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ESG&EC officials have been questioned by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigators over the befoulment of Budgewoi Lake last Thursday. Even at this early stage, the situation has been described by authorities as a looming ecological disaster.
The EPA has identified an area just out of bounds on the 14th hole of Toukley golf course as the sole source of the contamination, a spot where human stool types 6 and 7 were found in abundance, along with a few soiled baby wipes and discarded imodium packaging.
Investigators surmise there maybe some interlaced toilets sheets yet to be uncovered in the surrounding areas although they remain perplexed as to why any individual would attempt to smuggle used toilet paper from the heavily polluted scene.
A despondent EPA spokesman said, "What we are truly struggling with is the absolute indifference shown towards this pristine waterway and it's marine life. Can you believe it - not more than a 100 metres away from where we stand is an on course toilet!"
Earlier the same day, police cordoned off a 10 metre exclusion zone around the mens toilet next to the Toukley pro shop after the discovery of a bubbling faecal time bomb. After using industrial fans to disperse the sickening fumes, a fully-kitted Hazmat team (pictured) was eventually able to enter the tiny crapper to decontaminate and breakdown the human waste through a combination of chemical retardant and 30 or so flushes from a high pressure hydrojet power washer.
Authorities contacted the club after reports suggested our members were playing a turd round that day but they've since been assured it was just a regular Day 3 of the World Series. The club is fully co-operating as the search for the culprit, one very sick hombre indeed, continues.
Postscript. Two weeks after World Series of Golf XXXI, the club was mailed an anonymous note which read, "May I suggest in future years players and spectators be issued with a Latrine Pack comprising a spare pair of undies, some baby wipes, a roll of toilet paper, a packet of imodium capsules and a butt plug as an essential part of their tour kit." The envelope carried a Bexley North post mark.
The world's first tangible cryptocurrency, 1. Beercoin, has been announced as the ESG&EC's digital currency and local payment system. The club has mined 150 coins - 5 for each of the club's 30 years - and put a small number into circulation last night during a soft launch at the Earlwood Hotel.
The reaction from many of the pub's cash dinosaurs was quite positive. "Wow, that coin's mesmerising," said Tom the Plod. Squealer Kearney was more effusive. "I wish I played golf and could compete at the World Series. Beercoin's such a good idea! Does it come in any other colours?"
The cornerstone of Beercoin's value is the price The Entrance Hotel charges club members for a schooner of Resch's served during our annual May golf pilgrimage. This Central Coast impost has been rising faster than Sydney house prices and been a boon to those astute insiders who got in early on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. Beercoin, the Earlwood Securities Exchange's (ESX) sole listing, has a market capitalisation in excess of 2. AUD950 (1 Resch's schooner = 1 Beercoin).
As part of an exciting new Presidential initiative, eligible members will be able to purchase up to 14 Beercoins in two tranches priced at a minimum dollar discount off the stock's ESX average April trading price.
Outside of The Entrance and Earlwood Hotels, Beercoin's intrinsic value can be utilised at the various intraclub 24 hour euchre trading tables and at Fonzirelli Italian Restaurant (Upstairs 101 The Entrance Road). Sadly, despite some preliminary interest, the staff at 386 The Entrance Road have been unable to align their payment system to Beercoin.
1. Beercoin is a tangible digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units and verify the transfer of assets. It has a decentralized control and works through distributed ledger technology, typically maintained by a Fatcat Controller, which serves as a public financial transaction database
2. In the 12 months to May 2019, Beercoin's market capitalisation increased to $1,035
Java Haas, the club's most capped player, survived Wednesday's heart attack and has spoken openly about his vivid and disturbing memories from that fateful morning.
"The medical team stabilised me at home and then I was transferred to the ambulance for the 15 minute trip to RPA. Whether it was the medication or just my mind attempting to cope with a dire situation, I started drifting off. It's hard now to say what was real and what wasn't.
"I clearly recall a bright white corridor of light which seemed to be enticing me, I could hear barking coming from the far end and I wanted to find out what was happening down there. When I got to the source of the light and barking, I'd arrived at John Callaughan's Luddenham property where giant spotlights were criss-crossing the night sky for the unveiling of the new 28 bed Taylor Kennel, a high tech training facility for my extended litter of Group 1 winning dishlickers.
"Feted by media and industry hacks dining on Pedigree PAL pâté, I modestly accepted their accolades and was promising to do all in my power to restore integrity and compassion to the sport of coursing. Before I could finish, a Winnebago Motorhome, horn blaring, drove onto the property. John's heavyweight kennel foreman, Rochester, was driving the special purpose mobile kennel and calling for us to hurry and load the dogs because Wentworth Park's Golden Easter Egg was starting in 10 minutes.
"We quickly rounded up 8 dogs - Smoke Da Java, Smoke Da Iron Mike, Smoke Da Croydon Park, Smoke Da Hughes & Taylor, Smoke Da Haas, Smoke Da Pineapple, Smoke Da Royal Commission and Smoke Da World Series of Golf Champion - and set off along the yellow Kevin Underhill road to Glebe.
