Caught out by a professional

by Jamie Gallant

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 Mike Brown.


During the summer of 1990, I went on a Pontin’s holiday with my parents. As an eighteen year old, I was full of bravado and more than willing to take on any challenges laid down to me.

I entered a snooker competition at the holiday camp and, although I was no good at snooker, I managed to fluke my way to the final, which I then lost.

En route to the final, I knocked out a man called Nick in the semi-final, who I understood was the favourite for the tournament. He complimented me on my snooker skills, and I made up a story that I was thinking of taking up snooker professionally one day. Either that or golf (which I had only played a couple of times at a local pitch and putt). Nick told me he would be happy to play against me, one on one, at the local golf course. I, of course, took up the offer.

We arrived the next day at the local golf course, and needless to say, I maligned every hole, taking well over 12 shots to putt the ball each time. What made it worse was that I found that the Nick I knocked out the previous day was actually Zimbabwean golf professional Nick Price. He was at the camp for a few days teaching golf to whoever was interested. He thought the whole situation was hilarious and had guessed I was spinning yarns. Nonetheless it was embarrassing for me, and I still cringe at the memory even now.

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