In correspondence with one of my correspondents the other day, the subject of golf was raised. (There was a Herman Melville connection, with which I will not tax you.) This led me to recall a childhood memory, and I fired off an email as follows:
The only time in my life I ever played a round of golf was when I was eight years old. I was with a friend and his Scottish grandfather. My abiding memory of the adventure is that the grandfather whacked me on the elbow – hard – with his golf club. He insisted it was an accident. Hmm.
To which my correspondent replied:
Thanks for that piece of information – I am wondering whether the disclosure of the grandfather’s nationality is a mere embellishment, or actually a key detail of the tale.
Without giving the matter much, or indeed any, thought, I replied immediately to say that I thought the detail highly significant. I have never played golf again.
This is incredible.
Shortly after expressing my above sentiments, I was onboard a train to London … an elderly gentleman entered the carriage armed with a large golf club. He sat just next to me. Fearful with the above fresh in my mind, I did not ask for his regional heritage – and instead moved to another seat.