"Watching the dog's behaviour on the drive, I became concerned they weren't concentrating on the big race - they were lounging about playing euchre, drinking Resch's Draught from their dishes and chatting about the upcoming World Series of Golf. I literally barked at them, 'Woof, woof-woof, woof, woof'. There were sheepish looks allround which was rather odd on the face of greyhounds and then, even odder, Iron Mike offered a spoken apology, 'Sorry Java, we know how much the Easter Egg means to you but we're a shoo-in with no other starters. Put your hard earned on Da Pineapple - the fix is in.
"We arrived at Wentie in plenty of time, strange in itself as Luddenham is 60 kms away. I told Rochester the kennel plan and asked did he want me to handle his commission. He said, 'No, I'll do it myself.' I headed off to the betting ring and saw an orderly line of bookmakers heading off into the distance, a orderly line comprised of every bookmaker I'd ever had a bet with, and now I had an opportunity to put right the wrongs of 50 years of punting.
"As I approached each stand, cash in hand, we went through the usual dance, 'Back again Java. You look terible! What can we do for you?' 'I'd like 10,000 to 600 Da Pineapple.' 'No, we'll bet you 2,000 to 120 and throw in a 1.25 litre Coke and a packet of Tim Tams.' 'OK, thanks.'
"After outlaying $12,000, I daisy chained my 11 supermarket trolleys laden with soft drink and chocolate biscuits around to the owners enclosure to watch the dogs parade. 'Fuck' wasn't the only word that escaped my lips as I looked at my eight runners. Substituted for my race-fit canine talent were a number of less physically striking ESG&EC associates - Seve Hemosteros, Tubby Waldorf, Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson, Big Jack Daley, Kenny Crenshaw, Tack Nicklaus, Notah Kelly III and Froggy Smith - wearing fake ears and tails, dripping paint and being led to the starting boxes by a smirking kennel foreman, Rochester.
"He yelled out, 'I though you might have 'Fine Cottoned' on before now Java. It's only a rort if you're not involved.' It was at that point, the chest pains began ..."
Respected ESG&EC member and solicitor, Tack Nicklaus, was the subject of a scathing attack by the Murdoch sports journalist, Andrew Webster. Mr Webster claimed that the words ".. unfortunate incident .." used by Nicklaus in Burwood Court defending his client, West Tigers player Robert Lui, ".. made you want to vomit .." Which of course begs the question as to what Webster's reaction would have been if Tack had said it was a ".. fortunate incident .."?
Whatever the rights or wrongs of those words, erstwhile colleagues and friends of Nicklaus were disappointingly quick to jump on the Webster bandwagon. Lady Morisset, a prominent member of Lake Macquarie high society, stated, "When I first cohabitated with Tack, every morning I woke up, looked at him and just wanted to heave. The nausea slowly recedes with time but it never quite goes away."
Tack's World Series roomie and chaperone, Blue Sheedy, fully supported Lady Morisset's feelings. "I've got a strong stomach but it took 6 tours for that crook feeling, when you first look at him in the morning, to fade. His princess must be a saint 'cause I've only got him for one week and that's enough but she's got to look at him for the other 51 weeks of the year."
The surprising decision by the Earlwood Social Golf & Euchre Club (ESG&EC) to overturn 26 years of tradition and accept a bid from the government of Qatar to host the 2015 World Series of Golf has caused endless controversy from the moment it was quietly announced by Club President, Davidson Love III, at the end of his upbeat Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook press conference. Questions have been raised about the voting process, social attitudes in the host country, the design of new golf courses, the gulf state's climate and the role of the ESG&EC's four-man Executive Committee (ExCo) amid allegations of wrong-doing, bribes and backroom deals.
Three weeks after the vote, club whistleblowers revealed some ExCo officials had undisclosed and major economic interests linked to Qatar's rulers, the House of Thani. Muzzy Zoeller, a shady wheeling and dealing entrepreneur from Sydney's Lower North Shore, has been exporting goats to the gulf state since 2010. After the announcement, his business boomed with suggestions of a fourfold increase in exports.
Big Jack Daley, colourful South Coast business identity and FIFO mine worker, is now an architectural consultant for the design of the Al-Wakrah and Al-Khor golf courses. When the local press suggested Daley's latest alterations to the Al-Wakrah layout, originally planned to resemble the sails of a dhow boat, now made the course look like an "enormous vagina", Daley said it was probably the unintended consequence of allowing someone like him to tinker with the CAD software while totally engrossed in reading the latest edition of Penthouse. "Although I was providing plenty of input during the design phase, the resemblance to a woman's flange is more subliminal than intentional, but I for one love it. It's also given me some thoughts on making the second course (Al-Khor) look like the male equivalent, meat and two vegetables."
Sir Dick Faldo, an emissary of the losing NSW Central Coast bid team, alleged Big Jack Daley told them they could secure his vote if they placed a $4 million order for 10,000 pairs of his infamous Yak shoes which would then be distributed to disadvantaged Mangrove Mountain yak herders during the tournament. Another ExCo member, Edwardo Romero, asked them to arrange for Queen Elizabeth to present him with an honourary knighthood in exchange for his vote. Two Sydney Morning Herald journalists reported they had been told that each member of the ExCo received $1.5 million to support Qatar's bid for the tournament. All four ExCo officials - Davidson Love, Muzzy Zoeller, Big Jack Daley and Edwardo Romero - have denied the allegations with Love overheard saying he wouldn't get out of bed for that amount of money.
