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The thrill of the game

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I feel the need to preface this piece by saying I am very much the sport enthusiast. I enjoy watching sports and though I no longer partake in any, I was once very actively involved.  Nothing beats sitting in the stands of a stadium with a game of whatever about to kick off.  From football matches to basketball and hockey games, the atmosphere is electric.  There is a certain indescribable emotion that envelops you in a warm tight embrace adding fire to your blood and releasing all tension and nervous energy.  Then the game starts.  The cheering. The jeering. The excitement. The all encompassing adrenaline rush. Nothing beats it.

That is unless you are at a golf tournament.  Till recently, golf and cricket were the two most boring games to partake in as a spectator for me. Even so, I must say thanks to the one day internationals, Cricket is no longer a dreary game to enjoy.  Golf on the other hand is one sport I just can’t stomach.   Forget that it seems like a sport just for the retired and privileged and the dress sense of its players leaves much to be desired, it’s just not very appealing or fascinating to play or watch.  I mean, lets be real. Surely it’s the only sport out there where you don’t have to be particularly fit to play. As an observer, it defies imagination just how boring and negating the game is.

Now I know that there are some that absolutely love the game. I have no issue with that. The sanctity of sport is such that you do not impose on a man/woman and their love of the game.  I just don’t personally get it and my dislike is compounded by the fact that most people do not really ‘get’ into the sport till they have come into a bit of money or are retired or need to land that elusive business deal.  The rules of most golf clubs are so restrictive that I am left in awe that it has even dared to venture into the mainstream.  The more mainstream golf becomes, the more ruined I believe the game to be. I could tolerate it when it was played amongst the retired and privileged.  Now that it is including the pretentious few, I can’t help but feel some indignation towards the sport as a whole.

Armed with this knowledge as well as my growing disdain for the sport, I should not have been moved when reading about the plans for a new golf club where members must prove they are worth £100m – NET – to gain access.  Even so, I couldn’t help the way my heart start palpitating and the pure disgust that arose in me and developed into inescapable laughter.  I guess for a small minority, the credit crunch means nothing more than a small inconvenience but paying £2m membership fee for a golf club seems, in my humble opinion, excessive.

The Dall Estate doesn’t believe so and seem quite assured that they will not lack for clientele and shockingly enough, I believe them.  On the property is a 104-suite hotel with a health spa, retail facilities and a concert hall. Sounds like a holiday destination not a place to engage in a hearty round of highly entertaining sports now does it? It all serves to illustrate my suspicion of Golf as a sport.  It can not be taken seriously when it is very restrictive, highly discriminatory and simply designed as a past time for the elite to shift their vast fortunes amongst their own.

I know it is a gentleman’s game.  The etiquette (rules) on the course is such that this can hardly be disputed. From the outside looking reluctantly in, I simply can not imagine what the attraction is to the layman.  A lot of friends and colleagues are becoming more and more involved in the sport and it makes me wonder if it’s simply a status thing.  One colleague who likes to believe his golf friends above all others, talks about golfing not like a football fan would but like a company executive might talk about a hostile takeover he was overseeing.  Perhaps that’s where my derision is directed.  The Dall Estate sounds like it would be a stunning fortress aimed at keeping at bay the ‘wanna-be’ golfers who are only in the game to infiltrate on an establishment that was designed to keep out the masses.  The fight between the two groups will surely be more entertaining that the game as a whole. Now that would be worth seeing.  I hope they show this on ESPN Sport!

One Comment »

  • neil gardens said:

    I always hated snooker – then one day I watched it, 5 hours later I was still watching it and it was the next day.


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