It’s a curious thing is ‘eccentricity’. Us middle-agers, as we hit the crisis, with scant little to look forward to besides working, hospital appointments and death, often brace the left-field obscure as a way of adding a little seasoning to our chi.

For some it may be stripping off and partaking in a naked bike ride (and no I’m not: as a cyclist, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone and would be worried as to unnecessary chafing).

For others it is entering a marathon dressed as a crustacean or getting an instantly regrettable tattoo of some mistranslated ancient scripture on the knave of your back.

Yet one that has appealed to me personally is none of the above, but that of the world crazy golf championships which have taken place annually in my birthplace, Hastings, since 2003 at HAG (Hastings Adventure golf).

With entrants from the USA, New Zealand and Hungary, there is £1,250 for the winner along with a prize pot of a further £1,750.

Many years ago, I ended up having a drunken conversation with the former world CG champion in the Jenny Lind pub in Hastings.

He explained he took it seriously, but not as seriously as ‘the Germans’ who, he claimed, were full-time crazy golfers in the German military, and who had their own ‘tour bus’.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The World Crazy Golf Championships appeal to Brett EllisThe World Crazy Golf Championships appeal to Brett Ellis (Image: Brett Ellis)

I recounted this story to my wife when I looked on forlornly last week from the shires having seen the gently mocking news stories advertising last weekend’s tournament, but then, with a huge dash of jealousy, I realised an old friend of mine, Matt Voss, had actually gone and entered.

Matt, a building contractor, living in Bexhill, decided to take the plunge ‘for a laugh’.

Being an avid golfer, it was not much of a stretch, and he arrived resplendent in his golfing finery. Having finished seventh in the novice event, his inaugural entry, he now finds himself hovering around the world’s top 50 crazy golfers, which is no mean feat.

There were even supporters who had travelled to support their favourite crazy golfer, although Matt stopped short of classing them as ‘groupies’.

Asked if he enjoyed it, he said, "It was a really lovely event and I’m 100% going back next year, although I won’t be pursuing a career in it as I don’t think my back could take it…"

Yet, in lieu of being a fully-paid up ‘crazy’ golfer, I am jealous of Matt for his entry and, maybe, just maybe, I will dig a hole or 18 in the garden, buy a putter and see him on the tee on Hastings seafront in 2024 as another bucket list event gets ticked off, right after I’ve broken my leg by chasing that huge wheel of cheese somewhere down a field in the West Country…

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher.