When it comes to sport I like to consider myself something of an all rounder. I've been a football fan for long enough to have a preference on most games on the telly for one reason or another. I was a regular in front of the box when the Ashes were on over the last month or so, In fact I am perfectly happy to watch Cricket in any form regardless of who is playing. I never miss a good Snooker or Darts tournament. I am even content with Tennis, Boxing, Athletics on. I even watched live Fishing for an entire evening on Eurosport a few years back, but I don't count this as it was also the evening I had dabbled in smoking exotic tobacco and I pretty much giggled right the way through it and had passed out before it had reached what i'm sure was a dramatic and exciting finale.
But despite attempting it on numerous occasions I cannot enjoy, understand or get into Golf. I get the concept is to get around 18 holes in as few a shots as possible and there are loads of different clubs that do different things in different circumstances but here's my problem with it all.
1. You have to dress like a berk. A former boss of mine who used to play on a regular basis was always coming into the office with photos of his Golf exploits and my usual reaction was something along the lines of "whats with the jumper ?" or "Mmmmmm nice hat" or "Why are your socks rolled up your trouser leg in the style of an 18th century composer ?". He used to tell me it was club rules, apparantly they have strict dress codes. If I was given the choice of dressing like that or not going, believe me - I wouldn't go !!
2. Strange rules. Me and my old boss would run through it for hours with him getting more and more annoyed with me. He'd tell me that if you take a swing at the ball and miss that counts as one of your shots ! "But I haven't hit it" I'd say to him "But you tried to" he'd reply "Yeah, but I didn't" I'd retort, "Yes, but you wanted to" he'd come back with. "I want to go and rob Barclays but i'm not doing a 10 year prison sentence for it am I ?" I'd Argue. But no, if you try to hit the ball it counts, so get this - On the green when you're putting, if you hit the ball but it doesn't do a complete revolution that DOESN'T count ?!!!. So on one hand I can not make contact all and lose a shot but another time I can actually touch the ball and move it and it doesn't count.
3. It's an unfair game. When there is bad weather in Cricket scores and targets are adjusted to make things fair but in Golf i'm told "you play to the elements". So the scenario could happen where a numpty like me can go out in perfect weather in the morning, hit a dreadful round of say 15 over par and then a better player than me that would have scored 5 or 6 under par in the morning could go out in the afternoon, get caught up in a storm, have his ball blown all over the place and because of the impossible conditions score 16 over par and lose to me !
4. It's easy to cheat. I've lost count of the number of times my old boss would come back from a competition and complain that someone had lied about their handicap. "they were never a bloody 28" he'd say, to which my reply was "well, why were they then ?" "cos they lied" he'd reply. My thinking there then is turn up and say "I'm a 72 Handicap" - I'd win everything.
I'm sure there are plenty of Golfers and Golf lovers who after reading this will probably tear me to shreds or maybe attempt to offer me a decent explanation of how it all works but i'm sorry, I've tried to play your sport, I can't. I've tried to watch your sport, I can't and I've tried to understand your sport and I can't.