They moved there for the views across the golf course with a view to taking up the game, he struggled to see it as a sport, walking around the countryside was sticks and a ball was something you did with a spaniel, or so he thought from watching Countryfile. Yes, the move from the city suburbs to another suburb on the southern edge of the city was as close to the countryside as he was willing to go. He was hoping to see deer skipping across the garden and hares stood to attention as the swish of the club made contact with the ball.
The house had been for sale for a long time, a few hundred metres from the power station but next to the club, the 14th hole. But this was the ideal opportunity to go up in the world, the managers at the power station were members here, and it would be the chance he needed to move up the ladder from middle management to the dizzy heights of the area managers; and their naturally adopted habitat of the club. Maybe it would be different this time after the tennis club debacle; knickers must always be worn, he’d told his wife so, but her misplaced view on modesty and assumption that all tennis pro’s were “up for it” was a real error in judgement. They’d left under a cloud and moved to the other side of the city in an effort to blend in somewhere else.
Along the fence of the house was the 14th hole, to the East, the tee, to the West, the Green and the little red flag undulating in the breeze. South facing so she could sunbathe, and he could watch the game, maybe bidding “Good Day” to the boss as he belted a 2 Wood down the fairway. Along the fence was a long line of tar stained recently chopped mature tree trunks, Leylandii, trimmed and stacked at the far end of the garden, to season, he’d bet they’d make a wonderful fuel for the fire pit when he’d got his feet under the table and his spikes on the fairways and hosted his first office BBQ.
2 months later they were in, the sun was out, and she was in a little pair of shorts and a bikini top watering the flowers as a steady parade of plus four wearing admirers ambled past, looking for their balls, catching sight of her, puffing out their chests and giving a little wave, or a nonchalant nod of the head. Then SMASH! A ball rocketed through the kitchen window, upsetting the stacked plates recently washed up. CRACK! another pinged dangerously close to her sun-bed causing her to upset her Gin and Bitter lemon. SMASH, another window, CRACK on the garden shed wall this time. They were under attack and this went on day after day, week after week, throughout the seasons. No wonder they had a thick hedge there before, to protect against the unstoppable barrage of white and sometimes luminous missiles. During the autumn they paid a gardener to plant a line of 8 feet tall Leylandii, 2 feet apart.
The following summer, the trees had grown another foot, thickened out and the lawn had started to grow mossy. The sun trap was now nowhere to be seen, his wife had taken to sitting in the house in front of the television and his hatred of the little white balls in multiple buckets in his garage had found him ignoring the club. His golf bag lay dusty and musty in the garage as small flecks of rust peppered the exposed shafts next to the club heads. The hedge had stopped the sheer force that the balls flew into their garden, but didn’t stop the frequency.
They never moved from the house, they never spoke about the hedge, they hardly ever spoke to each other again.