Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stratospheric golf

My aunt Nancy Smith in Sydney reads this blog, and she's a keen golfer, like her husband Peter. (The adjective "keen" is a pale approximation for the word I really want: something more like "addicted" or "religious". Maybe Nancy herself will tell me the right word.) Now, I know that the stratospheric privilege for a golfer is to play at Saint Andrews in Scotland, where the game was invented. It's a truly fabulous place: a kind of earthly paradise for golfers... but also a splendid university city, which charmed me immensely back in the 1970s when I was writing my guidebook on Britain.

Getting back to Nancy and her favorite sport, I'm aware that she goes on regular excursions with her husband and friends to exotic faraway golfing places. Well, I've found them a fabulous place for their next outing, in South America, at an altitude of 3,292 meters.

Knowing the physical form of Nancy (an Irish Walker/Kennedy descendant, like me), I reckon she would thrash these Bolivian ladies.

It's marvelously funny (or maybe funnily marvelous) that the universe is full of so many injustices that deserve to be bashed, thrashed and hit on their silly heads by powerful clubs... and yet we prefer to mete out this punishment to poor innocent golf balls. I retain in mind the surrealist image (fuzzy anecdote related to me by my cousin Peter Hakewill) of my dear mother Kath Walker once driving into a cane toad with a wedgie...

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