Well the weather yesterday here in Wiltshire was just lovely - good timing too as yesterday saw the first Junior Golf tournament of the season at Wrag Barn Golf Club near Swindon. My hubby, a keen and extremely competent golfer, organises coaching and competitions at the club for cadet level golfers - usually in the age range five to thirteen. Our son played in the tournament - and brought home the runners-up trophy, with which he was chuffed to bits!
It was really pleasant strolling around the junior "academy" course yesterday, six holes of pitch and putt length, forming with other parents the gallery around our wee golf stars of the future. The youngest to play yesterday was a four-year-old girl, who managed to play some pretty decent shots into the green. The leader in our group of Level One Cadets was a lad of six-and-a-half, he told us very deliberately, who was spanking the ball straight into the green from the tee - a good hundred yards or so. Apparently he first picked up a club at 15 months - a Tiger in the making.
I used to think golf was the most ridiculous of sports, still do sometimes, but the difference now is that I actually attempt to play it rather than being scornful from afar. I took it up so as to avoid becoming a golf widow in my hubby's growing enthusiasm for the game. Now I play regularly with the Ladies section, and, work commitments allowing, manage to get out for a game with hubby occasionally.
Like cycling, another of my must-do things to keep myself sane, golf is a great antidote to modern hectic living. Once on the course there is absolutely nothing that you can do about anything, noone can phone you, noone can interrupt you, and it is imperative, in order to play with any modicum of skill, to empty your head of absolutely everything. From the outside it looks like a slow, quiet game, but this external calm belies the battles that rage internally to stop cursing yourself for being deluded enough to want to play this stupid game in the first place. Worrying about your swing, about what you're going to feed the kids for tea, about how many tasks you've got outstanding on your to-do list, do not contribute to skilful play, so blocking all these thoughts out in order to get round the course without utter embarrassment is good practice for the rest of life. It's like meditating!
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