By Clive Agran Whether it’s age, a lack of fish oil in the diet or too many late nights, I don’t know but the inescapable truth is that my memory, like my putting, is not as sharp as it once was. That’s why I frequently forget to pick up the club that I quite often leave lying by the side of the green and most rounds nowadays involve several stock-taking checks on which clubs are still in my bag, frequent attempts to recall when I last played whichever club appears to be missing and numerous walks back up the course to try and locate it.
Partly because I’m rarely able to remember when I last played a club and partly because it’s more likely to go missing when taken to the tee but discarded in favour of another, these searches don’t always result in a joyful reunion. Call it an ill wind if you like but the happy consequence of all this forgetfulness is that my bag has grown progressively lighter over the years.
Because I’m extremely fortunate to visit various delightful overseas’ destinations to write travel features, my penchant for losing clubs has an international dimension to it so that now only two continents – not including Antarctica – can’t claim to have at least one of my clubs.
What was originally a complete set of perfectly matching Cobra irons has, as a result of this war of attrition, been effectively reduced to a mere half-set. Even so, I was prepared to battle on bravely until the eight iron recently went missing in action. This was a particularly severe blow because the neighbouring seven and nine irons had already been inadvertently left behind in North Africa and South East Asia respectively.
A yawning gap has thus opened in my armoury which has left me devoid of options between a six iron and a wedge. In effect, I have nothing that could, on a good day at least, hit the ball between 90 and 155 yards and my previous fondness for short par threes has soured into an almost pathological hatred. Despite a huge reluctance to spend money it would appear that I shall have to buy a new set of irons unless, that is, there’s some generous soul out there with a spare set who feels sorry for a forgetful old hack.