Dial-A-Smile gives Vinny something to think about
“Big deal,” thought Vinny.That Obama’s candour should be highlighted as a virtue was nonsense, according to Vinny, who was a steadfast upholder of the sport’s sense of decency and honour.
For him, any man, or woman for that matter, who went down a different path, had no place in the game.Whenever Vinny sliced over a hillock into a corner of the links last visited by Neanderthal man, as he regularly did, there was absolutely nothing to be gained by improving a lie just because no one else was about, or by slipping a new ball out of a pocket. For Vinny, the sacredness of the game’s virtues mattered more than turning an eight into a six, or a 24-point round into a 26-pointer.
As he dipped the last of his chips into the remains of a runny fried egg, Vinny reminded his pals it was high time for a throat-clearing reviver or two in Foley’s prior to the prize-giving. As Fran settled the bill Vinny sauntered into the car park. It was a glorious sunny February afternoon, with a welcome hint of spring in the air. Fran’s Volkswagen was parked close by the 18th green and Vinny ambled over to the home hole for a gander at his society colleagues.
Vinny could see two of the wrecking crew in the scrub to the left, heads down like chickens as they pecked forlornly for an errant ball. On the near side of the green, where a ball had come to rest in a divot, was the third member of the party, Dial-A-Smile. Vinny was about to ask the surly barman how his round was going when he saw him casually flip his ball out of the divot mark with a wedge.
The ball was moved no more than six inches but Dial-A-Smile had gone far further than that.Vinny was gobsmacked. His mouth opened and closed like a guppy. He looked across at the other lads, who had no idea what had occurred, and then watched in silence as Dial-A-Smile executed a deft pitch and run to within two feet of the pin. Vinny’s mind was all a jumble as Dial-A-Smile casually asked “any joy there, lads?” as he approached his playing partners in the undergrowth.
A line had been crossed and a part of Vinny was tempted to snatch an iron from Dial-A-Smile’s bag and shove it where the sun didn’t shine. Only, who would believe him? It would be his word against Dial-A-Smile’s. He had no witnesses to stand over any claim and he also knew that to be labelled a cheat in golf was the worst stigma imaginable.
The haughty barman was sure to deny any wrongdoing vehemently.As Dial-A-Smile tapped in his tiddler and received the congratulations of his partners, Vinny tucked his card of conscience into his back pocket. It would, he felt, be played another day.
2ptsLay Scotland to beat Ireland in Six Nations (6/4, Boylesports, liability 3pts)
Bets of the week
1pteach-way Matt Kuchar in WGC Accenture Matchplay (35/1, Paddy Power)
3ptsGalatasaray to beat Schalke in Champions League (5/4, general)