Going Cold Turkey

First published on the Golf Monthly website on Friday 17th November 2006

No golf makes Fergus a very cross boy. This week he’s going through a punishing golfing de-tox and the side-affects are starting to kick in.

I don’t feel the sickness yet, but it’s in the post, that’s for sure. I’m in the junky limbo at the moment, too ill to sleep, too tired to stay awake, but the sickness is on its way. Sweat, chills, nausea, pain and craving. Need like nothing else I have ever known will soon take hold of me. It’s on the way…. Unlike Renton from Trainspotting I’m not trying to give up heroin, it’s just that I haven’t played golf since Monday.

I didn’t compete in the Alliance this week and I’ve spent the last couple of days in the Golf Monthly offices in central London, miles away from the nearest fairway. My addiction to the sport has suddenly become ridiculously and embarrassingly apparent.

I had a dream last night that I’d developed a new putting technique that was virtually infallible. It involved some sort of forward press and something to do with my belt buckle but unfortunately I can’t quite remember it in its entirety.

I wonder if there’s some sort of rehab I could go to. A golfer’s Priory where I’d be made to do needlework or gardening or play table tennis. Anything that distracts from the incessant thoughts pouring into my brain about one-piece takeaways and fully completed shoulder turns.

I really struggle to forget about past rounds: How different it would have been at Montrose last April if I’d just played an iron for safety off the 5th. Or, just how did that three footer at the ninth at Deal lip out? If I’d made it, then got up and down from the bunker on the 11th and if I’d not gone OB at the 17th or duffed that pitch at the last I’d have shot a 72. It’s like Chinese water torture.

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