Friday, 4 May 2007

Great Golfing Moments

Looking for stuff about Carnoustie did remind me of its most famous failure, Jean Van De Velde, the handsome but hapless Frenchman who was leading on the final day and went AWOL on the eighteenth, ending up by taking off his socks and shoes and paddling in the burn, demonstrating that special grand folie of golf that leads us to follow a sudden loss of form with an even more spectacular loss of judgement, aka the ‘I’m-damned-if-I’m-taking-a-drop’ mindset. (Trust me on this, you’re damned if you don’t.)
To give him credit, our Jean did see the light and take the drop, but still lost his grip on the Claret Jug. This picture of the culprit burn (and the one in the last post) is from the press page of the
Carnoustie Golf links site, and the sock moment is immortalised passim. There’s also a clip on Youtube of someone trying the exact shot that Jean passed up.
Note for ladies: - One Ian Baker-Finch in a similar situation once
took off his pants - ? Whew, that’s actually American English for trousers. He still had his boxers on. Better luck next time, girls.
Note for book (rather than blog) readers: – a truly riotous round of golf including a shot from the water is recounted in
Tim Lott’s White City Blue. (It’s near the end, p224 in the Penguin edition.) Okay it’s fiction, but it’s funny, and that goes for the whole book.

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