| Ban­ished to the Cas­tle

The Kilted Cad­die ex­plains why he was sent back to The Cas­tle Course from his newly gained po­si­tion down at The Old Course…

HK Golfer - - Contents - By The Kilted Cad­die

The Kilted Cad­die ex­plains why he was sent back to The Cas­tle Course from his newly gained po­si­tion down at The Old Course.

Ok I’ll ad­mit it. I have two mas­sive and rather lofty golf­ing am­bi­tions. One is to be­come a mem­ber of The Royal and An­cient in St An­drews and the other to be sent as a jour­nal­ist to Au­gusta to cover the Masters. The first is vir­tu­ally a no-hoper. In fact, I would say that there is about as much chance of me be­ing ‘put up’ for the R&A as me go­ing up to Oxbridge or my hair grow­ing back. For the kilted cad­die is not in the Royal and An­cient’s good books at the mo­ment, af­ter I wrote an ar­ti­cle for this pub­li­ca­tion, which re­sulted in my very nearly hav­ing my li­cense with­drawn from the Links Trust and hence my liveli­hood.

At the start of last sea­son, I was ush­ered into see a very se­ri­ous and mat­ter of fact look­ing Cad­die Mas­ter who held a copy of the said ar­ti­cle, along­side an­other piece of paper which tran­spired to be my fi­nal let­ter of warn­ing from the Links Trust. Yes, I had been in trouble be­fore when I painted a tongue in cheek pic­ture of the typ­i­cal St An­drews cad­die drink­ing many pints of lager and smok­ing rather a lot. Apart from these lit­er­ary in­fringe­ments, I have a pretty un­blem­ished his­tory as a cad­die on the Links, even a rather pos­i­tive one if I may say so my­self.

Any­way, with my lat­est ar­ti­cle I was now, by all ac­counts, touch­ing the bound­aries of bring­ing the ‘rep­u­ta­tion of cad­dies into dis­re­pute’. Slightly shocked and ag­grieved I shared this with some friends who quite rightly pointed out if this was in fact pos­si­ble?

Fair point.

But fur­ther and se­ri­ously, my ar­ti­cle had seem­ingly caused a bit of a ‘rum­pus’ in the up­per ech­e­lons of the Royal and An­cient, and I pre­sume the Links Trust, and by all ac­counts I am tread­ing on very thin ice. More­over, I was ‘pun­ished’ as such by be­ing sent back to The Cas­tle Course from my newly gained po­si­tion down at The Old which I had been look­ing for­ward to. This is a bit like be­ing sent to Coven­try I sup­pose or be­ing put in the cor­ner to stand and face the wall as hap­pened back in pri­mary school.

My ar­ti­cle did state that the R&A was in some man­ner ‘elit­ist’ but what’s wrong with that? I mean Ox­ford and Cambridge are elit­ist and it’s a very good thing. We need elite in­sti­tu­tions like we need to as­pire to the elite in our­selves and try our best. It’s all well and fine. Don’t take this the wrong way chaps.

How­ever, I think the ma­jor is­sue was in pok­ing a bit of fun at two el­derly gen­tle­men who had be­come rather semi­con­scious and in a bliss­ful state of re­pose, to­gether on a chaise longue. But for heaven’s sake, old gen­tle­men and young for that mat­ter, are prob­a­bly do­ing this in all sorts of golf clubs, and chaise lounges, up and down the coun­try, in­deed across the wide world. It’s not a shame­ful or poor state to get into. It’s rather good for you ac­tu­ally. Churchill swore by it. Daily. It doesn’t mat­ter. Have a thick skin about that sort of thing. It’s not par­tic­u­lar or a slight to the club that is the Home of Golf and its gov­ern­ing body.

'I mean it's all go­ing swim­mingly for you guys at the mo­ment, the cof­fers have never been fuller and ladies are now in the ranks. And good tal­ented lassies I’m sure. Yes. I have no prob­lem with that. It’s right and proper. Good 21st cen­tury stuff. How­ever, let’s get ev­ery­thing in per­spec­tive here and not act un­rea­son­ably to cad­dies with del­i­cate and sen­si­tive dis­po­si­tions (and way­ward pens!)

You are the pin­na­cle and ex­am­ple to the world of golf and gov­ern a very noble and trea­sured game. It’s the R&A not FIFA. We are not in the game of the ‘pro­fes­sional foul’ and other ac­cepted, crass and out­landish be­hav­iour. We are clean, up­right and ad­vo­cate fair play. In­deed, sel­f­reg­u­lated fair play. Let’s get our­selves well away from that fine line that de­mar­cates elitism from snob­bery.

So, I’m very much of the opin­ion that a cou­ple of fine cad­dies in your ranks may be a very good thing al­to­gether. I’m sure Old Tom would have been well up for it? In­deed, as I am.

Now, as for work­ing at Au­gusta next spring I’m very set­tled on the idea and wait­ing pa­tiently for the call. Just like I’m wait­ing for an in­vite to Meghan Sparkle’s wed­ding bash. I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to mix with fel­low writ­ers in the new Press man­sion, en­joy the pi­mento cheese, cray­fish etouf­fee, some braised brisket of beef and of course, a wee drop of Crozes-Her­mitage!

In fact, I dare say af­ter that I will be able to pen a very nice ar­ti­cle. And I swear I won’t even men­tion the Royal and An­cient. Well un­less I’ve been put up by that stage and in which case the re­port will be out­stand­ing and most com­pli­men­tary in­deed.

The R&A is the pin­na­cle and ex­am­ple to the world of golf

Go­ing to Au­gusta to cover the Masters is ev­ery golf jour­nal­ist’s dream

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