Indeed there is a school of thought that holds as its central article of faith the inexorable conviction that golf was invented by God to teach man the futility of human effort. Winston Churchill once described golf  as '...a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose', and then compounded his frustration by spending most of his spare time building walls,    no doubt as something slightly less unyielding to bang his head against.



And no one is safe. Not money, nor fame, nor a lifetime's subscription to DIY Monthly can ensure immunity. Kings, Presidents, stars of stage and screen, not to mention the occasional plumber from Watford, have all fallen under the game's insidious spell. George V said the game made him ‘damn angry’, Eisenhower suffered a heart attack from the shock of having an afternoon's round suddenly interrupted and Sean Connery forsook the ‘rough and tumble’ of James Bond for ‘tumbling into the rough’ at Sunningdale and Troon.

with a set of clubs borrowed from uncle Fred.

 

On the contrary, they are usually eager to acknowledge the helpful contributions made to their game by inclement weather, noisy grasshoppers and caddies with all the navigational instincts of a myopic lemming.  But these gestures of sporting modesty should not obscure the fact that most golfing enthusiasts strives manfully for perfection under that most serious of golfing handicaps - the inability to hit the ball.

 

   Not that this trifling impediment has ever deflected a true believer from his calling. Certainly, it is a game that generates almost religious fanaticism. Placid, mild mannered men have been known to shatter an offending putter with a single blow and those unfortunates who are truly smitten could walk past the entire alumni of St. Breastinia’s Finishing School for Girls, standing stark naked on the 18th green, and notice only the imperfections of their backswing.

 

 

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