This is how it started. Day 1 at work. I am taken out for lunch by some kindly folk and somehow the topic of golf came up in conversation. I mentioned (as any sensible under-thirty woman old would do) what a silly sport golf is. From (painful) memory my arguments included: It’s not really a sport anyway – it’s a hobby. An expensive hobby that involves walking around gentle countryside in weird clothes carrying a heavy bag. Golf is for fatties. Golf is for men who are not fit enough to play tennis or rugby. Golf is for dads, or women who are strange and talk incessantly about their husband’s careers. Unless you are over 55, or a child pro, golf should not be your first choice.
I can sense all the British readers nodding.
It was early on enough in my Czech life that maybe I can be forgiven for not noticing how quiet the group around me became as I nailed my golf-colours (pale pink with a yellow check) to the mast. Because, yes you guessed it: whilst in the UK golf is for old people, in Czechland golf is for the seriously cool, up-and-coming professionals, many of whom surrounded me at the lunch table. Awkward…
It seems that golf is pretty big here, and not just amongst retirees. ‘Normal’ people play it. Young people play it. Good looking people play it, which is surprising in my limited experience. There are more golf-courses per capita in the Czech Republic than anywhere else in the world (ok – I have made that up but there are a lot of them by all accounts).
Golf is (in a manner akin to 1980s England) one of the foremost tools in business networking in the Czech Republic. Forget having a sensible discussion about topical business things at a breakfast seminar, or heading to All Bar One for a glass of vino. Go to the golf course. Charles University in Prague (Oxbridge-esque) runs a law degree where (urban legend has it) golf is offered as an optional module. I’m not joking.
I’m not sure if I will be joining in the golf extravaganza. My prejudices against non-crazy golf run deep. It’s rather stuffy – a sport where several clubs until very recently regularly barred female members. Although, for all the above reasons, this is fine by me.
I am quite taken by the clothes and accessories though: all those nice pastel colours and tank-tops and and things. Very cute. And huge potential for colour-coordinated kitch accessories. Like visors, and tea-cosies for your golf-clubs lest they get too cold. In researching this post I stumbled across a website selling women’s golf attire called “Golfwear for Birdies” – a marvellous golfing pun. They do have a sense of humour, these golfers. They sell pastel coloured golf bags, in case you’re in the market.
This is all academic though. After my outburst at lunch on Day 1, it’s highly unlikely that I will be invited to join in this year’s golf tournament.