One of those posts with amusement ;
My father lives in Thailand, has done so for several years now. He came over for his once a year visit and whilst over, visited my sister in Hastings. So, my wife and I visited, and spent a few days by the seaside.
On one of those walks along the sea-front, the Crazy Golf loomed, and in Hastings, there are several versions. We opted for the original, and duly paid for 4 entries to this 18 hole challenge.
My father, sister, wife and myself, then found ourselves eyeing each up on the first tee. It was a moment where you wonder 'why have I done this...' and another where the image of 'this will be easy' suddenly starts to melt. Too much could go wrong... but the challenge is issued and you all have THE club in your hand.
The first hole, and noble acceptance of the pencil and scorecard meant I was able to hide myself away from going first. However, my father failed to realise this, and was suddenly upon the mat, ball at his feet. And so the match begun.. stroke play. No words had decided whether match play was even in contention, and those used to Crazy Golf understood it was always played stroke! We had begun...
That hole was the first of, 'you go next - you're nearest' and the other comments of 'is that my 5th?' all through the 18. The tricky designs of raised slopes, hazards and hitting the right approach all leant themselves to some nifty shots seen and some grinning faces. After the first few holes, my competitive edge relaxed. I had beaten the main worrying rivals, namely the women, by several shots. That cause of concern was gone, and any comments that could have been tricky were put to rest. However, the obstacle of my father remained.
After 6 holes, I was in a good place. The most taken were 3 shots, and I had duly completed the first hole in one out of the four of us. The scores, whilst not tallied, were ensuring I was leading and with the ideal setup of continuing every hole with 'your first Dad', I was enjoying being shown the best directional approach. It seemed I was going to enjoy a relatively easy victory over a man that used to toy with me in competitive games as a child. Now at 48 yrs, I was becoming triumphant and smug, toward a man in his eighties at the seaside.
Don't forget the attire... we're talking dress sense of the highest calibre. A man who has lived in Thailand where the temperature doesn't drop below 20 degrees and has the complete catalogue of every colour rainbows aspire to. The variation in short lengths match the hue and ambience of those colours, but today we were treated to the knee length variety and the footwear was second to none. Without a doubt, the sandalls worn could not have been found in any shop outlet within Europe. Such were the features and design of the sandall, the toes themselves were amused and weren't sure of the direction they were supposed to rest. The spectacle was exactly that... my old man. I had everything I could possibly want... the man was in my grasp.
If Chubby Brown had walked past, he would not have made as much impact. So, as we continued the game, the other seasiders were amused by the antics and friendly jibes we had through the remaining holes. Even the old tales resurfaced too, in some of those moments where the father attempts to embarrass the son, with stories of yesteryear and pre-80's clothing. Each memory dramatised a little more than last heard and told louder for others to enjoy.
The last few holes played out, and granted, things had not gone as simply as I had hoped. By the last hole, we had all enjoyed a hole in one. Such triumphs celebrated differently, as another player saw his ball wander off the hole and attempt to begin the next. The jibes continued, the mood still high, but my scores were now troubling me.
That final 19th, where you attempt to win another round by achieving the impossible...we all failed.
That lead us to sit by the nearest wooden bench and await my tallying of the 1's, 2's, 3's and are you sure's... My father scored a nifty 50... my sister hit the 64, with my wife happy to see a 62 and not be last. However, I was having problems counting my score... it seemed to go as high as 55. I recounted and the look on my face showed my father all he needed. Beaten again, by 5 shots, he then duly begins announcing his age to anyone who would listen. 82... 82 he told them and with my eyesight too... his ability to tell a story over all these years has never left him. However, like his stories... before we left the seaside that day, he had gained a 6 shot win... This was back in May, and I dread to think what the locals in Thailand believe the scores were now..
Suffice to say, I had to inform him of the only come back I could - in allowing him to win. It didn't wash obviously. He knew, and had the audacity to throw the comments back at me.. 'he allowed me to win did he.. like he allowed me to go first on every hole too'...
It wasn't the course that beat me that day... it was my 82yr old father.... bless ya Dad..