Which leaves us with one of the hordes of youthful Americana who must be in with a chance if they can avoid tripping over their caddies and falling into one of their countrymen’s mouths.

Not that the identity of the eventual winner really matters to the truly afflicted. Regardless of the outcome, he will sit astride his bag, sipping a glass of vintage clubhouse red, bemoaning the malicious gust of wind that drifted his otherwise perfect tee shot into the only stretch of  water within a three mile radius, whilst dreaming his secret dreams of swinging as sweetly as Tarzan after an especially passionate afternoon encounter with Jane.  

It is said that each game appeals to  different qualities in a man, and the ones necessary to a golfer seem to be a perverse affection for inclement weather, a passion for silly sweaters and an the desire to endure endless hours of frustration and disappointment.

Who but a masochist would choose to play a game where there's never anyone else to blame. Unlike football, cricket or tennis where acts of inspired ineptitude can always be put down to the superhuman skills of your opponent (or his close personal relationship with a higher being), a gentleman's inability to strike a wilful little ball in the vague direction that his mouth has just prophesied that it will be struck can be nobody's fault but his own. Not, I hasten to add, that golfing gentlemen try to    

A salutary tale of addiction and ruin by Lee Allane

The Thin End of the Wedge