This scribe was once trapped in such a wretched situation and, as the rain hurtled down and brake lights dazzled the eyes, I found myself gazing across at a drookit, bedraggled sheep in that adjacent field of triangular protrusions and became entranced by its staggering capacity for unrelenting munching.
It seemed a rather pointless existence. A baa here, a meh there and on and on the chewing went. And then the sheep peered across at me, slumped forlornly in a metal box that was going nowhere, and probably thought exactly the same about my pitiful plight. At that moment, man and sheep were joined in complete and utter futility. Perhaps it was time to break away from the flock?
In this equally bewildering game of golf, the American duo of Peter Uihlein, runner-up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday, and the upwardly mobile Brooks Koepka did exactly that and headed to these shores to begin their professional education. Now, like sheep on the trot to a new pasture, their countrymen are following in their droves.
Over the past few weeks, stage one of the European Tour's qualifying school has been hammering on at a variety of venues in the UK and on the continent and the Stars and Stripes has been billowing high on the leaderboards during this spell. In total, a record number of 86 US golfers entered the q-school process and, from the six stage one shoot-outs that have been held so far, 24 have ploughed on to stage two of this thorough examination of nerve, mental resolve and golfing prowess. A further nine American players are competing this week, at Frilford Heath near Oxford and Golf d'Hardelot in France, and the qualifying success rate will no doubt rise again. There is plenty of pedigree in this travelling band and three of the six qualifiers that have been played have been won by boys from across the Atlantic. John Hahn played in this year's US Open at Merion and topped the stage one standings at Fleesensee in Germany. At Ribagolfe in Portugal last week, the contest was won by Daniel Berger, a former US college stand-out who captured last year's prestigious Dixie Amateur to join a roll of honour that includes the likes of Uihlein, Brandt Snedeker, Jesper Parnevik, and Hal Sutton.
In Italy, meanwhile, Philip Francis, the former US Junior Amateur champion who broke Tiger Woods record by winning four consecutive World Junior titles, led the way at Circolo Golf Bogogno while other qualifiers from the stage one scrambles so far also include Brendan Gielow, a Walker Cup-winning team-mate of Uihlein and Rickie Fowler in 2009. There is some impressive talent making strides on this side of the pond and that can only be encouraging for the European Tour. In an era when the circuit's big names are spending more and more of their time in America, the European scene may just unearth that next US gem. With the PGA Tour effectively scrapping its own qualifying school system - the primary route to the top table now is through the second-tier Web.com Tour rankings - more and more players are casting their eyes over here and seeing Europe as the land of golfing opportunity.
At the developmental level at least, there is a bucking of the trend. Uihlein and Koepka have been the trailblazers for this new generation, of course. New cultures, new golfing environments; it's been an eye-opening experience for the pair and they have revelled in their new and varied surroundings. "I liked Sweden for obvious reasons," said Koepka with a cheeky grin. Koepka has already fast-tracked his way to the main European circuit after three barnstorming Challenge Tour wins this season to join Uihlein, who improved his exemption to full European Tour member by winning the Madeira Islands Open in May and has since been runner-up twice: in Wales and at St Andrews. Koepka is in no doubt about the benefits of digging out the passport and hitting the road. "Guys back home just think of the PGA Tour but anyone thinking of professional golf who doesn't try the European Tour is an idiot," he said in no uncertain terms. "I know a number of guys who have come over; I think it's double what it has been, so it looks like more of a trend. When they look at the success Pete [Uihlein] and I've had then guys take a look over here."
The latest wave of this new American expeditionary force may have a 72-hole second stage and a six-round qualifying school final to negotiate before they can join Koepka and Uihlein on the main circuit but don't bet against one or two making the grade. Who knows? The triumphantly titled Samuel Finley Ewing VI may just be the next star in the making. As more and more look to new horizons, America's loss could be the European Tour's gain.