The Masters Tournament is here. A four-day grudge match in Augusta where, much like a Zara mid-season sale, fit people fight to the death for a tasteful green blazer. There are millions of golf fans worldwide. I am not one of them. And like that photo of Greg Norman at the beach, I’m about to unleash something unwanted and unsightly upon the world: my golfing hot take.
Be warned, this may be the most dangerous opinion that has ever been sent into the world. It’s a burden, but I am the only one brave enough to say it. If I had a magic lamp and was granted three wishes, after wishing for Pedro Pascal to tell me he’s proud of me, I would wish for golf to no longer exist.
Jason Day on the range before the US Masters.Credit:AP
To some, this opinion will seem unnecessarily harsh. To others, it is a welcome message of putt-putt put-downs. To a handful of close friends of mine, it will be read as a thinly veiled attempt to stick it to the surprising number of golfers that I’ve dated. To you, dear reader, I say that all three things can be true. Today I will outline the ins and outs of my golf-free utopia.
Here are the things that are allowed to remain from the golfing world: the film Happy Gilmore, grass, the golfing scene from The Sopranos, and the very fun machine that you wash the balls in. Now onto my golf hit list.
Lack of personal sporting prowess: I want golf to go away because I am terrible at it. And why work on my flaws when I can simply banish things that I’m bad at out of existence? Historically, sports and I are not friends. I am uncoordinated at the best of times, but I play golf with all the skill and grace of a freshly cooked turkey.
They tried to miniaturise it (thanks to capitalism): I see you, Big Golf. Trying to make golf small to sell it to the lucrative children’s birthday party space. You would think the smaller scale of the golf would make life easier for me, a smaller person. But alas, no matter the size of the golf course or how much creatively placed PVC pipping surrounds it, I am a lost cause. I’m not even good at mini-golf. So, it must die.
Please no more putt-putt.
Par is a bad way to keep score: Birdies? Eagles? What is this, an advertising campaign for fish fingers? I want to avoid being told if I’m over par or under it. Who’s holding the big metal stick, pal? I think I’ll decide whether I’m on par or not. And before you ask, no, I don’t understand what it means. Some people are words people, some people are numbers people. Arguably I am neither, but still. Take your novelty-sized pencil and shove it, because I am scoring things on my fingers like your average person who isn’t good at maths.
They are thirst traps: The golf courses themselves use roughly 124 megalitres of water per 18-hole equivalent course per year. To put that in perspective, the average human drinks approximately 691 litres of water per year. So, all of that golf course juice could be used to hydrate 1440 human beings every year. 1440 people. That’s almost the equivalent of the cast of Married at First Sight (that or there is only one couple on the show. I honestly can’t tell). The wet, wet truth is out there. Golf is making us thirsty, and not in the Pedro Pascal way.
Out with the old: Imagine inviting your mates around for a casual Friday arvo jousting tournament. ’Cause hey, my idea of a fun time with the buddies is chain mailing up and trying to stab them. It would be a proper muck around setting that all up. Dolling up the backyard to look like a King’s Court, hanging the severed heads of failed challengers on the hills hoist. You would rightfully think I was a bit odd. To me, golf feels that arcane. We’ve been playing golf for longer than Law and Order: SVU has been on TV. That’s ages. Golf dates all the way back to 15th century Scotland, and like many activities from the 15th century and every other century to proceed it, golf is largely the domain of wealthy men. This brings me to…
Men: I acknowledge that the sport of golf has been embraced by many people from different communities (women and non-binary people are still allowed to play the sport in my golf-free utopia. Do not cancel me). But when I think of golf, I think of men experiencing fresh air and exercise, whilst remaining shackled within the confines of traditional masculinity. It’s the sole reason that cursed polo shirts have remained in fashion, and I am putting my foot down. Golf is the all-time favourite sport of men who want to avoid their spouse and general responsibilities. When someone is giving birth, eight out of 10 times male obstetricians will be too busy playing golf at the time of delivery. Now if we moved the delivery rooms to the golf course, we may be able to strike out a solution. But I am not a doctor, I’m just a person with a dream. A dream where a sand dune is just something you find Timothee Chalamet in.
There is no denying that Australians love sports. But I am not convinced that I am asking too much when I ask that we don’t love this sport. Next time you’re choosing your favourite sport, consider picking up a cricket bat, a tennis racket or a surfboard before you reach for the devil’s driver. As for me, I am going to retreat to my underground bunker to escape the hate tweets. Live long, my friends, and stay off the green.
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