The other morning, after a night of torrential rain, my first, irritated waking thought was, “Well, if it’s going to piss down, and I have to go out in that, I just hope there are hundreds of fat, boring businessmen meeting on golf courses today.” I’ve never been glad to see the back of summer but I welcome autumn and all its wind, rain and gloom because I cannot wait to see the back of golf. I hate golf.
I’m repeating myself: I hate golf. We’re talking about a “sport” that fines people for wearing the wrong jumper, or rejects them from clubs for being the wrong gender. Smack me around the head if I can think of a worse excuse for something to do. As for repetition? I’m no different to the insufferable, boring bastards who insist, year in, year out, that I should take up their pathetic, over-expensive hobby. “Try it, go on, I bet you’ll love it,” in the same manner of those awful pricks who implore you to get dressed down in street-corner attire to go to The Rocky Horror Show: “You haven’t lived until you’ve done Rocky Horror,” they whine. At least those part-time drag queens dress better than golfers.
Golf has gone through something of a purple (and pink /lilac /yellow check) patch in Ireland recently. Padraig Harrington won the British Open in 2007, then there’s been the emergence of Shane Lowry (and let’s face it, good press for fat blokes from Offaly is thin on the ground) and everyone’s favourite Cabbage Patch Kid, Rory McIlroy. Far from being marginalised like the executive waste of money and time it is, golf is everywhere you look – and listen.
Golf should be banned from the media, or only available on prescription. Switching on the TV or, even worse, the radio, to find golf coverage has taken the place of entertainment is just about as sick and depraved as society can get. There is no escape. It’s on the radio. An industry of utter tastelessness depends upon the acceptance of golf as normal. People succumb to this fascistic blandness the same way they accept tasteless cheddar cheese or Coldplay, but I refuse with every fibre of my existence as long as I can draw breath without aid of a kazoo.
Local golf success is no excuse for blanket coverage. They may as well attach a pack of temazepam to the front of the RTE Guide. It’s Comavision, worse even than watching Inspector Barnaby Bergerac trudge all around Midsomer in circles while a murder takes place at the farm or cottage he just left; at least there are murders in Midsomer, nothing would liven up a golf tournament more than a few ritual bludgeonings.
Golf courses are depressing blots on the landscape; they were invented to give men somewhere to have their prolonged mid-life crises – they just had to think of something pointless for them to do while they wandered around and lost their minds, with little flags every so often to sign-post how much closer to the bar they were getting. Golf courses are where middle-aged men go to start dying. Young men go to them to become prematurely middle-aged; all of a sudden, they reject any notion of rebellion or non-conformity and start buying clothes far more appalling and embarrassing than anything their parents made them wear to church.
Two young men who work in close proximity to me have actual, regular conversations about golf in the office. Conversations. I’ve heard them. I would say I listen, but when they start, it’s a bit like being on an operating table when the anaesthetist tells you to start counting backwards from 100. Overhearing one of these exchanges subtracts more time from your life than three packets of cigarettes. One of these young men even claimed there was “nothing better to do on a sunny day”. This is a person who spent a music festival playing football at the campsite. He sits in work coming up with reasons for the existence of golf. Is there any other industry in the world where so much money, time and bad tailoring goes into the art of doing less than nothing?
Recently, an Irish journalist asked Twitter if anyone had any questions for Rory McIlroy. I suggested he market something like the picture below. If you can’t beat an industry that thrives on the pursuit of tastelessness, why not join it?