Do you have a golf problem that’s keeping you awake at night?
Is there some aspect of your game that you simply can’t sort out?
Stop worrying because Dr Felix Shank, a more or less genuine
expert on all aspects of the game, is here to help. Illustrations by Tony Husband.
I’m a member of a rather smart club in Surrey to
which I take my father-in-law Harry every year
on his birthday. He comes from rather humble
origins and is absolutely thrilled by the luxury
and opulence of the course and clubhouse. He
loves golf and really enjoys
the whole experience,
which pleases me enormously.
It’s a great club
that is striving to be even
better and is constantly
improving. Every year
there is something else
to impress him – a new
system, GPS in the buggies,
a Jacuzzi, etc. One
of the first things he
asks when I pick him up
each time is, “What’s
new this year?” However,
there is a problem.
The first time we
played I noticed that he
nicked a couple of wooden coat-hangers from
the locker room. The following year I checked his
bag when he took a shower and discovered one
of the club’s bottles of aftershave. Last year it
was a towel complete with the club crest. I can’t
say anything to my father-in-law but I really must
put a stop to it.
RICHARD GRECO, SOLIHULL
Easy. Next time you pick him up and he
asks what’s new, tell him they’ve installed
CCTV throughout the clubhouse!
My husband doesn’t play golf and so I teamed
up with a young man for our club’s mixed
foursomes knock-out competition. He’s a
very good golfer but suffers from
Tourette’s syndrome and is prone to occasional
outbursts of expletives. We progressed
comfortably through the first three
rounds without incident. In the quarter-final,
however, we reached the 18th green all
square with our female opponent needing to
hole a four-footer on the last to win the match.
Just as she drew back her putter, my partner
yelled, “Miss it, you bitch!” Her putt went about
30 feet past and her husband understandably
missed the one back. Probably the correct thing
to do would be to pull out of the competition but
I’ve never won anything of any consequence and
rather fancy seeing my name up on a board.
However, another incident like the last one and I
might die of embarrassment.
JENNIFER LAZZARO, DUBLIN
Tourette’s is a fascinating condition for
which there is no known cure and so
there is nothing that can be done medically
to help your partner. However, I
think there is a way that can both reduce
the chances of a repeat of the incident
and improve your prospects of
winning the competition. I suggest
you speak quietly to your opponents
before you tee off in the next round and
explain that there is a possibility that your
partner will swear at them and this is most
likely to happen at the top of their backswing.
You should tell them that they must
ignore it completely. Worrying what might
be about to happen should so unsettle your
opponents that they will almost certainly
play badly and you should win both the
semi and final quite comfortably thus reducing
the likelihood of your partner suffering
another outburst on the course..
Sheila, my mother-in-law, has just passed away
and the internment is scheduled to take place the
same week as I am supposed to be away with
seven friends on a golf trip to South Carolina.
Naturally, I don’t want to let my friends down and
I’d much rather play golf than go to a funeral but
my wife says that she will never forgive me if I
fail to show respect for her late mother.
WESLEY WILSON, TORQUAY
You must show respect to her mother but in
a way that allows you to go golfing as well. I
suggest you buy a cheap trophy (the Sheila
Shield?) and compete for it on your golf
trip. Thus you will have honoured you
mother-in-law in a way that might just appeal
to your wife without sacrificing your
golf holiday. You might even ask your
friends if you can hang on to the trophy so
that you can tell your wife – preferably in
an emotional way – that you won it for
Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine