Golf: After the Lord Mayor’s show preferred lies

2011-08-04 00:00

THE game of golf has a habit of lifting you to heights of delight and then shoving you down to the depths of despair in one fell swoop.

There are several instances of where and how this can occur. Just look at Darren Clarke. Two weeks ago, he won the Open Championship at the age of 42 and we heard that Darren was contemplating retirement from the game, such was his poor form in March this year. In lifting the Claret Jug in July at Royal St. Georges, he achieved a life-long ambition. The following week, what happened? He missed the cut at the Irish Open. He went from hero to zero.

In golf we often call this, “After the Lord Mayor’s show”. It happens very often to millions of weekend golfers worldwide. One week a golfer plays well and wins the competition. He feels like he has at last mastered this fascinating sport and can’t wait for the next game. But when the day arrives, he plays as though he has just started the game, like a rank beginner. It’s difficult to understand because he used the same clubs, same course, same weather, same shoes, same cap and probably the same partner. Inconsistency is the nature of the game. But there’s more. This hero to zero effect happens after a brilliant first nine. In fact, this is common to the regular weekend player: the first nine seemed so easy yet the back nine was a disaster and sometimes it’s vice versa. So dear weekend golfer, don’t try to analyze or understand these strange occurrences. It happens to all golfers, amateurs and professionals alike. But if you do think you have found the secret, be sure to let your scribe know.

Last weekend’s results:

On Saturday, Victoria Country Club held the Gary Bowman Trophy in the form of a betterball bonus bogey. The winning pair was D. Nicholson and G. Meyer on plus 11. In second spot were J. Gopaul and P. Govender with plus 6.

Maritzburg Golf Club held a betterball Stableford competition on Saturday. It was a fund raiser for the Maritzburg Christian School. The winners on 44 points were M. Cronje and E. Izzard. In second place on 43 points were A. Norman and D. Bottomley.

From the 19th hole:

You know you’re a golf fanatic when:

• golf tees are in all your pockets, even your pyjamas;

• even your garden gloves have a ball marker on the wrist;

• you mow your lawn to 11 on the stimpmeter;

• you don’t know who the vice president is, but you’ve got Ernie Els’s sand save percentage memorised;

• you are getting married at 10 am and you can still get in a quick nine holes at 8 am;

• you have all the machinery foldouts from turfgrass monthly pinned to your wall;

• you name your kids Ernie and Retief, and they are both daughters;

• you have a permanent titanium rod surgically inserted so you can’t bend your left arm;

• after two days without golf, you get the shakes and have to phone 0800 LIFELINE so they can talk you down; and

• when you stand at the urinal, you use the overlapping grip.

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