Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The A to Z of Aberdeen - G

G is for Golf

We don't get golf.

Perhaps it's because just as our mothers were 'golfing widows', so we were 'golfing orphans'. Our fathers got dressed up in weird clothes and then went missing on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings during our childhoods, and then came back talking rubbish.

Perhaps it's because, as a great philosopher once wrote, it is "a good walk spoiled". The root of psychogeography is, of course, a good walk. Why would we want to spoil that? Well... we wouldn't.

Perhaps it's because of the draining of wetlands and the creation of monocultures. We greatly prefer biodiversity.

Perhaps it's the trousers. Sorry, "slacks".

Perhaps because its adherents call it a sport, whereas it's actually just a game.

Perhaps its because they don't even bother carrying their own clubs these days - they get an electric robot to do it. We despise laziness.

Perhaps it's because they take themselves so seriously. Pomposity will not be tolerated.

Perhaps it's because they bang on and on and on in great detail and at length about the round they just completed, as if it's the most interesting thing in the world. It isn't - it's just a list of numbers.

Perhaps it's because of its aporcryphal acronymical exclusivity. G.O.L.F. = Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. We despise exclusivity.

Ah, exclusivity, that's probably got something to do with our bad attitude to our so-called "national sport". There are  thirteen sites given over exclusively to golf in the greater Aberdeen area. A total of fifteen courses (twelve eighteen-hole and three nine-hole) covering a total area of 8.25 km2. We'll write that out longhand so there's no mistake; yes, eight-and-a-quarter square kilometers of Aberdeen's land is given over to a bizarre, exclusive, minority pursuit.

That's an area a bit bigger than that bounded by Anderson Drive, Westburn Rd/Hutcheon Street, the Inner city Ring Road to Victoria Bridge and the River Dee back to South Anderson Drive at the Bridge of Dee. Um, that'd be the entirety of the city centre and inner city. Just for golf. Imagine: Midstocket, Mile End, Rosemount, Gilcomston, Gallowgate, City Centre, Ferryhill, Pitmuxton, Ruthrieston and Rubislaw - all given over to golf.

A thought experiment...

The population of Aberdeen (according to the General Register of Scotland) is 202370 on an area of 186 km2 (1089 / km2)

So, if we subtract the amount of land given over exclusively to golf, we get 202370 people on a land area of 178 km2 (1137 / km2)

And, if we then allow that space to be developed by laissez faire policy, thus resulting in a mix of uses like that elsewhere in the city, we would provide housing within the city for nearly 9500 people as well as employment and services in support of that enhanced housing capacity.

So, if we abolish golf, we get better housing, more jobs and economic growth - who doesn't want that? The dog-in-a-manger golfers are holding the city back! We have just proven that golf stifles economic growth and is detrimental to our housing stock and job availability.

It's time these people got out of our city's way. It's not even as if it's a particularly patriotic pursuit, what with our "national sport"  being invented in China over a thousand years ago and everything.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lot of ill informed rubbish