Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jolly good of this African caddy to fix my lie like that

March 13


Wot ho? We found the best way to ruin a good walk, as Churchill would say, a quick jaunt from the Alliance Francais. Kumasi Royal, the links are called. Fine course. Fairways were a bit swampy, the greens somewhat desiccated and the bunkers filled with chopped Sahara, but this is Africa after all, old boy, what do you expect?

Caddies all round seemed the policy. Mine was James; fine fellow, good eye for a slice into the trees, wot. Knew the course too — made a fine recommendation for a second 3-wood on number four, a par 5, that got me on in three and down in two. And it was jolly good of him to fix my lie a little, each and every shot.

It wouldn’t matter if ’twere in the rough, the sticks or the midst of the fairway, James was on it every time, propping her up on a little tuft of grass he pinched together, just like a tee. Made for some fine outs, I must say.

A bit different from the way it’s done back home though, wot. I was a might surprised on the first hole, when James fixed my drive a little. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the rough, I thought , but no; punched my number two onto the fairway, and James teed her up au naturel by the time I got there.

I was about to protest, but then thought better. There would be penalities galore on the links elsewhere in the world, but we weren’t keeping score anyway, ha ha, and when in Africa…

Couldn’t help but wonder, though: where did this tradition come from? In our four, all the caddies did it, without hesitation. Clearly the way it’s done in Ghana, which would be considered — ahh, the word is so vulgar — cheating anywhere in Her Majesty’s Commonwealth. But ‘twas the British who ruled this country for three-and-a-half centuries, and I daresay those chaps would have introduced the game. Indeed, they must have built these very Royal links, or at least designed and instructed their creation.

So the caddy’s tradition of fixing the lie must have come from the British; a bending of the rules, as it were, acceptable since we’re not really on the Queen’s own soil, are we?

I must consider becoming a member. G.

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