From the Rough: Spurred on

Our man is on a sporting high and reveals an interest that’s some distance from the golf course. Nothing if not a visionary, he believes that the Royal and Ancient game could learn a lesson from his other great passion.

To demonstrate what a well rounded individual I am and to silence those who accuse me of being obsessed with golf, I thought a footballing theme would make a nice change this week.

Having suffered years of abuse at the hands and mouths of Arsenal and Chelsea supporters, I am simply ecstatic that the mighty Spurs captured the Carling Cup and did so in such glorious style. The 2-1 defeat of Chelsea in the final was every bit as thrilling as the 5-1 crushing of Arsenal in the semi-final.

Conscious that I have now alienated a significant proportion of my readership who don?t support the greatest football team the world has ever seen, I must try and tread a little more carefully in an area of human endeavour that generates much more passion and emotion that does the wonderful game of golf. The only occasion when golf rises to anything like the same level is every couple of years when the Ryder Cup comes around.

Although we each have our favourites and naturally support our compatriots first, our co-Continentalists second and Americans last, our loyalty to individual golfers is nowhere near as strong as the attachment we feel to our football team. Consequently, we watch golf in a sort of semi-detached state of objectivity, admiring the play and the players as we would art or music. We applaud and appreciate quality because we understand how enormously difficult the game is and how extraordinarily accomplished are the tour professionals who play it but, Ryder Cup apart, I never leap out of my armchair when watching it as I did at least 30 times during the Carling Cup final.

The obvious answer is for the R&A to invite me to chair an independent inquiry into ?The Future of Professional Golf and How it Could Be Made More Exciting for the Spectators.? However, as that seems about as unlikely as Juande Ramos being chosen as the next European Ryder Cup captain, let me say that one idea that deserves consideration is having a team event running in parallel with the existing individual competitions. The teams could be the Callaway Cowboys, the TaylorMade Titans, the Happy Hippos, the Cobra Snakes, the Mizuno Who, the Ping Penquins, the Nike Ticks, etc.

All that is perhaps some way off, meanwhile it?s COME ON YOU, SPURS!

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