Day 45. It’s interesting/revealing how much my parents come up in this blog. Dad was a big golfer. When we lived in The Isle of Man he was forever down at the Castletown Golf Links, in all weathers. It was a huge source of pleasure and one of the things that he’s still remembered for, in that he bequeathed a trophy for a handicap game that’s still played in the summer in Switzerland. I still hear from people who won it or competed for it.
I was always curious about the sport but it was almost completely forbidden when I was growing up. My mother knew what was good for her. On the rare occasions I went to the golf course with my father to play the rest of the day was ruined. I enjoyed whacking the thing, and I liked having a walk by the sea. But I didn’t care about precision, aim or technique. And dad used to get livid because he wanted me to be immediately brilliant. And when my dad was angry he was able to condense the atmosphere around him until it was roughly the consistency of melted cheese.
But now I have his golf clubs. My mother hated it, and I know I’m supposed to be working. But dad often used to tell me that most of his business was done on the golf course. He encouraged me to learn despite knowing I wanted to be an actor. Yeah, this is an investment dammit, I tell myself, coupled with it being the first uncompromisingly beautiful day we have had for three weeks. This weather is what I was led to expect from California. I go digging on Groupon and find a ridiculously beautiful seaside golf course an hour to the south for peanuts, and it doesn’t take much to persuade Lyndon that this is the best use of the day.
We jump in the car. Close to arrival I turn left down a driveway that clearly goes to a golf course, and begin to have misgivings. Down the hill past a huuuge American flag we go, to a huuuuuge colonnaded mansion with a coat of arms blazoned above the portico. “Trump National Golf Club.” Um… We park. The property is beautiful, with this spurious coat of arms built into the walls on the outside all over the place. Inside it’s full of photographs of the man throughout his life, and wide screen televisions playing looped footage of him chatting to golfers. There’s a framed photograph of his star on Hollywood Boulevard. It doesn’t take long for us to establish this is not the right place. The staff are all very lovely and very helpful. Nobody follows me around with a megaphone. This is a flawless shrine to Trump, in a beautiful place. I find myself wondering if the decor was chosen by the man himself, or if it was made up like this to honour him. I know that it would be hard to keep perspective and humanity surrounded by such targeted opulence, if it were about me.
The place we are booked into is a little further down the coast, but thankfully in an equally beautiful place. We get out there. There are not many of us playing. Lyndon and I incompetently hack our balls around the course. We are more interested in the fantastic natural beauty here than in being competitive. Which is just as well considering we’re both pretty crap. The best we get is one bogey each in nine holes. The rest doesn’t even bear reporting. The ghost of my father is likely smashing the place up as we speak, so if a golf course falls into the Pacific overnight, you’ll know why. And to be frank it looked ready to fall. The roads all have scars from slippage round there. That whole edge of coastline is likely going to drop if there’s a big earthquake. But for now it’s a lovely place to bang a ball around, talk about strategy going forward, and perhaps be a little irresponsible.