Letter: Golfers' defence of a worthy game

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The Independent Online
From Mr R. A. Bradburn

Sir: I'm sure Genevieve Fox's article on World No Golf Day will draw plenty of replies from Outraged of Tunbridge Wells, but as a relative newcomer to the sport, I probably have a more balanced outlook ("How about bunking off for the day?", 28 April). I don't possess any plus-fours, and doubt whether I ever will, and my last round cost me £12, not the minimum of £55 she quotes.

Her comments about loss of land and water in tourist locations are justifiable and well-documented, but the impact of any tourism on fragile ecosystems is often detrimental. Surely it is up to the governments concerned to strike a balance between tourism and native concerns. Why focus solely on golf? Ban fell-walking, then, for the damage it does to the Pennine Way, and ban climbing for the huge cost of rescuing climbers who try and climb Ben Nevis in a T-shirt, because it was sunny in the pub car- park down below.

Ms Fox reduces golf to its constituents, noting that having watched "a hard round object flying through the sky, you've had fun", and referring sarcastically to the "breathless excitement" of a hole in one. Reduce any sport to its basics and it becomes absurd.

I'm afraid Ms Fox, with her fetish for "lycra-clad glistening bodies", will have a rather narrow view of what constitutes sport: there are cricketers still wearing wool, and the only parts of snooker players glistening are their bald patches. Lastly, if Ms Fox thinks it doesn't require strength or skill to hit a golf ball any distance in a straight line, let alone 300 yards, I invite her to demonstrate. I'll pay!

Yours faithfully,

R. A. BRADBURN

London, SW18

28 April

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