Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lurgan – you could have killed him

After my round of golf at Lurgan I was up in the bar typing up my review. Around me was a gang of youngsters – anywhere between 10 and 14 – who were looking out the window, down at the first tee. The first hole, pictured, is a par four of 240 yards and I certainly had a wind at it. The boys were watching as more people tried the same, laughing at the failures and applauding everything else.

[A visitor beside the 6th green - a regular judging by his indifference to a brilliant approach shot (I almost hit him)]

Then lunch was served – chips, obviously. One hapless lad became target practice for flying chips. A tomato-drenched chip hit him right on the heart. As he stared down at the red patch on his white shirt, one of the other boys whispered to the perpetrator: ‘you could have killed him.’

Shortly afterwards they started the drinking game. You know the one: when a pint glass of lemonade has salt, pepper, ketchup, vinegar and heaven knows what else added to it, and then someone is dared to drink it. Takes me back to my rugby playing days.

A while later, after the chip throwing incident had induced tears, an older man arrived. “Would you lads like some second hand golf balls?” The boys went ballistic and the man returned a few moments later with a bag full of balls. It was a modern day version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. As they all flocked around him. Once the bag was empty everyone was bragging about the balls they’d got. And then the exchanges began – a Callaway for a Taylor Made? How about a Taylor Made and a Pinnacle for a Pro V1? No one seemed to swap.

[Photo: the par three 17th]

As they made their way outside with their booty, I heard one of the boys say: “This is the best day of my life.” I hope he gets out more, but it reminded me of my wedding day. Charlotte, my niece, was six at the time and was one of two flower girls. At the end of the day she was asked if she’d enjoyed herself. “That was the best day of my life…” she said, wide-eyed and breathless. And then, with a wisdom beyond her years, she added: “…so far”.

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