I’m a sports fan,
Watching it or taking part, I’m always up for a game of something. I don’t consider myself competitive but I enjoy the social aspect of it and the exercise you get with running round for a while. I also don’t have the drive to excel at any particular sport in general. I like to be proficient at whatever I play, just good enough, that if someone asks me for a game I can give them a run for their money.
Basketball, soccer, golf, tennis and swimming were my main sports growing up. At University, sport was put on the shelf to concentrate on beer and “social activities”. During my doctorate I got introduced to squash and have been playing it since. But out of all of these sports one moment stands out.
Picture the scene. I’m on the 18th hole of one of the best golf courses in Ireland, Adare Manor. It has been raining steadily for the last 17 holes but the clouds break and the sun comes out. I’ve been playing with my Dad (who’s since retired to the bar because of the wet weather) and my Uncle, who’s got a single figure handicap and knows how to use it.
I hit a perfect drive down the fairway and laid up to just before the river in front of the green. I hate playing over water in golf. Its like a huge ball magnet that just sucks them in. It’s like the barriers across skiing pistes to slow you down. No matter how much I want to avoid them I seem to be drawn to them. Anyway, the first two shots on this hole have gone according to plan and I’ve just got to make it across to the green in front of the magnificent manor house.
So I pull an eight iron from my bag and address the ball. Eyeing up the flag I decide not to hit it full ball, just to float it in there. I go through the motions and watch the ball fly away. I’d made a clean connection and watched in absolute amazement as it actually went where I had intended. It landed on the green about fifteen feet from the flag. I went on to three putt but I didn’t care.
The “soft eight iron” had made my day. It would have gone down in sporting history only no-one, save me, actually saw it happen. Their loss!