St George's Hill
All names have been anonymised here to protect our identities. This has been achieved simply by having Anton hand write them.
Yup, that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up in this situation, the only player left with no points after a day's golf and stuck with writing the match report. Well the story all begins the night before...
Friday Night: Dalia
Friday nights in Oxford are a great chance to meet girls and make friends. Mine was no different. As I was getting ready for an early night before the early start, I noticed a rather strange email from Spotify Support. Apparently, the email address on my account had been changed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Confused, I managed to login to my account with Facebook (there are some perks for embracing our new overlords) and there she was, listening to a new playlist called "dalia 💙" on her LG phone.
Being eager to get to know and impress her with my taste in music, I had to come up with a plan. For those who don't know, Spotify has a feature where you can control the music on one device from another as long as they are logged in to the same account. With this in mind, I chose a song that I was sure would woo her, 3 Of A Kind's "Babycakes", and started playing it on her phone. After about 30 seconds, of what I can only assume was pure bliss on her end, she switched back to her playlist. Disaster.
I was not going to let myself get brushed aside like that though and so played "Babycakes" again, and again, and again on her phone. I must have gotten through because I found a message from her on my account:
"CAN YOU JUST LEAVE THE F*CK UP YOU ANNOYING ME"
That was my movie moment. That was when I knew that she was the one. We stayed up all night chatting, giggling and threatening to get the police involved if she did not get off my Spotify account - just the typical new couple stuff, really. After that, I couldn't sleep with all the excitement and butterflies.
Saturday: Golf, Lunch and Golf
The pickup time finally arrived and I made my way to the Lamb and Flag. My lack of sleep was concerning, but I remained in high spirits. This was would be a perfect opportunity to test out the most powerful stimulant known to OUGC, our recently created Eurotrash playlist. By the time we arrived at St George's Hill, I would surely have the energy levels of a child who has had one too many blue Smarties. Ben, my driver for the morning, rolled into the car park on time and I landed in the front seat. Things were most definitely on the up.
However, it was not long before it became obvious that the weekend's music struggle was not over. Almost as if it had been warned about the Eurotrash playlist, the car simply refused to pair with my phone. The Audi trotted out all the excuses that one would expect to hear from an unwilling partner: "Incorrect pin", "not while the car is moving" and "I have a headache". That was that, we were stuck enduring Ben's strange pre-teen pop. He swears it's his sister's collection. We believe you, Ben.
At St George's Hill, the coffee and bacon quickly put right what was wronged by Ben's music. The pairings were announced and I was energised by the prospect of my first match alongside the former host of the Thursday Morning Invitational, James.
James and I managed a solid start to the match and, with the help of a few unfortunate missed putts from our opponents, put ourselves 2up at the turn. In fact, Ian, my opposite number, had even threatened to laugh at a joke of mine, a rare sight indeed. It was very encouraging stuff. We continued playing well, but seemed unable to shake Ian and Richard from our rear-view mirror. So, there we were, 2up as we finished the 14th hole. With only 4 holes left, I caught myself thinking that this would almost certainly be a point and yet another week of not having to do the match report.
It is often hard to work out where a shank came from. For many they seem to appear from nowhere, much like Neil on a night out. In this case though, I think it is safe to say that it was the Golf Gods were spiting me for thinking the match was nearly wrapped up. That's how I found myself in the middle of the 15th fairway with a 4 iron in hand watching our ball sail into the woods. 1up.
The next hole was not much better and some faffing around near the green put us back to A/S. On 18, with our opponents short-sided whereas our own solid drive and approach meant that two putts would most likely clinch the match in our favour. After waving away some stern warnings from James about the speed of the putt, I stepped up and hit it. The quality of that putt is probably best summed up by the relief I felt when it did not finish in the bunker. We did not two putt. Needless to say, our opponents holed their 12-footer for par and the match.
The Lunch Speech Anton stood up, congratulated his own wonderful leadership skills, then sat down.
The Fat Driver
The afternoon saw me paired with our glorious leader himself, Anton. Since it was better-ball and only 9 hole matches, a good start was key. Anton stepped up first and hit a drive so wide that he had to pay export tax on it. Thanks, Brexit. But there was no issue since I had the tee next and, as long as I made a par, there would be no damage done.
You can get away with a lot in golf by holding your finish and pretending it was intentional. Taking a divot 6 inches before the ball with a driver, however, is not one of those times. No one seemed to buy my claims that I had been working on that shot with our coaches all week and instead just laughed at me.
Despite the first tee shots, the match ended up reasonably close and even included some drivers without divots from me. Tom and Miles, our opponents, put us to bed on the 8th green when I failed to hole my birdie putt.
There you go, that's the full story of how I scored the fewest points at St George's Hill.
Until next time.
PS: Oh yeah, OUGC won.
PPS: Dear Dalia I miss you 💙.