Saturday, 2 October 2010

The 'Magnetism' of the Ryder Cup

I must be clear about my views on the game of golf. I find the entire game, the premise, the 'etiquette' and the snobbery utterly ridiculous.

I must confess that I have attempted to play the game and the only word to describe my ability is pathetic. I once even invested in clubs, bags, clothing and membership of a club in the feint hope that I would improve (I was told that successful people play golf) but I simply discovered that when I addressed the ball the only thing that would happen would be for my nose to run uncontrollably.

So much has been said about the bizarre culture of the average golfer and the inherent middle class pretensions of the members club that I wouldn't even attempt to add anything new. The only thing I would say is that all of those argyle-clad allegations are true.

I have thought long and hard as to whether it is my lack of ability which provides my aversion to the game and have come to the conclusion that yes, partially it is. I am sure that if I had more natural talent I would probably not mind so much kitting myself out in pastel Pringles and deferring to the Captain. At the same time the sheer inanity of the pursuit simply results in me not wanting to improve my long game (I have far better things that I would rather practice).

Having said all of that, and God strike me down if I would watch golf at any other time, there is something indescribably magnetic about the Ryder Cup.

I was loving it yesterday when 'rain stopped play'.  The sight of those soaking wealthy spectators vaguely resembling moody teenagers on a washed out camping trip was to put it mildly, uplifting.

However, today the players are out on the course and I am sat (not quite) avidly listening to whether Ian Poulter and someone called Ronny Fisher can half the game against Simon Stricker and Tiger Woods (apologies for making up names the BBC website only says R Fisher and S Stricker).

My patriotic pride in being a European is being stirred and until tomorrow  I may even be a fan of the game.

My Question then is 'Why'? and the answer is simple.

Radio is a marvellous thing when it comes to commentating on protracted and weather affected sports. The hushed whispers of John Inverdale pausing before a ball drops is a thing of wonder in exactly the same way as listening to descriptions of cakes on Test Match Special or delighting to the greatness of Rod Laver at Wimbledon makes one feel warm and content.

So until Sunday I will sit listening and probably even cheer if we get a dramatic win on the final green but on Monday morning I won't even remember the result or who scored points and Golf can once again it's proper place in my priorities, that is absolutely nowhere.

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