Sunday, 20 January 2008


Listening to: Times Like These (Jack Johnson)
Weather: You name it. . .
What's for tea: Christmas dinner (really!)

I don't have much time for golf as a rule. Elitist, expensive, crushingly dull - the Conservative Party at play. The only time grown men who have no idea how to dress themselves wear clothes their wives/secretaries haven't chosen for them.

I've played twice and the only thing more boring than playing a round of golf is the conversation in the bar (which always serves lousy beer) afterwards.

However, I'm giving some serious consideration to taking the game up following a visit to my local course.

Golf in Scotland, much like opera in Italy, is far more accessible to folk from all walks of life than south of the border, but that's not the only reason. The course on Westray makes the average Marines assault course look like a nature ramble - crazy golf, if you like.

The course is behind Pierowall village, between Grobust beach and Noltland Castle, and very much open to the elements, particularly the north winds which blow sand over much of it and rabbits. It's a nine-holer (I think). That's if you don't count the rabbits - in that case it's a 1,275-holer.

The Boy and I have had two or three walks across it and counted half-a-dozen "greens" (I use the word advisedly) the other day. Today another one had miraculously reappeared from under a thick covering of sand.

One green is even fenced off in an attempt, I presume, to keep the rabbits off. The fairways are either a bit rough or (as you can see in the picture of - we reckon - the fifth green) under water.

The biggest sand trap is about 15yd long and the upper lip is maybe ten feet high.

There's a cow's skeleton in it.

There's no poncey clubhouse, no manicured turf, no dull BMW-driving executives. Just a real sporting challenge and a pint in the Pierowall Hotel afterwards.

Gotta get me some bats.


fiwa said...

Now that's my kinda golf! The last time my boy went golfing, he got kicked out for being too agressive. They told him it was golf, not baseball, and the object was NOT to see how much grass you could hack up with each swing. Apparently he hit the balls hard enough that it was becoming dangerous for the people upwind.

Reg Pither said...!!! Golf! Bloody golf!! That just about puts the tin hat on it!!!
You could never get it in the little windmill down here. What makes you think it's going to be different up there?

dinahmow said...

Ah, yes! Golf,that shove-ha'p'ny- with-sticks game played by people with 'way too much spare time.
I had a crack at it as a kid and, apart from being good at the putting part, was total rubbish!
But I just came over with a quote for you:
"Never try to teach a pig to sing.You'll waste your time and annoy the hell out of the pig." Anon.
Just thought it might help get your own back on those lads.

Dave said...

I trust the cricket pitch is kept in better order.

Malc said...


Good lad! A man after my own heart. He'd love the course here. You're too busy trying to stay upright in the fierce north wind to get aggressive.


Thanks for the advice, 'Tiger'.


I love shove-ha'p'ny as it happens. The only pub I know that still has a slate is The Loggerheads in Shrewsbury - second best pub in the world.
I'm just off out to plug the karaoke machine into the pigshed.


Cricket? You're kidding. The folk over on 'Little England' (Sanday) put a team together once in a while - haven't the foggiest who they play. The Orkney representative team went over to Caithness last August and had to borrow three players. Cricket's not big up here.

Ginni Dee said...

Gives a whole new meaning to "rough".

Hahaha...I love golf! But that's a bit too "natural" for me!!

mig bardsley said...

Almost I begin to like the sound of golf!

The Birdwatcher said...

Great looking course but why not just go for a walk. I gave up on golf when I had to accompany my boss round the municipal course at Oadby. He was dead keen and had all the kit, including horrid check trousers. On the first tee he strode confidently up to the whatever you call it where you hit the ball from and managed to hit backwards. He took another go and several of the people watching formed a slip cordon behind him. He went round in 228.