A summer World Series of Golf in a country where the average daytime temperature during May exceeds 50°C (120°F) !?!? Java Haas, respected legal identity, player and former ESG&EC President was scathing when responding to questions about the testing conditions players will face. "From the moment Qatar was chosen, it's been as clear as a Yamba coastal breeze that the outcome would be problematic at best and a catastrophic folly at worst - playing the world's greatest golf tournament in the desert summer is a lunacy and may well be considered institutional abuse and worthy of referral to a sitting Royal Commision."
Questions have also been raised about the apparent clash between Qatar's conservative attitudes and the expectation of many players. The Islamic state has strict laws against homosexuality, gambling and alcohol. Love tried to brush off concerns about homophobia telling reporters that anyone "playing the back 9" wouldn't be a member of any organisation he presided over. As to a World Series tournament without beer and betting, he said, "As part of the bid process, the Qatari's recognised the need for special measures to keep our elite athletes fully hydrated and entertained during their time in the emirate. Our accommodation has been accorded diplomatic status and we will be installing three Easy Bet Terminals (EBTs), borrowed from TAB turnover king Java Haas, and 40 Resch's kegs in our kick back area. It's all good - end of story."
End of story - not likely. Sir Dick Faldo, with the help of former directors from Parramatta Leagues Club, is collecting thousands of member's signatures in an attempt to force the club to hold an extraordinary general meeting in January at which time a motion to overturn the ExCo's decision would be put to the vote. Officials from the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing are keeping a watchful eye on proceedings.
Tiger Wood startled those waiting at the first tee today when he announced the Kogarah Gold Cup would be his final tournament before entering the priesthood. He cited the ESG&EC's lack of moral leadership, rooming with Big Jack Daley on his first World Series tour, our worship of false idols (e.g. Don Lane and Biff Malibu), his continued frustration with the underachieving St.George Illawarra Dragons and a profound interest in Anglican theological fashion as the main reasons behind his imminent departure.
He also confirmed travelling to and from Saints games with the wildly flamboyant and gregarious Dragons supporter, Froggy Smith, had caused him to ponder on the emptiness and shallowness of his own existence. On reflection, he agreed the totality of these experiences had probably made him susceptible to the overtures of the fringe religious cult.
The response from the ESG&EC was swift and uncompromising. Announcing a revamped Membership Committee with sweeping powers of discovery, Club President Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson said, "I apologise to the membership for this entirely unexpected breach of standards. With our new vetting process in place, prospective members with morals and/or religious tendencies will be weeded out well before obtaining a playing ticket."
Postscript. After spending 4 years frolicking in the UK, Tiger will be returning to Sydney in September 2011 - a changed man in a markedly different world. Big Jack no longer tours, Biff hasn't put out a movie since 1997, Don stopped laying cable in 2009, St.George Illawarra won that elusive premiership in 2010 and Tiger is now a Reverend, husband and father - sacre bleu!
Prominent members cut through more than ribbon at the Penang opening of the club's inaugural Tubby Waldorf Mens Health Centre. "Why should we be lining the pockets of spivs and no hopers when we can turn our discretionary spending into a postive on the club balance sheet. So long 386 The Entrance Road, hello Penang!", said 2001 Match Play Champion and ESG&EC legal counsel Ford Funk.
Former club handicapper, Tubby Waldorf, the inspiration for the golf-themed upmarket bordello, was effusive in praising the Great White Shark layout. "The first floor rooms are the front nine and those on the second floor are the back nine. Caddy services and prices are based on golf scoring, your top end service is an albatross and your basic rub and tug a double bogey. I'm very pleased that I was invited to come up with a local course rule - players must use their wood to tee off on all holes."
ESG&EC President Davidson Love said the club's investment in a men's health centre was typical of the niche financial deals the club was now consumating. "The previous regime was too conservative with it's investment strategies - Malayasia was just crying out for someone to abuse it's natural resources and that's why we're here. A cheap and endless supply of very accommodating caddies, below par rentals and players striving to post low numbers are the business fundamentals that will underpin this very successful venture. And let's not pretend we didn't do our due diligence - Big Jack Daley was over here for 3 months, fully expensed by the club, walking the course, suggesting new pin placements and "daley" testing the skills of the 40 apprentice caddies on his white table. At RM48 for an hours play, the equivalent of AUD15, the big hitters can fly in from Australia and spend less here over the course of a week than they would during a day and night at The Entrance Hotel."
"We are also bringing our all-inclusive play and stay holiday packages to the Malayasian Mens Health Centre market. Our budget Bronze package (6 days staying at Hotel Mingood and including two par holes each day) starts at AUD710 plus airfare through to our premium Gold package from AUD2499 plus airfare. This includes 10 nights staying at our 5 star partner, 23 Lovelane Hotel, golf buggy transfers to and from the Waldorf Mens Health Centre, two albatross holes each day with two caddies, a relaxing golden shower at either single flow (the Cavey Pavin) or dual flow (the Seve Hemosteros) courtesy of your caddies during or after your round and a free consultation with our immigration specialist, The Judge, should you be looking to import a caddy on a 457 visa for the World Series."
This true or false quiz has been compiled by Ford Funk, an ambassador for the Don Lane Lay The Cable Foundation. He is also an immigration judge and a director of the discreet humanitarian aid organisation, The 386 Society.
To check your score, click the last tab above (surprisingly titled "Don Lane Quiz Answers").
