The world’s greatest golfers will pit their skills at the Masters in Augusta this week beside the beautiful azaleas that grace the course. Tiger Woods is, once again, the world number one, but the British contingent isn’t without its chances. Inspired, the Hedges family took to Petersfield’s play-and-go course, also not without its charms, but the harsh winter has left the greens in poor condition.

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When we eventually got to them, that is. Charlie and Anna had barely played before. We progressed in a series of 20-yard bounds with the occasional fluke sending the ball soaring a full half-furlong or so. But, incredibly, the sun was on our back and it didn’t matter that we weren’t very good. I spent much of my time treading in divots and asking, begging or demanding that the children watch the ball before they took another swipe. By the fifth hole, something clicked. Balls were frequently hurrying in the right direction and we even started to wonder what par was for the hole.

If only we’d had the advice Peter Alliss, the great golf commentator, was giving on the radio on the way home. He said that golf was actually a simple game we complicate by trying to be clever. It all comes down to focusing on the ball and hitting it. Easy for him to say!

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