Snowed in

First published on the Golf Monthly website on Thursday 27th March 2008

Banchory golf course has been covered in snow for almost a week. Fergus is getting cabin fever and the golf on TV has just been annoying him.

You’re probably not going to believe this, I certainly can’t: It’s been over a week since I last played golf.
I haven’t become a masochist. This prolonged spell of abstinence hasn’t been my version of an Easter self-flagellation ritual. No, the lay-off has been totally out of my control. The ludicrous snap of cold weather that’s hit the country brought snow to the northeast. My golf course has been under a white blanket since last Friday. Today is the seventh consecutive day the course has been unplayable and it looks likely that the season-opening Captain vs Vice Captain, scheduled for this Saturday, wont go ahead.

No golf means I’m beginning to suffer quite badly from cabin fever. In the last five days I’ve only ventured out of the house twice, once to get supplies of milk and bread, the other time to visit my grandmother. Actually, I’m lying. I did have to make an emergency trip to the pub on Saturday night. OK, three times. The point is: I’ve been inside for too long.

Luckily there’s been a reasonable amount of golf on the TV. The WGC-CA Championship ran over to Monday because of a rain delay. It was a real Easter Godsend for armchair golf fans whose Easter Monday viewing schedule previously comprised Ben Hur and “I’m a Celebrity and Can’t Cook while on Ice Skates.” Then, of course, the first round of the Tavistock Cup was shown that evening.

Yes, the Tavistock Cup. I love watching golf on telly (once, when ill, I sat through every minute of live coverage from the Russian Open.) But even I have to draw the line with the Tavistock Cup. One team of super-wealthy golf pros in terrible red round-necked shirts takes on another group of super-wealthy golf pros in horrible blue round-necked shirts. Am I really supposed to care who wins? I struggled to see why the pros care who wins until I heard about the prizes.

J.B “go and put the kettle on, I’m starting my pre-shot routine“ Holmes was the big winner. He had the lowest score on the final day netting $500,000. He won a 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid for a closest to the pin and he secured $110,000 for his team by winning the longest drive competition. Last time I won a longest drive competition I was given a towel and three Titleist PTS balls.

As it’s totally irrelevant, I wont bother saying which team won. What I will say is the winning side picked up $2.1 million between them. Displaying outrageous generosity they donated a whole $1 million of their winnings to charity. To be honest, on hearing that I was pretty worried the guys would be out of pocket. They’re only left with $1.1 million, that’s just $100,000 each for two days, no, 10 hours work. What? Just $10,000 an hour? That’s effectively slave labour. Oh no it’s ok, I’ve just looked it up, minimum wage in Florida is $6.79 an hour.

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