Good Morning Twinkle! Thank you Melbourne for handing back our sun, it’s happier here in Sydney.
My dear, darling father-in-law came over for dinner last night, loveable, loyal, irascible old bugger that he is. To give you an idea of how we roll in our family, a conversation with him on a Saturday evening would go something like this,
“So how was golf today?” Rory would offer, while handing Grandpa a glass of red.
Cue a long harrumph with a twinkly eye;
“you know, it’s the bloody greens that are the problem, why can’t they get the bloody greens right, the ball cannot move in that way, it always goes left, how can it possibly go right, it’s a joke, a bloody joke. I mean Jesus Christ, what are they thinking?” harrumphs once again, descends into sofa, where he would remain firmly planted until summoned for dinner.
For those of you uninitiated in the lingo of golf, the ‘bloody green’ is the flat, ironed part of the course where the elusive hole into which golfers try to place the ball, is located. It is the holy grail of the golf course and there are eighteen of them all shimmying their perfectly round curves tantalisingly in the breeze. They are supposed to be hard to read and elusive, like women; it is part of the game’s allegedly seductive joy.
Anyway, there was one particular sunny Sunday several years ago where we all decided in a pink fit we’d venture out to the golf course together, en famille. Grandpa, Rory, myself and little Tommy, all out for a glorious spring afternoon of golf together. I was caddying and in charge of ensuring little Tommy didn’t sand surf the bunkers or fall head first into the pond.
It was all going quite well until we got to the eighth hole where Grandpa belted his ball straight into a bunker. We stifled a comment, and got back into the cart.
Grandpa drives a golf cart a little like he drives a car, with urm, ‘purpose,’ and a not small amount of flowery language, so the tension was palpable as we hurtled towards the sandy pit, Tommy clung to my neck like a baby monkey, the needle on the harrumph-ometer was chasing the red zone, and I was poised ready to reach over and grab the wheel in case of sudden stress-induced heart explosions.
As we skidded to a halt beside the bunker, he stepped delicately out of the cart, retrieved his sand wedge from the bag and strode towards the sand. I decided staying in the cart holding onto Tommy was the safest strategy.
Hitting a ball out of a bunker is perhaps considered one of the harder feats of golf, it requires patience, precision and the chances of success are vastly improved by a calm, considered demeanour. So far, not so good.
He plopped down into the sand and lined up his shot. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, strike. Operation Desert Storm but no ball evacuation. The elusive little white ball remained in the sand. Strike One.
He shook his head in disbelief, muttered something inaudible and definitely unsuitable for small ears. Lined up, Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, Strike Two.
Tommy and I fidgeted awkwardly in the cart and remained deathly silent. Rory, up ahead, watched from the hilltop.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, Strike Three.
The air was still, even the birds had their wings over their ears.
And then, through young, sweet, wide eyes of disbelief, Tommy watched as Grandpa began to jump up and down in the bunker, on the spot, his arms flailing wildly, his sand wedge flying through the air, his feet sending up clouds of sand, and his loudest, voice of disbelief yelling “Jesus Christ, I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it.”
And that, is the story of how Grandpa threw a good old-fashioned, terrible twos, toddler tantrum in a golf course sand bunker. We all went home and had a nice bottle of red afterwards, and the story has remained in urban legend ever since.
Golf is not, it would appear, a gentle game for the elderly in pink.
When was the last time you witnessed a surprise toddler tantrum?