Saturday, May 17, 2008

The movie effect – Bandon

You know the story: someone tells you about this brilliant movie. It’s the best thing they’ve ever seen, and they make you promise to go and see it. So you do. And it’s terrible. Terms of Endearment – my parents walked out after 20 minutes; Closer - I wanted to scream. The reverse is also true: someone says a movie is rubbish, so you expect the worse and then you’re pleasantly surprised. OK, sometimes you’re told it’s rubbish and it truly is – Ali G, Shrek the Third – but you get where I’m coming from.

So when I was told that Bandon was rather rubbish I went there with low expectations. You start with some straightforward parkland fayre, but it develops into a far more entertaining affair as the round progresses.

I played with Donal Hannon who has been a member for just a year and plays off 18 - so I was intrigued to see his reverse grip. As we walked down to 5 he mentioned that the Earl of Bandon was kidnapped in the 1920s. When I asked him if that was in 1924, he looked surprised and said he didn’t know. But I cheated. I’d looked at the Presidents’ board the night before and seen that between 1909 and 1924, the President was the 4th Earl of Bandon; between 1925 and 1932 it was 5th Earl. The reason the subject came up became quickly apparent. The rather sadly neglected, but still magnificent, Castle Bernard, overlooks holes 5 to 7 (see pic). The marble that had been around the front door was removed (stolen) some years ago, and trees are growing up inside, but wouldn’t it make a magnificent clubhouse?

And one final observation on Bandon – it’s good to see that some things are taken seriously! A lot of clubs could do with a sign like this by their 1st tee – Greystones included – and I saw the Ranger roaring off in his buggy a couple of times.

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