We’ve all been here a million times.
Friday is done, another successful week of pretending to be a functioning member of society is complete...
Setting the scene...
You’ve been telling everyone all week how much you’re looking forward to the round of golf early doors at the weekend... 'Quiet one for me Friday I tell ya'.
The Saturday morning round is booked in, you’ve checked every possible weather app, stocked up the bag with blue Powerades and you’ve even had a quick excavation of the grooves in your irons.
The stage is set, 18 holes of pure frustration awaits; but hold up, Tim from marketing has booked a table at the local watering hole, there are several rumours surfacing the girls from accounts are making an appearance (bet this is how Tiger’s career started going tits up – yes pun well intended), shit just got real.
Before you know it you’re trying to head-butt a urinal.
Here we are ladies and gentleman, the stages of a hung-over round of golf.
The alarm goes off at 7.15 am. You’ve been asleep (unconscious) for approximately 15 minutes. You look at your phone and instantly think 'nope', this can’t be done.
After the 14th time hitting the snooze button the time has come. Cometh the hour. A crawl to the shower will cure this.
After ten minutes of sitting in the shower you nearly slip back into the 'this can’t be done' mindset.
After putting on your polo and comfy golf shorts making noises akin to something from The Walking Dead, things seem slightly more do-able.
You check your phone to see if Tim is still picking you up?
Oh good god, flashback! Tim was right there next to you backing you up whilst you were trying to fight the urinal.
He’s gone total media blackout until ten minutes before your tee off time…a lone whatsapp message reads 'I’m alive'.
Never doubted the guy.
After a reckless rally type drive to the golf club it’s time to tee it up.
The First Swing
You’re already late, and the vets who tee off at the exact same time every Saturday are furious. No time for a quick bucket on the range, this is grip it and pray time folks.
Your heart is beating at an alarming rate; this could be an after effect of the Jagerbombs you were chucking down your gullet a mere four hours ago, or the death defying Tokyo drift you just experienced on the drive over.
Whilst focusing all your energy on not vomiting, your mind is free from the golfing demons, boom! You connect with the ball, which is more than you were expecting, and it’s also airborne – another bonus.
No point trying to see the ball flight, your headache just worsens when you try to focus your eyesight.
“Any idea where that went lads?”
The Danger Zone
This is the danger zone, a.k.a holes two through nine.
You’re already on your third Powerade and time is moving really, really slowly.
The little voice in your head is calculating how far back it is to the clubhouse, and whether you could get away with sleeping in the changing room?
The fact is by the time you reach the tenth, the only good shot you’ve hit all day was that first drive. The beer shakes are not helping with the sliding three footers you seem to get on every sodding green.
It doesn’t even register how shit you’re playing until you delve into the bottom of your bag and realise you’re fresh out of balls.
Right, the back nine is on the horizon. You’ve managed to keep down that half packet of Hula Hoops Tim couldn’t finish, and the hot sun has slowly drained out last night’s intoxicants.
You have a little conversation with yourself – this round can be salvaged with a respectable scoring last nine; all will be forgotten, all will be forgiven.
The Back Nine
Mental pep talk over, time to put up or shut up. Okay that triple on the tenth wasn’t ideal but your head starts to clear over the next few holes and you actually feel sober for the first time in a while.
This is when you start getting properly fucked off because you now actually care about how embarrassing this whole ordeal has been.
The End is Nigh
Now things take a real turn for the worse. The hangover starts to rear its ugly head again as you and your playing partners run out of fluids.
You’re only a couple of holes from the finish line but the par five on the 17th is looking like K2.
The dry mouth, the creaking headache, the crippling self-hatred – it’s all kicking off now.
You stand on the 18th a broken man, then just to really rub salt in the wound you hit the green in regulation and two putt a solid par, it’s a simple game really, golf you ironic fuck.
Golf, the game forever teasing you with the carrot of being easy, just ever so slightly out of reach. Golf, the only thing on the planet that will get you out of bed before 8 am on a weekend when you have a murderous hangover.
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.