Old men and golf fans had an exciting weekend, and since I happen to be both, it was particularly exciting! Tom Watson, a 59-year old man with a hip replacement almost won The Open. For those not in the know this is a gold tournament held at Carnoustie in Scotland each year. I say almost, but for me, it was a moral victory if not an actual one. When someone who’s older than me plays so well it’s proof that I’m not past it, evidence that possibly my best efforts are before me rather than mere memories trailing along in the dust. Like Tom Watson, I’m a passionate golfer, a word I use knowingly and advisedly. And, unlike Tom, I probably won’t play in The Open any time soon. Sadly, my performance doesn’t always measure up, but that’s the great thing about golf – it’s humbling for everyone. An inexperienced player can have a great round and a scratch golfer can play so badly that they almost want to give up the game completely.
Both cycling and golf are activities that, according to my wife, require ‘no demand’, is probably the word she would choose. I’ve always golfed without sunglasses, believing like a lot of golfers that it will probably cloud over and rain in a few minutes. Also, I thought that a hat would be sufficient protection from the weak English sun. I did notice a recent review of Polaroid sunglasses on a blog I sometimes visit. So, when I sneaked out of the house for a quick nine holes yesterday evening, I wore them. They replaced my trusty just-for-seeing-better Oakley glasses, and, I hate to say this openly, but my wife is right. I could see more clearly and make better distance judgements, which really makes a difference. Not only that, I found it easier to find my ball on the green – something that the foursome behind me probably appreciated. And, here’s a feature I thought was important: the sunglasses stayed on. I wasn’t tempted to take them off or adjust them in any way. In a word, they were comfortable. I forgot I was wearing them– which, I suppose is the definition of really good kit.
And I played an excellent nine holes. The true test of good golf gear.