Having recently retired from too many decades teaching, and being a bloke, it would appear that my first port of call with all this extra spare time is the golf course to join all the other retired professionals determined to keep fit, mentally alert and as competitive as any stag in any forest or woodland ..... didn't happen!
Indeed the nearest I have ever gotten to a golf course is to collect blackberries for wine making ( another retirement requirement ). So what do I do? I turn to the next best thing and that is the uber excellent Bluffer's Guide series and to the excellent little volume on golf (it fits easily into an inside pocket)
Here I discover that it is not really required to know the history of the sport, in fact to know too much marks you out as trying too hard but there is a good introductory section should you genuinely be interested.
The clothes however do appear to be essential and no self respecting bluffer would dare approach the green unless suitably attired. I do favour the golfing umbrella which can be so useful on so many other occasions and can, at a pinch, protect the whole family!
The correct number of clubs ~ really no more than four, any more makes for a very heavy bag ~ and the right type of balls should impress even the ex-boss and his trophy wife. Correct swings, that sexy swivel-hipped stance and the ability to recognise just where the ball is intended to go will bring you heroic status quite quickly...
.... And choosing the right opponent is another essential bluffer's component. Do you intend to win or are you out there in the rain and hail just to impress. You see it really is all in the mind. The best golf is probably played in the club house after the game has been abandoned.
This neat little volume will not only help you bluff your way through the most imaginary game but also supplies you with the names of favourite European golf courses ( if you want to sound especially experienced), a list of famous names in laddish vocabulary ~ my favourite being "Rock Hudson = looked straight but wasn't"
You probably already know enough golf jokes to keep you afloat, when in doubt read some Wodehouse.
Finally there is a Who's Who or Namedropper's lexicon conveniently added towards the end of the book plus a glossary to help you memorise the necessary jargon.
Good luck, bluffers, catch you at the bar!!
I think the comment from the Sunday Telegraph used on the back of this volume of the Bluffers Guide sums it up rather nicely "An amazing amount of solid fact disguised as frivolous observation." Couldn't agree more.
There has always been a kind of mysticism about the sport of golf - once the pastime of the rich. Personally I never thought myself good enough to be allowed to play on a real golf course. Pitch and putt was more my scene. Then I actually joined a club and realised that some of the other members who actually passed themselves off as "real golfers" were actually extraordinarily inept at the game.
I found I could hold my own (if you know what I mean). This Bluffers guide amazingly debunks the snobbishness of the game - explaining just what a mashie niblick is, discussing course etiquette, sportsmanship and many other delicate matters that will allow you to get by without the risk of being run off the course.
Another great slice of fun from the Bluffers team.