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Golfing in Spain

By Mr Grumpy - Wed 6th Oct 2010

I think that it was Bob Hope who said that 'A game of Golf spoils a good walk'. I know I'm paraphrasing, and to be honest with you I can't really be bothered to spend literally seconds browsing Google to confirm whether I'm right or wrong here – I have such an aversion to all things Golf.

Normally I am apathetic about most things, but on this matter my feeling boils over into a positive distaste.

I can't ever recall feeling this was when I lived in the UK, so it must be something that has crept up on me during the years that I have lived over here in Spain, and I can't for the life in me put my finger on any one reason as to why that would be.

One of our local expat radio stations even has a full Saturday morning dedicated to talking about Golf ! - A whole morning discussing 'who wore what pastel coloured Lyle and Scott jumper' or 'who had the most ridiculous baggy checked golf pants on' during the previous day's play I shouldn't wonder.

Even one of the local Newspapers has a full double page spread on the 'sport' (for the sake of argument, let's call it a sport – personally I don't think any pastime where you don fancy dress and drive around a field in what I can only term an Invalid carriage warrants the name).

I am also shocked at the money involved in the 'Sport' – not for professionals, but for everyday players. A few hundred quid a year to become a member of a club, followed by Green fees and then 50 quid or so just to whack a couple of balls about on a bit of grass. I honestly don't get it.

So do they charge these fees because they can ? Because they know that there are corporations out there who honestly believe that the old rumour that 'more business is completed on the golf course than in the boardroom' ? - Yeah ? - well how about getting your ar** out of your golf buggy once in a while and back in the boardroom so you can conduct your business where it belongs then ?

Maybe there is an element of snobbery and elitism that I don't like – that any 'sport's club' that makes it applicants jump through such hoops to simply become members 'must be worth while' – is it a status and snobbery thing ? - “Giles and I had Dinner with the President of Church Manor Golf Club last night, he's sure he can fast track us through the 5 year waiting list, the membership is only two thousand a year...” - yeah ? Well I had a game of Pool down the local last night for a couple of Euros (Can't say it impressed anybody that much though....)

...Or is the etiquette, sometimes etiquette for it's own sake ? Men only days, Women only days, Junior afternoons, No Shorts allowed, collars must be worn on shirts etc.... Why ? So you can justify your extortionate prices to yourself. Of course it's important to have standards, to I prefer to judge a person on how they behave and the manner in which they conduct themselves as opposed to whether their shirt has the regulation collar or not. And surely such a person would be vetted by the board during the membership application process ?

But honestly, that's just my personal opinion. I accept that there are quite a few normal people who don't fit my stereotype out there who enjoy a game of golf (or as normal as anyone who plays golf can be...) and who must be frustrated by the elitism, snobbery and excessive expense involved in the 'sport' .

I also accept that it brings a degree of money to the country who promotes many of its developments as prime golfing resorts.

...Anyway, rant over for today, the open has just come on the telly.

Comment on this Blog

Considering Spain, with its lack of water, is set on providing golf courses over wildlife reserves I fairly resonate with this post. I don´t "get" golf either and do feel it´s the sport of the elderly, conservative and buggy-confined. Supposedly we Scots invented it but then at least it rains a lot in Scotland. Maybe you need to ask Sean about it - The name is Sean, Sean Connery. 007. Maybe ask him about tax evasion too!
Mo - Sun, 21st Aug 2011
Just come back from a weekend visiting mates from the UK on a Golfing weekend at the Polaris World resorts. Obviously, I didn't play a round. I was, however, quite impressed by the resorts. Shame they had zero facilities for anybody NOT interested in Golf.
Mr Grumpy - Sun, 12th Jun 2011
As a non-golfer in Spain, I feel the same way! I'm sure kids love the 'sport' (I'm being generous here) and its not too taxing for retired folk keeping healthy, but I can't see the appeal for spectators or why they need to charge the earth and get so elitist about club membership....I guess its all part of the package to make it seem more attractive. Now, crazy golf - thats the real McCoy...
Penny Lapenna - Thu, 20th Jan 2011
Of Course, I like to have a certain helping of tongue with cheek, but I'm liking the cut of your jib. ... I only wish I paid a little more heed to my study of worthy quotations....
Mr Grumpy - Fri, 8th Oct 2010
I actually agree with everything Mr Grumpy said, whether tongue in cheek or not and its refreshing to hear someone say what I have been thinking for ages. I have used that quote myself many a time and always thought it was Winston Churchill, but have just read that he stole it from Mark Twain. In any case, working in Sotogrande means that I sometimes have to be careful about what I say about golf so as not to offend any clients. However when I heard that golf was originally an acronim for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden, I was secure on my mission to admit finding golf utterly boring and pointless.
Sarah - Fri, 8th Oct 2010
Shame Mr Grumpy can't get his quotes right. Bob Hope loved golf and during his long lifetime sponsored events on the PGA tour especially the Bob Hope Classic. Mark Twain was his poorly paraphased source. He seems to be caught in a time warp too. There were clubs like the ones he referred too some years ago but times thank goodness have changed. Golf is played by ordinary people and I am delighted to say as a teacher by ordinary children. What pleases me is that the golf etiquette he derides encourages children in polite behaviour. But perhaps all his comments were merely tongue in cheek to encourage debate. I would challenge anyone to beat the excitement of Europe's Ryder Cup win last week
David Thear - Thu, 7th Oct 2010

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