This lockdown business is sending me crazy. Luckily I am still allowed out for a game of golf just up the road at the local course ... by myself, and thus socially isolated to the extreme. But still, I am going bonkers. So much so, that I have taken to giving each of my golf clubs a name. I told you ... I am going completely BONKERS!
Anyway, to compound my lunacy I thought I would share my thoughts on the naming process and I recommend other golfers do the same. It's therapeutic.
MY GOLFSTICK FAMILY
Club: Driver; Name: Barnaby
Like Australia's new Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, this club is erratic and more often than not swings the golf ball out to the far right. Even if I aim to the left the ball nearly always strays into the rough on the opposite side of the fairway. Without doubt, this club is a disloyal bastard ... I wonder if that rings a bell with any of Mr Joyce's Parliamentary colleagues?
Club: 3 wood; Name: Messi
Just like Barcelona's football (soccer) superstar Lionel Messi, my shots with this 3 wood too often end up dribbling along the turf.
Club: Three hybrid; Name: Beefy
Bearing the nickname of England's legendary cricket all rounder Sir Ian (Beefy) Botham, it is my go-to club in all sorts of circumstances (most of which the club wasn't designed for). Back when he was playing cricket, many fans in Australia described Botham as the Pom we all loved to hate - or the Pom we hated to love. This sums up my relationship with my Big Bertha hybrid 3.
Club: 3 iron; Name: ScoMo
Like Australian PM Scott Morrison (nickname ScoMo), this club promises the world, but always seems to fall short. ScoMo is also known as Scotty From Marketing in some circles, and the 3 iron is a brilliant marketer. I'm forever thinking I should use it, but instead of delivering a dead straight 160m cracker it swings off to the right and ends in the rough 100m away (or worse).
Club: 4 iron. Name: Albo
Taking the nickname of Anthony Albanese, leader of the Australian Labour Party (Opposition Leader), this club replaces ScoMo (my 3 iron) when it is on its all-too-frequent cycle of failure. Though basically interchangeable with the 3, Albo (my 4 iron) doesn't have as vicious a slice to the right but (unfortunately) seems to pull up short of the target too often.
Club: 5 iron. Name: Penicillin
The 5 iron, now officially known as Penicillin, is my recovery club. When my game is looking particularly sick I turn to Penicillin to cure the malaise. Hopeless off the tee? Use the 5 iron. Hopeless approaching the green? Use the 5 iron. Can't chip? Use the 5-iron. Of course, there are instances of allergic reactions to penicillin, but they are not common.
Club: 6 iron. Name: The Knack
On the 6th hole at Canterbury Golf Course in Sydney I once hit my 6 iron dead straight for 100m or so with the ball then rolling into the hole. It was magnificent ... although, I confess, it was my 7th shot on a par 4! I've been trying to replicate that shot with my 6 iron ever since, without luck. For this reason I have dubbed it The Knack, after the greatest one hit wonders in pop/rock history. The Knack's song My Sharona was a massive No.1 hit in Australia and the US in 1979 but, they were never sighted in the charts again. I'm hoping my golf club - The Knack - may strike gold again, it would then be renamed The Golf Club Formerly Known As The Knack.
Club: 7 iron; Name: The Wok
The 7 iron is not so much a recipe for disaster as a recipe for sweet and sour duck, cooked in a wok, of course. Sometimes I can hit this club so sweet it is like honey. Other times, it is as sour as milk left out in the sun. Actually, if I'm honest, its is more sour than sweet, but that's the case for my golf as a whole.
Club: 8 iron; Name: Punxsutawney Phil
Like the groundhog of Groundhog Day fame, the 8-iron hibernates for long periods, comes out for a grand appearance, then goes back to sleep for a few months. The groundhog is a burrowing rodent, and sometimes I feel like it would be therapeutic to throw my 8-iron into one of their burrows. Unfortunately they are natives of North America, so my evil fantasy cannot be acted upon.
Club: 9 iron. Name: Kate
Like pop star and legend Kate Bush (famous for her amazing voice on songs like Wuthering Heights) my 9 iron can hit a perfect pitch. It has got me over the highest of gum trees on to (or near) many a green. Unfortunately, though, like Ms Bush it can be reclusive and seldom wants to perform in front of an audience.
Club: Pitching wedge. Name: AstraZeneca
I only ever get this club out when there's something not working right in my brain. With the Covid vaccine of the same name, brain clots, though well publicised, seem pretty rare. With my golf, it's sort of, um, common.
Club: Sand wedge. Name: Bondi
Once you're on the sand at Bondi Beach in summer, it can be quite a struggle to get out again. And usually you need to take a less than direct route. Sounds just like my bunker shots with this club.
Club: Chipper. Name: Ol' Joe
I reckon the chipper, not sighted in any professional's bag, was designed for ageing golfers without much skill (that's me). I use it close to the green when everything else in my game seems to be falling apart. My chipper is named after US President Joe Biden, aged 78, who came to power when everything was falling apart under the madman Trump. It is simple to use and gives an adequate response without straying too far right or left.
Club: Putter. Name: Two Ronnies
My putter has multiple personalities. Too often it leaves me substantially short or overly long. The Two Ronnies were one of my Dad's favourite comedy acts. Ronnie Corbett was extremely short and his partner in crime Ronnie Barker was considerably taller. Thus, by dubbing the putter Two Ronnies it covers both its major personality flaws. The Two Ronnies were also very funny, and often I can be seen on a green providing comedic moments for my playing partners. Personally, I don't really see the humour. Please note: My putter dates back to when The Two Ronnies were still on TV.
FOR THE RECORD
My most recent game of golf was played at Studley Park Golf Course at Narellan. On the par 70 course I took a sad 104. Barnaby kept swinging right all game; Messi made one magnificent dribble down the fairway on the 5th; Beefy saved me on several occasions; ScoMo came out of the bag once resulting in a shank to the right; Albo replaced ScoMo for the next shot and swung me left into trees (both were expelled by the Speaker for the rest of the session); Penicillin saved me countless times; The Knack failed to deliver any more golden hits; The Wok cooked up a storm with an approach shot on the 11th (sweet) after letting me down on the 10th (sour); Punxsutawney Phil stayed in hibernation the whole round; Kate gave me a chance for redemption with a par on the last; AstraZeneca didn't cloud my mind and stayed in the bag; as did Bondi (I used Kate to escape the sand twice, so Bondi's days could be numbered); Ol' Joe prevented disaster on a few holes; and the Two Ronnies behaved for the first nine, but Barker showed up with some shocking overhits early in the back nine, with Corbett replacing him later, causing a three putt that ended any hope of a par on the 18th.