golf blog

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A controversial golf blog can help brigthen up your day and prepare you for another weekend's golf and none come any more controversial than Angry Golfer!

Our new golf blog columnist will become a regular on the site over the next few months, posting monthly golf blogs on the things that really get his goat! Part One of the golf blog opinion column is below...

Rough Justice

It’s only right errant tee shots should be punished. Trees are all you deserve if you’ve just sliced one off the tee trying to be an all-action superhero… with red pants on the outside of your trousers. But some courses seem intent on making our lives a complete misery. During a recent game, my decent approach hit the green and bounced through. Never mind, just a short chip back. But the area just a few feet off the back of the green resembled an Amazonian rainforest. After wrestling the snakes in the treacherous terrain, I found my ball. Well I think it was my ball from the three dimples I could make out from the grass attempting to strangle it. Hack! Slash! Swear word, Hack! More swear words! Call it a nine! So instead of being on the green in three and probably ending up with a five, I have a ruined round and a pointless card to fill out. Well done Mr Greenkeeper. Smashing!

Oh please, cover up!

I never expected to see Popeye on a golf course. Or Olive Oil. But I did, as silly headcovers. Now, if your name is Tiger I suppose it’s okay to have a tiger thing covering your driver. If your nickname is Goose then I suppose it’s almost okay to have a goose headcover. But if your name is Dave do you really need to cover your woods with inane cartoon characters? Do yourself a favour; save the £20-plus and buy a lesson instead.

It's a gift!

The gift felt reassuringly solid. Not heavy, in a cumbersome 'is-it-a-brick-in-a-box' type of way. But solid in an expensive watch type of way.

It was a special birthday after all. One of those with a zero at the end.

I'd long since decided to come clean and announce to the world that there would be celebrations aplenty. This decision was made not out of some insane hope of catching up with old, long-forgotten friends or of even having something resembling fun. It was made more out of not wanting white sheets daubed with cheap red emulsion adorning every bridge on my way to work announcing my impending decline into old(er) age.

The theory was that if there could be no element of suprise or chance to thwart my attempts of a cover-up, then there was less chance of a 'friend' or family member attempting to reveal The Secret. There was to be no secret. And it had worked. The 'big' day had arrived with no serious attempts at ridicule.

And now that everyone knew, at least I might get the odd half-decent present. Manoeuvring the present around in my hand, the expensive (looking) paper crackled in my hands. I was almost excited.

It may have taken 50 long years to get here, but maybe this was it. The moment I actually got a gift that was going to be a) useful or b) a real treat I would not normally spend my own money on or c) something that would entertain me.

As usual the present did not want to be opened, but there was no way I was doing what women do and very carefully remove the tape and fold the paper to be used again another day - maybe after ironing it as well. This baby was getting ripped to shreds as quickly as my (soon-to-be arthritic) hands could manage.

What treasure awaited me? What gem was about to glitter and sparkle before my very eyes?

A hint of blue protruded from the now shredded paper. My fingers probed and poked at the object. It now felt irregular and jagged. A few more rips and we'd be there. Confusion was setting in fast.

The gift was now released and free to amaze me. Well maybe it would amaze me when I worked out what it was.

It looked like a mini golf bag. It was a mini golf bag. Not just any mini golf bag, though. It had wheels and real clubs in it- that were in fact pens when you pulled the 'clubhead' off! There was even a clock mounted in the centre of the... thing.

It's something I will never understand. Why it it non-golfers insist on buying golfers things that vaguely to do with golf? How many times have we filled the cupboard under the stairs with golf ball soap-on-ropes, with placcy tacky putting devices and with golf joke books.

A book voucher or pro shop voucher would make so much more sense. If the billions of pounds spent at High street stores in the run-up to birthdays and Christmas were diverted into getting kids into golf, we'd have the Kevin and Perrys of this land breaking 100 every weekend instead of breaking windows... Well, maybe.

Our Open wins!