Big Jack Daley, the ESG&EC's own Lord Lucan, who last played on the Central Coast seven years ago has applied for a player's ticket to return to the tour at the 2012 World Series of Golf.
As part of the club's due diligence, Daley denied that he:
ESG&EC President Davidson Love said the applicant had been very candid in his responses. "Jack acknowledged that he'd been in a very dark place when he went to Samoa. It was quite fortunate, now he's sought readmittance to the tour, that their Medicare system could not afford to remove his enormous genitalia - the operation would have blown the island's health budget for the entire year. After consideration of the circumstances surrounding his absence from the tour, I am pleased to announce that Big Jack Daley's application to play in the World Series, a tournament he won in 1995, has been accepted. The fact that he's staying to the south at Chez Hemo is a win-win for the citizens of The Entrance, our playing group and Blue Bay liquor outlets. The vocabulary challenge he'll present to the defending 4-letter word champion, Edwardo Romero, should itself be worth the price of admission."
Mr Romero's only comment was succinct and entirely predictable, "Well f^ck me!" Big Jack was uncomfortably more forthcoming. "I'm going to give all youse c#nts buggery, especially that fat c#nt from Bexley North. And f^ck that big Romero c#nt too!"
After close inspection of the club's public liability insurance policy, a warning letter from Davidson Love has been forwarded to The Entrance constabulary and the Central Coast Chamber of Commerce giving them 6 weeks notice to put their preparations in place for Big Jack's expected profanity-laden return.
Postscript. After his 7 year sabbatical, Big Jack returned in typically pugnacious style. After actively participating in our voluntary pre-tournament sea-level acclimatisation and hydration program, on Friday night he was barred from the Diggers RSL and followed up the next night by being escorted from The Entrance Leagues Club. Both actions were the result of Big Jack's 'straight talking'.
The ESG&EC today announced plans to run two football tipping competitions this year. In addition to the club's existing and popular NRL competition, this season will see an AFL branch grafted onto the club's on-line gambling money tree.
The press conference, held opposite the Earlwood Hotel in the tranquil setting of Turnell Square Gardens, was expected to deal with the spate of rumours surrounding the recent and unexpected resignation of the club's handicapper, Prof. Sir Dick Faldo. Social media sites have suggested that the respected former official's club-issued credit card had been used regularly to procure services at a number of prominent Sydney brothels, as well as for frequent weekly cash advances, totalling a staggering $47,600 in suspect transactions over the nine months prior to his standing down as handicapper.
Struggling to be heard over the baying media pack ESG&EC President Love said, "Let's not get off message here, I will deal with that matter later. Today is all about an opportunity for new money, not the manner in which club officials fritter it away. We are extremely mindful of the pressing need to generate new revenue streams as mooted pokie reforms threaten to decimate our executive team's tax-free allowances. I think it's a wonderful gesture for us as a sporting and cultural juggernaut to exploit the wider community, especially the non-heterosexual market, and get some of those pink dollars flowing into our coffers. I mean, the beauty of it is, what would they really know about aerial ping pong other than it's played by young, fit men in tight shorts! At season's end, there'll be a small, sweet honey pot waiting to be snapped up by one of our sporting boofheads."
When pressed on the specifics of the new competition, Mr Love invited the club's media and IT officer, Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson, to address the conference. "There was no time for a feasibility study - Davo just said we need a diversion from 'Dickiegate', and reaching into the back pockets of the Oxford Street Sydney Swan set for a dollar or two seemed the ideal distraction. I'm looking for a soft start in 2012 - hopefully we can get 30-40 punters to put their cash in and we'll take something off the top. The format will based on our successful NRL competition - a mixture of scratch and handicap selections. There are some briefing notes I can give you or you can look up the interim guidelines on the club's website."
The focus then returned to Love's defence of Professor Faldo. "Dick has provided me with a detailed and completely plausible written explanation - his credit card was unknowingly removed from his possession every Friday, then used in an unauthorised manner overnight before being returned to his wallet the following morning - apparently it's not the first time this sort of problem has occurred although not on the scale of 38 weeks in a row. I have the utmost faith in him and, what's more, I'm absolutely certain that if he was using these intimate, erotic and perverse services for personal gratification he would have invited me or his predecessor along for the ride. At this time, our forensic auditors, Anslow Wojcik Instant Solutions, believe the misappropriation to have been committed by some villain familiar with the Professor's Friday drinking habits, and with unfettered access to his bedroom and wallet. Despite media speculation and some previous form in the overnight borrowing of Dick's plastic for similar services, our investigators have stipulated that Hunter Meehan is not a person of interest at this point in time. No more questions - thanks."
True to the state philosophy, the funeral of the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, was an occasion for North Koreans and a few chosen international allies. Kim Jong-il, aged 69, led the nation with an iron fist following his father Kim Il-sung's death in 1994, died of a heart attack.
The Reverend Moon Hyung-jin, an American citizen and president of the Unification Church, arrived in North Korea on Saturday to attend the funeral. A Japanese magician, Tenko Hikita, who performed private events making big things disappear for Kim Jong-il, declined her invitation. Earlwood Social Golf & Euchre Club President and fellow dictator, Davidson Full Moon Love III, gratefully accepted his and was a prominent guest of son and successor, Kim Jong-un.
