Tuesday, 5 July 2011

There's a bit of Happy Gilmore in all of us...

Golf. They say its a game for wealthy upper-class gentlemen who wear baseball caps and ridiculous pants. Tiger Woods 2012. A popular multi-million pound selling series in which people play to relax and socialise - there is fewer better ways to chill out than playing 18 virtual holes with a few mates and a crate. Before I explain this modern day fairytale, I must express I don't take computer games too seriously.

Until around 6pm today. After a real time four days play at TCP San Antonio it was coming to the conclusion of the Texas Alamo Classic and two players had pulled away from the rest of the field. Myself and Jim Furyk were going head to head in the battle to become champion and the toast of Texas. Did it matter that this wasn't a major? Did it fuck, the time had come to let the world know there was a new 'king of the greens' and it wasn't that washed-up has-been Furyk. As I took to the tee of the 17th hole, I got word from my caddy Furyk had finished his round and held a one shot lead.

The pressure didn't get to me as I crushed both the FIR and GIR and left myself a difficult but make-able putt to tie at the top. With my caddy clarifying that it need to be placed to the left of the hole, I struck the ball too hard and landed about 4ft past it. 'No problem', I thought, 'I'll drop this and birdie the par 5 on the last and take this joker to a play-off. Not a hope in hell that dinosaur Furyk would be able to keep up with my perfectly toned torso and razor sharp brain'. In fact, it wouldn't suprise me if he had to surrender the hole because the old man had soiled himself. I could see it now, I was going to annihilate and embarrass Jim Furyk, breaking him down so badly and shattering his fragile confidence so badly he would never want to step out onto the golf course again.

Brimming with confidence, and a spring in my step, I walked up to this simple par opportunity and had a quick word with my caddy, to consider his professional input.

"Take something off it, but you don't want to leave it short", he nodded.

His conflicting opinion slightly confused me and knocked me out of my supreme rhythm but I took his word for it. After all, he'd been reliable enough so far and I was in contention for the trophy. I caressed the putt as awkward as when Forrest Gump touched Jenny's breast and the ball curled slightly left, finishing up inches away from the cup.

Suddenly, it dawned on me, I've just blown any chance I had of a affair with the Texas Alamo Classic jug. Uncontrollable anger flew through my veins as my blood pressure rose to boiling point. I tapped in from a millimetre and conformation of my bogey flashes up across the screen. As the scorecard loads, my fatigued brain processes Furyk now held a two shot lead with only one hole remaining. As I waited for the 18th hole to load, I had hallucinations of my once trusted caddy on his smart-phone, backing Furyk to win the tournament on Paddy Power. He was stabbing me in the back, making a tidy profit, knowing full well he had passed on advice which would help me blow my big chance of glory.

I felt physically sick, the last four days of my pathetic existence had been focused on this game, this moment, I felt lost - everything had been a waste of fucking time. As the 18th hole loaded, my temper had taken control of me so badly even supernanny wouldn't have a fucking clue what to do with me. My tantrum was out of control, I needed an equilibrium and I needed one quick.

I stepped up to the tee of the 18th with what felt like heartburn from eating a Greggs sausage roll too quickly, but I knew full well it wasn't since I'd been on a gluten-free diet to prepare especially in the weeks leading up to this tournament, this tournament that I was in with an opportunity to win just two strokes earlier. The air altitude started to suffocate me like I was climbing an Ecuadorian mountain, and I knew it was time to explore my deep rooted mental health problems. As my caddy told me to rip it straight down the fairway, I looked at him, my eyes filled with disgust. This rat had the nerve to share the same oxygen as me. This was the same feeling I had as a young lad when Francis Jeffers handed in a transfer request in at Everton and the news filtered through via teletext. The feeling of disbelief and frustration. I thought we had something. I told him to fuck off and die. I had another idea. I wanted someone to share the pain that I was feeling, a bit like Stan in that Eminem video.

I shuffled through Captain Turncoat's advised shots before I landed on the holy grail, the custom shot. I was on my own now and I didn't fucking need anyone. I pulled the accuracy target towards me, as it got nearer I got more and more excited, as if I was Benjamin Button on his last ever Christmas. I turned the target to the left and circled the crowd in an anti-clockwise manner as if I was a vulture in the Animal Kingdom waiting for my prey to be weak enough so I could have a shot at it. There was all different colours, shapes, and sizes - like a x-rated version of a pic a mix. They all had the same expression on their faces, smiling and waving, as if I should smile and wave back and engage with their pathetic social standing. Why the fuck would I be happy to see them? They were nobodies, I was a golfing celebrity. I was doing the right thing. Nobody was going to miss these insignificant abortions.

As I continued to circle, questions started to fly around in my head. Why were there so many people there? What were they expecting? A fucking miracle?! Furyk was experienced, a good-pro - he'd been on the PGA tour longer than the line of Tiger's mistress'. There wasn't a chance of an eagle - my shoulders ached and my arms felt heavy, it was like I'd been twelve rounds with Mike Tyson. Still, I knew my body and I knew there was just about enough energy for one more swing. The adrenaline pumped as I weighed up the pros and cons of each of the gathering crowd. I stopped on an ethnic gentleman in a white shirt before deciding against it. This wasn't a racial thing, and I didn't want no Rodney King shit on my hands. Domino effects can be dangerous, and this was about making myself feel at peace again, not alienating myself from the whole of the African Continent.

I was considering abandoning my slaughter when my glazed-over eyes just about managed to make out the shadows of a young family, dressed smartly in what I assumed to be their Sunday best. My eyes distanced themselves in an out of focus and with one stretch of the arms and wave of the hand from the adult male, their obliteration was confirmed. I picked up my 3 Wood and pulled it back, the swing was like poetry in motion, I swear I heard two doves making love as I pulled it back to maximum power. Mr. 2:4 children and his perfect lifestyle was moments away from being exterminated.

The screams and yelps from the crowd as the ball sailed towards them wasn't enough for me, I wanted to see physical pain, like an explosion of all the senses. And then, the thud. The beautiful thud. Never have I heard such a calming influence in my career than when that golf ball struck the skull of the young woman in the blue blouse:blue skirt combo. She hit the floor like Wendy Ingraham in the 1997 Ironman contest. She was the chosen sacrifice.

"Not fucking waving now are ya?!" I screamed at her lifeless Caucasian carcass lying face down in the rough. "And double-denim looks shit."

I didn't stick around to see if she was still alive. Fuck her, she's a nobody, and I'm a golfing celebrity.