For 14 years, Peter Corrigan’s Hacker column in the Independent on Sunday has acted as a care centre for golfers who don’t play the game very well.
Hackers often feel lonely, isolated even, in a game that elevates its heroes to the heavens but can be quite disdainful to those who find it difficult to master the rudiments of golf.
Corrigan is not afraid to describe his weekly adventures in graphic detail, owning up to the lows as well as the occasional highs. Despairing hackers who read him feel strangely comforted.
We are not talking about a handful of people. The latest figures show that the UK has around 4 million golfers of whom, at a conservative guess, about 60 per cent could be classed as hackers — a cool 2.5 million.
In the latest survey, the number of golfers in the United States is 29 million and it is said that 80 per cent of them have never broken 100 and can truly be listed among the hacking fraternity.
Based on those figures there must be around 27 million hackers in the world. That’s five million more than the entire population of Australia.
Can you imagine a country peopled entirely by hackers? You’re right, it doesn’t bear thinking about.
What you can think about is what would happen if all those hackers stopped playing the game. Golf wouldn’t be the thriving sport it is now. How would your club manage if all the 18-plus handicappers left? The annual subs would shoot up.
So there’s no need for hackers to apologise to anyone. We might be ashamed of the way we play but not about our contribution to the great game.
This website is dedicated to their cause.