I hate blame culture. If you trip up over a paving slab, then, rather than picking up your mobile to dial your solicitor, the only picking up you should be worrying about is doing just that with your feet. Instead, people think of who they can sue.
And suing someone has never been easier. Type “sue someone” into Google and it returns over 16 million results. The top return reads: “How to sue someone. Are you thinking of claiming something from someone?”
And someone, or rather something did come into my mind. Something for which I am repeatedly punished for no fault of my own – being in someone else’s divot! Google then offers three easy steps to suing someone.
Step 1: Decide if you have a good case.
I remember the club championship. A perfect lay up on the last, leaving a gentle wedge over water, only to find it snuggling in a beautifully hewn divot. A thinned exorcet into the water duly followed. Fame and fortune thus denied, I feel I have a very good case!
Step 2: Can you collect if you win?
As the divot was minty fresh, I knew the group ahead were all up-standing pillars of the community and certainly not short of a few bob, another tick!
Step 3: Estimate your claim?
Not so easy. However I see becoming club champion as merely the first step on my road to golfing greatness. The club championship would have been swiftly followed by a call up to the county, then the national team, Tour qualifying, a run of Majors, Ryder Cups and then a best-selling biography and film rights. I’m happy to round down to a cool £10 million.
But of course my tongue is firmly in cheek. Suing other golfers for leaving a divot is ridiculous, my gripe is with the rules. Play the ball as it lies. Poppycock! Why on earth, when I have safely found the middle of the fairway, should I be punished for someone else’s carelessness? Surely the stupidest rule in the book.
No doubt when pioneering landowners of St Andrews smacked a ball around rabbit strewn links, the course was decidedly iffy. But nowadays fairways are mown to perfection. Course designers lay down a gauntlet to us players, they challenge us to traverse their cunning pitfalls and traps. Paramount to this is the safety of the fairway. By hitting closely mown nirvana, surely we have passed the test and should be allowed relief from any crag, divot, dingo scrape or scuff. Within six inches, no nearer the hole. Scrapping the rule, and rewarding our skill, makes sense.
However golf and sense are seldom bedfellows.