Anne Foley Smith: Pink Bits and Pieces

We were at it again – me and the girl crew that consists of a trinity of tyros – out on the course plying our peculiar brand of golf where laughter and gossip rank equal in importance with the skills of the game itself. There is not a whiff of competitive testosterone in the air – unless a male fourball is unleashed on our pert tails too soon after we tee off. We were playing with our usual aplomb and consistency. Lest anyone should labour under any illusion that we aspired to anything great in consistency of play, honest me would have to confess that, on a scale of one to ten, we’d probably score a minus nine. I can’t think of a better way to graphically explain our brilliance, or lack thereof. Laughing our way through our minuses, though, has always been our plus.

We talk about everything too – no topic taboo, nothing is too large or too small for our incisive minds, nor is anything sacrosanct either. It is a no-holes-barred sparkling conversation and fest of wit – a show fit to rival anything “Loose Women” might dare to share. Nowt is spared. And so we found ourselves waxing lyrical on a myriad of subjects while delving in the proclivities of the sixth hole, a nice par 3. Two of us were gadding about while one of our numbers was busy digging herself deeper into the greenside bunker. We were not in a hurry and had offered her the usual round of inane advice that seems to be the first requirement of any self-respecting golfer. Sally listened to everything we had to offer and then proceeded to ignore just about everything we had to say – this being the second requirement of any self-respecting golfer. By now, she was intent on burrowing herself into a close encounter with just about every mole that inhabited the golf course. Gill and I were left standing in awe at the power and drive executed through every swing of the insubordinate sand wedge by the pretty and petite Sally as she blasted her way through the bunker and created a waterfall of flying sand. But the little white ball just sat there, ensconced in it orb of self-satisfaction and smug in the knowledge that it was totally immune to the carnage that was going on around it.

The third requirement of any self-respecting golfer is to continue to rain down innumerable shots on any ball that refuses to move, and this route Sandbunkered Sally was following unswervingly. It was a sight to behold and served only to prove what a self-respecting golfer she really was. Gill and I were in full empathy with this sort of unreasoning mentality for we both instinctively recognised that before the present nine holes were over, we too would have followed this third requirement to a tee. Our turn would soon be upon so we waited patiently while Sally bravely stepped up to the plate at the sixth.

It was then we noticed him – Mr Lone Ranger, standing aloft on the tee box, iron in hand, looking hot to trot off the yellow markers. Being the ladies that we were, we stopped our endeavours and waved him through. From tee-off to touchdown kiss on the green, it was a beautiful shot. Confident, well-timed, well placed, well done. And so impressed were we that we stood still in unfamiliar silence as we followed the ball’s perfect trajectory. Our eyes bulged in astounded wonder as it stunned itself against the close-shaven green and gently rolled to within six feet of the pin. Profound poetry in motion. What a man!

But that’s when I noticed the incongruous. Before my eyes and nestled on the green was Mr Lone Ranger’s ball but it was not the bête noire of the white ball type that Sally had been beating the guts out of seconds ago. Lo and behold, him-of-the-perfect-testosterone-packed swing was only playing with a pink ball. Yes, that’s what I said: pink, dayglo, neon, bright in-your-face girlie pink. That’s the one I’m seeing before my eyes on the green deck. Plume de ma giddy tante, I thought, Quel n’importe.
He strode nonchalantly along the fairway to the pin, secure in the knowledge that one putt would see the ball home safely in the pot for a birdie. At worst, a two putt for par. And who could blame him? But as he approached our silent, admiring ranks and before I had time to engage my conscious brain, out from my mouth popped the immortal phrase “I love your pink balls”. As I like a bit of emphasis in my tone, you can well imagine which word my unconscious mind underlined!

In an instant I recognised my subliminal mistake but the sentence hung in the air and took on an ambience of its own as Sally and Gill descended into a cascade of laughter and I tried hopelessly to hide my embarrassed self. He said not a word but his shaking shoulders as he stood over the ball, putter in hand, demonstrated what is definitely not the fourth requirement of any self-respecting golfer: laughter and putting do not go hand in hand. Suffice it to say that, after four strokes to the ball, he had not holed out. He picked up his ball, still laughing, walked over to me and said “I think you need this more than I do!”

Hats off, there’s a man who knows how to handle his balls.

I keep that pink ball as my lucky mascot and I think Mr Lone Ranger more than demonstrated the ultimate requirement of any self respecting golfer: dignity and humour in the face of disaster is a clear winner every time.

Follow Anne on Twitter @foleysmith555

anne foley smithTaking up golf is not an easy decision at any age but I decided to give it a go. I’m at that age where if it’s not fun, it is not worth doing. On my Golf Girl blog, I take a lighthearted look at this new world of golf in all its glories, foibles and fallacies although sometimes I will write a serious and reflective piece. Happy golfing.

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