I THOUGHT the Monthly Medal was some­thing to look for­ward to.

It’s like hav­ing 12 ma­jors per year. Twelve chances to tee it up and make some­thing of your­self. Twelve chances to come home and shout down the empty hall­way to a fam­ily who couldn’t re­ally give a stuff, “I bloody did it! I won the Monthly Medal!”

Just the thought of it ig­nites a lit­tle com­pet­i­tive em­ber in my guts. It’s al­ways there – ask my fam­ily. They reckon I’ve got is­sues, that I’ll make a con­test out of any­thing. And I will. I’ll even make a tro­phy given half a chance, but that’s not about be­ing com­pet­i­tive. It’s about mak­ing a tro­phy.

You can de-sticker a stubby and en­grave it: that’s a great tro­phy to make for some­thing like a ping-pong night. Or a hall­way putting comp, and en­grav­ing’s only $30. It’s fun. A keep­sake, recog­ni­tion that some­one was bet­ter than ev­ery­one else on that par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion. Maybe I do have a prob­lem. But, imag­ine how ex­cit­ing the op­por­tu­nity of the Monthly Medal must be when you con­sider the joy an en­graved stubby might bring. I barely sleep on the first Fri­day of the month. It’s nuts.* God knows how I’m go­ing to get through Club Cham­pi­onships!

It is that time, you know. The greens have been cored, the sand swept away and af­ter a few weeks of pain they’re rolling as well as they ever will. Spring has sprung, the fair­ways are lush and the rough’s start­ing to get some value about it. Bloody hell! How good is golf! If the Monthly Medal is like a se­ries of ma­jors spread out across a year, then the Club Champs must be the mother of all ma­jors. It’s like The Mas­ters and The Open and The Aussie all rolled into one. Club Champs are the Pres­i­dents Cup and the Ry­der Cup with sugar on top. It’s the Holy Grail, The Os­cars and The Lo­gies stretched out over five tor­tur­ous week­ends.

Play well in round one and I’ll be over­dos­ing on chamomile tea just to get the eyes closed from the next Wed­nes­day on­ward. Club champs are the best! In my head there’s theme mu­sic and ev­ery­thing. I’m go­ing to buy a new shirt with the club logo on it – de­spite hav­ing an em­bar­rass­ment of other per­fectly good golf shirts.

It’s part of the prepa­ra­tion, you see. You have to go in with just the right mind­set. You have to see your fu­ture to be your fu­ture … wax on, wax off. And yes, I bloody do wax my clubs. But only af­ter I wash them with car washer, which is af­ter I thor­oughly clean them.

Even be­fore that, though, it’s about choos­ing which clubs are go­ing to make it into the bag. That’s af­ter a long pre-se­lec­tion process. It’s not a sim­ple mat­ter of hav­ing clubs and they’re au­to­mat­i­cally in the bag. That’d be stupid. Put it this way, 10 days out and I’ve just ac­quired an orig­i­nal 1994 Call­away Great Big Bertha 2-iron in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. Of course it had to be re-gripped and shafted (had the “Mem­phis 10” which is like a se­niors flex) and to be hon­est, se­lec­tion’s look­ing pretty good. As the blurb goes: “This ex­treme perime­ter-weight­ing and ex­tra-wide and deep cav­ity back de­sign means that the Big Bertha Iron is for­giv­ing and friendly.” Key words – for­giv­ing and friendly.

So, who’s get­ting benched? Prob­a­bly the Maltby, de­spite hav­ing “the look ‘dis­cern­ing play­ers’ pre­fer at ad­dress.” I know, it’s bru­tal. But the GBB and I have his­tory and it was just dumb luck and some stalk­ing that brought her back to me. And as we all know, dumb luck is a huge part of the great­est game of all.

And yes, there is a lit­tle added colour in the grooves. And yes, you guessed right, it’s to have my com­peti­tors go­ing, ‘Oh wow! I wish I had one of those!’ They won’t con­cen­trate on their own game while they’re drib­bling over my gear; smart eh?

Don’t even start me on plan­ning for the ac­tual play­ing of the course.

Good luck to you for the Club­bys. Just re­mem­ber, it’s all meant to be a bit of fun. *Con­grats to my older bro Cameron, pre­vail­ing at Long Reef GC to be the first ever Daddo to pick up the Monthly Medal. **His stroke score was not the best Daddo score on the day. ***He was, how­ever in B Grade. An­other Daddo play­ing the same day (1 over af­ter 12 and then a se­ries of un­for­tu­nate mishaps) was play­ing in A Grade, with­out a GBB 2 iron.

****Not that it mat­ters that Cam was in B Grade.

*****It’s not ac­tu­ally about the grade you’re in, but how you play within your grade that counts.

******Gross score is still king.

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