Golf Courses of Antarctica

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Penguins in Antarctica

Anyone writing on this subject will sooner or later have to address a particular fact. There are two schools of thought about how this brutal necessity should be approached. The first holds that the nettle must be grasped at the earliest opportunity. The alternative view is that the whole point of such a piece must be to eschew the obvious for as long as possible.

The subject is one of many examples of an essentially similar kind, but care is needed if philosophical sloppiness is to be avoided. For example, the logical framework is fundamentally different from that of 'Professional Golf in Second Century Palestine'. Second Century Palestine is no longer with us. It therefore follows that golfing exploits which have not yet happened are not about to start now. By comparison, Antarctica is straight away fecund with possibilities.

Although not immediately apparent, the subject is much more akin to 'Marmalade Sculpture'. It is merely a coincidence of environmental factors that constrain the development of the activity. In fact, through a tantalising and delicious irony, marmalade sculpture would actually work much better in Antarctica than it would wherever you are.

Likewise abstain from bathetic pedantries such as speculation about the colour of the golfers' balls. That the conventional hue is inappropriate is self-evident, but having once established that fact, the alternatives are almost boundless. Brunswick Green would be an entertaining choice, being entirely unsuitable for the usual humdrum thrashabout on grass, and thereby inducing a pleasing conceptual symmetry.

Apocryphal annals cite a tome on the fauna of Hibernia, which boasts a chapter dedicated to the ophidians of that esteemed isle. The entire chapter is reputed to read : 'There are no snakes in Ireland'.

This is a rather stark and frankly unsatifying example of the first school of thought referred to earlier. When someone pens the definitive work on 'Golf Courses of the Seven Continents', then this precious and erudite piece could be included to represent the south polar landmass, thereby filling all readers with surprise and delight.


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