Like many women, I have decided to take up a game called ‘golf’ because my other half plays a lot and I don’t want to become what is known as a ‘golf widow’.

Therefore as a public service I thought I would help my fellow sufferers by giving some guidance on learning golf. Even though I’ve only had a few lessons and don’t know what I’m doing.

You’re welcome.

So, the first thing we need to do is to look at the equipment one needs to commence play. By play I mean wandering for miles around some fields trying to put a ball in a hole. Or rather eighteen holes. Each hole is on a green, which is at the end of a fairway, which is surrounded by sand bunkers, trees, and the ‘rough’ (grass they couldn’t be arsed to mow).

A bat (or stick.)

All bats/sticks in golf have numbers even though there are only really three main types of bat as far as I can tell. These are the wooden ones – drivers and clubs, the irons, and putters. There are many different makes and there are bats for beginners through to professionals. Some are more flexible than others. I myself prefer a nice stiff shaft. But back to the golf.

There are dozens of different types and numbers of each and there are some very good reasons for this which I will come to later.*

A load of balls

So, you have your bat. You now need a ball to hit with the bat. You actually need many many balls, because not only do they get lost in the woods, land in ponds and maim passing motorists, but I guarantee once you start hitting them more than a few yards, you’ll not be able to see where they land. My advice on losing sight of a ball this way would be to take a spare ball to a convenient place, say two feet from the hole, cause a distraction and drop the new ball before exclaiming ‘Ah! There it is!’

A glove.

Yes, just one. This is because golf was invented by a one armed man called Mr. Tee, and in homage to him golfers only wear the one glove. My instructor seems to doubt my extensive knowledge however and told me some nonsense about the glove giving you a softer grip on the shaft.

Anyway, back to golf.

A bag to carry your sticks.

Because of the many unnecessary sticks you have to carry a bag is required. This is large, unwieldy and uncomfortable thus making it almost imperative that you buy a…

Golf trolley

This makes the whole fiasco less exhausting and also means it’s easy to carry a towel, jumper, balls, phone, tees, sandwiches, umbrella, picnic rug, disposable barbeque, small dog and of course, Gin.

The correct clothing

Now don’t get me started. I’m all for standards but what WERE they thinking when they began designing female golfing apparel? In most clubs there are rules such as no jeans, tops with collars, white socks and suitable footwear, ie, no stilettos on the green. All good so far. But why do they expect you to wear what my dear old dad would have called ‘slacks’? And why all the pink diamond shapes? Could this unattractive stuff have been created by golf widows who want to ensure that their men don’t run off with golf totty? I suspect it was.

Lessons

You really will need lessons or you probably won’t even be able to hit the ball at all. There are coaches at most golf clubs who are highly skilled players themselves that tell you they just want to help you be the best golfer you can and that they enjoy seeing you improve. This is a lie. They wish they had kept to golfing just as a hobby and done the business studies GCSE and got a job in the local council rather than waste their time trying to do what is the equivalent of teaching a rhino to become a ballet dancer. They are very, very good at pretending that they look forward to teaching you, but you know they are really crying inside.

 


 

If you follow my advice you are sure to become a great lady golfer in no time at all. Best of all, most golf clubs have a bar which overlooks part of the course meaning you can watch and learn from your fellow players. In the interests of bettering your knowledge of the game and the techniques employed in it, I recommend that you spend at least the first ten years of your golfing career in the bar drinking in all that knowledge and experience.

*Finally, a word about why there are so many types of club and so much equipment for sale in the golf shop.

About 80% of golfers are men over seventy. They are jaded by life and work and have become grumpy old buggers. Golf solves a couple of problems for them.

Firstly, this generation of men will often be heard saying that they don’t intend to leave any money for their children on account of ‘I didn’t get any help, I had to make my own way’, and so need to spend their savings before they meet the grim reaper.

Once upon a time, they would have had no problem spending money. But now they already have the nice car, they hate holidays (flying, foreigners, Brits, crap exchange rates, funny food, other people) and have too much clothing on account of not going to the office or on holiday any more. Their houses are full of things they don’t want, need or like.

So how to make sure the kids don’t get their feckless, idle hands on all that dosh?

Why golf of course! They all know damn well that you only need a few sticks, a pair of slacks, a couple of tops and a bag and trolley from Costco and your good to go. But by keeping up the deception of ‘needing’ fifty three different types of putter alone and hugely expensive membership of twenty golf clubs, they ensure that the little bastards won’t see a penny.

Secondly, having spent most of their married lives at the office, they have now made a shocking discovery. For the men who have had stay-at-home wives, the unrelenting tedium that their other halves have endured for decades is suddenly upon them too. If their wives have continued in their careers during marriage, the men wake up to the realisation that their women folk are actually more vivacious, interesting and attractive than they themselves are and are shocked to discover that her indoors has no intention of giving up her interesting career and social life to spend long weekends in a caravan in Rhyl with him. Golf not only keeps him from going insane but the hours of entertainment he gets out of buying numerous gadgets, Pringle jumpers and novelty covers to keep his clubs warm detracts from the fact that her indoors is about to run off with the bloke from the gym.

Disclaimer: There are some younger, single and quite attractive men at golf clubs. I suggest you drive round the car park first. If it’s all Ford Fiestas, move on until you find one with a couple of Porches, a smattering of Mercs and at least one Ferrari.

So ladies, I recommend you give it a go. Good luck and let me know how you get on.

© Linny Bartlett/Karma’s Footsteps

 

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