THERE is no truth that this is about my mother. None whatsoever.
But it involves a lady of her vintage; a 70-something with a love of golf and a family who understands her time on the links is life’s true elixir. Let’s call her Dot. On course, Dot toiled, wrestling with her clubs, hoping as much as praying to get the ball moving in a forwardly direction more often than not.
And as much as everyone liked to believe age would not weary her, the truth suggested otherwise. From a two-wheeled pull trolley to a three-wheeled pusher, the journey was getting harder. But Dot persevered, refusing to ride in a cart because her links was flat and the walk kept her strong.
Like my mother, it’s not as if she would shun technology out of old-fashioned pig-headedness; it’s just she hadn’t actually considered using it on the golf course. There’s no Bushnell laser beamer for her. No Garmin watch for front, middle and back distances or pulse rates over putts. Dot’s a whizz with the yardage, as pretty much every shot’s a 5-wood anyway. She once saw Tiger use one out of the rough near the green, so now all Dot needed was to see Phil hit 5-wood from a bunker and she’d be a two-club kind of gal.
There’s a tin of boiled, sugary lollies in her golf bag, you know? She’s that lady. She probably had pom-poms on the back of her socks in the ’70s, always carries her wet-weather gear and swears only when entirely necessary. Like when you only get 4/3 on a par 4, and not 4/4.
Getting between her and the Tuesday comp would have been like getting between my grandmother and her tranny on race day. Dot loves golf, but it is getting a little harder.
So those that love her gave Dot a special present. The idea was to keep her on the course for as long as possible. She was being upgraded from the three-wheeled pusher to an electric buggy. One with a remote control, so she didn’t even have to hold it. Dot could just walk along with the remote in her hand and use the other one for gesturing while she talked; that’s her other great love.
It was brilliant.
So, on the Tuesday of her birthday, just as Dotty was emerging from the clubrooms, they had a semi-formal ceremony. She was presented with her golf clubs snuggled into this brand new fan-dangled electric buggy. So, while it looked like a pull or push trolley, it wasn’t really. And best of all, it could stay at the club and be charged and ready for her every single Tuesday.
“You’ll never have to push again,” they’d said. “You just walk along beside your clubs, Dot,” was the call.
Dot was ecstatic. As much as she liked being known as someone prepared to do the hard yards, she wouldn’t mind a few easy ones as well. Besides, if the walk was a little easier, she might play better. Win a few balls, even.
“You shouldn’t have,” she said.
“But we did,” they said back, and someone stepped forward to show her how it worked. How all you had to do was push that ‘on’ button there, and that green ‘go’ button there and you were off.
“But I can still push it if I want, can’t I? Because I do like to push my clubs. Everyone knows that.”
“Of course you can, but why would you?”
“Maybe just to start,” Dot said, “just while I get the hang of it.”
“Stubborn,” they muttered. “Which is why we like her.”
Dot faffed about for a bit, letting the crowd disperse, then pushed the buggy from the clubhouse and onto the footpath. She was starting on the 10th today, and that was across the road.
The buggy was actually quite heavy. It was considerably harder to push than her old Concourse. So, she looked at the controller, hit the power button, turned the dial up to ‘fast’ and got hold of the controller. Dot had managed to get herself to the lights to cross the road. The club borders a fairly busy street, but the road she had to cross was just a little one. No one ever bothered with the main road, it wasn’t in the club’s charter, but the rule was everyone had to cross the little road at the lights.
Dot’s buggy was facing the main road, but she wanted to go left, across the minor. So she pointed the remote in the direction she wanted to go and pressed the big green button. The cart, with her clubs, took off. Straight. In the direction it was heading, not left where she was pointing.
It went straight into the path of the 155 bus; the driver didn’t have time to stop. He drove straight over her new buggy and her old clubs.
True. Every word.
And I promise, Dot’s not my mum.