The Harold Masters, played over nine holes on the council course between the rec and the crem, was originally played by the men of the village but had to stop when it became over-competitive. Players constantly fought to outdo each other with the worst outfit, and eventually the increasingly-loud plaid trousers, garish Pringle sweaters, two-tone shoes and leather gloves began to frighten the horses in a nearby field.
An upper age limit of 11 was set for competitors, while the men retired to a private room where they could happily pose in their gear and drink beer while allegedly watching golf on TV, to cries of ‘Get in the hole!’ ‘You won’t see many that long,’ and ‘Watch him sink this stiff 12-incher.’
Unfortunately, after the first couple of years of healthy competition among the youngsters, pushy sports-mums began to get involved, causing the tournament to become known as the Bitch & Putt.
Things soon got bad this year when Anita Fagg and Julia Watt-Watt, from opposite ends of the village and mothers of leading contenders Tyler and Miles, started openly kicking their opponent’s ball into the rough or their own son’s ball towards the hole.
At one point Anita held Miles in a headlock for ten minutes and insisted he be penalised for slow play, then later Julia asked the referee to disqualify Tyler for saying ‘toilet’ instead of ‘lavatory’.
Somehow the two boys ended up tied for first place and the referee announced that the winner would be decided by sudden death. However, when Anita produced a blade and Julia a twelve-bore, it was decided the boys should share the prize. Then it was quickly agreed they could have a prize each if they would just go away and not come back.