When asked the classic golfer’s question What’s your handicap?, the temptation is to come out with some variant on the tried and tested My handicap? The way I play, of course. My, how we laughed. But secretly we all want to provide a cool as a cucumber response involving a single-digit number. Or, at the very least, something less than twenty. Rather like all those golfing forums where correspondents tag themselves Shoots in the 80s when we suspect they actually struggle to break 100 most rounds. Or am I being too cynical?
However, it is time to ‘fess up. My new handicap has been established and it’s not flattering. 27 to be precise. Just one stroke off the bargain basement of golfing ability. Still, the three cards I handed in were a 99 with 4 pars, a 102 with 3 pars and a patchwork nightmare of a card with a number of blobs achieved in pouring rain, so what else could I have expected? On the plus side, having such a long handicap offers the opportunity to take the field apart in any competitive outings I undertake and accumulate trophies in quantity. Provided I can actually muster up a decent round, of course, which is not something to be guaranteed. On the downside, I am apparently even less skilled a golfer than I was previously, given my lapsed handicap of 25. I think the cunning plan is to play lots of non-qualifying competitive rounds, so getting the benefit of a 27, and just enough qualifying events at a standard suitable for keeping my handicap where it is.
Unless vanity encourages me to aim for the giddy heights of Shoots in the 80s, of course. Watch this space.