BEING beaten by a man old enough to be your grandfather is not a great experience, but it is one that I have become accustomed to over the past few years.
Since I started playing regularly, I have accompanied my wife’s grandfather, known as Pops among the family, for nine holes on numerous occasions. It nearly always ends in defeat for me.
The most recent outing saw myself and Steve, my wife’s brother, treat Pops to a round to celebrate his 82nd birthday.
Now, if I am still playing golf at all if and when I reach that age, I will be a happy man. If I ever strike the ball as consistently well as Pops can, it will be a minor miracle.
Fortunately for me, while his ball striking and short game still puts me to shame, Pops’ advancing years have robbed him of quite a bit of distance, levelling the playing field somewhat.
I played the first hole pretty well, a bogey putting me in the lead, but the first in a string of disastrous holes followed straight after.
Having just explained how the ball I was using had lasted two complete rounds, I proceeded to carve it into the bushes, with the resulting triple-bogey seven allowing both Steve and Pops to leapfrog me.
Another trip to the bushes led to an eight at the next par-four, and I was getting cut adrift.
Steve was out of sight, but I managed to pull one back on Pops at the next, despite three-putting from about 10 feet, while I went one better at the fifth, four-putting to record another triple-bogey.
I took another eight on the next hole, which featured a lost ball and an air-shot. That had Pops, who was steadily plotting his way around the course with no sense of adventure, one ahead of me going into the last three holes.
I responded by somehow making pars at the next two to give myself a four-shot cushion over the octogenarian going down the last, a par-five.
At this point, Pops played some of his legendary mind games, claiming that he was getting old and tired. He then proceeded to sign off for the day with a par.
I hacked my way down the hole, eventually scrambling in for eight to beat him by a single shot. A victory for (relative) youth over experience – but only just.
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