Today has just seen me play my first ever 9 holes on a proper golf course. The golf professional at Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, Scott Dixon, took me out this afternoon for 9 holes on the East course. I arrived after a wonderful 14.44 miles cycle up cycle tracks and the Union Canal. It was overcast with a gentle breeze, with the sun delighting in the occasional bright spell. As I arrived the course was looking bright, green and grand with the surrounding hills looming ever present in attendance. I arrived early to change while having a cup of green tea from my flask and a two-finger dark chocolate kitkat to recharge the batteries, before preparing my old golf bag and clubs that I had picked up for £30 at a church car boot sale, 9 years earlier, with the intention of learning to play golf but had never had the time or incentive so to do. Well now I did so I borrowed a golf trolley, fitted the bag to it and headed to the driving range and drove 50 balls down range both to warm up, but also to try to iron out the annoying tendency of me to mis-hit the ball so that it skitters off and cuts the grass in front of me, or drifts off to the far left and the edge of the driving range fence rather than straight and true to the hole I was aiming for. In my head were many dreadful images of hours spent looking for lost balls but the time came, Scott picked me up, and off we went, stopping first at the starters hut to say Hi to John, Jim and John while securing permission to get cracking. As we headed for the first tee, Scott gave me an introduction to the workings of, and etiquette on, a golf course. Then he gave me a tee and we set up my ball for my first ever drive with my 3 wood. The most extraordinary thing happened. I had only just started to try to use this club on the driving range but 2 weeks earlier and had found it almost impossible, but on this hole, on this moment, the ball flew straight and true just over 200 yards towards the hole. My chip onto the green was almost perfect and my putt went straight in. I scored a birdie on my first ever hole. The next 3 holes weren’t quite as good, but satisfactory none the less, and Scott confessed that I was now far better than he thought I was going to be, but he spoke too soon. Over the next 5 holes my neurological dysfunction and SMART syndrome started to drift in. My eyes started to get fuzzy and the fuzz spread around my face. I was buzzing, but in a bad way. I started to lose my depth perception leading to many mis-hits and my peripheral vision started to close in. These symptoms could easily have overwhelmed me with the resultant migraine as they have done in the past, but something kept them at bay, so I was able to carry on under the watchful eye of Scott, wobbly but not twobbly we continued and finished the round.

I finished disappointed by my inability to maintain the intense concentration I need to play golf, to hit in the manner intended each and every stroke, but finished hugely encouraged that I was not nearly as bad as I thought I was. That as I grow in my ability to sustain concentration and the cognitive and motor coordination needed to play golf, I get closer and closer to being able to actually participate in golf competitions as fundraisers for the Disasters Emergency Committee. I am not as far away as I thought I was!

I also took much inspiration from watching Scott play and get the ball to fly and land exactly where he intended it to over 300 yards. How he could bend a ball around wood blocks and lift them over woodblocks and land the ball on a green unseen at the other end of a dog leg was beyond me at this point. He gave me much to aspire to.

A great day that finished with another delightful 14.44 mile cycle ride home. So my first ever 9 holes played with much encouragement and inspiration while cycling 28.88 miles ascending 2150.26 feet. NO seizures just a minor neurological wobble and SMART attack.

This journey with golf continues. Please challenge me, with your sponsorship, to strive to keep going and improve step by step.

Just £1.00 a month would be wonderful with my cast iron guarantee that every single penny raised is accounted for and goes to the Disasters Emergency Committee. Not a single penny is lost to costs.

Thank you
Yours aye
Deo Juvante
I will Beat the Beast

Keep eating the tenderstem