"The flags flying in front of the nation's clubhouses are permanently at half-mast in memory of Old Sid, who expired halfway through the Seniors Section Autumn Fur and Feather"

Thanks to reader Patrick for the latest Martin Johnson gem, where this time he takes on the recent article bemoaning older golfers.

Not many of us were even aware of the existence of a magazine called The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter until it recently bemoaned the "leech" effect of increasingly elderly memberships at the nation's clubs. It paints a world of wheezing old Methuselahs, who do not so much require lessons from the club pro on the art of clearing the hips, as a consultation with their GP on the advisability of replacing them.

What we are now seeing on the country's golf courses, however, is merely a reflection of society as a whole, and more particularly, of the apparently limitless desire of a nanny government to make sure that we all live to be at least 150. They do not seem to have twigged that if they continue to issue dire warnings on everything from alcohol to bacon sandwiches, the social security system will eventually collapse under the sheer weight of wizened old fogies, and the reigning monarch will eventually be forced to sell off the royal tiaras in order to pay for all those 100th-birthday telegrams.

Fast forward...


In any event, as we all know, it is not the seniors who cause the most frustration on a golf course, it's the confounded juniors. They have largely taken up the game from watching how the professionals do it on television, which means that they spend several minutes tossing up bits of grass to test the wind, decline to play until they have not only checked their yardage for the 15th time, but also the alignment of Jupiter and Pluto, and when they finally duff one about 10 feet, stand with hands on hips pouting and muttering for another 30 seconds.

The likes of Monty may take a bit longer to get to his golf ball, but when he does, the group behind is in little danger of sprouting a beard before he has hit it. When you are 84, and you have probably only got another 25 years of golf left in you, life is far too short to be hanging around.

It's about time The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter got stuck into the single most irritating genre of players, and we are talking here about all those who utter, about 30 times a round, such irritating inanities as: "Drive for show, putt for dough, I always say."

For these people, there is only one appropriate punishment. Get them to dig a six-foot grave, line them up in front of a firing squad, pull the trigger, and yell out at the top of your voice: "Get in the hole!"