Anything but clubs

I look across the peaceful fields of England and a calmness overwhelms me. Rolling through the countryside in a train to some beacon of urban grandeur – Stevenage say, or Taunton – I wonder how our nation can feel so cramped, so busy, when there are glorious grassy plains as far as the eye can see.

As I rumble through these ancient green lands with so many stories to tell, of lords and serfs, farmers and shepherds, men and women of toil and endeavour, I spy two people meandering across the verdant terrain.

The fury is immediate and profound. Golfers.

I read the other day that there’s 10 times more space in the UK given over to golf courses than to allotments. Now, Jeremy Corbyn is a divisive man even when being condescending to carrots or whatever he does on his tiny plot. But if we’re finally forced to face Brexit in the next few months, it’ll be interesting to watch the affluent in plaid try to fend off Jeremy’s famished hordes looking for viable soil to grow the one swede a month we’ll each have to live off.

Because you don’t get left-wing golfers, do you? That’s an honest question – I’ve certainly met none myself. Sure there are people I know who play golf and who don’t necessarily want all non-whites chipped and monitored, or just kicked into the sea. But give any golfer the choice of a wheat field or fairway to build a few much-needed houses on, and we all know which brand of gammon-headed patrician will get their backing at the next council hustings.

The unquestioned acreage given to golf courses used by such relatively small numbers is scandalous. But my God, the game itself is a fat sack of horseshit. Tiny ball, metal bar, whack, walk for ages and do it again. Probably don’t walk in a straight line down the fairway because the logic of swing harder -> ball goes further doesn’t apply as it would in anything governed by physics. If, as I have, you’ve tried to play this game using Newton as your guide, expect to become involved in very long grass, trees, water and various other entrapments that make your next shot harder as though the first shot wasn’t fucking taxing enough.

And there’s sand. Who dreamed up the idea to put reservoirs of sand inland? There’s a reason sand is at the seashore – it’s appalling to walk on and thus provides a useful warning that beyond is a dark, deep morass filled with aberrant monstrosities with sharp teeth and googly eyes that will gladly accompany your lifeless corpse to the sea bed. The sea is not for humans. Do you realise that by displacing sand and using it on your golf course you might have caused an infant to wander unknowingly straight into the arms of a lurking stingray?

Golf thinks it’s better than the rest of us with terms like eagle and albatross, when robin and blue tit are clearly available. I have tried golf, twice, aged about 19. First round of 18 holes I got 147. That’s not a good score. Second round I got 158 and sunstroke. I don’t think these facts are relevant, however; it’s just shit, objectively and unequivocally. The bats won’t even snap when you thrash them across your knee.

I find great pleasure in winding up a golfer by misnaming their principal tool. “It must be tiring having to lug a big bag of golf bats around, eh?” Poles, sticks, cues, rackets – anything but clubs will have the same effect: a look of pity laced with disdain. You can’t be serious. You can’t be a grown adult in the west and not know what a golf club is. Did you have no father figure to explain there’s more to life than rounders and Buckaroo?

Oh you did it on purpose. Well I don’t think it’s funny.

Heh heh heh.

Tell me, golfers, why not snooker? Small balls, long, thin equipment, extended periods of contemplation. On the baize it’s possible to mess up a shot without knowing your next is going to be pointlessly impeded by a fucking oak tree. You’re much less likely to brain someone or have an eye out up the Hurricane Room. And the clincher: snooker, it’s pints. Golf, it’s pre-mixed cans of gin and tonic.

Anyway, surely Tiger Woods has won golf now. He was great, stuck his cock in something, crashed his motor and then was great again in apparently the most incredible comeback of all time. So now he’s completed golf, can’t we be done with it?

And who else plays golf? Yeah, you know. He’s infected that sport with his orangeness for years, but since he became president it’s made you feel a bit squalid every time you’ve poked your little tee into fresh turf, hasn’t it? Every time you thrash a Titleist a Guatemalan child is thrashed in an El Paso detention centre.

These, and many more, are the reasons it’s time to pack up your golf rods and forget you ever heard the words wrist cock. Save yourself before Jeremy Kyle’s cancellation releases the slovenly jobless to lurch towards your pretty greens to bovinely reclaim what’s theirs.

Gumtree your putters. Sheathe your needlessly gigantic umbrella. Forfeit your balls.

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