when a scottish child,

golf isn’t yellow trousers.

dew, autumn, buzzards.

A Scottish upbringing, regardless of class will include whacking golf balls with old clubs on any piece of grass. Mine was no different.

And then at the end of my childhood I became a trainee greenkeeper on a small town golf course. I saw the same elderly golfers play that course every day in the early morning. Sometimes in groups, sometimes in solitude. Caring not that their, too early, start excluded them from the enjoyment of freshly mown, rabbit shit free greens and bunkers cleared of footprints and rabbit scrapes.

They left tracks in the dew with those of roe deer, rabbits, birds and snails, carried or trailed a half set of old clubs every day except in flood or snow. They ambled for 3 hours, 3 miles and back among the wooded glades, sometimes chatting, mostly with their own thoughts. They sucked in the Perthshire, (now Stirlingshire) country air and were rewarded with prolonged fitness, agility, usefulness, cognition, friendship, meaning and reward for a life of 9-5 in an office or factory.

They felt the seasons pass until their last passed silently too with only the half mast saltire and the fading trails in the dew to show they’d ever been there.

Golfing to them was about golf in the same way fishing was to me about fish…not at all.

Reading Andrew Greig’s, At the Loch of the Green Corrie, it reflects back what I know about fishing. The cover of Preferred Lies suggests I’ll read something close to what I know about golf. I’ll relish the reading.

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