Birdies & bankers.

This summer’s Herd Bash saw us on the green and at the races, with mixed results.

Gambling is a funny old game. Form, experience, knowledge: James Crabb will tell you these are key components in any professional’s locker. But as I learnt on the 6th hole of the world famous Epsom Jungle Adventure Golf course, there is nothing harder than betting on oneself.

For the first time I experienced what Mr McIlroy must go through as he heads out from the club house on the morning of the final day at Augusta as the man to catch. The almost palpable tension of the crowd waiting with baited breath as he pulls his putter back and delicately strokes the ball towards the hole. But I’d wager that if a certain Ric Simcock had been present the day of his first Masters win, he’d have choked. Such is the severity of his disapproving gaze. So yes I hit a few quintuple bogeys, any man would.

3 pounds out of pocket before making it to the races is never ideal, but where better to get back on track for the day. The pros opt for a bizarre approach of coffee, statistics and tips. Myself: ales, hunches and feelings of I-reckon-that-horse-is-pretty-on-it-today, the tactics of champions.

Alas gambling is a cruel mistress, one that Bobby Bayman seems to have a very profitable relationship with. But she has re-awoken the dormant punter inside me, I’ve danced with her once more. And I’ll be back to reap the rewards of my new found knowledge quicker than the bookie can shout ‘Money without work!’. Betting shop lunches – here we come.


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