Local golfer’s unexpected good fortune

2011-05-26 00:00

IN February this column mentioned the importance of marking your ball with some form of identification.

It also mentioned that it has become common practice to put black, red or green spots or crosses on the ball with a felt-tip-type pen. The marking should in fact be unique so instead of little dots, spots or crosses, your initials would be far better. If you have a short surname like Els or Nel so much the better, unless there are a number of players with the surname Nel at your course then perhaps initials are better after all. There is another advantage of marking your name or initials on the ball that you may not have thought of. If one of your mates playing behind you finds your ball, you never know, he may return it to you. Or maybe the player who found it believes in finders keepers. Who knows?

Attie Els of Maritzburg Golf Club, after reading that “Preferred Lies” column, decided to mark his ball as “A. Els”. On a recent Saturday afternoon in the club competition, he lost his ball in the rough at the par 5 15th hole. Fellow member James Collett, who teed off about 40 minutes later than Attie’s group, also hit his ball into the rough on the 15th. While searching for his ball, he found a ball. It had “A. Els” on it. You can probably guess what happened. He gave it to Attie when he saw him in the bar that evening. How could James keep that ball with a name written on it when he knew the owner? Golfers always hand in things they find on the course, such as clubs and wood covers or non-golfing stuff like glasses and keys. It is regarded as good fortune if you find a new stray golf ball in the rough, but if it has a name on it, aren’t you honour bound to return it?

Of course young pupils at school lose socks, caps or jerseys, but they always have their name marked and sewn into the item as a label and more often than not, the items are returned to them.

So perhaps if you mark your name on your ball and you lose it somewhere, it will be returned to you, just as Attie’s was.


Victoria Country Club held a 4 ball alliance competition on Saturday. The winning combination was P. Newman, R. Perks, D. Crowe and J. Walker on 87 points. In second place were C. Fass, D. Samuels, Ghost and Ghost with 86 points.

Maritzburg Golf Club held a betterball competition sponsored­ by KZN Inland Hockey.

The winners on 48 points were B. Pridmore and T. Govender and in second place were F. Gradidge and B. Malunga with 47 points.

From the 19th hole

Sam stood over his tee shot on the 18th fairway for what seemed like forever. He’d waggle, look down, look up, waggle, look down, look up, but would never start his backswing. Finally Harry, his playing partner, asked, “Why on Earth are you taking so long to make this shot?”

“My wife is up there watching me from the clubhouse, and I want to make sure this shot is a good one,” said Sam.

“Good Lord,” said Harry, “You’ve got no bloody chance of hitting her from here.”

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