The debate about which Major is the best or biggest or most important should be finally laid to rest after this year's Masters.

The Sunday night slog with five-hour-plus rounds (for twoballs) sent an entire planet of golf nuts to sleep - whatever the time zone. The Open at Royal Birkdale in July willl be a much better display of golfing strategy and ability. And it's a proper Open, so you and I could enter... sort of.

Win crazy kit!

Right, there's a prize for anyone who owns the piece of equipment with the most ridiculous name.

To even stand a chance you will have to beat the ludicrously labelled Charcoal mist putter. So tell us about the crazily named gear you own. The owner gets a dozen Freak golf balls.

Web pick

We've all seen the golf tricksters, but this little beauty is worth watching. It comes with attitude! Log on to www.youtube.com and search for 'Golf Trick - Mad Scotsman'.

Mini rant:

Barking mad game online.

Have a go at this really annoying golf game... www.matchpractice.com/game/

It's enough to drive you raving mad! By the way - I managed to get six in a row, before I threw my computer at the dog!


Who you calling a cheat?

When is a 28 handicapper not a 28 handicapper?

When he bloody nails a par-5 green in two, when he goes two shots on a 155-yard par 3... and promptly pars it for the net hole in one! And when he beats your own very respectable net of 71 off an 18 handicap with a net 63... and murmered: "It's been weeks since I broke 90!"

Now don't you dare get me wrong. The handicap system is great. It unites all levels of golfer and allows the good to have a decent match with the bad... and the ugly, come to that. And when you see a 'proper' beginner nobble it off the tee, shank it out of a bunker and generally flail their way around a course, you have no qualms about giving them a ridiculous amount of shots. Hell... I'd let some of that have 36 shots and play off the reds if they were prepared to don a dress and whack on some lipstick!

It's the golfers who know - really KNOW - that they are better than the handicap they state; they are the ones who deserve to be putter-whipped naked in front of the clubhouse.

It's cheating. Pure, plain and simple. And, it's not always the maximum handicappers who are the worst culprits. It's the '14' handicapper who shoots two over par and then says: "Well, I used to play off two, but I haven't played that much since Christmas! Really?! What a suprise. They've probably been too busy spending all their winnings, gleaned from gullible mates who hand over the Sunday fiver every flaming week!

Let's unite against the evil plague creeping through this great game. Next time you come accrossa bandit, do at least one of the following:

a) Add a shot to every hole on his card.
b) Hand his scorecard in, send it to the English Golf Union, send it to the Queen.
c) Put a poster on the club noticeboard proclaiming: "I hereby decree that Mr X (insert name) is a cheating, lowlife, scumbag, puss-sucking peasant. He will play off 26 the next time he tees off!

There. That't sort it.

Getting shirty

Now, I am a bit of a traditionalist, me. Not in a sexist or upper-class kind of way, but in a jeans-are-for-the-disco-and-not-the-golf-course kind of way.

But while visiting a private course recently I was astounded to see - and hear - a fellow golfer galloping across the fairway to remonstrate with one of my playing partners.

What could all the fuss be about? The crime was heinous - his shirt had come untucked... a bit! Surely there are worse things to worry about? Bet Mr Complainer played off 28!

Let them entertain you... not!

Let's hear it for the great posters publicising golf clubs' entertainment schedules. Who could possibly resist Abber or The Real Elvis, ot a night with Svelte 'n' John?

What do you mean you'd rather boil your own head in a gallon of cat's wee?

Pencil this in

Note to anyone playing a medal, match or comp that involves even minimal scorekeeping duties. Marking someones card involves following their travails and writing down the number of strokes they took to get in the cup. Not asking: "Howm many were that then?" and following up with: "Got a pencil?"

My left foot (hurts)

Dear Messrs FootJoy, Ecco, Adidas, Hi-Tec, Stuburt, Etonic, Bite etc. Cricket bats come 'knocked-in', so why can't golf shoes come walked in? Once more, I've bought new shoes. Once more, I can hardly stroll due to blisters. Sort it out.

