So, before I get into lessons (yes or no), those of you who remember my prophetic meeting with an 18-year-old genius in Miami may recall that the trip included a 50-mile city trek to find a left-handed set of ladies’ clubs. The Boss (wife) had decreed: “I am also going to learn. You’re not leaving me every weekend to wander around enjoying yourself.”
Now, as this is a lady I once saw play tennis at Hampstead Park in London — in high heels (though that’s another story) — I took those words seriously. It was a fine set and bag of left-handed clubs. Why left-handed? As, for 40 years, the Boss — as she insists on being called — has done everything left-handed: tennis, table tennis, badminton, bowls, even monopoly! Which, I am aware, is a game not a sport but you haven’t seen her play.
The clubs and I arrive in Dubai and pass muster for colour, brand and general appearance. I am then told, “Why are you wasting time on the driving range with friends? We need to have lessons.”
Now, the Boss is/was a teacher and so I think lessons are just a ruse to keep a fellow teacher in employment: I have hit one ball magnificently and, as a man, I am sure I can now do that consistently. But, not wanting to (once again) be proven wrong, I book lessons.
The evening arrives and we’re a pretty sight new clubs, shoes all in order and I find we are working with a patient South African pro which is great as a patient South African is a find in itself! Brief introductions ensue and then I am ‘told’ and the Boss is ‘asked’ to model a stance and swing. Boss puts a ball on a tee, inside back foot, crouch, head still etc, etc and takes a swing and then my life changes.
Boss looks uncomfortable and said South African — instead of minding his own business — immediately says “try this”: yes, a right-handed club. Where was the attempt at coaching and training that I had paid for?
The Boss tries it, the ball goes at least 3ft further than the left-handed attempt and, all of a sudden, questions of “Why did you buy left handed?” are heard before I can drop my club and move swiftly across the range. Boss gives ‘the look’ and points at me. My blood runs cold. I look behind me: there is no one there! Panic sets in and, before you know it, right-handed is the new norm and I am told to remain at the far corner of the range where the wild cats roam.
No husbands were hurt in telling this story as I did manage to quickly sell said offensive leftie clubs and buy a right-handed set. The Boss had little time to practise as work took over her life so peace resumed. But, murmurings have been heard lately that the left-handed set probably wasn’t such an issue and the seller acted hastily.
Mark Mortimer-Davies is a proud Welshman, UAE resident since 1999 and golfer for eight years