This story is part of our 'Embarrassing Golf Stories' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our travel writing competition.
Photo by Special KRB.
As our taxi wound down the hillside, we could see the hotel complex from different perspectives, each more enchanting than the previous. Magenta, blue and flamingo-pink flowers were vivid against the white walls of the buildings. Around the crystal-blue pool was what looked like a field of opened sun umbrellas, their frills swaying in the breeze, a stretch of pale sand and then the sea. And, of course, appended to this idyll, was the golf course - green, lush and beautifully maintained. Toby couldn’t keep his eyes off it.
The reception area was cool and we checked-in without any fuss. While I explored every aspect of our room, from the curtains that billowed through the French doors, to the citrus-scented toiletries and the crisp bed sheets, Toby was putting his golf trousers in the trouser-press and turning on the shower. We were in a hurry, he told me, to get to dinner with his golfing buddies and their WAGs to talk tactics for tomorrow’s game.
"Don’t forget," he shouted from the bathroom. "Other halves always caddy for the first game of the holiday. It’s tradition." I didn’t like the sound of that.
The buffet was laden with dishes created using local produce. Ripe tomatoes and onions doused in olive oil and festooned with basil; breads; meats and silver-hued fish. And then there were the desserts. I enjoyed every mouthful, except those I choked on when I was asked to give an opinion on which club to use for which position the ball had landed in.
That would probably have been enough to ostracise me from Toby and the whole group but worse was to come. Breakfast on the terrace could have been wonderful. Each table was decorated with a spray of purple bougainvillea and there were fruits, cheeses and eggs to linger over, but not for us. We had to get to the first tee at exactly eight fourteen.
Toby sliced a shot into the undergrowth and blamed me for handing him the incorrect club. I was mortified as he raged about this having wrecked his chances of winning. I ran into the bushes to look for his ball and was sidetracked by piles of what looked like currants lying on the ground. I found a ball, which I thought was Toby’s, and triumphantly bore it back to him along with a handful of the currants.
"Look at these," I said. "I didn’t know currants grew here."
Toby’s red face turned puce. "They," he said between clenched teeth. "are not currants. They are rabbit droppings. And that is not my ball."
I wasn’t upset when we got home and Toby dumped me, but I surprised myself by missing all the talk of golf. To get the game out of my system, I booked a couple of lessons with a pro who taught me to enjoy the game without taking it too seriously. He’s taking me back to the same hotel this year to show me what a golfing holiday should be like.