Not long ago I attended Cutting Edge's Charity Golf Day - I was a little apprehensive; I am a sportswoman and I love the outdoors but golf? I'm a martial artist (wanna be ninja) who loves tough mudder and go-karting so golf sounded a bit of a drag. It was OK though, i'd been asked to do the photography and I love camera work. On top of that I was told i'd get to ride the buggy (preferable NOT into a lake).
The day started cold and cloudy, in true Laura fashion I got lost on the way to the golf club and ended up in a primary school drop off zone - I waved to my invisible children to mask my facade of intending to be in the school drop off zone and swiftly drove away. The golf club was only the next turning along so I wasn't sending up flares just yet.
As I rocked up to the club (of course setting an alarm to pick up my invisible children so no one would think I was a bad pretend parent) I was delighted to learn about the bacon sandwiches and tea provided by the club. The club was quite charming actually, the hall was packed with charity golfers ready for 'tee off' whatever that meant.
After 3 cups of tea stacked to high heaven with sugar I made my way to the buggy, camera in hand. I worked out the choke was underneath the seat and a lot of chugging backward and forward I was off! Time for a golfing adventure.
All the golfers started on different holes so no one had to wait for anyone to move on. To be completely honest I spent the first 20 mins following Sandy from Shoe-String and her team. Shaun Curtis who owns a shoe repair shop was really showing off - OK Shaun we get it, you're good at golf... stop making the rest of us feel bad. Lovely retired Lawrence gave Sandy and myself a quick lesson on how to hit the ball far enough to make it onto the green (a lot harder than it looks!).
I decided to brave the ... pitch? Course? You know what I mean...the golfing area.... and take some photos. I feel the need to really communicate how confusing a golf course is! Am I going to get hit in the head with a golf ball? Am I supposed to be here? Is the engine too loud? I considered my imminent demise, I wasn't getting out of here alive. The awkward 'what is she doing?' looks I got was comical. I got lost, a lot. I considered just driving into the pond so someone would come rescue me and take me back to the club house.
I finally found the James Shoe Care team. Elliott knew how the satnav screen thing in the buggy worked, but mine was broken so I was doomed to a life of being lost on this course. Watching the boys play was so tense, I could feel my skin replacing skin cells. It was so tense. As I knelt down to take a photo you could feel the added pressure on the golfers.
The paparazzi was following them and every missed hole was 'well I can't concentrate with the camera there!' Excuses alongside 'it's windy, I can't play in the wind' seemed to be the top hit tunes of the day.
I discovered Nick Clark from Cobblers and Keys. I say I discovered him but as he was the brightest man on the course, finding him wasn't a challenge. In fact, enjoy this illustrative photo of him...
The 18th hole was the most exciting. That £5000 for a hole in one? Easy. Well, not as easy as I thought. The 18th hole was home to many sunken balls, turns out the pond i'd considered driving into was the gap between the tee and the hole, it seemed impossible! But Tim from Glenway Trophies gave up his spare time to watch over the hole and award any winners. Sadly Tim wasn't carry £5000 in cash for the winner else we'd have driving off to Mexico on the golf buggy never to be seen again. Here’s some snaps from the 18th hole...
Towards the end of his rounds, Chris Wilson of Charles Birch even let me take a put for him in hope of turning his game around. I felt the pressure, I was internally screaming. Normally when I take centre stage at a sporting event i'm suited up in sparring gear ready to throw a few hits and thinking fast on my feet - this was something else. I had two attempts to put the ball. I cracked under pressure - the ball rolled around the hole and completely missed. Sorry Chris,
Sandy was doing such a poor job of golf she decided to give me a go at the driver. I'd been at Centre Parcs that previous week so my driving range game was strong, but not as strong as most. I helped Sandy but I couldn't quite compete for her. Sorry Sandy.
Finally, it was all over. Peter Coulson from Siserve helped distribute raffle tickets raising so much more money for the Mitzen Foundation. After lunch, the brand new shiny chairman David Pollard made a speech and thanked everyone for coming.
It was a cracking day, I surprised myself with how involved I got with golf and i'd quite like to play it again. It was great to see so many shoe repairer on the golf court/pitch/green/course. Novices and keen players all took to the game and a lot of money was raised for a great charity.