an attempt to show the golf clubs that it is not all that bad. Finally they allow you to put them in the boot and you head off to your competition.
As you get to the venue you get yourself and your clubs ready to go. At each hole you arrive at you look and figure out how far the club can hit the ball and how many times you will need to hit the ball to meet the hole perfectly. Meeting the hole a little close or a little far off may lead to you lying flat on your ass in the middle of the course so you plan carefully. The first two holes go well. At the third hole the golf club decides that it does not want to hit the ball and so refuses to do so ducking out to the right or left at the last second. This may be due to the fact that there is a plastic bag caught in a nearby tree that was not there the last time, because the golf ball is a different colour to the normal golf balls you use or just generally because it is not in the mood right now. You keep cool because you know that going happy Gilmore on the clubs ass will not end well for you. If you miss the ball three times you will be eliminated from competition so on your third attempt you stare at the ball, hit the club with all your might while growling ‘Ge-het UP’. Success you have now hit the ball.
You continue around the course praising the golf clubs every time they do well and growling and flapping your arms hard when they decide they don’t want to go near the ball. You have a near miss at one hole where the last hit of the ball leaves you a little far from the hole but you are not doing too badly. At the last hole the golf club insists on avoiding the patch of grass where the golf ball is lying because the grass in question is a little deeper in colour than the grass around it . You stroke the golf club on its handle while talking to it in encouraging tones until it decides that the dark green grass is not so bad after all. You finish the course and tell the golf clubs that they did great and blame yourself for the problems you experienced because you probably didn’t play as well as you could have and may need a few lessons. Other competitors will watch how you performed. Some will tell you what you did wrong. Some will admire your golf clubs. Others will tell you it is okay if you did not do too well because they are not competitive even though they are also playing in the competition against you. Having spent about five minutes actually playing golf and several hours getting ready you will spend several more hours chatting to these people and waiting on your scores. You will be hoping that the golf clubs are now tired and willing to get back into the boot.
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