Edinburgh. Info: 225 7534 ext 219/221/226. Free. but booking essential. A two-month season of talks and demonstrations about Islamic culture.

lslamic Weaving tors-14 year-olds Thurs 15. 10am-4pm

(12.30—1 .30pm lunch-break), £2 (‘hclpful parents‘ free). Jeremy Hooker shows how tufted carpets are woven.

Islamic Weaving lorAduIls Fri 16, 10am—4pm (12.30-1.30pm lunch-break), £2. Also led by Jeremy Hooker.

Arabic and Urdu Calligraphy Sat l7.2—4pm.£1.50. Hafeez Siddiqui leads. Henna Randpainling Mon 19, 10.30am—4pm (1230—! .30pm lunch-break). £1.50. Bhadra Mehta demonstrates a second use for hair dye.

Wednesday 21

I Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh Stockbridge Library. Hamilton Place. Edinburgh. Info: 557 1265. 7-8pm. Free: 50 tickets available from venue. William Tait discusses the jewel in Inverleith‘s crown.

Thursday 22

I Early Christian Archaeology in Scotland Lecture Theatre , Royal Museum of Scotland. Chambers Street, Edinburgh. Info: 225 7534. Durham University's Rosemary Cramp. CBE. takes a new look at old problems.

I My Mother, My Therapist (out What About Father?) Holy Corner Church Centre, Chamberlain Road. Edinburgh. Info: 553 6660. 7.30pm. £3.50 (£1.50). A lecture organised by the Wellspring centre. and given by Janet Sayers. Ms Sayers is a lecturer and clinical psychologist. and has written two books. The second . Mothering Psychoanalysis is due to be published soon.

OPEN EXTRA Friday 164unday 18

I Model Railway so Hall 5. SECC, Finnieston, Glasgow. Info: 0292 269 141. Fri 11am—8pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 10am—5pm. £2 (child £1 ; family £5). The 22nd show to be mounted by the Association of Model Railway Societies in Scotland, and the biggest of its kind in Britain. with over 30 societies exhibiting N gauge. 0 gauge and 00 gauge models in handmade scenic layouts. displays and dealers. Paradise for Hornbyphiles.

That Swing Thing

‘A hole in one is worth two in the bush,’ is an indisputable golfing adage. But how to make it happen? Mike Wilson went in search of eagles near Dalkeith.

‘Stop’, suggests John Henderson, the professional at Newbattle Golf Club, near Edinburgh. A 7-iron is halted mid-swing. It sounds like good advice, but permanently or just for the moment? ‘Rule one concerns alignment with the ball and the target. And it is something that not only beginners but also low-handicap golfers can get wrong.’ John argues that since it is the club head that is hitting the ball to the target, it is that which should be positioned so that it is square to the ball’s intended path. Choosing to line the shoulder, hip and feet with the target as an alternative stance risks the club head meeting the ball at an angle. The message is to set the club head first and then position one’s body square on to that.

Following this advice, the last thing my body can do is obey the command to relax. The ball sits, threatening to be missed. ‘Your grip of the club’, interjects John patiently, ‘is wrong, with the right hand under the left, when it should be over, with the V shape created by the thumb and index finger pointing towards your right shoulder.‘ I try the new grip and immediately feel the muscles painfully adjusting.

Okay, so I have a better posture. Time to ready myself for another strike at the ball? ‘Depends whether you are looking to hit the ball or whether you want to concentrate on the swing,’ says my teacher, warning of the need to create a machine-like swing so that consistency can be maintained. A few minutes later, and I have at least half a dozen things to think about: keeping the head steady; making sure the angle of the club head is not closed towards the ground when it is being pulled back for the strike; shifting the body weight from the right foot to the left foot through the are of the swing; imagine throwing my hands towards the target as part of the follow-through, and ending the swing with my body twisted and my chest facing the target. It sounds all too much, and each time I attempt to hit the ball, there is at least one of the

checklist missing or at fault. ‘Traditionally, in Scotland, people visit the professionals for lessons as a. last resort,’ says John Henderson. ‘Down South, some clubs stipulate classes with the professional as a prerequisite for membership. Maybe it is because golf is so readily available and less expensive in Scotland that people aren’t prepared to take lessons. If you want to knock the ball around in 120 every time you play a game of golf, then fair enough.

But if you want to improve, then you have to take lessons.’

