" " Words and Images: Game of golf just what the doctor ordered


Game of golf just what the doctor ordered

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Game of golf just what the doctor ordered.
Dr Alf Husband, a retired Orthopedic Surgeon, picked up a golf club for the first time in 1956 while still in Rhodesia. “I have many fond memories of playing golf. Many amusing incidents have occured on golf courses since then,” said Dr Husband. 

“I was once invited to play golf with three other guys in Plettenberg Bay. One of the players was Mr McDonald, who had just retired from being the Chief Justice of Rhodesia,” Dr Husband said. “The other three guys used their drivers on the fairway and did well, so I followed suit. I hit the ball and it screamed through the air, heading straight towards Mr McDonald’s caddy. The caddy got a fright and lifted up Mr McDonalds new leather bag. The ball hit the bag, cut through it and fell into the bag!” Dr Husband exclaimed. “He was not impressed, he had just been given the bag by the side bar as a retirement present. He was even less impressed when I offered him a Friend of Rhodesia sticker to put over the hole.”

On another occasion the Doctor teed off and his ball hit the ladies teeing off marker. The ball ended up behind him, which he and his playing partners found very comical.

Dr Husband said that when he moved to Cape Town to specialize as an Orthopedic Surgeon, he went through a period of time when he was not able to play golf due to time constraints. In 1983, however, he became a member of the Westlake Golf and Country Club and he has been playing golf more regularly since then.   

“Golf is a player friendly game,” the Doctor answered when asked how he is still able to play golf at 87, “because one plays off a handicap, which evens things out,” adding that he now plays off a 36 handicap, the maximum allowed. “Golf has certainly kept me fit too, even though I now have to use a golf cart because of arthritis in my knee.”

“It is not just the golf that keeps me playing though,” Dr Husband said, “it is the people; golfers are a friendly crowd,” adding that he thinks that the Westlake Golf and Country Club is the friendliest in the Cape, if not the country.

“The older one gets, the more friends one looses, so the more one needs to make new friends,” Dr Husband said, “but the older one gets the more difficult it becomes to meet people, especially like-minded people. Golf clubs are therefore great places to meet and make new friends.”

At the height of his golfing prowess, Dr Husband was playing off a 16 handicap. It took him   54 years to hit his first hole in one though. “The funny thing is that I didn’t even see it happen,” Dr Husband said, “I saw it land on the green and then it disappeared from sight, I did not see it roll into the hole.”

Dr Husband said it felt great to hit the hole in one. “By the time I got back to the club house, a certificate to commemorate my hole in one was waiting for me. My friend who I was playing with, who has since passed away, had phoned the club house from the golf course and arranged things. Thankfully my insurance payed for the round of drinks, there must have been more than 50 people there that day.”

Over the years, Dr Husband has had interests other than golf. Rugby was a major hobby for him. “I spent 12 years on the Rugby Injuries Panel for Newlands. I was involved in attending to injured players and gave lectures to referees and coaches about player management with specific regard to injuries,” Dr Husband said, adding that he enjoyed meeting people like Nick Mallet, Steve Hillock and other Springboks and Western Province players. 

Dr Husband plays two or three rounds of golf a week, weather depending. Other than that he enjoys spending time with his wife, likes to read books, especially history books and novels and is currently writing his memoirs.

For young people who are thinking about playing golf, Dr Husband has the following advise: “See a good pro to get you started off in the right direction and then just relax and enjoy it.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Words and Images | by WITTSTOCKMEDIA ©2012