If yo’ve watched, well, pretty much any little film I’ve made since Pip was big enough to sit up, you’ll have seen our tiny boy playing golf, or hockey, or some substitute using the camping mallet, a sturdy looking piece of Duplo, train tracks, or a table tennis bat found goodness knows where during a big clear out.
I can (happily) be 100% certain that my son was not born with a golf club or a hockey stick in his hand, but given half a chance I’m sure he’d have figured something out.
He is entirely his Daddy’s boy when it comes to sporting ability. The nicest thing my school reports ever said about competitive sport and me was that I played with enthusiasm, and I had a habit of ending up in the distance events in inter-house athletics, my chief merit being that I actually finished, and to be fair to the house sports captain, I did usually end up sixth out of eight because a couple of people would drop out half way round, not wanting to be seen coming in in the second half in front of all the boys (ah the joys of the teenage years). John on the other hand has never met a sport he didn’t like, and that includes competitive tiddlywinks.
Ever since he could toddle off to the cupboard to rescue one of John’s hockey sticks or golf clubs we’ve found him winding up for his biggest swing while standing perilously close to one sister and aiming at the other. He has a mini hockey stick that used to belong to his auntie that he adores, and inherited a tiny golf set that was given to Kitty when we went on holiday to Spain with John’s parents. He’s got a decent swing and gives the ball a fair wallop most times but he’s almost always using the back of the stick. All hockey sticks are right handed, and Kitty’s golf clubs are, but whether Pip is left handed, or just not figured out right handed yet, he’s fairly consistent in trying to swing left handed.
Which is what made his Christmas present from his Grandad just perfect; a tiny left handed golf club.
Fortunately Grandma’s lounge survived his first attempts at trying it out on wrapping paper and other people’s Christmas presents, and one of the afternoons we were up in Yorkshire was sunny enough to let him loose in the garden.
And wow what a difference it makes. Suddenly his brilliantly orange golf ball was scooting across the garden, soaring a foot or so above the ground every few goes.
I tried to learn how to play golf for a little while. I could get my head around the rules and tactics, I just couldn’t hit the ball more than 50 yards regardless of club, and only got it into the air occasionally, which means that at two and nearly a half, Pip is officially better at golf than me. It was never going to take very long!
I love how intense his concentration is in all of these photos; he was having the most wonderful time, protested wildly when we said it was time to go back indoors, and was very bemused when we “lost’ his club for the evening, but in not one single photos is he actually smiling.
It’s been far too wet to play in the garden since we got home; our lawn is close to resembling a quagmire at this stage of the winter, but hopefully before too long he can be out in our garden. No matter how many times we’ve tried to rescue all of the golf balls from our garden, every time he goes out there he finds another, to the point that I’m starting to suspect that he has a secret stash, to be retrieved while our attention is with Kitty and Elma, while he takes careful aim at the windows.
Given the front door, the dining room window and the dart-meets-radiator incident from her son, my mother in law would definitely consider that karma.