Monday, February 2, 2009

Dreamy days off in Cheltenham ...

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Amongst my recent acquisitions in the world of eBay postcards is this charming old view of one of the lakes in Pittville Park in Cheltenham.  I remember once or twice going out in a rowing boat on a Thursday.  The other thing that has just floated back into memory is the 'pitch and putt' golf course.  There was no history of golf in my family, rather the reverse: remorseless contempt for the game and its participants was the unkind & irrational pose adopted by both my parents.  As a rebellious adolescent, therefore, away from home for the first time, the Pittville 18-hole 'pitch and putt' course was an irresistible temptation & the first time I ever held a golf club.  

I was really not doing badly and was on the 18th tee in a near miraculous score only two or three over par.  For a first round, even on a pitch and putt that's pretty amazing. I then lost six balls in row (all I had or could afford) by shanking them into the lake.  The more I tried to correct it, the worse the shot.  I never finished the round.  It was to be twenty eight years until I held a golf club again and, if truth be told, unsurprisingly my game showed only modest improvement.  But then I don't really feel that archaeology and golf are natural bedfellows: I can't remember much enthusiam for the game at Crickley.  But then again, we scarcely needed exercise with all that digging.  And what does pickaxing do to your swing?

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