Mark Townsend: Golf course closed? I’d ring round to see if anywhere was open, if not I’d tidy the garden while listening to house music. A nice juxtaposition of old man meets young, thrusting buck.
Dan Murphy: On the one hand, it’s been planned in, you’re out, it’s your quality time, you’re not expected elsewhere. On the other, you really are just standing around sipping coffee, talking about sport and wafting putters in the pro shop. You really ought to go home and use the time constructively.
Mark Townsend: I would just go home and seek some sympathy. And then drop it in to every conversation possible that I missed out and am still owed some ‘me time’. And get back to the garden and Larry Levan.
Dan Murphy: Yes, there’s a lot to be said for playing the martyr. I find if you rehearse on the way home you can get just the right tone.
Mark Townsend: “Oh, it doesn’t matter, there’ll be other times.” Then stare into her soul to gauge her reaction. If there’s no sign of a re-scheduled round within 45 minutes then create an argument from nothing and sulk (in the garden).
Dan Murphy: A couple of years ago I was playing at Seacroft on a day like this. We drove through 100 miles of snowy fields and obviously once we got to Skegness it was clear and we could play. But it was freezing. We were playing with a lad who was an occasional golfer and all he had was a jumper and one of those old windcheater tops we all used to think were great back in the 90s. You have never seen anyone so cold.
Alex Perry: I played golf with Mark in Lapland.
Dan Murphy: Back in the day, I was that person who eventually wore down the greens chairman until he said people could go and play if they really wanted to. There’s no way I’d be bothered now. I’m not that guy any more.
Steve Carroll: Rage against the dying of the light.
Golf course closed? Now what?
Dan Murphy: Given you are at the club, with your competitive juices flowing, a trip to the snooker room is surely the only option?
Alex Perry: Yes, that’s what I need – another sport where I’m awful at getting the ball in the hole.
Mark Townsend: Snooker is brilliant to watch, an abomination to play. I’ve spent far too much time in the golf club snooker room trying to compile a break of more than three colours. Before then consoling myself that I’m ‘canny’ and sending the white back down to the baulk cushion wherever possible. And then losing 33-28.
Alex Perry: I’m good at pool and awful at snooker.
Mark Townsend: Everyone is good at pool and awful at snooker. My mum, who is 82 and can’t walk, is good at pool and awful at snooker.
Alex Perry: What’s your highest break?
Mark Townsend: My general rule of thumb of trying to calculate someone’s actual highest break is to divide it by five and take away four. And a miss.
Alex Perry: Like bowling.
Mark Townsend: Thinking about it if golf was cancelled 10-pin bowling would be the perfect substitute. Five frames, two hours, drink some carbonated muck, moan about the size of the finger holes and go home.
Alex Perry: You don’t have your own bowling ball?
Mark Townsend: Should do, could have gone pro.
Steve Carroll: I’m a league snooker player.
Mark Townsend: Do you want a biscuit?
Steve Carroll: How about a frame?
Mark Townsend: 10-pin bowling? Yes. Watching you amass a break of 12 while overly chalking your cue and complaining about non-existent kicks? No thanks.
Steve Carroll: I’ll pass on the bowling, thanks. I wear enough silly shoes out on the course.
Alex Perry: And off it.
Mark Townsend: Three frames of 10-pin bowling and whatever the total difference in points is the start for three frames of snooker? Loser buys lunch.
Alex Perry: One of the things that makes me saddest about my life is how infrequently I go bowling.
Mark Townsend: I pine for the days of afternoons lost with my large and natty shoes.
Alex Perry: 1997 was probably my best year for bowling. Basket of chicken and chips, bucket of coke and three frames for £5.
Mark Townsend: I was more of a 2002 kind of guy. I joined a gym upstairs in Finsbury Park just to give me an excuse for a midweek singleton bowl. Paid off when I set PB after PB, and developed a drink problem.
Alex Perry: When I show up to a golf club wanting to play golf only to find out I can’t play golf, all of a sudden the last thing I want to do is play golf. “Range is open.” Yes, mate. So is ‘Hollywood Bowl’.
Mark Townsend: ‘Alley Cats’.
Alex Perry: ‘Livin’ on a Spare’.
Mark Townsend: ‘No Pin Intended’.
Dan Murphy: So have we come to the conclusion that, should we show up at the club to find the course closed, we wouldn’t actually go and work on our game on the range?
Steve Carroll: If football was cancelled we didn’t go and do kick ups in the car park. We went and had a full English at a local cafe.
Alex Perry: One thing’s for sure, we wouldn’t be having this discussion if we worked for National Club Bowler.
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