Jimmy Ryan met me on the tee of The New yesterday, 72 years old and full of gusto. We got on famously from the first fairway as we got talking about Guinness and Galway women. He told me his campfire story of how he walked into the Bunch of Grapes pub in Galway Town, the day before the oyster festival 17 years ago, and set eyes upon this lady and said to himself ‘there is the future Mrs Ryan’. And it was.
Jimmy is playing with Brian who is a looming six feet seven and just retired from being the State Chief of Police. He turns out to be a most witty and decent bloke too. The guys are here for a few days and playing the Old, the New and Kingsbarns. They are comfortably parked up in The Scores Hotel with a bottle of Aberlour in their room and have decided that ‘a wee dram’ is a very fine thing indeed.
I am out with a fellow caddie, young Tom who has got the most wonderfully broad Lancashire (I think) accent and is great company.
So this turns out to be an almost perfect round as the chat was great and it didn’t rain and the guys played well. The only blemish was when I knocked over Brian’s beer on the 10th tee and I must admit that I’ve never moved so quickly before. However, you don’t get to be the State Chief of Police for nothing and this didn’t go unnoticed. And I suppose, luckily. we were on very good terms by then. Holding it, he wryly said to Jimmy ‘you hit first as my beer has to settle’- it did have a fair froth.
Turns out Jimmy owns a marina in New Jersey and Brian parks up his boat there. I’m just wondering if I pitch up if I’ll be welcomed on for a beer.
No spillage of course. As you know I’m a fair sea hand now. Just not so great on terra firma.