Sports editor Mark Lea: What a crazy game – I wouldn’t have the patience to play golf

Lining up another putt on the Arnold Palmer course at Skegness
Lining up another putt on the Arnold Palmer course at Skegness
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Golf is a good 
walk spoiled, 
according to Mark Twain’s quote.

You could also argue that if you are going to hit a ball that far, you should probably 
allow someone else to fetch it, like in cricket!

The sport will return to the next Olympics but it must be so frustrating to play on a regular basis.

Yet there is absolutely no doubt over the popularity and there will be extensive media coverage 
when the European team take on the Americans in the Ryder Cup starting on Friday at Gleneagles.

Known as golf’s ultimate 
team competition, it might even keep the Premier League off the back pages for a couple of days. Maybe...

Personally I found last week’s news much more 
interesting when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club voted in favour of allowing women members for the first time in its 260-year history.

The question is clearly ‘what took you so long?’ and inevitably led the BBC to ask ‘is sport sexist?’

It was described as “an important and positive day in the history of the R&A 
Golf Club” by chief executive Peter Dawson.

But I thought the decision was summed up perfectly by Rory McIlroy: “It is a pity some golf clubs have been quite slow on the uptake. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, black or white, everyone should have equal opportunities to do 
anything you want, whether to join a golf club, or get a job.”

It seems incredible in this era that three Open venues still have male-only membership.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have the patience to play and I couldn’t watch all day either.

My experience extends only to the pitch and putt at Great Yarmouth and various crazy golf courses. Normally I can enjoy a game but last week wasn’t as much fun. That’s because I finished runner-up (sounds better than loser) to my wife on the Arnold Palmer course at Skegness with a final score of 51-47 (par 36).