NOT belonging to the Anchor Golf Society is, as Mark Twain meant to say, a good drink spoiled.
Not belonging means you’ll never quite fit in with the select band in the pub who all talk such a great game of golf. (Infinitely better than most of them play.)
Become a member of the AGS though, and every time you walk into the Anchor you’ll be warmly welcomed into a round of 15+ (which seldom comes to more than £35) and into such stimulating conversation that you’ll go home wishing you’d joined years earlier. Listen in awe to a detailed description of Nigel’s 300 yard drives, marvel at Nasher’s tales of nearly sub-par rounds, wonder at the effrontery of Robbo’s handicap, delight in a demonstration of Barry’s new backswing. Occasionally, you’ll be able to thrill the assembled company with accounts of your own fantastic golfing exploits, only don’t try to top any of their stories. (And don’t mention putting if Cornish is there.)
Once you’ve been truly accepted, you’ll not only have earned the privilege of buying at least two rounds in one evening, but you’ll almost certainly get a cuddle from Blackball too. Well worth waiting for, eh?
Of course, you don’t have to drink in the Anchor to be a member of the AGS. (Indeed, some members would be hard-pressed to find the place – although that might be more down to their age and consequent memory loss than a preference for another pub.) But you do have to be an all-round good egg. Someone who enjoys a round of golf with like-minded layabouts and who won’t go home and slit his throat if he plays badly. (You are, by the way, expected to play badly quite often; no one likes a smart-ass who keeps winning.)
And of course sociable golf is what the Society is all about. It doesn’t matter what your handicap is – currently they range from 2 to the 28 – because the handicap committee will very soon decide what it will be. Naturally, if you decide to join for the dinner-only option, you don’t need a handicap at all.
You must be able to catch a golf ball too. The ancient and ultra-sophisticated AGS tradition which requires the President to hurl balls at selected members after dinner can be an enlightening experience, particularly if someone at your table misfields a ball and you fail to notice the resulting shards of broken glass in your cheese and biscuits. After the ball ceremony, the prizes – and what prizes they are. Sometimes they can be worth as much as £5! (Each that is.)
So there you have it, camaraderie and bonhomie, on and off the course, gourmet meals, great golf courses (see our fixtures page) and, just occasionally, some great golf too. All this – and more – for a measly £20 annual membership fee. To join the Anchor Golf Society and change your life forever, just email our Secretary.