Friday, 18 May 2007

Award of the Golden Dustbin

Having celebrated Van de Velde’s moment of near lunacy, Ive decided to offer another memorable golfing moment, this time one that might give some comfort to those beginners or near beginners as they step up to the tee on Saturday or Sunday morning. Not easy, is it? Right behind you there are two or three groups of regulars willing you to get off quickly and not hold them up while you retrieve your ball from that hedge on the left. My own club does not have pre-booked tee times and so you on busy days you can have as many as twenty people looking on as you waggle your club at address and try desperately to remember what the pro was telling you at the last lesson.
Picture such a scene a couple of winters ago. It’s a big crowd. Thermos flasks are out (pretty chilly at 8 on a Sunday) and the bin next to the tee has already received a number of empty fag packets and chocolate wrappers. Having waited for two groups of four to hack their way up the first fairway we’re all getting restless, and the group in front of us are more restless than most. When it’s their turn to step up, the boot’s on the other foot. They know they’re in the spotlight and they egg each other on with jokes that suddenly sound a bit nervous. The first two drive off and keep it on the fairway. The next addresses the ball, takes a huge back swing and tops the ball off the tee and down the bank where it takes a big bounce off the path and lands straight in the black plastic dust-bin to hoots from the crowd of ‘In da hole!’. The guy’s face watching the ball is a picture as he goes from anger to embarrassment and then disbelief at his sudden celebrity status.
It has to be said that this shot sticks in my memory at least as much as Tiger’s chip at Augusta and has probably been talked about in my own circle just as much. And so, in honour of the player in question, I’ve decided to make him the first holder of the Golden Dustbin award for a truly great bad shot.
The moral of the story is, even the bad shots can be good, and if it’s going to be bad, it might as well be really bad. Let me know if you have any other contenders for the Golden Dustbin Award.

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