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matchplay

I’ve given you the ENTIRE month – so why won’t you play?

Nothing can test our Angry Club Golfer’s patience more than the utter rigmarole of trying to organise a matchplay contest
 

The winter matchplay is in full swing at my club but I haven’t teed it up in this kind of combat for quite a while.

That is actually a cause of much grief. I love matchplay. I revel in the process of psychologically dismantling an opponent over 18 brief holes, of applying pressure with a series of well-struck shots and watching them crumble into some pitiful submissive mess.

That’s how it’s supposed to happen.

For when I wasn’t getting my backside handed to me by a 26-handicapper – who hasn’t heard the familiar refrain of ‘I’ve never played this well before’? – I was caught in the maddening fury of trying to synchronise calendars.

It was that, much more than watching the guy masquerading off high digits reducing a par 5 to a drive and a 9-iron, that sent me over the edge.

[skylab_video id=”132865″]Angry Club Golfer: I’ve given you 20 dates. Why won’t you play?[/skylab_video]

But for those of you wondering what I’m blathering on about, you should recognise the following scenario…

“Hello?”

“Yes, hello. I’ve drawn you in the matchplay and I’m just ringing to get a date sorted.”

“Great, when did you have in mind?”

“I’m pretty flexible for the rest of the month, as it happens, and there’s just one day that I really cannot do. It’s two weeks on Friday.”

“Now, that’s a bit tricky because I think that’s the only day I can do.”

“What do you mean? I’ve basically just given you the ENTIRE month.”

“Yeah, sorry about that but it’s the only date I can make.”

“So let me get this straight – the only day I CAN’T do is the only day you CAN?’

What I should have done at this point is tell them it’s 7-irons at dawn and slam the phone down.

I know as long as I’m on the 1st tee at 4pm on deadline day that we’re either going to have a game or I’m going to be running back into the clubhouse at 4.01 to scrub their name off the board like I’m Norman Bates and Marion Crane is in the shower.

But that fiend on the other end of the line was trying to goad me, to own me, and it doesn’t take much to transform me into a pressure cooker that’s about to go off.

So I’d tell them. You can shove the game right where the sun doesn’t shine. I’d be out of the matchplay but, for the briefest of seconds, I’d feel fractionally better. Joke’s on you, pal.

Then I’d realise, I had to sort the pairs as well…

Do you have a hard time organising matchplay rounds? Or are you someone who MAKES it difficult. Let our Angry Club Golfer know in the comments below or on Twitter.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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