While the rest of the world could only look on and wonder what direction this deeply mistrustful country will take as the world's first communist dynasty farewelled it's second representative and introduced a third, Davidson Love held private meetings in the inner sanctum of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace with Kim Jong-un and top military and party officials. In the absence of Ms Hikita, Korea's new Supreme Leader was apparently very impressed with President Love's impromptu performance of his favourite magic trick, "Look, no hands" on Ri Yong-ho, the country's most senior general.
"Although my visit to this land of boundless opportunity is shrouded in grief, it's great to be in the company of so many living and recently deceased kindred spirits. Speaking with the Sagacious One has crystallised my own views on running a dictatorship. Those traitors who besmirched their Chosen One at the R&A in November will be dealt with on my return to Marrickville. I was overwhelmed by the reaction of the North Korean people (see picture right) when they heard Henney Stenson had won the Match Play Championship - tens of thousands lined the snowy streets of Pyongyang yesterday wailing and clutching at their hearts, calling for Stenson to be executed and the result to be erased from the history books," the Workers' Party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun reported Love as saying.
President Love is expected to return home late December prepared to implement new internal dissent policies which will carry the backing of the nuclear-armed North Korean military.
Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson has warned his far-reaching and scathing business review of the ESG&EC will take 18 months to yield significant progress. Fatcatsson chaired a panel that included 2005 Match Play Champion, Bluey Dunk, 2010 Match Player runner-up, Karrie White, dapper member and average golfer, Danny White Shark, and independent golfing expert, Squealer Kearney. The panel, commissioned soon after yesterday's worrying Match Play result, took submissions and, much more importantly, refreshments late into the afternoon on the balcony of the R&A. Fatcatsson, the former executive mailman at Bank of America, said today that the review's three major recommendations would need time to reap significant benefits.
But there was an immediate casualty. Handicapper and patent holder for the much maligned Dickworth-Lewis Handicapping System, Professor Dick Shearman, stood down late yesterday afternoon. In response to the first recommendation, the club announced today it will start a global search to find a paid, full-time handicapper, a newly-created role, but Fatcatsson said there is no time frame on the appointment. "Dickie has done so much to restore credibility to our tournament handicapping with his sophisticated golfing algorithms. However, consensus is that the ESG&EC needs someone fulltime in the paid role of handicapper, and just as critically, someone who is a regular tournament player. It's a role I can see myself applying for." It is hoped this will allow a more direct line of communication between the handicap office and players, as opposed to the aloof, academic distance that has existed recently between the parties.
What did the review say about the prospects of the ESG&EC tour regaining it's No.1 ranking? "The evidence from the last 20 tournaments is our player's basic golf skills are steadily diminishing in key areas; in particular driving, long irons, short irons, steam irons (Jose-Mumma Olazabal being the sole exception), chipping, sand play and putting," it read. "General athleticism, game sense/match awareness and golf expertise, including the ability to problem-solve during the course of a tournament or match, has fallen markedly in this period. The lapse in these standards reflect the current attitude and professionalism of the club and it's members."
To address the issue of declining standards, Fatcatsson's second recommendation was the appointment of a full-time, paid, high-performance manager. "This manager will need to bring vital qualities, in what is a pivotal new role, with a singular focus on player performance. His priority will be ensuring that all of the club's high-performance golf programs dovetail in a manner that helps the ESG&EC consistently produce the best players and tournaments in the world."
ESG&EC President, Davidson Love III, was immediately on the front foot. "I have approached my brother-in-law, the recently retired dual Match Play Champion, Shigeki Moroneyama, to take on this position. He performed at an elite level over many years with this tour and under his watch at a major government agency there have been no rural bushfires in the Homebush district during the past 12 months. I'm expecting a positive answer from him later this week."
Addressing Fatcatsson's third recommendation, the ESG&EC announced it will form an Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) to oversee and maintain the integrity of the club's tournaments. President Love restated his support for the introduction of nationally consistent laws requiring TACKbet and TUBBYsportsandgoodsorts, the club's licensed betting agencies, to enter into integrity agreements with those sports on which they offer odds. Love reaffirmed his support for state and federal government moves to introduce sport-specific anti-corruption laws that could see fixers sent to jail.
As well as an at-tournament presence, the ASCU will administer the educational program for all players and provide training sessions for officials in the ESG&EC's betting and anti-corruption policies. "There has been some anecdotal evidence of problems in this year's Match Play Championship and we want to move proactively on the basis that vigilance and constant education is critical," Mr Love said. "The ASCU will investigate claims that one finalist arrived at the course in a Holden Commodore and left in a Lexus driven by a mystery woman. After speaking with the player on various tees during the match, the woman was overheard placing bets on his opponent to win the next hole. I mean, it's not a good look, especially when your standard of play is so bad that that even your own caddy heckles you."
Originally published in the ESG&EC Golf Digest, the following transcript is from an interview conducted by David Feherty with the then Match Play Champion, Ford Funk.
Big Jack Daley rewrote the record books with an all the way win in World Series of Golf VII. Big, an avowed amateur golfer and leading proponent of the Anslow hydration theory, became the first of the high handicappers to have his name engraved on the World Series trophy.
