Having your name announced in front of 150 mocking men as the perpetrator of an air-shot is no fun. However, the shame was made bearable by the fact we won the match and my part in the victory was not inconsiderable. It couldn’t have been that good if I missed the ball, I hear you say, but it was a rare blip.
An air-shot is humiliating but the term doesn’t always tell the story and on this occasion was untrue. My club didn’t fly through the air above the ball. It didn’t get that far. It clunked into the ground three inches behind the ball.
It wasn’t the easiest of shots. My partner’s approach to the 9th green looked to be rolling into the greenside bunker but it stopped about 18 inches away on the downward slope.
My play around the green is much improved, but put a bunker between me and the flag and my wrists turn to jelly. I concentrated so hard as I placed my lob wedge behind the ball but I flapped at it and the blade thudded into the ground.
Thankfully, my partner Steve is made of sterner stuff and he plonked it onto the green and we salvaged a half.
There’s no sentiment in our league and Steve duly took a note of the time and informed the chief Snake, who in his lunchtime piss-take of the morning’s proceedings announced: ‘There was only one air-shot today – Peter Corrigan, 11.09 on the ninth.’
I welcomed the catcalls with a shrug and pointed to the board which showed that my partner, Dave Ellis, and I had won two out of two.
Considering we haven’t played together yet it is a worthy achievement. I was away the one Sunday and Dave was away the next Sunday. On both occasions our substitute was Steve – a very steady 15-handicapper.
He also has a buggy so I didn’t have to trudge the half-mile to the 16th tee for the shot-gun start, unlike our opponents who were off 19 and 14. They had to give us five shots, the first of which helped us to win the 16th.
But it soon developed into a close game and I was surprised how well I played. That is the beauty of foursomes golf for a hacker. If you have a steady partner, you need hit only about 10 or 15 decent shots at the right times to make a telling contribution.
We were 3 up with three to play and before our opponents reduced that to two. The next hole was the 180-yard par-three 14th and I stuck my tee-shot on the green which led us to a 3-1 win.
Unfortunately, the 14th green is the furthest point from the clubhouse, the best part of a mile walk and by this time it was pouring with rain.
We shook hands, thanked them for a very enjoyable game and sped back to the clubhouse while they walked. We finished our first pint before they got there. Golf can be a very cruel game, sometimes.