Updated: Dec 1, 2021
Sludge had had a bad day. After living for years on the 11th hole, he had been scooped up in a shovel of rootzone and transported to the 1st tee. This was bad enough. But, a soil profiler spade had cut him in two and he felt decidedly grumpy. He heard the gravelly voice of Campbell and struggled up to the surface.
‘Lady Captain has a mind to play a round wi’ one of these,’ said Campbell. He tossed a small piece of artificial turf to Giles, the assistant greenkeeper, who lunged out to grab it. ‘If she takes a fancy to yon wee divot mat, she’ll recommend them to the Committee.’ ‘What will you be having me do?’ asked Giles. ‘Give it to her at the starter's hut. Then keep out of sight – but watch.’ ‘Where’ll you be?’ ‘4th Tee. Problem with a banana.’ ‘Someone’s acting the maggot!’ ‘We’ll see,’ said Campbell, throwing his rigger gloves in a bucket and striding off.
Sludge watched while Giles give the little mat to a lady with a blue cap. Giles disappeared from view and the Lady Captain moved her cart onto the pathway. Two more women joined her on the tee with their clubs and waited while she selected a wood, threw down the little mat on the ground and teed up for the shot. She had several practice swings, then took her time waggling side to side again and again to get her feet into the perfect position for a clean shot. ‘Do hurry up, Gloria,’ said a tall blonde woman, ‘we’re already late teeing off.’ The Lady Captain didn’t reply, held her concentration and hit the ball straight down the fairway. She picked up the little mat and hooked it onto her cart. The others played their shots and they all disappeared from view. Sludge and Junior snoozed in the warm moist ground until woken by Giles. ‘Will you tell me what’s the problem with the banana, Boss?’ ‘It had gone black’, replied Campbell. ‘Will you tell me what’s wrong with that?’ ‘That meant it had been there a long time.’ ‘Begorrah! I empty the bins every day.’ ‘Nay good enough. Ye need to empty the bins twice a day’. Giles looked at the ground and stabbed his toe at a stumpy tee marker. ‘Hoots mon. Take a care now and control yourself.' Time to change the subject, Giles thought. 'Will you be telling me if the Lady Captain liked the divot mat?' ‘Aye,' replied Campbell - she’ll be recommending it.' 'That'll be saving us some work, Boss.' 'Aye, it all helps,' muttered Campbell. 'Now, tell me, Giles. You were there. What did the other ladies say aboot it?' 'Sweet Fanny Adams! All they did was complain about how long the Captain took to play her shot.’ ‘Why? What do you mean?’ ‘Well,’ said Giles, ‘she took her shot standing on the mat.’ Click here to see our range of greenkeeping equipment that Sludge loves!