SG Treweek, the leading Central Coast postilion, emceed the tournament dinner staged in the El Lago's sumptuous Out the Back Out of Sight and Away from Other Guests room. After presenting his good friend with the winner's trophy and gold jacket, SG enthralled a captive audience with some of his favourite yarns about old Foster Cosgrove (Big's alter ego) and his work as 'an artificial inseminator of sheeps (sic)'. But the story that had the audience in stitches was how Big got SG back on track after a lengthy battle with a young jockey's worst fears, increasing weight and laced cookies.
"I had a lot of friends trying to help me out. Larry Olsen rang with tips about controlling my weight through diet and exercise. Good mates Simon and Aaron even phoned with the name of their new cookie supplier. I tried everything but was going nowhere fast. But it was Big who literally grabbed me by the horn and said, 'Son, it will take ya about a week, but I can get ya down to 48kgs.' He told me it was only a couple of weeks ago people had been taunting him with the nickname Lucky. You know the fat bloke who plays Bargearse on the Late Show. Well, since I was struggling to ride at 55 kgs, I thought I'd give it a go.
"On day one, he had me out on the Entrance Road at 5am for what was supposed to be a 24km run. Big paced me on his pushbike, doing it tough with two cartons of Resch's strapped to the handlebars. After a kilometre, he called a halt. He opened the top flap on both cartons and took out a stubby from each. He threw me one and said, 'Get this into ya SG, it stops ya dehydrating.' Well I knew he was involved with some wacky hydration theories, but in the thirty seconds it took for him to finish his beer he was able to give me a real good insight into its leading principle. 'Son, ya dehydrate, ya die. We'll be stopping every kilometre to make sure ya don't die.' The first couple of stops are still pretty clear in my mind but after about 6ks it becomes a total blackout. I woke up in a roadside ditch next to a bloody and unconscious Big and his badly damaged bike.
"The sun had set and although I was in an unfamiliar area, I estimated that we were no further than 19ks from home as there were still 5 beers left in each carton. After about 10 minutes I was able to flag down a passing horse float and the driver helped me haul Big into the back. I tended to some of his injuries but was horrified to see the condition of his dusters, so badly swollen they were the size of grapefruits. When he came too, I suggested we go straight to The Entrance hospital to have a doctor look at his nuts. He laughed and said, 'SG, these are the family jewels, passed on from father to son, the curse of the Daley men. Now ya know why I'm called Big.' I didn't want to alarm him but I said, 'Big, at least they are in some way sized in relationship to the rest of you. Here, get a look at mine. The trainers call me saddle bags!'
"He just whistled and didn't say anything for a minute or two. I could see he was deep in thought. 'SG, they are the biggest set of dusters I've ever seen on a jockey - no wonder ya having weight problems. How often do ya get them milked?' I had no idea what he was talking about and put the comment down to his extreme hydration. He must have seen the confused look on my face because he then added, 'Son, ya need a good woman to milk 'em every day or they start to back up and get real big and heavy. I've been fortunate enough to meet and marry someone as accommodating as sweet Catherine. Find someone to milk 'em and ya'll be back in the saddle at 48kgs a week later.'
"A jockey's lifestyle makes it hard to meet a good woman, but with Big's words ringing in my ears I set out to find my perfect partner. Three successful years have followed and I owe it all to your new champion and my good mate - thanks Big. I can see that the princess has pulled up outside. If you don't mind fellas, I'd like you all to meet her." SG went outside to the car and brought his spouse back to the presentation area. In a room where you could have heard a pin drop, he said, "Members of the ESG&EC, I'm pleased to introduce you to my beautiful wife, Tammy. Tammy, the members of the ESG&EC ..."
Wharf Road, which leads to the entrance of the R&A Marrickville, is adorned by 61 magnolia trees planted in the 19th century. And so in a manner of speaking is the ESG&EC membership which, since it's inception, has been entirely male.
Club President, Per-Ulrik "Hootie" Fatcatsson, maintains there will be a female member at his club one day. It just won't be because Tiger "The Padre" Wood said there should be one. It won't be because women plan to protest outside the tournament next month. And it won't be over his dead body. "If I drop dead right now, our position will not change," Fatcatsson said. "It's not my issue alone."
Fatcatsson has gained international notoriety for his refusal to buckle to pressure from women's groups, and sections of the media, and invite a woman to join the world's most exclusive golf club. His final, unprompted statement at a pre-World Series of Golf news conference was intended to make the point that he was not some lone, arch-conservative bending the club policy to suit his will. What he managed to convey, unintentionally, was that he was just the public face of a pack of similarly minded, beer-guzzling, golf and euchre playing arch-conservatives who have put the tournament's reputation on the line because they refuse to be told what to do. Not by anybody.
When asked if Wood's very circumspect legal and religious opinion that the ESG&EC should have a female member carried any weight, Fatcatsson muttered darkly, "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" before regaining his composure to comment, "I won't tell Tiger how to say Mass if he doesn't tell us how to run our private club. If you have sound traditions, there's nothing wrong with continuing to use them."
At the start of his widely anticipated press conference, Fatcatsson had said he would not take questions on the issue of female membership because everything that could be said on the issue has been said. "We are a group of men with similar interests getting together periodically for camaraderie, just as thousands of other citizens do with clubs and organisations all over Sydney," he said. "Just because we host single-gender invitational golf and euchre tournaments, and that many of our members are famous sportsmen, should not cause us to be viewed differently."
