A dandy (also known as a beau or gallant) is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self. [Wikipedia]
They say “you’re only as good as your last game”. Personally, I don’t believe in such non-sense as by that rule we are utterly rubbish.
What I do believe in is dreams, oh yes.
I am happy to join with you on 24 March 2012 in what will go down in history as the greatest comeback in the annals of our noble sport.
Two years ago, I and a great Walton member and wine club owner, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, founded the Wedge Trophy over a few (large) gin and tonics. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to the young members of Deal and Walton who had been seared in the flames of withering monthly stablefords. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But two years later, Deal are 3-0 down. Two years later, the life of the Deal Dandy is still sadly crippled by the manacles of the Walton Wizzards’ victories. Two years later, the Deal Dandy lives on a lonely island of defeat in the midst of a vast ocean of near victories. Two years later, the Deal Dandy is still languishing in the corners of Rivals or JJ Whispers and finds himself napping in the sofa room. And so we will do battle on 24 March to rectify this shameful condition.
It would be fatal for us to overlook the urgency of the moment. This freezing winter of Deal’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating spring of victory and debauchery. 2011 is at an end, but 2012 is a new beginning. And those Walton Wizzards who hope that the Deal Dandy is a natural born loser and will be content with another loss will have a rude awakening. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in Deal until the Dandy is granted his victory pint of Doombar. The whirlwinds of discontent will continue to shake the foundations of our clubhouse until the bright day of victory emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my team, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of Rivals: In the process of gaining our rightful victory, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for Ale by drinking from the cup of Bitter Shandy. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of Claret and Kummel. We must not allow our sozzled antics to degenerate into physical violence and dwarf throwing. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting a large gin with a conversely small measure of tonic.
The marvellous lash which has engulfed the Deal Dandy must not lead us to a distrust of all Wizzards, for many of our Walton brothers, as evidenced by their previous deviant drinking, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their lash is inextricably bound to our lash.
We cannot lash alone.
And as we lash, we must make the pledge that we shall always lash forwards.
We cannot lash back.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my Cinque Ports team.
And so even though we face the difficulties of deep rough at the third and the nasty three footer at the ninth, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the lasher’s dream.
I have a dream that one day this team will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that Deal are better than Walton, both on and off the course.”
I have a dream that one day on the green hills of the first tee, Good Duncs and Bad Gay Duncs will be able to sit down together at the table of stupidity and negotiate the correct number of shots.
I have a dream that one day the Fentmeistergeneral, still sweltering with the heat of choking, sweltering with the heat of nervous collapse, will be transformed into an oasis of calm and be able to close out a match when four up with four to play.
I have a dream that our poor little Fewster will one day be able to carry the ditch at the 18th and not be judged by his height but by the content of his pint glass.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down by the hut, with its vicious racist, with its Bovril and Sherry dripping with the words of “Whisky” and “Mac” — one day right there at the turn P Diddy and C Diddy will be able to join hands with Earley and Gorilla as brothers and lashers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every dune shall be made low, the deep rough will be made plain, and the crooked putts will be made straight; “and the glory of the links shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South East coast with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a golf ball of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling nerves of our crucial putt into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to hack together, to shank together, to yip together, to go to Rivals together, to stand up and own the dance floor together, knowing that we will be victorious one day.
And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of Royal Cinque Ports’ children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My links ’tis of thee, sweet land of debauchery, of thee I sing.
Land where my drive was skied, land where I lost my pride,
From every fluffed chip on every green side, let victory ring!
And if the Deal Dandies are to be a great team, this must become true.
And so let victory ring from the prodigious dune tops of the links.
Let victory ring from every snap-hooked drive to avoid the clubhouse at the first.
Let victory ring from every horse-shoed putt.
Let victory ring from the nasty pot-bunker at the eighth.
Let victory ring from every hill and molehill of the sixteenth.
Let victory ring from every shank, from every hack, from every nobble.
But not only that:
Let victory ring from the mighty balcony of the clubhouse.
Let victory ring from the beer stained walls of The King’s Head.
Let victory ring from the suspiciously sticky carpet of Rivals.
From every Deal establishment, let victory ring.
And when this happens, when we allow victory to ring, when we let it ring from every bar and every pub, from every restaurant and every club, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Golf’s children, professionals and hackers, hookers and slicers, winners and chokers, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old golfing spiritual:
Lashed at last! Lashed at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are lashed at last!
So, in summary, I am foully excited to announce the following Deal side which looks a dead cert to win the greatest victory since the Winchester flower-arranging team beat Harrow by twelve sore bottoms to one:
The Deal Dandies
1 Michael “Nil Points” Hedges
2 Sam “the dwarf throwing champion” Mason
3 Graham “the dwarf that was thrown” Fewster
4 Patrik “Harry Potter” Karrberg
5 Christian “Lord Voldermort” Bjarnram
6 James “Earlington” Earlington
7 James “he got a fast car” Brodie
8 Martin “the choker” Fent
9 Ross “Big Deal Daddy” Howie
10 Tom “saucy trousers” Munro
11 Duncan “bad / gay Duncs” Andrews
12 Thomas “the country maus” Biggs
– Good Duncs
– David “under the thumb” Waltham
– James “catchphrase” Leah
Let battle commence!