Par for the Course

Jason has recently taken up playing golf.

I have to confess that this mystifies me. I really cannot see the point of golf. I mean, I cannot see the point of most sports, but for some reason golf just takes the edge when it comes to physical events that my brain just throws its hands in the air and gives up over.

Since Jason has converted, and this is the best word I can use here, because he has taken it up with a level of enthusiasm akin to being born again, he has, on the odd, deluded occasion, tried to get me to go with him and partake in the glories of the game.

I have resisted with might and main. We have discussed my aversion, and I have come to the following conclusions:

It is too long. It takes hours and hours, weeks and weeks to play. If you send someone off to play golf, you will be pacing the halls, thinking of ringing the local hospitals in case they’ve had an accident, before they come trundling back through the door. That kind of long. I simply cannot imagine anything that I would want to do for that long a period of time that does not involve biscuits and turning the pages of a novel.

It is too slow. It is a game for sloths, for the slow loris’ of the world. It is not the game for someone with the attention span of a hyperactive gnat. Everything takes forever and it’s all fiddly, which is why it takes too long (see point one).

It has a great deal to do with maths, and anyone who tells you any different is lying. All those birdies and bogies and other exciting words are just code for sitting in the club house fiddling around with numbers and getting excited about being on par or under par or over par. Bah not par.

The clothing is execrable. Just terrible. There are no words adequate to describe the horrors of the golfer’s wardrobe. Everyone seems to be either Alan Partridge ‘Sport’s Casual’ or Smiffy from Gavin and Stacey, or a horrible combination of the two.

Not only is the attire eye bleedingly unattractive but it is also heavily proscribed. We had to spend two hours of the weekend looking for the correct shorts. This involved number of pleats, material, length etc. There has not been this forensic level of attention to clothing since school uniform purchasing, and frankly it chaps my ass. It makes me want to dress head to foot in rubber fetish wear, roaming the fairways and urinating in the sand traps.

It is expensive. Even on public courses, by the time you have paid the green fees, sorted out clubs, clothes, balls, bags, shoes and trolley/buggies, it is insane. It would not matter so much if you were paying for a thing of beauty, but the fact that you are mostly paying for hideousness, depresses the hell out of me.

Finally, if all this were not enough, it is still, in some places, outrageously sexist. It is this that bothers me the most.

Yesterday, for example, Muirfield golf club in Scotland, maintained its rules about not allowing women members after a vote about it failed to get a two thirds majority. It is, by the way not the only club that doesn’t allow women to join. Royal Troon still doesn’t allow women members. The R&A, who make all the big decisions in the golfing world and decried Muirfield’s vote, only allowed women in two years ago.

At Muirfield,  thirty six percent of members voted against women being allowed in. It’s great that the majority of voters were all for women players, but 36% is still a shockingly high number against. That’s staggering and depressing.

Those members against women players put forward a number of ‘risks’ to allowing women to play. The word risk is one that sends my eyebrows shooting into my hairline. We are hardly talking Bear Grylls’ style activities here. We are talking about a frankly tedious walk over heavily manicured lawns holding a stick, not climbing the north face of the Eiger with a tooth pick. The biggest risk I can see is dying of boredom. By the time you reach the 18th hole you are actually praying someone will knock you out with a golf ball, it’s that uninteresting.

When you see what the risks are, they actually make your jaw drop. Apparently the number one risk is that women are too slow and will hold up male players. Then there is the fact that they will disorganise lunch time events, and finally the fact that they might be too uncomfortable amongst all those manly men who play golf in pink Pringle jumpers and pleated chino slacks. The Telegraph quotes their statement: “It will take a very special lady golfer to be able to do all the things that are expected of them.’

Yes. It will take an exceptionally calm lady golfer not to twat bigoted, sexist idiot male golfers round the head with a nine iron and suggest that they grow up and stop being so hideously out of step with the rest of the world.



3 responses to “Par for the Course

  1. As ever, you hit the nail on the head. Golf is actually a sport that appeals to me, as I detest getting hot & sweaty. A nice walk in the open air, with a bit of a game built in is much more my line. (I also like swimming because the water keeps you cool) However, the sexism has and always will be a deal breaker. I could, just about, get my head round the cost if I was really keen – many other activities have plenty of scope for being spendy – don’t take up knitting if you want to save money! But the out-dated attitudes will always mean that my golfing activities are confined to crazy/mini golf on holiday.

  2. “Golf – a good walk interrupted” – Mark Twain.

  3. Every time I think of golf, I think of Bertie Wooster. So why not ankle over and give the niblick a good thrashing?

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