Clare Kane: The strangest prize I've ever received
The prizes awarded at ladies’ golfing events are often in a class of their own. Take for instance the traditional raffle, where many a fiver has been exchanged for a few colourful strips of tickets and the chance to win re-gifted smellies, a set of non-descript coasters or, generally, a cheap bottle of plonk.
I’m sure some of these offerings have been circulating between golf clubs for years, if not decades. When it comes to competitions, I appreciate it isn’t just about winning. Having said that, there’s something exciting about walking into a golf club seeing a well laid out prize table, beaming with beautiful objects, or white envelopes, knowing they contain an acceptable voucher for the pro shop or the opportunity to indulge in somewhere like M&S.
Over the years I’ve seen some unusual prizes but one of the most amusing has to be when a spritely lady in her 80s was presented with a glamorous baby doll negligée set. I doubt whether the skimpy two-piece became a regular part of her night attire but it has to be one golf trophy she’ll never forget and, judging by the laughter in the room, neither will others.
Talking of nightwear, I once played in a team with a good score and recall great anticipation as we tried to work out which of the nighties on display we’d won. Would it be the full-length broderie anglaise model, which as one of our team aptly described as the style Mrs Rochester wore as she floated across the ramparts in the Jane Eyre film, or the slinky, alluring lace and faux silk option.
A spritely lady in her 80s was presented with a glamorous baby doll negligée set Sadly we won the utilitarian, white cotton version but as receipts had been thoughtfully slipped inside, we nipped off to the nearest store to swap them for more suitable items.
Even in mixed competitions, I’ve ended up receiving some odd prizes. My golfing partner and I once won a greensomes competition where he was presented with a new bag, which he later swapped for a rescue club in the pro shop, whilst I ended up with a useful (not) cutglass crystal set to store my sugar and bonbons, and not a receipt in sight!
My most challenging win was when our team returned to the clubhouse having had an excellent round in a Bowmaker, to be greeted with a prize table full of foliage, resembling a garden centre. As the results were announced and the plants diminished, we discovered we had each won an olive tree.
Ironically, one of us lived in a top-floor flat but the most immediate challenge was transportation, as two of us had travelled together in my little Mini.
We spent ages in the car park, trying to squeeze two people, two golf bags, two bulky electric trolleys and two lengthy olive trees into my car. I still remember laughing all the way home with an olive branch in one ear and a three wood jammed in the back of my neck.
For more from our columnists click HERE.