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Coffee & Golf

I often joke that if I got paid for my 'freelance-holiday'...that is, all the hours I spend hustling for work, I would actually be better off than the income generated from actually working. Ah well, perhaps its due to all coffee I am main-lining at the moment (thanks to the constant supply from my good mate Henrik in Auckland), but I seem to have exhausted all my work leads and have almost painted every spare mm of the house.


So, I was looking for a way to actually enjoy the surfeit of time I have and not feel too guilty about living stress-free in a beautiful part of the world...when I remembered that there is a golf course directly across the road. 12 years ago when we purchased a house in Clyde, I did so cognisant of the fact that having a house opposite the golf course offers two things...a short walk home from the 19th hole and an unimpeded view of the Old Man Range. Time to finally get a membership again and see if I could regain the glory of my youth.


Now, in these sensitive climate stressed times, I'm certainly not oblivious to the fact that Golf Courses can be a real scourge on the environment: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/jun/14/thecaseagainstgolf


But...the small Dunstan course is almost totally irrigated from the massive body of water gushing past its boundary and from what I can gather, the course has been there for almost as long as this historic settlement has...so no native species or wetland areas have suddenly made way for the non-sensical pursuit of small balls.


As golf courses in New Zealand are suddenly under very real pressure from developers eying up the land for potential dwellings, its really up to communities to decide if having a golf course is the best use of green space? Well, in these attention deficit times, golf is not a natural fit for time-poor millennials inseparable from their electronic devices. See, golf is still a sport requiring time, etiquette and if my playing companions are anything to go by, age? Just last week I was grouped with three guys, the youngest of whom still had a good 25 years on me!


What instantly struck me about this experience is how so little has changed at the golf club in the years since I last seriously played, almost 20 years ago. It's still a bastion of every old fashioned troupe that I thought had gradually been phased out of society. By this, it's all too easy when enveloped within the comfortable blanket of social media groups sharing a similar world-view, to think that casual racism, homophobia and sexism aren't that omnipresent. Forget #Metoo, if my experience is anything to go by, the golf club is unashamedly politically in-correct.


I had to dial back my amusement at how my 80-year-old playing partner summoned up vernacular that would make a sailor blush or the conundrum at the bar when the only seats left spare were those on the ladies table...I sat down unaware that I had just committed a major faux pas. Well, at least I remembered to take off my hat before entering the clubrooms...that would have cost a bit as I would have had to 'shout' everyone in the bar a drink.


Just like what is happening with churches throughout the country: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/another-church-faces-demolition

as congregations age and youngsters show little interest in getting involved, golf courses will surely be carved up into housing estates. Until that happens, I am going to continue swinging until I am rescued with another television contract.




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