The big­ger pic­ture

Golf Monthly - - Your View -

I was in­trigued and in­fu­ri­ated in equal mea­sure by the com­ments of Rory McIl­roy dur­ing the lead-up to The Open. His to­tally ego­tis­ti­cal, if bru­tally hon­est, re­mark that he “didn’t get into golf to try to grow the game, (he) got in it to win,” demon­strates a to­tally dis­mis­sive at­ti­tude to the sport which has given him enor­mous wealth and ex­ag­ger­ated sta­tus in the world. Paul Si­mon re­ferred to “the boy in the bub­ble.” Per­haps some­one needs to burst Mr McIl­roy’s.

I am sure that he did think about the pos­si­ble con­se­quences for him­self and his fam­ily should he be struck down by the virus – that is a purely per­sonal choice with which we can­not quib­ble. How­ever, it still does not jus­tify his con­dem­na­tory re­marks about watch­ing only the Olympic sports that mat­ter and ig­nor­ing the one which has made him what he is to­day. In no way does it jus­tify his re­marks about not re­quir­ing to be an am­bas­sador for golf, merely some­one who makes a mint from it but puts as lit­tle as pos­si­ble back in.

You are an am­bas­sador for golf, Rory – try to re­mem­ber that. And think where you would be if Messrs Palmer, Nick­laus, Player et al had not grown the game long be­fore you were born, pav­ing the way for your for­tune and fame. Think on, young man! Les New­lands, May­bole play­ing at least once a week and have seen my hand­i­cap (as mon­i­tored on a free iPhone app) fall to just be­low 19.

I’m now at a point where I would love to join a club and maybe see what play­ing in com­pe­ti­tion feels like. How­ever, hav­ing looked at all of the clubs within an hour of where I live, I’m dis­mayed to find that I just can’t jus­tify the cost of a mem­ber­ship.

My wife and I both work and our house­hold in­come isn’t tiny, but it def­i­nitely doesn’t stretch to an ad­di­tional £60-100 per month. At the mo­ment my golf ex­pen­di­ture is around £40 a month, but com­mit­ting to pay­ing all through the win­ter too just doesn’t make sense.

Is there a sys­tem whereby a ca­sual golfer like my­self could get a CONGU ‘home’ club and hand­i­cap with­out com­mit­ting to a mem­ber­ship? Fear­gus Woods Dun­lop, via email

Edi­tor’s re­ply:

Clubs can only give an of­fi­cial CONGU hand­i­cap if they are af­fil­i­ated to a home union. Sadly, the only way to re­ceive an of­fi­cial hand­i­cap is by join­ing a union­af­fil­i­ated club. It’s a shame, as there are count­less peo­ple in your po­si­tion, but there are log­i­cal rea­sons for this, which you can read about on page 28.

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