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Golf Australia Express : Issue 21
UNSURPRISINGLY, I CAUGHT up with Jack many times in recent months. Warm, sunny days and golf go together like gin and tonic; like swearing at a slice; like grass and a fairway. And, surprisingly, Jack was not happy—surprising because it was 20 degrees at 9am and the fairway ahead was clear. The night before he’ d been talking with a fellow Golf Tragic who had shared his vision— his dream for the future of golf. And Jack was appalled. This person—and I use the term despite Jack’s advice—had outlined the future of the game in what he called ‘realistic terms’. It was, he told Jack, inevitable that golf courses would be pushed further and further out as the demand for land grew beyond sustainable financial means. Jack said—after shanking his drive on the 3rd—his golf tragic acquaintance kept insisting it was not a matter of if, but when. Jack had been repeatedly assured it was only a matter of time. And when that time came, Jack’s ex-companion had the solution: Golf would go underground. Played through tunnels of hardwood with traps and false corridors, with flexi-grass mats from which to hit and roofs that the ball may bounce from. The game would be different but skills the same. Putting would still be done on grass fed by artificial lights and good drives would still be rewarded with a long, satisfied sigh. And golf would live on. By the time we reached the 9th (and once I was comfortably ahead) I quickly reassured Jack I was firmly on his side. His ex- companion—though I doubt such a boundless cad could have ever sat comfortably by his side—comprehensively failed to understand one of the most fundamental aspects of our magnificent game. Golf and the environment within which it is played are as inseparable as a straight arm in a good drive. You can play golf in the desert, but it is not the same game. You can practise pitching on the beach and learn nothing, because you are not surrounded by magnificent fairways and greens carefully tended by the everloving GreenKeeper. To behold a golfer who does not love the environment is to behold the ignorant and I beg you hide such people from Jack and others with his somewhat fiery disposition. A warm sunny day in the desert is just dehydrating. It is the greens, the trees and even the rough that sustains us. OTG AFTER AN IMPASSIONED SPEECH FROM JACK, WE CAN ONLY COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT GOLF WILL ALWAYS BE GOLF, WRITES WILL HONE. GOING UNDERGROUND with Will Hone IN HONING