Many people take up golf on retirement and it can undoubtedly be a very good way to enjoy gentle exercise, maintain eye-hand co-ordination and increase social interactivity. However, it can also be a very expensive hobby to pursue, but with a little ingenuity, the costs can be reduced considerably, without detracting from the pleasure or satisfaction.
Most golf clubs can be replaced with suitably adapted walking sticks, broom handles or well stiffened snakes. For instance, attaching a frozen leg of lamb to a poker gives you an excellent driver, while binding a slab hammer to a length of drainpipe makes a well-balanced and highly accurate putter.
A wheelbarrow is a good substitute for a golf bag and trolley, with the added bonus of the occasional £5 tip from people who mistakenly think you’re one of the greenkeepers. Hard-boiled eggs can be surprisingly effective replacements for balls, though they may not roll quite as truly as the conventional alternative, while six-month old mini-faggots are easier to play with and usually float in water hazards.
Tees, scorecards, ball markers and golfing gloves are all luxuries rather than necessities, as are Pringle sweaters and large check trousers, both of which cause blurred vision and bouts of nausea.
Economising on equipment should never disqualify you from entry to the major amateur championships, and several serious contenders for the 2012 British Seniors Open shared a set of clubs made from giraffe bones and a single ping-pong ball injected with polenta.