Caught red-handed

by Richard English

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 Zone 41.


There are some who claim that golf is an obsession; that golfers think of nothing but golf; that they would never let anything get in the way of a game of golf. Golf, in short, is a disease for which there is no cure. But I have to tell you that this is not true.

Yes, I enjoy golf. Yes I play it fairly frequently, but I can take it or leave it. So when Stephanie, the latest and most significantly attractive applicant for long term rental of the English marital bed, announced that she, along with her sister, intended to visit an open air modern art exhibition to be held in the gardens of a local stately home, I was quite prepared to let them do so. Each to his own, I always believe.

"And you’ll join us, won’t you?" asked Stephanie in a tone whose undercurrent was clear. If I wanted that marital bed-sharing to proceed to its next stage I had better say yes.

"Yes", I said.

So we parked up and joined the throngs waiting to admire the best and brightest of modern art from Bell, Trevor through to Williams, Kyffin by way of Kossoff, Leon and Mcale Magda, while considering which of the two lunchtime instructional lectures – either "Wild colours: Fauvism and Expressionism" or "Chromophobia: ten years on" we should attend. Stephanie and her sister had decided to attend the "Chromophobia: ten years on" one and I, partly, but not entirely, because I didn’t know what chromophobia was, announced that I would attend the other lecture and would meet them both outside their lecture room once the lecture had finished.

That gave just four hours to wander around the exhibition and attend the lectures and that was plenty of time for me to unload my clubs from the boot of the car, cross the road to my club and play a rapid nine holes and finish with a pint in the clubhouse afterwards. Which is what I did before sauntering back to the lecture theatre.

The fault was, I confess, my own. I was not really thinking straight. But one gets used to hauling a golf trolley around and, having taken a more direct route back, I didn’t walk past the car or that might have reminded me. But the expression on Stephanie’s face when she followed the line of my arm, to my hand, and on to the golf trolley was enough to tell me that the bed-sharing arrangements, if not cancelled, were very definitely postponed.

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