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 DR FELIX SHANK

Do you have a golf problem that’s keeping you awake at night?
Is there some aspect of your game that you simply can’t sort out?
Stop worrying because Dr Felix Shank, a more or less genuine expert on all aspects of the game, is here to help.
Illustrations by Tony Husband.

Through one of his many hangers-on, a very famous footballer, let’s call him Mr R, has let it be known that he wishes to join our golf club. Without putting too fine a point on it, we’re absolutely desperate for new members. However, this guy is a complete w****r and pretty well the last person we want in our club. The membership committee is split down the middle as to whether or not we should let him join. Ordinarily we would turn him down without a moment’s hesitation but many have made the point that his joining will attract an enormous amount of publicity, thus raising the profile of the club and almost certainly attracting more members.

S B PEMBLETON, MANCHESTER

Of course, having a famous footballer join your club would, as you rightly say, generate a great deal of publicity that would quite likely attract new members. However, think how much more publicity will be generated if you refuse him entry. Not only that but also potential members of the right sort, if you know what I mean, will be impressed that you had the courage to turn the w*****r away. And how appealing is it to be able to brag to your friends that you’re a member of the club that refused membership to Mr R?

I run a small pro-am that raises about £1500 annually for a worthwhile children’s charity. Every year Mr B, the managing director of our major sponsor, boasts that he’s a very close personal friend of Jack Nicklaus and that Jack would certainly come along and play if only I would take the trouble to invite him and mention Mr B’s name. When I suggest that he invite Jack himself, he claims to be too busy. The truth is he’s never even met Jack Nicklaus and the whole nonsense is simply to make him look important and incredibly well connected. Because he contributes quite a bit of money to the cause, I can’t tell Mr B to stop being such an a***-h***.

R LEVY, RADLETT

What you must do is create an email address such as Goldenbear18@ whatever.com and send an email to ‘Jack’ copied to Mr B explaining that you run a charity golf day and that an old friend of his, Mr B, has suggested that he might care to come along next year. In ‘Jack’s’ reply, copied to Mr B, he can say that, for their own peculiar reasons, a lot of sad people claim to know him but don’t and that Mr B, of whom he’s never heard, is one of them. Nevertheless, he should wish you the best of luck with your golf day and, to really rub Mr B’s nose in it, he could finish by inviting you to drop in “if ever you’re in North Palm Beach, Florida.”

I’m a tour operator who specialises in golf holidays. Part of my job is to check out various destinations, hotels and golf courses and every year I’m invited to go on several ‘familiarisation’ trips where I do just that. These are normally organised by the tourist board and involve travelling around and looking at the facilities of numerous hotels and golf courses. I normally stay in a different hotel every night and my problem is that each of them will present me with a large pack of information and very often a bottle of wine as well. At the end of the trip my suitcase is so heavy I can barely lift it but I don’t wish to insult my hosts by dumping their literature in the bin in my room. And what do I do with the wine which, because of the restrictions on carrying liquids, I can’t bring back on the plane anyway?

K HOWARD, MORECAMBE

You’re quite right, of course, it would be insulting to dump literature into the bin at the hotel who gave it to you. You must be a little more sensitive and subtle and dump it at the next hotel. So the literature at hotel A gets dumped at hotel B, the stuff from hotel B gets dumped at hotel C and so on. Because the hotels are almost certainly deadly rivals, they will probably interpret your behaviour as an indication of your disapproval of their competitor and support for them. The final hotel’s pack can be dumped at the airport. As for the wine, leave a bottle in each room as a ‘thank you’ to the chambermaid for clearing up the rubbish. Again move them on one hotel and give the last bottle as a tip to the taxi driver who takes you to the airport.

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine

 
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