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Barbells or Bar bills?

John Daly recently revealed that Tiger Woods turned down the opportunity of a drink in the bar with him back in 2004. The story goes that Woods was heading through the bar to the gym at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California on the eve of the Target World Challenge when ‘Wild Thing’ Daly spotted him and beckoned him over.

Offering him a stool, Daly made Tiger an offer that almost all of us would take him up on at the drop of a cap. “Have a drink with us” said the big hitter of both golf ball and beer bottle, giving the Champion of 14 Majors the opportunity to sample the fun side of being a superstar. Perhaps not too surprisingly, Woods declined the invite saying he needed to go and do a workout. JD, who no doubt had plans to sabotage Woods’ dominance via alcoholic imbibement was having none of it; “Man, you don’t need to workout – You need to drink with us!” he assured him. Tiger’s response was straight to the point, and cutting to say the least; “If I had your talent, I’d be doing the same thing as you!”.

Woods of course will argue that he made the right choice – He won the competition, finishing 14 shots ahead of Daly after 4 rounds. Twelve years on however, Woods is still remembered only as that fantastic golfer who was ridiculously successful, but has now slipped into oblivion. JD is fondly remembered as the Legend who would drink himself almost unconscious, cavort with semi-naked girls and chain-smoke, whilst still managing to win the 1995 Open – 21 years on.

So, Tiger was quite right in his damning assessment of Daly. The big guy DID have a talent – he could enjoy life to the full, and still put an impressive round in. We should also bear in mind that Miguel Jimenez, a somewhat rotund golfer who enjoys cigars, red wine, Ferraris and a chilled but fun lifestyle, came in just five shots behind Woods in that 2004 competition – and then only due to an unfortunate couple of bounces in the final four holes.

Our own little Golf Society trip to Majorca doesn’t offer the opportunity to ponder over the dilemma of push-ups or piss-ups. A night on the beer is both expected and anticipated before each round – thus ensuring we’re all on a level playing field, and have all made the best of the free time between rounds both socially and from a practice perspective. This of course ensures that each member has had a fun packed week and abilities are only divided by hangover size rather than mind numbing hours at the gym or practice ground.

Tiger has had a fantastic career – nobody can deny it. However, I’m not so sure he has ever really enjoyed it. If ever proof was needed that you should live life to the full and take the odd success as a bonus, we need look no further than the likes of George Best, Alex Higgins, Daly and the like (Just remember your liver needs an occasional rest!). All these are remembered with more affection than Tiger will be. It doesn’t necessarily follow that hours of dedication will bring success – I don’t intend to go through all the top names that have won neither the Open or Masters, but if an overweight drunken playboy can do it, anyone can.

Finally, remaining with the subject of unexpected success; As I write this, Leicester City have been crowned Premiership Champions - a fantastic achievement of which we may never see the likes again. Against odds of 5000/1, they have beaten the rich clubs with a team of seemingly average players. To put those odds into perspective you could probably expect similar figures for the following to happen on the THUGS trip:

  • Monarch to depart within two hours of schedule.

  • Ken to skip breakfast

  • Neil to find his way home unaided.

  • Ashey to remain blameless for any unpleasant odours

Of course, Graham’s fart-free round a few years ago would have attracted odds of around 1000/1, but that still doesn’t compare with any of the above, or indeed what Leicester have managed to achieve – and all whilst just going out and enjoying themselves. So dispense with the practice and serious commitment, and pull up a bar stool if you get to let your hair down – You could just as easily be putting on the Pink Jacket the next day, and you’ll have nothing but admiration from your playing partners for battling through that hangover.

Yours - in the shit.


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