Remember a few months ago when I told you about the cover drives I hit between backward point and cover point on the second hole at Royal Hobart Golf Club? Those textbook hosellers? The shanks? (Read on for the author’s opinion piece – “Golf’s Unmentionables”)

Well, the good news is that I haven’t hit another one since – phew! The bad news is that whenever I have a bad thought mid-round, it plays out in real life. There is something funky happening between the cosmos, my inner brain dumps and the atmospheric pull of karma, or fate and the declining motorskills that once held my golf game together.

“Whenever I have a bad thought mid-round, it plays out in real life.”

Don’t three-putt this – lip out.

Gotta be cute with this bunker shot; don’t leave it in the pot by taking too much sand – FLUB.

Sixteenth tee at Tasmania Golf Club: you’ve been going in the dam a lot lately, make sure you don’t go in that dam, the one on the right side that is exactly the distance you hit a wildly cut driver, where the dam is – splash.

The brain. It’s doing some seriously weird stuff to mug punters on the golf course every week.

The silver lining for us living in the now is that it has been this way for some time; which is comforting us modern-day types whose brains are shrinking/swollen/lumpy under those harmful 5G rays. Telstra will be thrilled to know brains have been malfunctioning forever.

Brett Geeves: Golf Inner Demons
Nick Price in his prime was a hole-side putting aligner. Bet he never knocked the ball backwards!

Like in 2005, when I used my reciprocal rights to play in the Saturday comp at New South Wales Golf Club. I caught a cab from Bondi to the course and, because I was running late, I didn’t stop at one of the 700 servos on the way to get some cash. Of course – this is the cosmos working – when I arrived, I was told that there was no cash out/card facility on site, and that I would need to travel back to Randwick to access cash for play.

Behind me in line happened to be one of my playing partners for the day. A statesman of the club, ex-member of the board – my mind says potentially even a president, but maybe that’s because it would make for a better story. Anyway, I can’t remember his name, which kills the story… for now.

Senior statesman offers to pay for my round and chips in for my lunch at the halfway hut; which is a pre-ordered sit down. He’s down $50 at least for a stranger. And because I’m public school, I get him to buy me a club polo that I’ll sell later. What. A. Guy.

As the cosmos, fate and karma all gathered around the statesman for his outpouring of humility, generosity and kindness, they grant him access to a golf clinic.

This is the round of his life.

As we approach the 16th green, and his 40th Stableford point, there is something about his putting stroke that I must ask him about. I know, I shouldn’t have, but it’s a flaw in my genetic make-up.

His routine sees him place his putterhead hole side of the ball, then lift the club over the ball and into position behind it. I’d never seen it before.

I ask, as we now stand on the green, “Have you ever accidentally knocked the ball on the way back to your position to execute the putt?” The response was not a jovial humble cover-up. It was straight and to the point.

“Never in 30 years.”

As statesman stood over the very next putt, a seven-footer for par and another four points, his routine remained steady: he found his spot in front of the ball, except this time as he lifts the club up and over the ball, like he has for 30 years, he wobbles… and is now left a 17-footer for 5 and only three points.

He’s whacked it backwards.

As luck would have it, the next putt goes in, three points are recorded and everyone chortles outwardly in a jovial manner. I even rub my belly while doing so. It’s a good moment.

Chortling. Jovial. Good moments. Well, they are all placed in the bin and spat on when statesman knocks his ball backwards off the green on the last hole for no points.

He’d never done it once in 30 years. NEVER IN 30 YEARS! And then the guy whose round and lunch he paid for asked the question. He then does it twice in three holes for a negative result of 30 feet.


Golf. The cosmos. Your inner demons.