What started out as an ordinary day…I’d joined my father-in-law Alan and his mate Colin for what promised to be a fabulous round of golf on the spectacular links course at Nefyn Golf Club.

Nefyn Golf Course Aerial Shot1

An aerial shot of Nefyn Golf Course…on a sunny day!

I’d played the course before and my companions were both members meaning excuses for golfing faux pas (not four pars I hasten to add – chance would be a fine thing!) had to be well thought through and justifiable.

On the subject of excuses though, it’s little wonder that the PGA Tour tends to follow the sun and pro golfers base themselves in the Algarve or Florida, as the weather plays a huge part in your ability to bogey or birdie, especially in Costa Del Gwynedd. That said, the course at Nefyn is in pretty good shape, it’s well drained, the greens behave themselves and the gorse provides just enough of a challenge when navigating a hole. I actually call it ‘bloody gorse’ for a couple of reasons; it’s magnetic pull towards my golf ball and its ability to shred my arms and legs when searching for the aforementioned ball.

This particular day (in July would you believe) was cold, wet and windy, one of those days when you pull back the curtains, groan, swear a bit and pull out your severely creased waterproofs…and that’s  just to make it to the car without getting drenched. But we’re amateur golfers with a booked tee-time and spouse approved half-day golfing visas, so despite the storm clouds, only club officials with guns could stop us driving off the first tee with that all too familiar sense of optimism and positive gusto.

Nefyn Golf Course on First Tee

The glorious first tee at Nefyn, home of the golfing optimist –  it’s literally downhill from here!

With Alan playing off 18, Colin playing off 16 (bandit) and me off 20 and no doubt thousands of rounds between us we should have been quite capable of carding 30+ points each on the stableford system. But given the climatic July apocalypse we were swinging through, we struggled to score on most holes, in fact phrase of the day seemed to be ‘I’ve blobbed again’. There was lots of blobbing going on, even blubbering after some shots.

We’ve all heard the old adage ‘all the gear, no idea’. Well, this three-ball collectively had its fair share of gear (Colin’s attic is the Aladdin’s cave of golfing equipment) and in relation to one of us, absolutely no idea! Step forth Alan’s new toy, an electric powakaddy golf trolley. Complete with motorbike style handlebars, auto-run settings (here lies the problem) and a battery heavy enough to roller the greens, it was a lovely bit of kit. I’m sure it must have come with an instruction manual but obviously male pride takes over, instruction manuals become taboo and regardless, you can’t be seen to be reading a 20 page booklet in the middle of a par 5. Hindsight and preparation are wonderful things. The comedic value of Alan’s new trolley broke the damp monotony of the front 9.

The Par 5 Fifth at Nefyn GC

The infamous Par 5 at Nefyn – can you spot the water hazard? Keep left!

Picture the scene, a long 500 yard par 5, the impressive moody swells of the Irish Sea lining the left hand side of the fairway, Alan’s hit a tremendous approach shot, myself and Colin commend his efforts with the obligatory ‘shot Alan’ and like a smug wild west cowboy he slots his hybrid club back into its ‘holster’.  Then he turns his back on his trolley to watch Colin (bandit) hit a decent approach too, I follow suit, leaving 3 white balls encircling the green and thinking that’s a ‘texas wedge’ from there. Then, suddenly to my right I hear a cacophony of swear words and see Alan sprinting after his new electric trolley as it chugs a path towards the cliff edge and a premature burial at sea! I turn to Colin (bandit) who’s in absolute hysterics and can’t help but chuckle to myself. Alan manages to grab the handlebars with yards to spare and divert the course of the trolley. Then comes the breathless, exasperated, understatement of the year: ‘I should have read the manual properly’. Cue another level of hysteria.

Colin on the 5th at Nefyn

Colin on the 5th at Nefyn – Note the weather conditions and yellow warning signs on the cliff (right hand side of this pic)

We literally plough through the rest of the front 9 and reach the easy, downhill par 4 where ‘Herbie’ the self-driving trolley strikes again. We all park up our trolleys and Alan assures us he’s applied the ‘handbrake’.  We march onto the green to prepare for our respective putts. This time we hear cries form the adjacent hole as another three-ball party notices ‘Herbie’ innocently trundling along towards their bunker, once again Alan springs into action, dashing like Usain Bolt across the course and rescuing his disobedient trolley, apologising profusely to the other party. Awkwardness and empathy are outweighed by the humorous scene and myself and Colin are in stitches as Alan, totally breathless and ashamed, prepares to take his putt. This is never an easy task when your fellow players have tears rolling down their faces struggling to curb the giggles. Amazingly, Alan made par on the hole!

Powakaddy Golf Trolley

A thing of beauty and a lovely bit of kit!

With all the sprinting Alan was defying the cold conditions and beginning to get quite warm. Not usually a problem as expensive, breathable waterproof gear is sufficient to wick away perspiration but this doesn’t apply to spectacles – Alan was steaming up, severely limiting his ability to walk straight let alone play golf!

As our calamitous round was coming to an end, predictably Colin was living up to his ‘bandit’ reputation and was leading the stableford scores and Alan wasn’t having any of it. Competitive to the core, this time he decided to work with Herbie and distract Colin’s chip shot onto the 17th. What followed was golfing comedy gold. Colin steadied himself, pitching wedge in hand whilst I watched on respectfully. Meanwhile, Herbie was manoeuvred into position and set to auto-run. Like a stealth, front-line marine, Herbie went silently into battle, cutting right across Colin’s eyeline mid-practice swing and successfully accomplishing Alan’s mission to put Colin off his shot. Alan, usually a stickler for the rules, knew this was anti-etiquette but he couldn’t resist. I was half expecting expletives and finger pointing from Colin but he reacted in quite the opposite fashion with stomach grabbing laughter and more warm hearted banter.

As Alan brought Herbie under control for the final hole, we made our soggy way back into the club house to dry off and perform the mandatory post-mortem of the previous 3 and a half hours of Carry On Film style golf. For the record and somewhat predictably, Colin the bandit topped the stableford scores, whilst myself and Alan tied second place but there was only one winner on the day, Herbie the trolley with a mind of its own and an unappealing instruction manual… I wonder if Alan has kept the receipt?

This post has been submitted as our entry into Betfair’s Funny Golf Story competition. I may buy Alan a new golf trolley if it wins. As it happens, I didn’t win but following golf betting odds and betting previews is becoming a little bit addictive, give BettingAnorak.com a whirl and good luck with your bet!

 

 

 

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