This weekend finds me stuck at home in Wales watching the Ryder Cup (on TV I should point out; not actually on location in Newport – I’m not that sad).
I guess it’s a good thing that the Ryder Cup has come to Wales and made our little country international again, even if it’s just for a weekend. But as most people know, I’m not a big fan of most sports and I think on reflection (and after 3 solid hours of it) out of all the sports I hate, golf is definitely the one I hate the most.
Just a few hours of watching this painfully dull ‘sport’ is enough time for me to be able to identify the reasons for hating it as follows:
1) The speed of it.
Lots of walking, crouching, analyzing, muttering to each other and occasionally someone hits the ball to yet another piece of grass. Sometimes this grass is replaced by sand or even, dramatically, water. This is followed by more walking, crouching, analyzing, muttering to each other until someone else feels ready to hit another little white ball. Yawn.
2) The golf club.
I don’t mean the club house, I mean the actual club itself. It just doesn’t look like a sporting implement which deserves to be respected.
Take the hockey stick for example; it looks robust and pretty sterdy. The kinda thing that makes you want to run after the ball and whack it. But not the golf club. It just doesn’t invite speed or adventure. In fact the most exciting thing you can say about the golf club is that people have adopted it as an acceptable implement to keep in your home in case you need to threaten an intruder.
3) The fashion.
Why are all these multi-millionaires wandering around the course in the most god-awful sweaters, tank tops, caps and trousers (or should we call them ‘slacks’?). Oh god, my eyes, my eyes.
I know Diesel jeans would probably be considered inappropriate -fair enough- but do the Americans really have to wear lavender Pringle tank tops?
These people are millionaires, so why can’t they afford Dolce & Gabbana or something? Sex it up a little. Or perhaps D&G don’t want golfers anywhere near their brand? Can’t blame them, especially when they’ve got the Italian football team already on board. It’s hard to imagine a bunch of golfers trying to pull off this look:
Study those 2 photos and tell me which sport you’d rather be associated with…
4) The total lack of sexy players.
Consider this an extension of point number 3. Most sports are annoying in a variety of ways, but at least most of them have one redeeming feature: the participants are hot.
Take football for example… OK, most footballers are complete idiots with the combined IQ of a pencil, but at least a lot of them are hot (excluding Rooney) and watching them run around is quite entertaining and there’s always the chance they’ll take their tops off at the end.
Or -even better- there’s the chance one of them will have to do that thing where they lie on their back on the pitch and that other bloke in a tracksuit runs on, lift their feet and does all sorts of weird and wonderful things to their thigh muscles. Rah. Now that’s entertainment.
Rubgy boys? Hot. Some tennis players… Hot (ish). Or at least cute and loveable.
But golfers? Hot? No. No, no and thrice, no.
5) The commentators.
Why do they never, ever, ever sound excited? Why? They just sound bored and occasionally moderately diverted if someone’s ball lands in sand or -drama again- water. Apart from these rare moments, it’s just a stream of gentle chit chat. They never raise their voice or talk with any hint of excitement.
If you listen to the commentary at a football match or during Formula 1, the commentators bring the excitement of the stadium to your home. Even for a staunch football hater such as my good self, I can still find myself getting wrapped in the game if the volume’s on loud enough. Golf commentators just confirm what you already suspect; the game is even boring the pants of them and they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t being paid. I can’t help suspect they wish they’d been commentators for some other sport.
6) And finally… the complete lack of risk.
What’s the worst that’s going to happen? The little white ball lands in the water? Not exactly Formula One is it?
Whilst I might not be the biggest fan of watching a load of cars zoom around the same track 80 times in a row, but at least there’s the chance of a crash. As my good twitter friend (and big F1 fan) @RhettRoberts tells me, despite the massive safety measures which have been incorporated by the sport in the last ten years, both in the car and on the track, it remains an exceptionally high risk sport when compared to others (especially golf).
To demonstrate this point, let’s take a quick look at one of the most spectacular crashes of this season’s Formula One; Mark Webber in Valencia. (It’s worth noting the huffy way he chucks the steering wheel out of the car after the crash. Love it; such a drama queen.)
To re-iterate the point just how ‘un-golf-like’ this is, let’s watch it in slow mo from the driver’s view point.
I think that clip might be the very definition of ‘not golf’. As Rhetty so wonderfully said, “Viewing-wise, golf’s enough to put you into a coma”. You couldn’t accuse Formula One of the same.
So in summary, in order for a sport to be interesting (to me) it needs be high speed and high risk, preferably with hot players in fashionable clothes. So a little bit like Strictly Come Dancing really.
Wish I’d thought about telling this to my 3rd grade sport teacher at school. The look on his face would’ve been a picture.
Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.