But Hootie's club, and their major tournament itself, has been viewed differently since women's rights activists wrote to him in June last year asking that he consider inviting a female member. The problem for the ESG&EC, and the World Series, was Fatcatsson's brusque reply that the club would not change its opinion "at the point of a bayonet" gave the issue legs. The ESG&EC cast itself as an obdurate old-boys club.
Quickly cajoled into taking questions, Fatcatsson did not profess any regrets about his role in the debate. With the support of his members, the local public and many in the golf world, Fatcatsson continues to defend the all-male membership on the basis the ESG&EC is a private club. "Just because we present two world-class sporting events a year doesn't affect our private club status," he said.
But, more than club privacy, what Hootie also purports to protect is the right of men and women to congregate separately. "It's been going on for centuries and centuries that men like to get together with men every now and then and women like to get together with women every now and then," said Fatcatsson.
When asked if there would be a female member by 2025, he said, "I can't speculate on what might happen in 20 years time." Having released its major sponsors to protect them from potential boycotts, the World Series is being shown commercial-free on pay television. Fatcatsson said the tournament could continue indefinitely without endorsement and that it's traditional donations to the Children of Resch's Drinkers (CORD) charity would not be affected.
Despite the intense media attention the issue has attracted, Fatcatsson said the tournament's reputation had not been harmed. "Well, it's been maligned but I don't think it's been damaged," he said. "We've come through much bigger controversies than this before. Remember the Pavin-Hemosteros euchre table pissing duel or Big Jack's tragic racecourse impersonation of Father Up - a swearing, beer drinking, flatulent priest betting the local church's plate collection on the favourite in the last at Wyong one day. With a male only club, our reputation remains teflon-coated."
Like Popes, ESG&EC Presidents tend to be become senile and die in office. Despite the controversy, it is likely Fatcatsson's reign will continue, perhaps even long enough for him to greet the first woman member. "You're not going to get rid of me any time soon," he said.
Postscript. Fatcatsson's reign came to an acrimonious end in December 2009 when he declared a spill of positions and was subsequently voted out of office.
It is with great pride that I accept the ESG&EC Presidency. It was encouraging to see DCCCLXV (865) members cast their votes, a strong reflection of the numbers we see at most tournaments. I believe that after years of turmoil and blatant self-interest, the time had come for a change of administration. Everyone can now look forward to a phase where the club can operate in a calmer and more democratic environment - no longer will the radical right prevail. You can be sure that the conservative lefties (who still prefer to be known as southpaws from their days of affiliation with the Newtown/Erskineville Branch), will bring a moderate and sensible approach to the club. For any members who remain disaffected by the vote - I note there were VII (7) dissidents who voted for the status quo - The African (Big Jack Daley) has offered to show you what a good left is.
In my first decree, I hereby declare roman numerals to be the club's official numbering system. There'll be less confusion if there's only VII (7) or VIII (8) characters the membership have got to remember and I've always liked the way they looked at the end of my name. During the XII (12) month transition period, both systems will be displayed on all club communications.
I expect to announce the club's new administrative team after meeting with my advisers, Big Jack Daley and Edwardo Romero, next month at Camp Davidson. In a gesture that shows no recrimination against the previous hierarchy, I intend to appoint a more humble Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson as my media and information officer and he certainly should have his hands full implementing my first decree. Seve Hemosteros has offered to assist with the management of courses north of the Hawkesbury and negotiations are already in train with potential legal and treasury advisers. I confirm my adherence to the club's strict "no women" policy at both playing and board level.
On a more practical note, a reminder that the MMX (2010) World Series is scheduled for XVII-XXI (17-21) May.
Thank you for entrusting me with the running of the ESG&EC. I ask no more than to receive the same amount of respect that each of you has shown over the years to our past Presidents!
Davidson Love III (Ret.)
ESG&EC President IV.
STATEMENT FROM PER-ULRIK FATCATSSON PRESIDENT OF THE ESG&EC
Many years ago I was called upon by my club to take the leadership in difficult circumstances. I did so knowing that my experience in public life was limited and that I did not hail from the factional group that had traditionally supplied leaders of the club. But I accepted the call to serve and was elected to the leadership without dissent. Others had the chance to stand, but no one did.
Since that time I have given my all for the members of the ESG&EC. Working for their needs and aspirations has been my sole intention and it has guided my every action. We have secured some great achievements including:
Before recent events intervened, I was intending today to launch the club's blueprint for the future, a fully-funded $180 plan to cover our needs for the next 30 years. But instead of talking policy, here we are talking leadership once again. And I say this, the time for talking is over. Throughout my presidency, my ability to do good has been impaired at every turn. A malign and disloyal group, well known to the membership, has made the business of club governance almost impossible. Yesterday I received a text message from Davidson Love III, the public face of these dark backroom forces. It said, "I've done the numbers, met with Romero at The African's place and announce my intention 2 (sic) challenge 4 (sic) your presidency. Fall on your sword and a takeover will be swift and painless. I expect an immediate formal statement from you acknowledging the transfer of the club presidency to me."
The presence of such a power-hungry group within our club is intolerable. Their treachery and disloyalty can be borne no longer. For that reason, I declare a spill of all positions within the ESG&EC with a ballot to held on Monday, December 7.
