It would have been impossible for me to marry someone who didn’t have deep interest in sport. I just couldn’t cope with questions like: What on earth is a topspin lob? or What the hell has an eagle got to to do with golf?
Well, I’m glad to report that I found ‘love’ on a tennis court and the guy who courted me and whom I eventually married was a keen sportsman who played about 6 sports at representative level and continues to have an absolute passion for sport in general.
Our honeymoon on the lovely island of Jersey coincided with the Ryder Cup in 1991. When we arrived at the hotel, hubby made a mad lunge at the television to be sure that it had all the stations necessary to see every shot of the competition.
Jersey was stunning, with its beaches, coastal paths, seafood restaurants on tiny harbours, The Lavendar Farm, La Mare Vineyard, Jersey Pottery and, of course, nearby Sark Island with its feudal regime.
The Ryder Cup was played in Kiawah Island, South Carolina that year and really it was like we became bi-located once it got underway on the Friday.
Watching the Preview of this year’s competition with hubby last night, I got a tingle of excitement and a real sense of deja vu when when he said of Ian Poulter: Here’s your man! My man in 1991 was undoubtedly Seve Ballesteros, who I had been fortunate enough to see in the flesh here in Ireland and who is without doubt the most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on. And what an inspirational golfer, not unlike Ian Poulter!
The 1991 Ryder Cup was unbearably close and we travelled home on the Sunday as the latter stages were unfolding. My parents had invited us for tea but weren’t in the least surprised when hubby shot passed them to catch the last few holes in which Europe were just pipped.
I can imagine that this could well be some people’s idea of absolute hell but somehow the Ryder Cup gives me a biennial reminder of the extent to which our marriage is built on a shared love of sport of all descriptions.
It’s all in the genes, as we both come from sporting families, and I could only smile when our son told me the other day of how he was shocked and horrified to be asked by someone: How many games are in a tennis match?
So, best of luck to the smiling Paul McGinley and his fabulous European team. We’ll be watching!