Kissing the captain’s balls

I have been woefully involved in this year’s R&A Autumn Meeting. Not that I am a member of the club of course, but as a caddie I am able to participate in the ‘driving in’ of the new captain when, as he hits his ball off the 1st tee of the Old, local caddies try to catch it and win a gold sovereign.

Trouble is this year I totally forgot and I was sitting in my bed at 8am with my coffee and seeking inspiration of a literary kind when I heard a loud bang go off, as the cannon accompanied the captain’s drive.

Damn, there’s a fat chance of me catching the captains ball sitting in my bed. I was pretty annoyed with myself and thought of Oliver Horowitz, my caddie writing nemesis, who would never have allowed such a slip to happen. He has won it on three occasions. I suppose that’s why his book got on the New York Best Sellers List and I’m a 15 hit a day blogger.

I didn’t play in the annual R&A town match either, in which members of the ancient club take on the town ie members of the New and St Andrews clubs. No, I was too late to get my name down on the list for this amazing sporting encounter, in which 792 competitors took part this year!

This involves a two ball format, lots of shuffling between the three clubhouses for lunch and drinks. A most merry gathering altogether and a bit of a score if you get invited into the R&A clubhouse for your meal and an opportunity for a stab at their famously well discounted wine list, en primeur!

I did, however, caddie in the R&A mixed foursomes at the weekend which is a great fun event held at the Castle. Many hungover gentlemen play with their wives and other women from up and down the country and indeed from across the world, in this keenly contested competition which concludes the R&A autumn fortnight.

I caddied for a lovely lass, Claire from Sunningdale, who accompanied new R&A member James from Ganton, in Yorkshire. He was telling me how he had just become a member and was duly inaugurated at the dinner the previous evening in the tradition of kissing the captain’s balls.

It does strike me that the captain’s balls play a rather significant role in the R&A Autumn meeting, but I must say I’m up for catching rather than kissing. All day actually.

If I can get out of bed that is.

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