Wednesday, August 15, 2007

(From our Golf Correspondent)

Despite a threatening weather forecast, yesterday afternoon at the Poult Wood Golf Course turned out to be bright and sunny with a stiff breeze cutting across the more open parts of the course.

After a couple of weeks or so on the sidelines, Snopper returned to the fairways (well, occasionally) in a renewed attempt to build on the progress made in his last outing, when an encouraging card in double figures was returned. The other bright spot on that occasion was the loss of only five balls, another statistic he was looking to better yesterday.

Sadly, things didn`t quite go according to plan. A decent start went awry as Snopper found assorted ponds and nearby woodland as he attempted to round Amen Corner - the formidable 5th, 6th and 7th holes - which has been known to cause mild irritation to other golfers in the past. These setbacks contributed to a front nine score of 64 - one of Snopper`s least prepossessing efforts.

The back nine saw a distinct improvement, however, with a total of 47 being recorded, including one unlikely par on the par 3 14th. This produced a total of 111 for the round, which was the highest score Snopper has recorded since he started playing at Poult Wood some 25 years ago. There were vain attempts to reduce that score by various means, including some creative accounting, Snopper`s insistence on maintaining a handicap of 28 and also a suggestion that he might be awarded a further 10 strokes to take account of his status as an old age pensioner struggling to survive on a fixed income. The R & A have heard it all before, though, and are not prepared to bend their rules for anyone.

The lost ball count has, sadly, risen to 10 for this round - no less than four coming in the space of two holes. Snopper`s attempts to find them are, of course, curtailed by his reluctance to get his feet wet and also a pathological fear of reptillian life that may be loitering in the undergrowth.

The whole experience has left his golfing career at a crossroads - it is going to be difficult for him to come back after this setback, but I think we can look forward to covering his exploits in future on the simple basis that things really cannot get any worse. Can they?

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