I have written on this blog before about the various issues I have with celebrity golf days.
Namely the humiliation that comes with being a ‘celebrity’ of dubious calibre and especially so to my playing partners who have paid top dollar in the hope of playing golf with Alan Shearer, Harry Rednapp, Mike Tindall…
An awkwardness compounded by the fact that my golf is unlikely to bag any prizes for my team either.
This all leads to pressure which I suppose as a stand-up comic is something I am accustomed to but I can now add a new chapter to my golfing career with yesterday’s ‘celebrity’ golf day in aid of Battle Back and the Darren Clarke Foundation – and kindly sponsored by Your Golf Travel Limited.
Playing averagely, as I drag myself from a green and over towards the next tee – I spot a man waiting for us on the tee and it happens to be Lee Westwood. It’s a par three and for a contribution to charity, a prize can be won for anyone hitting the green – with Lee looking on.
It’s wet. I’m tired. It’s 175 yards and Lee Effing Westwood is watching us all tee off.
But then it gets even worse.
Most likely bored, Lee announces that he fancies a hit himself and being without clubs, he starts to mooch about in my golf bag. Over the years, I’ve met some pretty illustrious people, latterly courtesy of my eldest son and I suppose I can now add the real life Spider-man to my list.
And despite this, I awe struck meeting Westwood and I’m secretly thrilled that he’s about to use one of my clubs. He selects 7 iron. My three playing partners have already teed off with mixed/poor results and the distant green remains entirely clear. Lee smashes the ball long and right – misses the green and its now my turn. My turn to tee off – in front of the former world’s No.1 golfer.
I select 5 iron because from the picture you can see that I am a tiny and in fact a pre-pubescent child.
I smash my ball high and straight. In the air, I hear ‘Hello’ from the man himself. It looks good. It’s green bound if it has the distance. I hold the pose on my follow through and I watch.
The ball plonks on to the green, ten feet short.
I’m Spider-man’s dad you know?
It’s a great shot and Lee congratulates me – which is magnanimous because on current form (or this one shot) I am officially a better golfer than Lee Westwood – a man who in Europe alone has won over 30 million Euro.
The next morning (today) – I am tired because I have not slept a wink (obviously) – and I headed in to London to record Tracks of my Years for the Ken Bruce Show on BBCR2 and I relived the moment I vanquished Westwood – and explained how the idea that golf affords lesser mortals fleeting moments of greatness inspired the story that went on to become my 5th book – Open Links.
Variously described as the best book that I have written – Open Links is certainly the most worthwhile with all the proceeds going to the Anthony Nolan Trust.
So the next book you read – perhaps make it one that could help to save someone’s life and if you are kind enough to do so, please help me and Anthony Nolan spread the word. The book is on Kindle or as a real book from the Antony Nolan website.
And the answer to the question that will be on the minds of all golfers who read this post – namely – Did I make birdie?
No, of course I didn’t. My putt was short and left. I’m shit remember…
(this post was written by DH – so please ignore the fact that it says Luke Baldwin – techy stuff that is beyond me I am afraid)