I have never played golf. Not proper golf. I have flailed around like a hurricane embattled windmill on a seaside pitch and putt on a few occasions. I’ve also wondered how many real golf courses have to contend with negotiating a laughing pirate’s chomping jaws as I have on crazy golf, but I have never been to a real golf course to “play a round”.
I have, it has to be said, never really had the urge to play either. I am not going to rely on hackneyed phrases like “a good walk spoiled”, but I think I know the reason why I have never played golf. It is the same reason I resisted becoming reacquainted with fishing after 20 odd years. I knew I would like it, want to do it regularly and would spend a fortune trying to do it properly. I would probably enjoy it. Apart from the walking bit. No one likes the walking bit. But think of the golfers you know. They all have entertaining golfing stories and analogies from the course or the clubhouse. I’ve always enjoyed a good analogy.
I recently joined a golf club. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but I joined one anyway. I really have taken to the whole lifestyle and I am really enjoying getting involved. I play alone, but I think I prefer it that way much of the time. Because I wander the course with my bag of sticks all alone, I often end up tagging on to the back of the previous players. Or more accurately, the following players catch me up and I become absorbed and confused into their group. I think that my haphazard route to the pin may be behind my current situation, one that leaves me with a difficult decision.
Some members of the club have reported that they have seen me mistreating the course with fits of pique. They have seen me “and my party” hacking at the well tended greens and leaving them like the lawns of an obese family with a penchant for pogo sticks. I have explained that I don’t hack at the ball and frequently fail to hit either ball or even turf with my erratic air shots, but the reporters are convinced that it was me. And so are the committee now.
I have been asked to pay for the green repairs or leave the club as my membership is due to expire. I know it wasn’t me that hacked the greens to death and have shown that this is the case. But the committee remain unmoved. Either I accept responsibility for the “hackers” unruly behaviour, or I find another club. I like the club I play at and would like to be able to sign up for another membership period. I have looked at other clubs around, and all are full. This is the only club available to me and unless I pay the fines, I must stop playing golf and leave the club.
So, despite having the luxury of a tongue in cheek Life Coach at hand, I am in somewhat of a dilemma. Do I accept responsibility for things that are not my doing and allow the real perpetrators to make a clean getaway, or do I stand true to my principles and give up something that I enjoy? Pay for another’s crime and face the cloud that will forever hang over my membership card, or cut my losses and face starting from scratch elsewhere? And without regular practice, I can already imagine how my game will suffer. I can practice in my back garden, but it just isn’t quite the same.
So there we have my Morton’s Fork, or is it a Hobson’s Choice? Perhaps it is just a straight forward dilemma. They say pride comes before a fall. But which is worse, a fall or a journey down a slippery slope? And there’s another analogy for you.