When I started writing Hooked, I decided that I wasn’t going to pull my punches. There are some 350 golf courses on this island, so there are going to be world-beating greats and there are going to be bottom-of-the-barrel tanks. That’s the way it is and any course worth its salt is going to appeal to a certain – and sometimes niche – audience. There are enough of us out there that we look for different things from a golf course.
I won’t deny that I have insulted several clubs that are either too big for their boots, make claims that are ridiculous, have a superiority complex, or are of poor quality, but my reviews are my opinions. Mine and mine alone.
I have heard (first hand) that a member of Greystones, my home club, was berated by a lady at Elm Park Golf Club recently as if she was responsible for my comments. It got a bit heated, apparently, and the Elm Park member insisted that I receive the message that I wasn’t welcome at their course.
Somehow I’ll live with the pain, but I apologise to all Greystones GC members who visit Elm Park and receive such treatment. I did not mean to put you in the firing line.
In fairness, I did give Elm Park a hammering. They were unlucky because I have played the course a few times and whenever I visited I encountered the type of attitude that visiting golfers abhor – the ‘you’re not welcome’ attitude. It might only have been a few club members or a few members of staff having a bad day, but it happened every time. At the entrance gate, in the car park, in the clubhouse and on the golf course. That is too much of a coincidence – in my opinion - and that's why it's in the book.