I often go to Edinburgh at this time of year as it’s quiet on the caddying front and I like to breeze around Morningside and Bruntsfield and pop into a little butchers shop, which is a must do for all golf afficiandos or all golf afficiandos who enjoy a hearty dose of Scottish crack and the best steak pie in town.
For Wm Christie and Sons, opposite Montpeliers, is run by the two incredibly cheery, cheeky grinned brothers Angus and Bob who are huge fun and the font of many of my golfing anecdotes. These guys have their noses very close to the ground for the latest gossip on and off the course. I noticed a copy of the obituary of the late eminent Scottish golf writer, Ian Wood, on the wall, and it turns out he was a regular here.
Angus and Bob play their golf down at Dunbar, while also being involved with the marvellous Bruntsfield Links short hole course a few minutes away on the edge of the Meadows. This is said to be ‘one of the oldest sites of golf and pre-dates the seventeenth century’. (So I am taking a stab that this is 16th century stuff). Anyway it’s bang in the centre of Edinburgh, you can pick up clubs for hire at the historic and iconic Golf Tavern and it’s free golf, if not free beer.
Angus was telling me (amongst other things involving a convoluted, but interesting story about Nick Faldo and his wife being taught fly fishing with Dr Love down at Drem!) about a Chinese shank, which turns out not to be a side of pork, but a golf shot and a rather poor golf shot at that. Seemingly, this visitor chap from Shanghai, was playing Duddingston and managed to hit his first tee shot very poorly. In fact so poorly, that the ball was propelled at 90 degrees back through his legs, along the ground (fortunately), and ended up on the adjacent 18th green about 20 feet from the pin. The Club Steward witnessed this and shouted out of the window with seemingly excellent timing, ‘if you hole that you are round in two!’.
Fantastic. Scottish humour. Made from girders.
ps of course our purists will be saying that it should be ‘ears close to the ground’, however I am firmly of the opinion that butchers would rather be keeping their noses there.