A Good Walk Spoiled

I’ve just got off the phone from a conversation with my son Jonathon, who lives with his charming fiancee Jenny on the outskirts of York. This conversation incorporating our usual inanely random chatter; topics including UPV door adaptations, aspirations for Christmas gifts, his new love of golf and his idiosyncratic grandma (my mum).

My son’s fairly recent love of playing eighteen holes on his local golf course, accompanied by his buddy Ryan, taking up a great deal of our mobile minutes. This amour (golf not Ryan) stirring my offspring’s endorphin levels to such an extent he recently invested in membership, along with lessons, at a local municipal course.

Although claiming he’s not accomplished enough yet to have an official handicap, he claims to ordinarily complete his eighteen hole round in less than 500 shots. Not an overly astonishing sporting accolade, however an achievement which makes him a better golfer than his father.

Although a decent enough cricketer and footballer (playing both sports into my mid to late 40’s), I’m pretty useless with the mashie niblick***. The handful of rounds played 10-15 years ago so unaccomplished I never warmed to any format of golf. Well apart from the one whose holes are reached via the likes of a mini windmill or ceramic gorilla’s mouth.

*** – An iron golf club with a loft between those of a mashie and a niblick. — called also number six iron….. To clarify, I’m not very accomplished with any of the other clubs either. 

Obviously, I wasn’t bad enough to have scored 500 shot rounds, of which I referenced earlier. However, from these fleeting experiences of playing eighteen holes I can only concur with late US writer Mark Twain when he opined of the golf that “It’s a good walk spoiled.”


It appears that my ineptitude at golf is partly a familial trait. A few years back I was reliably assured by one of my cousins that he was so poor at hitting the ball he required a run up prior to attempting to strike the golfball from the tee!

I’ve personally not seen my cuz partake in this idiosyncratic addressing of a golfball. However, he assures me that tale, which occurred over two decades ago is a true story.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, so was the addendum to the anecdote that after witnessing such peculiar behaviour his tee side buddies never again invited him to partake in a round of golf. Such sporting eccentricity amongst the greens and fairways of the game evidently not appreciated by ‘serious’ competitors!…… If the former yarn is correct, I suppose it stands to reason the latter tale will bear some basis in fact.

According to my son Jonny, close to his village home on the northern periphery of York, there’s not only a conventional eighteen hole golf course, there’s also a football golf course (or golf football course, I’m unsure of the game’s correct moniker).

Recently Jonathon enquired, via the wonders of telephonic communication, if I’d fancy partaking in a round of this unconventional pastime. I responded in the affirmative, however my eldest (nearly thirty-something) child and me have yet to firm up plans for this challenge.

Being a more accomplished footballer than Joffan (as my daughter Rachel dubbed him as a young child), I’d suggest my chances at prevailing against Jonny in a round of football golf (or golf football) would be significantly higher than competing at the conventional game.

It was good to natter with my boy this morning. A very capable man with humility, humanity and loving nature, he’s a source of immense pride. Along with Rachel, my writing and the fact I can whistle the Bulgarian national anthem, he’s a legacy of whom I’m deeply proud.


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