Alan Committie is one of South Africa’s leading comics and theatre actors. The Defending the Caveman star is also a self-confessed golf addict, getting on to the course as often as his busy schedule allows.
How have you adjusted to lockdown life?
It’s been a crazy 17 months. Many artists, creative companies and theatres have had to shut their doors or seek work elsewhere. I have been lucky enough to be supported by my wonderful fans and do three online shows and some live, restricted-capacity performances at Theatre on the Bay, Kalk Bay Theatre and Montecasino. I am waiting to take my latest solo show Apocolaughs Now to Montecasino in October-November and then start my new comedy show at Theatre on the Bay in December.
When and where did you start playing golf?
I started playing about seven years ago. Once you hit 40 I think it’s a constitutional requirement to begin golfing. I was hooked the moment I managed – fortuitously as it turns out – to hit the third or fourth shot sweetly and with a bit of a fade. It only took another 318 attempts to do the same thing. But hope is everything.
Where is your home club and what is your handicap?
I started and continue to play at Rondebosch Golf Club in Cape Town – it’s got great management, great staff and a wonderful course. I’ve never registered for an official handicap for fear I would give up comedy for this hugely hilarious endeavour. But I suspect it’s about the same as the batting average of 1980s Northern Transvaal cricket captain Lee Barnard [somewhere between 27 and 33].
Does having a sense of humour help when it comes to golf?
Without a doubt. And as the leading comedian among my golfing buddies I have a set-up second to none! Sadly, though, I will over-punchline around the greens.
What are your favourite courses in South Africa?
I love Arabella. I recently played Steenberg for the first time and loved it but mostly because it’s close to my home. Though I feared I might smash a window or two of mine.
What is your greatest golfing achievement to date?
A hole-in-one at the River Club mashie course! What joy! What jubilation! What a thing of rare beauty …
What is the strength of your game and what is your favourite club in your bag?
I’m starting to get better at driving … the cart. And pitching … ideas for where we should go for post-round drinks. I love my 4-hybrid club … it’s my William Shatner ‘Rescue 911’. Live long and prosper on the course …
How many of your acting peers play golf?
We have quite the motley crew: writer Louis Viljoen, actors Nick Pauling and Andrew Roux, dancers Ash and Brad Searle, theatre producer Daniel Galloway, comedian Glen Biderman-Pam and others. We all love it. Especially since it’s the kind of game you can pick up and play in your own time. It’s not bound by team practices or match schedules which often conflict with our rehearsals. Daniel Galloway stands out from our bunch. Hits a sweet ball but is also a ginger so that negates almost all his achievements.
What’s the funniest moment you’ve had on the golf course?
One of our team has the uncanny knack of going awry with a nasty slice, sometimes across two adjacent fairways, and when he does he inevitably puts other golfers in danger. One round he came close to hitting the same golfer three times. His apologies were starting to lose credibility. It was starting to feel personal. That alone was funny but then a month later we played again and on the 4th hole he almost hit the same woman again. He is in a very good witness protection programme.
Describe your dream fourball.
Me, Bill Murray from Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters, Martin Short, a genius American comic from Three Amigos, and Bryson DeChambeau, so I can help him loosen up his game.
What is the best thing about golf?
The banter between friends, the thrill of the unexpected great shot, the danger of the imminent poor shot around the corner, the challenge of new courses, the challenge of old courses, mostly just the challenge. Also, occasionally walking on the fairways … that’s nice.
– This article first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Compleat Golfer magazine. Subscribe here!