Croc watch

A North Queensland golf course has decided that the metre-long crocodile, which has taken up residence in a water hazard, which will be allowed to stay. I can see why. It must be nice to have a croc - all most clubs have is sharks.


Sod off Mr Serious!

Five minutes before the allotted tee time and I’ve arrived in the car park, tyres-asquealing, doors-a-slamming. In a blur of activity, shoes are tied, bag unloaded, glove, ball and tees grabbed from a side pocket. In a rush to the tee I see one of my playing partners saunter from the practice area. He’s been there an hour… apparently. Hitting little knock-down chip shots, then full wedge shots. Next he took to the net, going through his entire set – 9-iron through to driver. Then on to the putting green with bits of string and pegs placed in strategic places... blimey!

At the 1st (a shortish par 5) the same player goes through a complex pre-shot routine. First he lines up his driver with something in the distance... then has a practice swing... then he steps in to the ball with right foot, then left... then the head comes up to view the target. Then stillness. And silence. And more stillness. A car passes some 50m away in a soft whooshing of rubber on Tarmac. The player tuts, shakes his head, steps back and goes through his entire routine – stillness included – again. Eventually he ‘nobs’ it a bit left… about 160 yards left.

By the time I come to hit my opening drive, I’m cold and bored. Two quick wafts of the big stick and it’s up to the ball and whack. Bit of a power fade, but acceptable.

Once on the green ‘Mr Serious’ has taken four shots – the same as me. He is prowling around the green, marking his ball, rubbing his ball, cleaning his ball. Looking at his putt from every conceivable angle. He then crouches behind the ball
and does that hold-the-putter-up thing. Then he does that cup-the-hands-around-the-cap-peak thing. He stands, takes about six practice swings and then does a putter version of his pre-drive routine. Finally he hits the ball… and it rolls up about six feet short. He takes two further putts.

The other two players in our ‘friendly and for-fun’ fourball exchange sideways glances at various points over the remainder of the five-hour round.

We’re all a bit rubbish and we know it. It’s one thing to take a bit of time over a putt in a competitive round when things are going well; it’s another to take things way too seriously when you’re battling to get under 100. What’s the point?

Mr Serious ends up getting frustrated, his playing partners are trying hard not to ‘persuade’ him to hurry up with the aid of a 7-iron and the round becomes generally unenjoyable. We ‘amateur’ golfers need to take this game for what it is and get the most out of it without pretending we are Tiger Woods – minus the ability.

Have you seen this?

A great way to start an argument is to ask your best mate to tee up and whack a ball from off your flies – as ably demonstrated by these two brainiacs at http://www.todaysgolfer.co.uk/idiots – especially if he’s not very good.  This kind of
activity is not big, and it’s a long way from being clever. But hey, it is quite funny.

Enough to make me barking…

Dogs don’t belong on golf courses. There, I said it. If you’ve got a dog, take it for a walk along a river bank, or let it soil your own garden! Golf courses should be left for golfers to enjoy peace and nature with a backdrop of self-challenge and mental agility.

We should not have to tread in fear of some mutt howling on our backswings, or of plonking our £240 FootJoy Classics down into some festering turd as we walk from green to tee. Nor is it exactly restful to watch your playing partner constantly battle to keep his hound in check while you set up to a four-footer.

Dogs: take ’em to the park.

Watch that space!

Why do some golf clubs insist on having about a dozen allocated car parking spaces that are hardly ever used? Does the Vice Ladies’ Assistant Deputy Coffee Machine Cleaner Attendant Person really need her own space, while the rest of us are forced to brave the muddy track into the overflow of the overflow car park?

Oh yeah, and…

How do gadget makers get away with their ‘extra distance, extra accuracy’ claims? Does anyone ever check, challenge or even sue? If I used all the items claiming more yards I’d hit it 763 yards. With a wedge.