Interview: The Binds That Tie
Unions: Worth Cycling For
Industrial: The Elephant in the Corner
Legal: A Law Unto Themselves
Politics: Ethically Lonely
History: Women, Unions, Banners and Parades
Women: Relaxed and Comfortable?
International: The Last Social Democrat
Review: The Corpse Bride
Culture: Tony Moore Holds His Own
The Locker Room
A Free Vote
John Bares All
Tom A World Away
The Locker Room
Captain Robert Allenby gripped the railing of the bridge as the angry green sea surged around the floundering SS Moonah Links.
"More ratings! I must have more ratings!" screamed Allenby into the engine room tube as the wind howled across the heaving decks.
Behind him, Purser Norman smirked. Since his demotion he had been waiting for the pride of the Australian Golf Line to hit troubled waters.
"Where is Midshipman Woods?" Barked Captain Allenby as his desperate eyes scanned the hapless men struggling against the wind on the foredeck. He didn't recognise any of his crew, and Midshipman Tiger Woods was nowhere to be seen.
It was then that the hulking frame of First Mate John Daly lurched into the doorway of the Bridge. Daly was drunk...
The good news this month is that golf is dying.
We're not talking about hopping the fence at the council golf course at the back of the third hole and playing a few holes with some good friends, a six pack of beer and a few joints; we're talking about Golf As A Business.
Golf As A Business has been struggling for a while. Primarily because Greg Norman is such a loathsome dropkick; an Aussie with an ess sound rather than a zed sound, one of those people that Australians couldn't even be bothered despising; but also because Golf as a spectacle has become about as exciting as a Wesleyan picnic.
Most Australians would struggle to name three of their compatriots who actually play the game for money. And the clinical corporate nature of the game is hardly the sort of thing that inspires passion. It is economic rationalism with a ball and a stick and, not surprisingly, was invented by people from the same country as Adam Smith.
Australian golf has been left in the hands of promoter Tony Roosenburg - a former business partner of that great human being Jeff Kennett.
Roosenburg is trying to make Golf more interesting; showing all his imagination in wanting to create a major tournament that's "sexy" for sponsors and the media by including music concerts, fashion shows and having "a lot of beautiful women walking around".
With Golf proving to be about as relevant to Australian sports fans as Curling he wants a gimmicky, sideshow shotgun of entertainment with precious bloody little attention given to the fact that his central "entertainment" is dull. It doesn't matter how many times you polish a turd, you just end up with a shiny turd.
He is after a budget of $15million, but so are most regional hospitals, so we wish Tony the best of British. Then again, in Howard's Australia, making par on the 14th is probably more important than a hip operation.
The problem Golf faces in trying to create an equivalent of racing's Spring Carnival is that golfers, especially the current breed, are a boring bunch of robots playing a game that, in this country, has all the soul and tradition of a Big Mac.
A game that does have soul and tradition is Cricket, but unfortunately this too is being trampled underfoot by a string of poor results and unlikeable characters, from the prime minister on down.
Having Howard sit down to tea, scones and the sound of leather on willow while there was a dead man walking on the green mile has to be a new nadir in public life. Analogies fail, as even comparing this diseased man's actions with a steaming pile of excrement would defame the steaming pile of excrement.
Redemption comes for all as the ghost of Johnny Warren plucked an under-performing Footeroos from obscurity to take us to the World Cup of World Cups.
The fact that we're going to a real World Cup for a change, rather than one of the spurious British Empire ones that Cricket and Rugby put on from time to time, or the even more laughable Rugby League World Cup, will be cause for reflection for other codes.
It will cause fear and loathing to some extent, but with the backing of a myopic media AFL will continue to hold hearts and minds in the southern states while League dominates the rest, until the Kinderwolfen emerge from their cave in Germany next year.
Then the bandwagon will roll and everyone and no one will be an expert on the beautiful game. That will be fine, as there's nothing like Nationalism to obscure reason and logic, and we'll all be good Australians then, even the ones with the funny names that Howard doesn't like.
Phil Doyle - settling nicely in front of the jack.
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