Tradition has always had a large part to play in golf. Simple rules of etiquette govern the playing of the game on the course; even simpler, if occasionally intimidatory, rules apply when making a bid to join a private club. Good manners form the basis of golf etiquette. For example, replace any divots which are dug up when hitting the ball, smooth the sand after playing a bunker shot, flatten out pitch marks on the green which can be created when the ball lands. To join a club, make sure your name is down in plenty of time. At Newbattle, allow for a couple of years; at Deeside, give it twenty-five. Killermont, in Glasgow’s Bearsden, ranks as one of the most exclusive clubs in the country. A few clubs, such as Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society in Edinburgh’s Barnton, exclude women. Playing a private course is not impossible if you are not a member, but the price will be higher and the opportunities will be restricted to times when the course is quiet. Then again, the many municipal courses in Glasgow and Edinburgh can get prohibitively busy, particularly at weekends, so there is no guarantee that you can find a game at a moment’s notice.

‘Golf can sometimes get held back by the tradition,’ admits John Henderson. ‘A lot of clubs are run by amateurs trying to do a professional job. They should be run as a business, and the only way they can do that is to employ a manager rather than use the services of a part-time secretary. The clubhouses can be a licence to print money.’

We finish the lesson having identified a variety of areas, particularly with my follow-through, which need attention. I have learnt a number of exercises to develop in my own time. The weather might be variable at the moment, but I need a few weeks to practise. The lesson had begun half an hour previously with me feeling relatively confident. Dawn raids on one of Edinburgh’s municipal courses last summer had led me to believe that I was marginally better than a beginner. It ended with my confidence well and truly bunkered. But then Sandy Lyle produced a marvellous sand shot at the 18th at Augusta in 1988 to win the US Masters. So, if] listen to John saying ’stop’ more often perhaps my average 45 over par can be reduced after all.




I John Henderson Newbattle Golf Club. near Jewel and Esk Valley college. 660 1631. £7 half-hour. £12 hour.

I Mark Patchelt Broomieknowe Golf Club. Golf Course Road. Bonnyrigg. 660 2035. £7 half-hour, £12 hour.

I Kevan Whitson Turnhouse Golf Club, 154 Turnhouse Road, near the Maybury roundabout, 339 7701 . £10perlesson.

I Alan Pale Ratho Park. Ratho. near Newbridge, 333 1406. £8 half-hour.

I Alastair McLean Duddingston Golf Club, Duddingston Road West. near Holyrood Park, 661 4301 . £7.50 half-hour. GLASGOW

I Billy Lockle Kilmarnock Barassie, Troon . 0292

31 1322. £12 half-hour.

I Stephen Bree Cathkin Braes. Rutherglen, 634 0650. £10 per lesson.

I Charles Demle Buchanan Castle, Drymen, 0360 60330. £8 half-hour (members), £10 (non-members).

I David RaylorCathcan Castle , Clarkston. 638 3436. £7.50 half.hour.

I John McTear Cowglen. 310 Barrhead Road, Pollockshaws, 649 9401. £7 half-hour.


I Stuart Campbell Grangemouth GolfClub. Polmonthill, Polmont. 0324 714355. £8 half-hour.


You pay your money for a bucket of balls and hit them down an alley with no need to collect them. Ideal to practise what you have just learned. EDINBURGH

I Port Royal Golf Range Eastfield Road. Ingliston. 333 4377. £1.25 for 50 balls.


I Normandy Driving Range Inchinnan Road. Renfrew, 886 7477. £1 .30 for 50 balls. £2 for90.

I Clydevray Coll Centre

Blantyre Barn Road. Uddingston, 641 8899.

£1 .20 for 55 balls. £2 for 100.

I Roulten Glen Goll Centre Stewarton Road. Dcaconsbank. 638 7044. £1 .50 for 50. £2 for 75.

I Strathclyde Pant Motehill. Ilamilton. 0698 286505. £2 for a small basket. £2.50 for a large.


I Stroke Play Every shot is counted throughout the game. and the player with the lowest total wins.

I Malchplay Holes are played individually. The player who scores the lowest number of shots for the one hole goes ‘one up‘ on the other player/s.

I Foursome: Four players split into two pairs. with each pair sharing one ball and alternately playing a shot.

I Four Ball Not eligible for competitions. but popular as a social occasion. Four players each playing stroke play.


To achieve a handicap through a club. the usual practice is to play three competitions and average out your score. Probably. it will be a weighted rather than an arithmetic average so that consistent scoring is not prejudiced by freak scores. The higher the score above par. the higher the handicap. Theoretically. one‘s score minus handicap will equal par for the course. The lower the handicap, the better player you are.


Starting out. a second-hand set of clubs and a bag of cheap balls will probably suffice. Very cheap balls can often be bought from kids who scour the courses looking for lost balls. Club professionals will usually have their own shop which is very often their main source of income where they will give advice. carry out repairs and astound you with the technology that goes into the production of clubs and balls.

The List 9 22 February 1990 79