IT WAS the perfect storm.
Phil Collins was gently wafting his way through the loud speakers, but not full bore, just loud enough to hear.
“I’ve been trying ooh so long, to let you knoooow. Let you know how I feeeeeel.”
Someone once told me they thought Collins wrote music to murder by.
I was with my Dad, and we were working our way through the course with purpose. We’d been freewheeling our way around but as often happens in golf, things were about to change.
Playing in the group ahead of us was Adam Scott. Not the Adam Scott, but an Adam Scott clone. A fan. Possibly psychotic, he looked like the type of fan who should never be allowed to get anywhere near the real Scotty because he’d probably want to cut a piece of him off and take it home to chew on. I don’t reckon it would have been a trinket of hair, either.
And this bloke, this Scotty wannabe, was with a couple of mates who looked like they were students of the would-be Adam, maybe even disciples, for their leader would gather the two of them at the beginning of each hole and talk to them in deliberate, encouraging tones about the journey that lay before them.
One of them carried Adam’s stuff for him, like a caddie. It was intense. And all the while, Collins is blathering on, surreptitiously worming his way into our heads, driving me slowly mental. You see, it wasn’t an album, but the same song on repeat.
“One more night, oh one more night. Give me one more night, ‘cos I can’t wait forever.”
The woman in the putter hut must have been in the middle of a breakup, and was either using the song to get through it, or she was back there sharpening putter heads so she could go visit her former love and do him in.
All she needed was “one more night.”
And up ahead, Adam’s starting some kind of putt-putt cult!
“And if you sail away I will follow you…”
While he didn’t particularly look like Scotty, his dress and the way he carried himself was eerily en pointe. Titleist hat, UNIQLO golf shirt, sharp white pants and golf shoes. Golf shoes … at putt-putt?
It was pretty funny, until it wasn’t. I said to Dad, “This is going to take hours. Do you reckon we could play through?”
“I’ve been sitting here so long. Wasting time, just staring at the phone.”
Dad was like, “Andrew. Relax. It’s putt-putt. It’s meant to be fun, we’ve got nothing else to do. Chill out.”
But that was becoming increasingly difficult. Adam-the-cult-leader was stalking putts from every possible angle. To make things worse, he was also employing that new balance thing Scotty does, where he stands with his legs akimbo and tries to feel the tilt of the earth beneath him. And because he was right into it, he’d adapted the already annoying method employed by the pros and turned it into something even longer.
“But if you change your mind you know that I’ll be here…”
“What’s he up to? It’s like he’s doing the Hokey Pokey,” says Dad.
“I’m going insane,” I blurted. “No one takes mini golf this seriously. We have to get through this knob.”
And I’m huffing and puffing and trying to make noise. I’m being obvious and annoyed and leaning on my club and folding and unfolding my arms and all the stuff we do on a real golf course to exert our will upon the tools ahead holding up the universe. But nothing’s working.
“I’ve been sitting here so long. Wasting time…”
This guy is not only doing the balance thing, but he’s doing it in a circle. He’s actually doing it in 360 degrees … as if it’s in 3D. Crap, he’s doing a 3D modelling of the putt he’s about to hit, only it’s putt-putt.
He could be a genius.
“Give me one more night, ooohooohoo, one more night!”
Eventually, he gets over his ball, takes a couple of practice swings and fires. It’s amazing, beyond belief really. But then, maybe not. The disciples look on, a little breathless, hearts a flutter. He’s actually had an airswing. In putt-putt. Oh crap, he’s going to go through his pre-shot routine, again.
I said to Dad, who I was giving an absolute towel-up, “How’s this bloke, Dad. Who does he remind you of?”
Dad looked at me, squinted a bit, went to say something and stopped. He shook his head. “Dad, seriously, who does he remind you of?”
“You, son,” says Dad.
“What?” I exclaimed.
‘That is almost exactly what you’re like,” he fired back.
“Almost exactly, Dad?”
“Yep. He’s got more hair.”