Until a couple of years ago my sum total experience of golf had been a frustrating 2 hours at the driving range watching my uncle belt balls 300 yards or more. The only balls I belted were my own, from a particularly nasty miss-hit ricochet. Of course, settling down with an ice-pack to watch the golf coverage on TV was no better. Either we had a cheap TV or my eyesight was rotten because those 'ball in flight' shots always seemed to be of nothing except grey clouds or blue skies… not my idea of an afternoon's ache-distracting entertainment.
However, I was recently given a full set of clubs, and needing to get outside and try and sun-tan myself back to white from the pale grey I had become, I decided to overcome my fear of small flying balls and give it a go. I was still as dreadful as ever, but I'll tell you one thing, golf on a course is far more enjoyable than anything a driving range can come up with. Of course, a driving range has the fun of trying to hit the guy on the tractor, motoring about collecting balls, but on a golf course, anyone is fair game; just don't forget to shout 'Fore!' first.
I think it was Mark Twain that said that golf is a good walk ruined, and in the winter, he's damn right. If I have to walk in the wind and rain I want to get where I'm going as fast as possible, not stand waist deep in nettles thirty yards to the left of the fairway thrashing a four iron about looking for a 2 inch diameter ball.
Which is where Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 comes in. Could it be that this is the perfect antidote for all the useless golfers who just wish for once that a ball they had hit would not do an imitation of a boomerang? Let's see.