Does your wife know you're wearing her trousers?

By David Medcalf

'Does your wife know you're wearing her trousers?'

Eldrick and I had noticed the strangers long before this bellowed enquiry was heard booming across the course from the fourth fairway. In fairness, these were eye-catching trousers. They adorned the legs of a middle-aged, overweight man whom we will call Cyril for want of knowing his real name.

Cyril was a visitor to Our Town GC, a member of a cheerful party of touring players who had arrived to enjoy a companionable round. He was clearly the leader of the pack, at the centre of all the laddish banter about what had gone on in a nearby hotel the night before.

The barbed humour of the group ricocheted around the car park like sniper fire as they warmed up for the sporting contest ahead. Cyril's position as top dog was underlined by the trousers, which were so red as to be ketchup coloured, like an explosion in a tomato factory.

The style of cut was bell-bottomed in a manner that no self-respecting male would consider being seen in on the street - but the golf course is not the street. If he wished to exhibit his lower limbs and hind quarters like a refugee from the glamrock heyday of Queen or Garry Glitter, then there was no one to stop him.

Even Our Club GC, which is far shy of being Royal Dublin or Augusta, has rules forbidding the wearing of dreadful denim in the precincts. Also on the banned list are shorts with stripes of the Adidas sort running along the thigh. However, no wording, no bye-law, no legislation capable exists to deal with luridly red bell-bottoms such as Cyril's.

Golf has long provided an outlet for the sort of preening peacock behaviour which the founders of the game would have thought utterly bizarre. The look-at-me approach to dressing for the sport is led by some of the top professionals, so it is small wonder that some lesser mortals follow suit.

Dandy Englishman Ian Poulter with his shimmering gold shirts is one role model for chaps who like their golf-wear flamboyant. John 'Wild Thing' Daly with his hideously jarring harlequin slacks similarly sets a toe-curling tone which the likes of Cyril are only too keen to follow.

Eldrick and I patiently awaited our turn to tee-off, filling in the time with some much needed practice on the putting green as the lads on the outing set off for their eighteen holes. As we waited, we heard balls ripping into trees as drives wavered off the strait and narrow, with much muffled swearing from bunkers.

Such are the customary sounds of summer on any course in the country as enthusiastic hackers let fly. Then came the loudly expressed query from a member of one fourball marching up towards the the fourth green just as Cyril was poised to launch his ball into play from the second tee.

'Does your wife know you're wearing her trousers?'

The man in the crimson breeches could not ignore the query, pausing in his back-swing to look up at his smart-assed friend. Cyril's position as alpha-male was evidently under challenge from this whipper-snapper who had drawn the attention of a wide audience to the gauntlet he was throwing down.

'Does your wife know you're wearing her trousers?'

As he faced up to this unexpected protagonist, Cyril must have realised that he could not be seen to back down in any way in the face of such impertinence. The leader of the pack could not afford to let anyone suspect he was in any way embarrassed by the red bell-bottoms. Red bell-bottoms are to the Cyrils of this world as powdered wigs were to Louis the Fifteenth and this Cyril must assert his regal authority.

'Does your wife know you're wearing her trousers?'

'No, but your wife does.'

So saying, the alpha-male swatted at his Spalding with his over-sized driver and sent the ball soaring straight down the middle in best Crosbie and Hope style.

Then he stalked after it without further remark, his seat on the throne secure.

Nice one, Cyril.

Wexford People

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