Last Sunday evening, for the first time in over 3 weeks, I felt proud to come from the illegally occupied, undemocratic autonomous principality, partial province, temporary entity, basket case, six counties of Normal Island.
The reason for my swagger was, of course, the victory of our own (not ‘your’ Pedro) Darren Clarke at Golf’s British Open. But just how did we get to the point where a nation of under 2 million sectarian bigots can become such a major force in world Golf, outshining even our bog hopping, bank bailing, brown envelope bunging brudders below in the Republic of Free State Southern Cheese?
Simples! Sure weren’t we known as ‘The Land of Saints and Swingers’ for centuries? Didn’t Hugh Holland, the Hound of Ulster kill a giant dog-leg with a mighty drive from the third at Royal County Down using only a touch of fade, live on Setanta Sports? Didn’t William himself cross the Boyne using only a sand wedge? (Although rumours that he got a Birdie seem unlikely) And didn’t 100,000 Ulstermen find themselves in the same bunker during the European Open of 1914?
But what was it that resulted in the Northern Irishman’s stranglehold on Golf’s most prestigious prizes? Well, Scientists believe that 40 years of street rioting, primarily the throwing of missiles, has caused the Nordie to evolve his arm swing to almost perfection.
No surprise then that the north’s 3 Major winners should be from such working class, flashpoint interfaces as Portrush and Holywood. Neither is it a shock that the trio are of pure Gaelic stock, their families tied closely with the history of the island. Take Darren Clarke or Darren Ó Cléirigh as he prefers, a direct descendant of Brother Michael and Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, two of the authors of The Annals of the Fore Masters. Look also at Graeme McDowell (or McDowell) the Great Grandson of Eoin McNeill, the hero of 1916, author of ‘How to Ensure Your Rebellion Succeeds’ and all round Republican Icon. Not to be outdone, Rory McIlroy too is a direct descendant of the Irish Water Spaniel.
Pretty impressive when you consider that the Republic’s recent double major Champion’s only claim to fame was that his ancestors invented a style of jacket! Sadly, not even having three winners is enough to bring the Open Championship to Royal Portrush, The Royal and Ancient Committee explaining that the town’s infrastructure is simply unsuitable. However, it’s not all bad news, in the absence of The Open coming here; moves are underway to instead bring violent summer street disturbances to coastal towns in Britain.
So there you have it, Normally Idle is full of ‘Swingers’ and ‘Doggers’ and that is why the world looks on enviously, wondering just how we do it. It’s easy really, years of practice with the arm, then just pop it in the hole!