Something happened to me the other day that has never happened before: I won at something that involved some kind of physical skill! I have been waiting for this day a long time.
I was rubbish at all sport at school but despite this I have always held onto the remote hope that one day I would discover something that I was naturally good at. At the age of 41 I have finally found the Holy Grail; the ‘sport’ that I find myself in perfect tune with is… crazy golf.
I know what you’re thinking, crazy golf isn’t a sport. Well let me tell you, this was not just normal crazy golf with windmills and all that frivolous nonsense; this was pirate crazy golf – a completely different kettle of cuttlefish. It would seem that while not pillaging, looting and walking the plank, pirates love nothing more than 18 holes of potting balls through sea serpents, rolling them around barrels or risking certain death (well potentially losing a ball or two) over a raging rapid (small water trough). Yes, I have found my sporting mojo – the dream is now a reality!
I discovered my natural talent at Pirate Island Golf in Castleford. Some may say that crazy golf, even pirate crazy golf, is for kids. My husband and I did not subscribe to that theory. Yes, we took the girls along but did we make allowances? Did we throw our own shots so they would win? Did we help them take their shots? As if – we were playing for glory! Did we laugh at them when we were rubbish? Hell yes (see this video clip for the evidence!)
It turned out that one daughter, The Elder, was quite good but a complete cheat, and the other completely useless but didn’t care. Neither will become professional golfers but they did show an aptitude for hockey in their style of stroke. The Elder was out to win, The Younger was just in it for fun. And to take the odd put at her sister’s ankle with a mini golf club.
We allowed the girls to take their shots first. We hoped that this demonstrated to our fellow golfing parents that we were letting them go first to allow them to shine. We were not. We were sussing out our strategy for the holes and letting them make all the mistakes first. My husband even ‘helped’ them with their shots in order to get some practice in until I sussed what he was doing and put a stop to that. The tactic of opting to go last backfired somewhat on me however. There were 4 of us and only 3 in the group behind. This meant that they had finished theirs and had to wait for us every time. Taking the last shot meant that I was under pressure at every hole, every move scrutinised by a tough audience of 2 parents and a 3 year old. Did I crumble under such pressure? I did not Cap’n.
After 36 holes (yes, we did both courses – I was on a roll) in the rain, battling with the 8 year old about what score to record (“why would you put 7, I totally did it in 4!!!”) at each hole I was crowned victorious in the first game and Himself was the winner of the second. (Actually I came joint first with The Elder but as she cheated I awarded it to me). We let them down gently though, allowing them a bite each of the giant chocolate coin (aka medal) we bought ourselves afterwards for winning. They took it fairly well.
Pirate Island Golf was fab – great courses, lots of fun and even cool little rafts to move between different holes. I’d definitely go again, but next time I’ll take children who haven’t been before- I’ll have even more of an advantage then!