Aintright isn’t a massive fan of golf, partly because he nearly fractured his skull many years ago when trying to retrieve his ball from under the windmill, but also because when he hears the words ‘walk’ and ‘fair way’ in the same sentence he automatically starts looking for his car keys. He has also always been confused by why they need so much equipment. Someone did once explain that it’s because they sometimes need to hit the ball very hard and sometimes very gently. Similarly, sometimes they need to lift the ball into the air and, at other times, they need to keep it on the ground. This explanation didn’t really help as hockey players face the same problems but they don’t have an obliging man-servant running around behind them with a bag full of slightly different hockey sticks. Nor do they have a modified mobility scooter waiting at the side of the pitch with its motor running. However, despite his own reservations, Aintright does have some sympathy with members of the local golf club who, after a visit from the council’s Health & Safety team, have been left with nothing to do with their balls.
Apparently, they have been told that the holes in the middle of the greens are a tripping hazard and have to be filled in. Not only this, they have also been informed that they are not allowed to have sand in their bunkers anymore as, if inhaled, it can cause something called ‘beach cough’, the symptoms of which include, apart from a cough obviously, the utter refusal to wear two gloves, the total loss of any sense of fashion they once had and an overwhelming desire to cut the tops out of their baseball caps. The council insist that sand has to be phased out and replaced with rubber crumbs made from recycled car tyres. However, when the club members were told that some of this material was from cars that were foreign and more than two years old they all stomped off in a huff vowing to raise the matter with the club secretary. Unfortunately, their protestations may fall on deaf ears as the club secretary is a woman and isn’t allowed to join the club or even set foot on the course. Apparently, as a result she absolutely loathes the game, hates nearly all of the members with a passion and only works their because she likes to know what her husband is getting up to when he’s not at work. According to one local source, this all stems from a discovery she made some time ago when she found her husband’s score card in his harlequin-patterned trousers. It detailed his performance that day in considerable detail, describing a birdie on the second hole, an eagle on the fifth, an albatross on the eleventh and a shag somewhere between the thirteenth and fourteenth.