Madeleine Winnett goes in search of a shirt
As the start of the new golfing season is hurtling towards us, I am quite excited in many ways.
Having missed playing for nearly five months with a shoulder injury, I am now itching to get going again. There is only so much chipping and putting a person can do to keep themselves from dying of boredom, and I probably reached my limit in Week One, never mind week 20!
I am also excited about the new professional season and the prospect of which players will come to the fore this year. Charley Hull obviously had a sensational Tour debut by winning the 2014 European Order of Merit, and I have no doubts she will continue in a similar vein this time.
However, I am looking forward to newcomers Stephanie Meadows and Georgia Hall joining the ranks as well to see how they fare.
But, above all, I am looking forward to the arrival of my new shirt!
Ladies’ golf fashions have come a long way in the last decade, and there are now a wealth of styles and colours to choose from – which is what makes it so remarkable that I had my head turned by one in particular.
At last year’s British Open I found myself wandering onto the 1st tee at Birkdale, underneath the grandstand, ready to watch the aforementioned Charley launch it into the stratosphere.
Just as I was lost in my musings about whether the players were feeling any nerves at this point, I was temporarily interrupted by the person next to me uttering, “Ooh, I like her shirt.” I was about to ask to whom she was referring, as I scanned the people around me, when I spotted it – a vision of orange, grey and white adorning Sandra Gal. I had to agree, I liked her shirt too!
Neither of us was sure what make it was at this time, and I then proceeded to miss Charley’s tee shot entirely as I was trying to get a closer look at Sandra’s shirt!
I am sure at one point Sandra must have thought I was some sort of demented stalker as I kept popping up all over the place Normally, that would have been as far as my endeavours extended, but for some reason, the picture of that shirt in my mind wouldn’t go away. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had physical reminders. While I was wandering around the course, that V-shaped vision of orange and grey kept leaping out at me like a beacon from various fairways.
I am sure at one point Sandra must have thought I was some sort of demented stalker as I kept popping up all over the place while she was trying to play her shots, attempting to get a glimpse of the manufacturer’s name.
Triumphantly, I spotted the Callaway logo, and with my press pass round my neck, the spectators must have been impressed with my furious journalistic scribblings, thinking I had discovered a new golfing secret – when in fact I was jotting down descriptions of the shirt so that I could acquire one for myself later.
I even ventured into the tented village on a singular mission to see if I could find it, but to no avail. However, I did get something else I hadn’t anticipated while in there, because I suddenly found a microphone thrust in my face from Di Dougherty who was doing a promotion for Lynx clubs.
With the words still ringing in my ears, “You look just like the kind of lady we are aiming at with our clubs”, I rather sheepishly had to admit that I wasn’t because I have always played with men’s clubs. However, as I have previously tried Lynx clubs as part of my equipment testing, I was able to sing their praises for the rest of the female population to extricate myself from the situation.
Still no closer to finding my shirt, I resumed my normal journalistic duties of eating chocolate muffins and drinking Dandelion and Burdock in the media centre.
I still had a vague hope of spotting the elusive Callaway shirt in a golf shop near home, but as selections of ladies’ golf clothing tend to pale into insignificance compared with our male counterparts, I wasn’t overly optimistic.
Having had no joy in the intervening months, I had nearly forgotten all about my quest until I suddenly received an unrelated email from one of my Callaway contacts. Instantly, the memory sprang back to life, so I told my contact of my unsuccessful search for the shirt of all shirts.
After a little research on her part, it transpired that it was hardly surprising that I hadn’t been able to track it down, as apparently, it was only available in America, not Europe!
However, because the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” proved to be true once again, thanks to the generosity of my Callaway colleague, I am now rather excitedly waiting for my white, orange and grey vestment to wing its way across the Atlantic to my doorstep – ideally in a compatible size!
So, with renewed hope, I shall now be starting the new season feeling as though I very much look the part, even if my swing is a little on the rusty side.
And therefore, after all my endeavours, not only shall I not feel remotely offended, I will probably feel rather smug if whispers of “Good shot” are replaced by the mutterings of “Good shirt” as I tee off!