Quirky wee traditions

I love the little traditions that are passed down the ages, or not so, in some Golf Clubs.
Now take the marvellous ‘playing-in’ of the new Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. At dawn on a late September morning you will see hundreds of well attired gents and lassies meander down to the first tee of The Old Course, and some chap manouvering a cannon alongside. Yes a cannon.
The tradition goes that the new Captain, on the firing of the said cannon, hits a drive off the first of The Old and all the local caddies make a mad scramble for the ball. The prize for the caddie who manages to retrieve it is a gold sovereign, while the new Captain ‘wins’ the Silver Club and the Adelaide Medal for his one shot. Excellent stuff.
On the one occasion I took part I had a run in with Oliver Horowitz (‘An American Caddie in St Andrews’), as he half stopped it off a good drive, and we both sprinted like madmen over thirty yards. Unfortunately, Oliver’s youth and athletic prowess got the better of me and I slipped and ended up flat on my back. It caused much amusement to The R@A contingent as they thought I’d ended up in The Swilken Burn. I seemingly just disappeared!
Now, my old Club in Edinburgh, Mortonhall, has the Dewar Hill Race as quite a unique tradition. In essence, there is a hill outside our clubhouse (quite a large and steep hill I may add), and the idea is to run with one club up this hill, to what used to be the old 18th tee, and then hit down towards the clubhouse and finish the hole in the best time and least shots. We ran it as part of our Centenary celebrations and there were many willing participants and amused, champagne quaffing, onlookers. It was great fun. I came second (again!). And of course, it had to be Keith McCall (our only R@A member!) who beat me.
I tried to inaugurate the event as an annual one. However, this never materialized. Shame but hey ho. And it now looks I will have to wait an awfully long time to avenge this defeat.
I wonder where they store that cannon ?

Russian party and meeting Tim of Golf Punk

What a glorious day we had yesterday at The Castle and especially for our party of Russian visitors, from Moscow, who had brought a Golf Punk film crew alongside. Why not? I know that when I did the golf tourism bit, it went down a storm as we video’d a group of well heeled Swiss gents. It’s great to capture the special moments of a tour on film, savoury and not so. Mind you one of our guys drove the 18th green on The Old and I’m sure he will thank us to eternity for capturing that on film. Mind you we had to mock up the ball rolling onto the green as, early one September morning I threw a ball from forty yards off, which rolled up the valley of sin to twenty five feet. However it did the trick!
Now I was impressed by the Golf Punk crew. A bunch of good blokes with a great sense of fun and love of the game. And I’m sure they will go far, especially with the name ‘Golf Punk’ itself. However, I discovered that the company was formerly established in the name of ‘Keep Yourself Nice Ltd’. Now that is just sheer class. These guys are going to break down barriers in a world which needs it. It reminds me when I had a small skiing company which we called ‘The Big Fun Company’. Kind of gives an idea of what you’re about. And by God we did.
Anyway I caddied for Steve a lovely hedge fund manager who played with the gusto of the late Severiano Ballesteros and made for an entertaining and enjoyable round. He was massively energized and would shout and punch the air in ecstasy. It’s great to see someone visibly enjoy their golf so much.
Yes we need more energy in the game. Welcome Golf Punk.

54 seconds from first tee on The Old

Yes that’s the distance of my wee studio from work. Have finally managed to rent accomodation in St Andrews!
It’s like gold dust round here. It’s all students seem to talk about and do for that matter and it makes for a very vibrant property market indeed.
The kilted caddie cottage is presently being renovated and I have learnt more about building than I care to know. I have been through two builders (not physically) and now know a good joist, how to fill a skip and prop a load bearing wall.
I can now rest in peace and get into a routine with caddying and blogging and yes, will have a kitchen should I get onto ‘Come dine with me’.

A cold day for shorts

Yes, I was out yesterday in my shorts as the kilt was in for dry cleaning and I should get my legs acclimatised after a winter under cover.
This, however, caused some amazement to our four Taiwanese visitors who were looking in disbelief at my attire. They were heavily wrapped up and asking for hand warmers and wondering if an April golf vacation to Scotland was indeed wise.
We got to the fourth and one of the Taiwanese gentlemen started massaging my legs, which was very nice but would have been more appreciated had it been given by a member of the opposite sex. Jack then took a turn and said ‘you very strong’ which again was not unappreciated.
Maybe I should go on the ladies’ tour ?