I last played golf on 1 November 2012 (that’s 19 months ago). It proved to be a painful experience… some hip pain, but much worse was that I experienced sharp shooting pains down my right leg virtually every time I hit a shot.So, ten weeks after my hip replacement, I tried again… and played golf with my great golfing mates Pete, Steve and Ken at my former golf club in Oxford (Studley Wood)… in glorious sunshine (and, somewhat amazingly, on a virtually empty golf course - was it a case of “Mad dogs and Englishmen”?... ok, not quite, Ken is a joint UK/USA citizen these days!)
As far as I was concerned, the quality of the golf was entirely unimportant – the crucial thing was that I was actually PLAYING golf again (or at least trying to) with my old, regular golfing buddies (in the “old days”, we used to play EVERY Friday afternoon, 12 months a year).
For the record, we “tossed” for partners and Ken+I took on Pete+Steve…
Ridiculously, I started by scoring a par (ie. the score you SHOULD get if you were a “scratch” or zero handicap golfer) on the first hole… followed by another par on the third!!
In the end (my fellow golfers had generously allowed me to play off a handicap of 22 at the start – when I used to play regularly, 12 years ago, my handicap was 15 – but soon slashed this to 18), Ken+I won the game easily… and I finished with five “proper” pars for the round (and, when I’d checked the scorecard afterwards, found that I’d actually played the round to a 18 handicap). As you might imagine, my so-called friends gave me a fair amount of “stick”… accusations of faking my injury to gain sympathy and achieve a higher handicap and accusations of hours of practice on the golf range (if only!) etc etc.
In the event, I was so relieved and thankful that I’d been able to play an entire round of golf (and walk the whole way round) completely pain free… and it really was lovely to meet up with my great mates again.
It feels quite miraculous and I’m very grateful to the NHS!
Photo: golfing-selfie (Steve, Pete, Ken+me)!
PS: I don’t expect to maintain such reasonable golf scoring… I should point out (to the golfers among you) that I holed a fair number of putts yesterday (and this only happens once in a blue moon).
PPS: I finished the round by hitting my ball into the lake (twice!) on the 18th!