I’ve just had a month off the tools.
And no, I was not in prison, or remand or even short stay home detention. Nor were any bones broken. It was work – the enemy of the midday whack fest. Sometimes life gets in the way of passion and we have to just, you know – deal with it.
But it was good work. Really, really good. The month was alternately spent flying toward the Southern Ocean to gawk at whales and seals and penguins in Antarctica. Of flying home. And this is not to brag about taking on the trip of a lifetime. It’s to share an opportunity with you because the Golf Gods know, I’ll never actually do this myself.
Obviously there’s no golfing in Antarctica. Can you imagine it? First, it’s bloody freezing. Second, imagine the greenies if morons like me pulled out a 9 iron in Neko Harbour and started belting golf balls into the pack ice.
Imagine if you really got hold of one and it sailed out over the pristine water toward the shiny dark green in the distance. Only it’s not a green. And the ball lands, the green moves a little. The ball bounces once, twice, spins and disappears down a hole. Only it’s not a golf hole, it’s a blowhole. And the whale, that was sleeping peacefully, goes for a bit of a breath and – well, you can imagine the greenies.
You can imagine anyone, actually.
It was a cruise, so there was time to talk lots of golf.
"Imagine the King Island courses, Barnbougle, Royal Portrush and Lahinch, add whales, penguins and an albatross rookery ..."
And I dreamt about golf, a lot, as it turned out. The worst, and most vivid was the one where my clubs were in my bag, but the heads were missing. The shafts had been sharpened into little shiny points. From a distance, they reflected light to make it look like there was a full set in the bag, but as I got closer I realised the heads were missing.
Who would take just the heads?
It was a dream about being on a golf trip to the bottom of the world and I’d packed coloured balls and now there were no clubs to hit them with. I woke up in an Antarctic sweat and realised I had a problem requiring professional help – just not a golf professional.
There were other zealots aboard the cruise ship, too. They’d give themselves away at the bar or by the lifts, taking the chance between swells to practice the finer details of their swings. All the signs were there – little drills to stop coming in over the top, or round the outside.
Maybe lots of us were in some kind of golf denial hell.
Despite the lack of golf, the trip was good. The Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, we even nudged below parallel 66 South and into the polar circle.
Here’s the opportunity, maybe for a few of you together as I know I’ll never actually do it. It’s going to take some work, of course. And some gumption. And probably a little capital, too.
Above all else, it’s going to take vision. Here’s the big news, swingers. I’ve seen the holy land, and it’s ready for a golf course.
The Falkland Islands. Yep. That’s it. Where Maggie Thatcher mobilised a few planes and frigates and the odd royal, against the might of the Argentine Army. Didn’t last long, which was good, of course. But if it had, there might be a few less bunkers, to carve out, you follow?
The clubhouse is built. It’s already got a thriving business. During summer, when cruise ships come to ‘town,’ they put on tea and coffee and a spread of bickies and scones you wouldn’t believe. So there’s catering.
No golf carts, yet, which will be a problem for the heavy hitters, but there’s a bunch of old troop carriers that could be even funkier.
The grass is lush because water’s no problem. And the land is literally heaven.
Imagine the King Island courses, Barnbougle, Royal Portrush and Lahinch, add whales, penguins and an albatross rookery and you’re not even close. It’s better! It’s pristine. And it’s ready to go, only, it’s in the Falkland Islands.
So you could chopper the wealthy in and that would be like a bonus.
Ocean, wind, wild spinifex to startling bluffs and views to die for, literally. And then there’s the wildlife. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest playing alongside the albatross rookery or the penguin colony, you could get pretty close. Whales in the harbor, baby sea lions on the shore.
Looking for a new promised land? The Falkland Islands are the future, baby. And I would do it, I would. It’s just now that I’m back in the real world, there’s golf to play.