Well, here we are on Boxing Day again. And what does that mean? Yes, that’s right. Hour upon hour spent lolling on the couch with belching abdominal bloat while one hand paws at the TV remote control and the other wearily rummages for another orange cream in the industrial jar of Quality Street you got from Elsie and George.

In this position of yawning surrender, let’s have a peer back over this, that and the other of golf in 2017.


Golf can often leave you scratching your head like Stan Laurel trying to fathom out the Analytic Continuation of the Factorial. Then again, that bamboozling equation was probably easier to follow than the bewildering format of the European Tour’s World Super 6 event.

For a genuine mind-blower, though, Jordan Spieth’s histrionics and heroics on the final day of the Open takes some beating.

His flabbergasting capers and subsequent salvage operation on the 13th was followed by a tee-shot on the 14th which almost went in the hole as Spieth went from potential meltdown to Open-winning majesty. There are golf writers still locked in darkened rooms to this day.


“It was the best of nines, it was the worst of nines,” sighed Charles Dickens after a particularly torrid round in the medal. Or something like that.

Lexi Thompson and Anna Nordqvist’s staggering final-day showdown at the Solheim Cup led to so many jaws hitting the floor they are still repairing the dents in the Des Moines turf.

Thompson was four down through four after some pitiful putts and a shattering shank but a spell-binding back nine, in which she was eight-under for seven holes, earned her a half-point in what was an epic shoot-out for the ages.


Rather like Fred Dibnah felling an old brick chimney in the grounds of a disused cotton mill in Bolton, Dylan Perry’s Amateur Championship dreams ended in a dusty pile of shattered rubble.

Four-up with five to play in the final of the unpaid game’s showpiece against Harry Ellis, the Aussie wheezed home with a calamitous series of bogeys before finally surrendering the title to his rival with a double-bogey six on the 38th hole. It was such a grisly spectacle, the spectators had to watch it unfold from behind a police cordon.


The golfing world is awash with garish oddities, unsightly absurdities and eye-popping peculiarities. And that’s just the scene at The Herald sports desk’s Autumn outing.

Away from the classy, ornate splendour of, say, the Claret Jug, prize giving ceremonies are littered with the kind of eccentric abnormalities you’d expect to find in Heath Robinson’s wheelie bin.

The winner of this year’s plook on the plinth, then, is the trophy presented at the Challenge Tour’s La Vaudreuil Challenge (pictured); a grim concoction of severed club heads that looks more like a sombre memorial to golfing futility than a shimmering spoil of triumphant conquest.


In these times of constantly evolving click and swipe gadgetry, when you wouldn’t be surprised if you stared in the mirror and your own reflection was actually a blinking, beeping circuit board, the European Tour’s website woe became an issue of global concern. It just about put Damian Green’s internet search history into the shade.

The disastrous revamp of a valued resource brought harrumphing condemnation from players, coaches, the media and fans alike. Even village elders of the remote Sentinelese tribe were appalled at the prospect of logging on to www.europeantour.com.

To his credit, Keith Pelley, the tour’s chief executive, issued an open apology as the website reverted back to its old format and VE Day-style celebrations erupted across the golfing world.


Chances are you’ve probably never heard of Clifton McDonald, but this hapless hacker tried his best to make a name for himself during US Open qualifying earlier in the summer.

Featuring the kind of impressively large numbers that used to be scribbled down by the seamstress of the Roly Polys, McDonald cobbled together a 55-over round of 127. Starting on the 10th, McDonald took a fearsome 68 blows to reach the turn during a prolonged disaster that just about left his three-ball a full calendar month behind the group in front.

McDonald, to his credit, upped the ante on the way home, though, with a rousing inward half of 59 that was bolstered by a brace of sturdy bogeys.

There’s hope for us all eh?