Coping with golf withdrawal symptoms

Satisfied by one cruise missile!

Bob Warters's picture
Bob Warters
Thu, 13 Sep 2012

My wife will tell you that after a few days of no golf I get edgy and short tempered, beads of sweat appear on my brow and I pace up and down.

I’ll pick up a putter at home and hit some ten-footers down the carpeted corridor towards an upturned tee peg and rebuke myself if I fail to ‘hole’ one of the first half dozen attempts.
And I’m sure I’m not alone in occasionally suffering from golf withdrawal symptoms.

Imagine the prospect, then, of 12 days at sea on holiday with no golf course on the horizon - I’d be going stir crazy, surely!

But I promised I wouldn’t get upset and control my emotions until we finally came back to leafy Rutland where I could return to the fairways and renew my love-hate relationship with the game.

Then, as the ship sailed out of Barcelona and we had the chance to inspect our temporary home, I spotted a bag of assorted clubs propped against the bar on the aft deck, alongside a bucket of blackened practice balls.

I pretended not to notice the assortment of battered and bruised equipment which, apart from an original square-headed Nike SQ driver, was a brand with which I was not familiar: Comp-Tour Bi-metal.

Making sure my wife was out of ear shot and admiring the view as we steamed toward Toulon, I whispered to the barman where the clubs might be used.

He pointed to the upper deck and told me in similarly hushed tones: “The range, sir.”

“The RANGE!” I said, suddenly too loudly and my wife’s ears pricked. Oh, I couldn’t possibly. I promised I wouldn’t. This was to be a golf-free zone.

The following morning, I checked out ‘the range’ on a further exploration of the sun deck and scoffed at the golf swings being made by a variety of shapes and sizes of passenger mostly barefooted or in flip-flops stretching their limbs in the four nets.

I so wanted to give them some Golfmagic tuition but having more than one person in the confines of the range was a dangerous place to be if you didn’t wanted to cut short a holiday with broken limbs or severe concussion.

We sailed on via Italian coastal ports serving Pisa, Florence, Rome and Naples but I kept away from the battered clubs and the range, keeping my frustrations in check via Istanbul and Athens where golf is about as popular as an English Premiership club playing an away leg in the Champions League.

But sailing towards Venice I finally snapped. I could hold back my pent-up symptoms no longer and snatched that driver out of the bag and marched towards the net, tripping up the stairs in my anxiety to step inside its breezy confines below the smoking chimneys of the vessel.

I teed up on the rubber mat, imagined I was on the first tee at the Old Course and let rip with such force the ball pierced the net and bounced through, off the superstructure, narrowly missing a passenger sunbathing nearby!

Enough! My withdrawal symptoms had been fulfilled; my thirst for golf had been quenched with one satisfying strike - my own Cruise missile!

Life without golf can be a destructive state of mind. Fortunately mine lasted less than a fortnight and I just about learned to cope. But I fear for others, whom through injury, illness or outside home influences, may even have to seek medical assistance!

How have you coped with golf withdrawal symptoms, for whatever reason? Tell us about it in the forum, via @Golfmagic and on our Facebook page.