First published on the Golf Monthly website on Monday 30th July 2007
Fergus has been left home alone this weekend and, frankly, he’s watched way too much television.
Jessie (wife) and Flora (daughter) have been down in Edinburgh over the weekend so I was placed in the terrifying position of having to fend for myself. I’ve eaten two frozen pizzas, a bag of fresh pasta, six packets of Frazzles and a whole box of chocolate ginger nuts. Thankfully Jessie is coming home today before I get rickets.
From a TV point of view I’ve coped manfully. I’ve seen the semi-finals and final of the darts World Matchplay, some of the Test match and almost all of the third and fourth rounds of both the Players’ Championship of Europe and the Senior Open Championship golf. After something of a sports overload, I was keen to branch out last night. Flicking through the channels I stumbled across The Da Vinci Code on Sky Movies. A little bit of curiosity and a good deal of laziness made me stay on it.
I’ve never read the book because various sources have informed me it’s a load of old tripe, so my expectations for the film were low. But, I was…. No, just kidding. As I suspected, it’s rubbish. Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen and a host of others go on some worldwide treasure hunt to prove the Christian Church has been lying to us since 350AD. That Jesus was in fact a mortal man and had a kid. They’re looking for the Holy Grail but, cleverly, it isn’t some earthenware pot as found by Indiana Jones. In fact, the Holy Grail is the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene (allegedly Jesus’ wife and mother of his child). Ooooh shocking stuff! Good old Tom finds it in the end. Apparently her bones are under the Pyramid in front of the Louvre.
I’ve got a film proposal for Steven Spielberg. It’s called The Demaret Code:
Olaf Puttersonn (played by Ewen MacGregor) is an Icelandic journeyman pro on the European Challenge Tour. He’s a student of the history of the game and believes the R&A has been lying to us about the background of Old Tom Morris. He’s uncovered one of Willie Park Jnr’s old scorecards with “Moors inflicted a mold” scrawled in blood on the back. He realises it’s an anagram of “Old Tom is from Iceland.” Olaf believes if he can reveal the truth it’ll curb the R&A’s power and vastly improve the position of Icelandic golf on a world stage.
He meets a young woman called Jeannie McPhee (played by Scarlett Johansson) – she works in a lowly position within the R&A’s agronomy team. Jeannie has overheard a phone call in the office and has reason to believe Olaf may be in trouble. Mercenaries hired by the R&A are planning to doctor his scorecard in the Open de Toulouse, accuse him of cheating and have him thrown off the tour.
The pair narrowly escape from a team of clipboard wielding rules officials before going on a worldwide treasure hunt following clues in Ben Hogan’s Modern Fundamentals of Golf, The Golfers painting in the National Gallery in Edinburgh and a picture of Patty Berg in the Golfing Hall of Fame. Finally a descendant of Jimmy Demaret gives them a crucial clue.
It turns out Jimmy was once head of the secret sect charged to guard golf’s most incredible secret. If you listen carefully to Jimmy when he made a guest appearance on I Love Lucy in 1950 he mutters, “Epocsirep eht rednu,” as he exits stage left. Olaf works out that played backwards this is, “under the periscope.” He then realises the periscope in question is the one on the first tee at Elie Golf Club. A late night dig reveals an old shortbread box containing a beard comb, some herring bones and a 19th Century Icelandic passport belonging to a certain, Tomas Erik Morrisonn. Fade out with Olaf on his knees holding the document looking to the heavens.
Surely it’s a guaranteed Oscar winner.