B03: Inclement Weather: The Gordon Supremacy
Having survived the fiercest of storms and reached the relative safety of the bar, still with a thorn crown on my head, I was pondering on the waste of delivering my line, ‘Played like God today’, to the deadpan Steward.
I began looking around for a more appreciative audience, to enlighten with the revelation that I had been walking on water earlier on.
Then behold! A second Gordy entered the bar!
In truth, I have always used second Gordy‘s nickname, ‘Gordon’, to distinguish him from first Gordy.
‘Can anyone get this tree bark out of my ear?’ pleaded Gordon!
He was holding the end of a sizeable piece of silver birch bark that was seemingly embedded in his ear.
Playing in the single-Gordy four-ball immediately behind our single-Gordy four-ball, he had experienced a mighty lightning strike, so severe that it had blown a normally stable three-handicapper friend several feet (thousands of millimeters) off the ground!
I can only imagine how off putting this would be to a golfer in mid-swing, and yet I know of no R&A rule that deals with this specific emergency.
Gordon, to his credit, played down the seriousness of the golfing conundrum – whether or not such an unlucky flying golfer should be entitled to a free swipe. Instead he reported that lightning had struck a mature birch tree, about 100 yards (a billion mm) away from his group, causing it to explode! Apparently tree sap instantly vaporises in a direct lightning strike, blasting off massive amounts of bark.
Possibly R&A advice in this situation would be to cover your ears, but Gordon was ill-equipped to receive such essential information, his rule book being securely wedged in his bag, between his sandwiches and his hip flask.
In the absence of a tree surgeon, who we all agreed would have been eminently qualified to remove the tree bark from Gordon’s ear, we deferred to a vet, who advised that it wouldn’t be necessary to put Gordon down.
Bolstered by such support, Gordon was able to self-operate, so successfully and neatly that it was almost as if he had placed the tree bark in his ear for comic effect.
In my experience, when you are playing in a group that has a surfeit of Gordys, such on-course incidents are commonplace.