The recent discovery of some trophies I won during the time I was involved with The Golf Club Stewards' Association in England and The Clubmasters' Association in Scotland reminds me that - in much the same way people remember where they were when President Kennedy or John Lennon were killed - I can pretty well recall the highlights of my golfing life.
For example, I got my first (and, perhaps, only) eagle at a club called Mickleover near Derby. I had actually gone there to act as caddy for a professional friend in a Pro-Am tournament. However, they were short of an amateur (and here's a bit of name-dropping for you) Dai Rees, the former Ryder Cup captain, had just returned from the John Letters factory in Scotland and had three or four sets of new clubs in his car boot. So, he let me play with his 'old' set and I holed a long iron to quite a long par four. You don't forget that sort of experience.
So far as aces are concerned - although I have achieved one myself (at The Glasgow Golf Club whilst I was Clubhouse Manager there in the eighties) - the hole-in-one which I remember best is the first one I ever saw. It was at a par three at the Cavendish golf club in Buxton and, although I'm ashamed to admit I can't recall who did it, I suspect the reason I remember it so well is that it was a complete fluke. The tee shot was 'topped' and, without ever leaving the ground, the ball ran down and across a valley, up the other side, completing almost an entire circuit around the back of the green, before trickling back across the green and into the hole. Magic!
Most golf club stewards' competitions involved playing with a partner and, although I may have been runner-up a time or two, I don't recall winning one. I did, however, win the only singles stroke-play competition one year - and that was at Grange Park golf club near St. Helens. What was especially notable about the occasion was that I deliberately left my woods in the boot of the car and, as a consequence, hardly missed a single fairway. I was also using an old hickory putter my grandfather (a former county golfer) had used in the nineteen-twenties!
My final memory is the one and only time I completed a round in less than eighty strokes. I was playing off twelve (the lowest handicap I ever achieved) and went round a golf course in Newton Mearns near Glasgow (I think it was called Whitehill) in seventy-nine strokes.