Had a pretty horrific hangover yesterday. I went out with some work colleagues on Friday night before meeting with the lads from football and going hell for leather on the alcohol. Drinks consumed on Friday night include lager (several varieties), vodka, sambuca, Makers' Mark, Jack Daniels, and a bottle of wine on the way home - just for the craic! A recipe for vomit, unfortunately not, instead I woke up pissed on Saturday and not exactly in prime condition for my first golf competition - the legendary Elm Drive Open.
Packed into a car by 10am and onto the M1 I have to admit I was stuggling to keep it together and not relishing several miles of walking and hitting a little white ball into bushes. A can of Stella on arrival at Dave's parents gaff got a little colour back in the cheeks though, and despite still feeling a bit wobbly I walked onto the first tee and proudly hit a 5 iron about 75 yards into the rough.
The Elm Drive Open was first held twelve years ago and been a high point of the Silsoe social calendar ever since. With a range of skill levels on display the competition is decided on Stableford points allowing even the aspiring amateur like myself to have a vague chance of winning. My playing partners for the day were my home boys Dave 'The Terrier' Smith - a ruthless golfer who never lets his head drop. Tom 'Shotgun' Hoskin - a master with the Warthog 3 Wood but normally held back by some reckless putting, and Tim 'The Hustler' Lawrence - yet to display the talent that hides behind the perfectly formed swing.
Play was a little slow over the first few holes as we tried to find our feet on the extremely long course. Three holes in and the prospect of four more par fives was daunting to say the least. I managed to get into my stride with a few good drives and picked up 11 points around the front nine. The others were also getting into their stride by now with Dave nailing a drive which unfortunately hit a telephone wire crossing the fairway and both Tim and Tom showing some flair chipping around the greens.
By the 16th hole my head was pounding and I'd had enough of golf for the day. However, we trekked on in the increasingly frequent showers and finished the round feeling alright about ourselves and confident that we hadn't completely embarrassed outselves.
Post match analysis of the scores showed myself to be victorious with Dave 2nd, Tom 3rd and Tim bringing up the rear. A cracking day was had by all though, and once the buffet and beer came out at the pub any bad shots and disappointment were quickly forgotten.