What’s unusual about that?

Andrew Howells
5 min readFeb 23, 2024

Friendships and how to find them?

Confetti from last Saturday’s wedding

How often do unexpected happenings occur to us all? Before my new hip, I could guarantee at least one odd moment, every time I ventured onto the golf course.

Typically, on an average day the most likely oddity would be missing a 2 foot putt or laying up perfectly before the river, only to duff my next shot straight into it. All that care taken to try and avoid a penalty, completely undone.

The worst atrocity still etched deep, probably because there was an audience happened on the first tee. We’ve all been there and anyone who plays golf, knows exactly what I’m likely to say next.

I missed the ball so badly that finding it proved remarkably easy. After everyone else had played, they politely waited patiently while I walked to my ball, conveniently two yards in front of where I’d just been.

I desperately wanted to disappear or magically rewind time, oh for that minute back. Instead, I had the pleasure of playing again, hitting my second shot in the general direction of everyone else, almost certainly guaranteeing a horrible first hole and a big fat ugly number on my scorecard. Never mind, only 17 more to go.

I’ve only managed to be quite that unfortunate once at Ealing Golf Club so far. But hang on a minute. Aren’t I simply describing the occupational hazards of playing golf. It’s no more unexpected than playing tennis and serving up a double fault. In my experience, at least one a game on average and that was at the height of my abilities.

Before I became a member of Ealing, the club’s focus to encourage joining was a free round of golf and a reminder about the benefits of doing so. Most clubs do something similar, offering words of encouragement like, we’re a friendly bunch here, you won’t need to know anyone to get a game. I could go on with the platitudes.

They may all be true but none unfortunately come with any sort of guarantee. After all, you could be a moody old git who struggles to have a conversation with your wife, never mind fellow golfers, barely known. Or worse still, you inadvertently find a club as I did, (but didn’t join) which encourages lots of 2-balls, perfect if you already know lots of members, hopeless if you don’t.