I often tell my journalistic staff that brevity is key to clarity. Keep your sentences short, I say. Especially as English is not the first language of many of our readers. I even have an acronym for my dislike of long sentences. VTFP. Value the full point.
So, let me tell you about my golf game on the opening day of the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup yesterday. It won’t take long. In fact, two words will be enough.
And the day had begun with such high hopes. As I told you on my last Blog, the previous day I had shot the lights out (yeah, I know, I shouldn’t practice in my hotel room) on the par-3 course. Yesterday the lights just went out. One year’s worth of lessons with my long-suffering golf teacher Giulio. And for what? So much promise when I play at his indoor golf simulator. But here’s the thing. Yesterday my game did not even simulate golf. In fact, it wasn’t golf.
On a course with about three and a half times the volume of sand as the Sahara, I may as well have taken my bucket and spade, so much time did I spend in the damn stuff. And the greens? Think skating rinks and you will get some idea of their speed. Three-putts? In my dreams. Three was a result! Five times, yes, I kid you not, I four-putted. And chips? Mine weren’t chips, they were potato skins. With a bit of mash thrown in.
I predicted yesterday that I would suffer from the winners’ curse. Winning the par-3 tournament the day before against Dermot Divot and Martyn with a Y Westbury was clearly a tactical error. Not only did the wheels come off yesterday but the engine, doors and carriage also collapsed. And all this in a foursome that included Dubai Duty Free supremo Colm McLoughlin. The shame.
Still, as Monty Python would have it, always look on the bright side. I have 15 points from day 1 and a cumulative two-day score of 80 should win the trophy. All I have to do, therefore, is score 65 stableford points today. Should be straightforward. I will show the bookies that their new odds of me winning at 793 zillion to one are false and damaging. And after I win, I shall sue.
The course today suits my game, you see. It’s called the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. There’s far less sand for one thing. However, there is approximately as much water as you would find if you merged the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean into one. That might pose a problem. I may need to include an aqualung with my clubs. And a paddle. After all, I wouldn’t want to be up the Creek without a paddle.
Alas poor Guilio. Just when his reputation was soaring, I bring it crashing down to earth again. Guilio is Italian. So was the 14th century poet Dante Alighieri. Yes, you know the bloke. Remember Dante’s Inferno? It tells the journey of Dante’s journey through hell, which is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth. Exactly. Just like my front 9 holes yesterday. And the back 9 for that matter. The opening lines of Dante’s work are thus: Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate. They mean, ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’. My golf game summed up in seven words. Or how about two? Moodie’s Inferno. Coming to a bookstore near you soon.
My golf game was, is and maybe forever will be, a wreck. Paul Simon wrote a song about it. It’s called Me and Guilio down by the scrapyard.
So, in the unlikely event of me not scoring 65 stableford points today, who might win the tournament? Well, whisper it softly but the famed former Indian tea planter turned tee planter Sunil Tuli is in there with a chance. The 750 to 1 shot scored 37 points yesterday and with his boss Antares Cheng on hand today to keep him on line, he could go one better. So that’s 38 points. I just googled it and 37 points plus 38 makes 75. Close but no Cohiba, Tuli san. Remember, I’m going to score 80. Nonetheless Tuli san’s odds have been slashed to 40 to 1. Get your rupees on now.
How about Jonathan ‘Chaps’ Holland? The man with the smoothest line in patter since Cary Grant also went well yesterday with 35 points. If you put a few quid on him yesterday at 4 and a half million to one, you could be in the money today. Could be, I said. Steady now! Patter does not spell putter and based on the revelries I witnessed last night at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Village celebrations, Chaps’ putter will be twitching like a juice processor today. His odds have shortened to 64,000 to one, which means according to Google that if you put a dollar on him and he wins, you will be US$64,000 richer. Except you won’t be. You’ll be a dollar poorer.
The wise money remains on Martyn with a Y. He’s going to need 81 points to head me off, of course, but he’s already scored 35 of them. Also, there’s no way he’s going to allow a Martin spelled correctly to have his name inscribed on the trophy ahead of him.
There’s just four hours till tee-off so it is time to cut this Blog short. I’m a little concerned that the course we are playing today has ‘yacht’ in its title. That suggests that I could be spending some considerable time in the water. Maybe I will catch some fish to go with all those chips. But, hey, the Kiwis hold the Americas Cup so I’m going to be in my element. I’m off to the practice range. To quote John Masefield instead of Dante, I must go down to the sea again…
Stay tuned for the concluding episode of Moodie’s Inferno.