The bigger picture
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
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.