Wednesday, 14 April 2021


Image courtesy Liveabout

This blog has been a bit neglected of late, as I've been meeting a deadline for a research submission. That's done, so now I can concentrate on more essential activities. 

 Many of my friends and acquaintances play this strange game which requires them to buy lots of gear and lump it around for an hour or two, chasing a strange little dimpled ball that doesn't bounce very well and is easy to lose. 

 Some of them have even spent an arm and a leg on battery-powered mobility devices which remove the only rational reason to play the silly game - that of getting some exercise. I played golf once - or to be more accurate a couple of times. 

My eye-hand coordination has never been great and combined with clubs that are too long, a ball that is too small, and a tiny sweet spot on the end of said club, it's not my game. 

 The last time I played a round of golf (I think it's called a "round") was in Mount Isa in 1994. There used to be a pretty good course in the Isa, kept beautifully green (if a little on the nose) by recycled sewage. They have a website, so it's still there. 

The occasion was the North-West Region Principals' conference and the three-day formal proceedings were rounded off with a golf competition. I attended in my capacity as a member of the regional administrative team and was expected to front up at the clubhouse like everybody else. I cast around desperately to find an excuse to give the competition a miss but was unsuccessful. 

Given that I was the first to tee off, and did so in front of the assembled principals from all North-West schools, I was determined to avoid an air swing. In that I was successful. Club struck ball with a satisfying "thwack", and the ball went straight down the middle of the fairway. Unfortunately, so did the club (It was called a "driver" by the way - I know this stuff). It was a warm afternoon, and my hands were sweating. The driver did a slow and graceful loop and finished up a few metres above the ground in a eucalypt. I can't actually remember where the ball finished up, but I got a round of applause when I climbed the tree and retrieved the club from one of the lower branches. 

 I had hoped the incident (witnessed by about thirty people) had been forgotten. 

Not so. 

When I was appointed to a principal's job in Toowoomba in 1996, I continued to attend principals' conferences. At one, (in 2003 from memory) I was greeted by a colleague who like me, had made the journey south and was now working in Dalby. 

He greeted me with "Gidday, Bob - How's the golf?" This was nine years after the event. I had obviously made a deep and lasting impression.

 I did play golf a bit in the North-west. Night golf at Windorah was interesting. The wallabies come out at night, and even though the ball was visible on account of a little glowing plug inserted through it, the wallabies weren't. 

I can't remember what the penalty was for a wallaby strike...

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