Golf it would appear is all about sex. One might have suspected as much though, with its fixation with sticks and balls, strokes and holes. Like other sexual sports it is ideal for TV voyeurs. For those viewers for whom the lumpen sado-masochism of boxing, the fist-thumping pugilism of tennis, or car racing with the manic pit crews and imminent fiery death doesn’t quite get them there, luckily there remains the ultimate heart-pumping sporting Viagra of golf.
Where tennis merely has the venereal grunting of lissom Russian blondes, motor racing the piercing shriek of tortured engines, and American football those seemingly endless minutes of dirty talk, golf has the soft core porn of middle aged men in white shoes riding about in little carts, the prim fairway and the oh so rough, and the lofted ball forever lost by the camera in the clouds, then punching the green and spinning right back to eight firm inches from the hole.
But how much sex is enough? It’s like asking how long is an orgasm. So in their eternal quest for higher ratings and ever more erotic allure for golf, its masters recruited a champion who broke all the rules, in not being white. On the contrary he was young and good looking, exotically multi-racial, and pretty handy both on and off the course so it seems.
As time went by his corporate handlers branded him the perfect family man with the model Scandinavian wife nestled down amid the manicured lawns of Florida. But what went on behind those perfectly rotated sprinklers, well, it defied the imagination.
But with his performance starting to flag, the corporate hardheads within what were once smoke-filled rooms, in cahoots with the Grand Masons ensconced in their bunkers at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in far-off misty Brigadoon, unleashed dark hordes of advertising gurus and spin doctors upon the great task of sensationally re-branding what was already the sexiest brand golf has ever seen. It was a hard ask. How, after all, do you make a handsome, charming, talented man even sexier? The answer, as any advertising ingenue will tell you, is to add the magic ingredient: sin.
Firstly a gallery of pretty women would do for him what Divine Brown did for Hugh Grant. His wife would find out, and take to his hulking SUV with, yes, a golf club. Product placement! Then the drama would move into the confessional and contritional pincer phase, and the TV chat shows, shock jocks and National Enquirer would mop up.
By then, who then could doubt the sexual pull of golf? Yes it’s mostly played by rich white men a lunch short of a coronary on courses gouged from forest and sucking all the water from miles around to keep the greens so very green: but its star player is hot, really hot. The online galleries of the women he went with testify that to the heavens. Golf: the studs aren’t just in the shoes. Thus did the advertising gurus re-brand the royal and ancient game with an oldie and goody, by putting a tiger in its tank.