The Lost Golfer

The honest truth is that I’d never play around whilst Ethel was alive. It didn’t even enter my mind. Not once in 55 years of marriage. But after she’d past away, god rest her soul, well I had all this spare time and you know what they say about the devil making use of idle hands…

It was difficult at first. I made a bloody fool of myself. Just couldn’t get the little bugger in the right spot. Over time, with perseverance and the odd trip to the local pharmacy, things got a bit less embarrassing and my performance improved.

It became an obsession. If I didn’t have my wood out by 12 noon I just didn’t feel right. After a year or so I was hitting hard and putting reasonably straight. Not bad for a man of my age if I don’t say so myself.

Anyway this particular day I knew would be special, I just had that feeling. As I placed the tee on the first hole I swear I saw an angel pop out from behind a cloud and say to me “Today you’re going to play the best round of golf in your entire life.”

Well I’ll be damned if I didn’t hit that ball like Arnold bloody Palmer! On the green in two, single put, my first ever birdie!

By the time we’d hit the eighteenth I needed an eagle to break the seniors course all time record. Two under on a par four was going to be a big ask so I looked up at the cloud which, funnily enough, was still there in the exact same spot.

“If you’re around angel me old mate, I’m going to need your help here.”

My drive was long but wide, landing plum in the bunker to the left of the green.

“So much for my angel” I grunted as I walked across to find my ball soundly buried in the sand.

Without hesitation I chipped out and would you believe it? The ball danced straight into the bloody hole! I was jumping around like a man possessed, this was indeed the best round of golf I’d ever played in my life! I started running across the green like a bat out of hell to see if I’d really done it, singing aloud and dancing a jig like there was no tomorrow.

Then, suddenly, I felt myself floating upwards. I looked down and saw myself lying there on the grass with the sand wedge still in my hand. My playing partners were shouting as they rushed towards me.

“Call a ambulance, call a bloody ambulance. Now!”

I didn’t quite know what was going on at first but I soon got the picture. I’d forgotten to take my heart pills that morning and with all the excitement, well it must have been too much for the old ticker. Didn’t feel a thing though, not a bad way to go.

After a good flight, minus the complimentary booze of course, I arrived at the Pearly Gates. St Paul was there to greet me, nice chap, very welcoming. He handed me a thick book of rules and a white robe.

“You’re booked in for the 2 o’clock introductory service, you’d better run or you’ll be late,” he bellowed in an authoritative tone.

Well I’d not really thought much about heaven but I never expected it to be this boring. Everyone went round singing hymns, not the happy clappy type, just the plain old dreary ones.

I kept on trying to ask the angels where the golf course was but they just shushed me suggesting I’d have more fun entering ‘Hymn Idol’ which, they assured me, was very popular with the new crowd.

It didn’t take me long to work out that there wasn’t any golf in heaven so I got to thinking if I ought not try the ‘other’ place. Whilst everyone was watching the ‘Hymn Idol’ auditions I sneaked out of the exit and made my way down the stairway from heaven.

Down and down I descended, eventually coming to a door with ‘To Hell. No Way Back!’ painted on in think red letters. I nervously pushed it open and stepped through.

To my surprise Diablo was waiting for me on the other side, dressed in a smart albeit shiny suit, just like an estate agent.

“Welcome” he said softly as he stepped aside revealing the most luscious golf course I’d ever seen.

“Please, this way…”.

I followed him to a palatial clubhouse with porters standing at every doorway, like one of those 7 star Dubai hotels you see on those TV travel programmes. We sat down in the bar and he ordered my favourite beer and sandwiches, which were promptly served by a gorgeous girl who looked a lot like a young Grace Kelly. The ham and pickle melted in my mouth and the beer tasted like nectar from the gods. Oh you would have thought you were in heaven!

“I’m very eager to get onto the golf course, those greens and fairways look mighty tempting.” I said as I polished the last crumbs off my plate.

Smiling, Diablo announced that he’d taken the liberty of having a set of custom made clubs prepared for me. I was shivering with excitement as we got up and walked over to the first hole where another girl, this time looking like a young Ann Blyth, was standing by a golf buggy.

“I’ll be looking after you today sir. We have the course to ourselves,” she said winking and handing me a wood and tee.

I placed the tee firmly in the ground and took a few practise swings, absolutely perfect. The fairway stretched out in front of me. The birds were tweeting, not a blade of grass out of place, not a cloud in the beautiful blue sky.

“It doesn’t get better than this!” I exclaimed, taking a deep breath and preparing myself to tee off.

I turned to Ann.

“Pass me a ball please dear…”

She grinned and looked at Diablo who leaned over to me and whispered in a voice that could shiver a thousand souls.

“That’s the Hell of it, there aren’t any balls!”

The Lost Golfer

Bramley

Joined May 2008

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