Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mixed Fortunes

Why don't men want to play golf with women? When Nicky Rose and I decided to try having some mixed events in winter, really just for the fun of it as well as to re-introduce more mixed golf, I sensed an undercurrent of doubt about the idea from many men.

I googled the topic and first up was this analysis of why women don't want to play with men; and a link to the opposite. The answers seemed to be a mixture of confidence (or lack thereof), chauvinism and the need to bond.

But fortunately enough people didn't think about the analysis and turned up to play at our first mixed greensome: we had sixteen, eight men and eight women (plus, to show that we are enlightened at Bamburgh with more men than women wanting to play, a first reserve in Chris Magnay). This perfect equally matched grouping of four fourballs was unplanned - we had just invited people to turn up - but as with the unexpected calm and sunny weather must be an omen to have more of these events.

We'd decided on greensomes to take some pressure off - it was meant to be a fun event - and to introduce some tactics. It meant some pretty complex handicap arrangements and team selections with scissors, paper and rulers. But eventually we played. My group was Margaret Heatley and myself with Phil McDonnell and Nicky Rose. Phil's perceptions of women's golf were transformed by Nicky's near flawless play; I noted he was playing second shots from places he'd never been before; in return he suggested that in future the men's section should follow the ladies' example of having a Captain who could actually play. (This was after we'd got a birdie on the 17th, but admittedly it was also after I'd put my drive into the field).
The results were fairly close, but there was a tie for first place (a creditable 42 points). I'm not sure if it was co-incidence or synchronicity that the two couples who wanted to play as a couple were the two with the best result. It will need more experience to decide whether marriage is the best indicator of victory. But although the prizes could be, and were, easily split equally we needed a way to decide who had won this first event.
Rock paper scissors was the obvious answer. Keith Whitfield seemed unwilling to use this as a way of replacing countbacks in future, but it achieved a result. Gary Graham had the necessary talent. In case it does become widely used in future, here's a guide on how to win. As with golf, the more you practice the luckier you'll get.

The event went well, and congratulations to Gary and Carol Graham and John and Helen Payne for their wins. We have another - again, greensomes stableford - on Sunday 19th December, first tee time at 9.30. There's also a Christmas lunch at the club that day. And we think we'll arrange one in each of January, February and March.

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