an Earl of a shot

Went straight down to the Old after a morning round on The Castle and had to run up to the first tee to meet my group. I was met by a beaming Californian chap who introduced himself as ‘Romaine as in the lettuce’. I smiled and said I was no good at remembering names but that I would not forget that one.
We were out with three other mellow chaps, Rick, Joe and Earl. They all hit very impressive shots down the first and could obviously play a bit.
I am out with two old hand caddies, Charlie and Alec, whom I have never met but look like they know their way round here. I could learn a bit today I thought. And I did. Romaine asked me on the fourth what the peculiar stone at the side of the fairway was. And I said I didn’t know, but luckily Charlie overheard and illuminated us. It is a march stone which delineates a boundary and there are several on the Old Course. They go back centuries and were used to divide the land for golfing and rabbit shooting.
Rick, an inquisitive attorney, asked Charlie if he had caddied here long. He said ’11 years and twenty five at Gleneagles’ and there was a slight pause and he added in his broad Scottish tongue ‘and a lot of Guinness under the bridge!’ We all chuckled. Then Rick asked me and I explained that it was my first year, but there had still been a lot of Guinness under the bridge.
Anyway it was a glorious afternoon and we all came to the great 17th tee which everyone wants to hit their best drive down. Romaine hit a beauty splitting the fairway. However Rick hit a terrible one which rebounded off the wall and went into the rough. This may have have affected Earl, for he hit the most incredible shot. It started off high and powerful going straight towards the hotel. Except it turned and missed it. But it missed on the right! It was last seen gaining height and going towards the Madras hockey pitches. He looked shocked and intimated that it could be dangerous, which I affirmed. However I could only think that it was one Earl of a shot and maybe the march stones were slightly misplaced.

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