It is my intention to break the hold of these malignant forces on the life of our club. I am determined to continue cleaning up our club, I am determined to maintain the integrity in our handicapping system. More than that, I swore an oath of loyalty to the membership, an oath of loyalty and of service. And I say to them today, I will not hand control of the ESG&EC over to Davidson Love III, Edwardo Romero and Big Jack Daley. The old regime will never again dictate the fortunes of our club, nor will they regain access to what they covet most - the potentially lucrative Dickworth-Lewis golf handicap algorithms. I will lead one sort of club and one sort of club only - one that is modern, ethical and progressive, a club in which the golfers of Earlwood can have confidence, trust and respect. These are my standards and these are my beliefs. I will settle for nothing less.
Should I not be President after the ballot, let there be no doubt in your mind, no doubt, that any new leader will be a puppet of Edwardo Romero and Big Jack Daley. That is the reality - that is the choice at stake. The decision now lies in the hands of the membership.
Chris Miller's caustic comments about Notah Kelly's golf swing had the player and his colleagues hitting back today. Miller, the R&A Marrickville pro, said Kelly had a swing that would make Ben Hogan "puke".
"It was close to the bone," Kelly said of Miller's critique, which also included a comparison between Kelly's swing and that of a one armed woodchopper. "Sure my swing isn't pretty, but it can occasionally work." Kelly has received a lot of support from fellow ESG&EC members who felt Miller crossed the line. "So we stuff up quite a few holes, he (Miller) stuffed up even worse with that comment," said another high handicapper, Tack Nicklaus. Fellow 30-something handicapper, Tubby Waldorf, who has won both ESG&EC majors playing right handed with a left handed grip said, "I've always said to Notah that what is important is the end result, not how crook your swing looks."
ESG&EC swing coach, Seve Hemosteros, also defended Kelly. The respected tutor, who has worked tirelessly on and off the course with Kelly over a number of years, understands why criticising a swing can be construed as a personal attack. "A swing reflects many things in an individual and Notah's swing is dictated to by his build. He just can't get his arms up and drop the club on the inside. His swing comes over the top and cuts across the ball, coming from outside in. For a good golfer, it is a power fade. For Notah, the result is a slice. Costantino Blocker is another player with an unorthodox swing, and from a purist's standpoint, his swing would also fail Miller's 'puke' test, since it is the opposite of Kelly's, coming from the inside out."
Hemosteros argued that the only good swing is one that gets the ball in the hole in the fewest number of strokes. "Hey, Notah's had a very mediocre professional career and he doesn't come close to cutting the mustard, even as a journeyman. But we all have to understand that golf is his passion so he doesn't mind hacking around a course with a very ordinary swing. In the end, that's all that matters."
Kelly also pointed to a host of current players who might not have classical swings, but have effective results. "Shigeki Moroneyama knows how to get around the golf course and he'll go down in history as a two-time Match Play Champion. Tubby Waldorf and Soldier Montgomerie both won majors with unorthodox swings. Sir Dick Faldo has such a short back swing people say he could hit a ball from inside a phone booth. Even Tack Nicklaus has a flying right elbow."
Kelly was also upset about Miller using Hogan's name when lampooning his swing. The late American, who won the US Masters, the US Open and the British Open in the same year, was recognised as having one of the best golf swings of all time. "I don't understand how he can use someone else's name when he doesn't know what they would be thinking," Kelly said. "Mr. Hogan was a hell of a player. Miller should stand behind his own comments rather than use Mr. Hogan as a shield."
Kenny Crenshaw, an analyst for the local broadcasters, steered clear of the controversy. "I'm pleading the fifth," Crenshaw said. "In my commentary I try not to criticise the person. If a guy screws up as often as Notah does, the pictures are worth a thousand of my words. I just try and explain how and why he did it, no matter how difficult that may be." In an amazing post script to this public spat, Miller has almost literally been sent to Coventry - the R&A in Scotland - as a sop to the powerful Earlwood PGA.
Postscript. Kelly persisted with his "puke" swing and finally blossomed. At the Match Play Championship, he won the 2008 title and the following year was beaten in the semi-final by the eventual winner. Maintaining his purple patch of form, he also claimed the 2010 World Series of Golf.
The Earlwood Securities and Investment Commission (ESIC) has issued a public warning regarding "get rich quick" schemes, in particular those involving horse racing.
A senior ESIC spokesman, Seve Hemosteros, addressed a packed media conference on the subject earlier today. "One scheme in particular, Tubster's 100% Winning Bets, has been brought to my notice by commission staff. I warn the public of the risks associated with this scam, and the history of its promoter, the elusive Tubby Waldorf.
"Our research shows the promoter has once again embarked on a multi-media marketing blitz. Ads are now appearing in local and national newspapers under various headings including 'I was a successful schoolboy punter and nothings changed over the last 30 years' and 'Punt drunk and winning'. Local radio stations are even playing the scheme's catchy jingle, 'Bets all day, drinks all night, Tubby, Tubby', on their high rotation lists.
"Members of the public, drawn by a loosely worded money back guarantee, are told to ring an 0418 mobile number and register to receive at least one winning tip on each of the next four Saturdays. The person's credit card is immediately billed for $140, a $100 registration fee and a $40 charge for access to a recorded message on each of the Saturdays.
"Remember the old adage 'If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is'. The money back guarantee only applies to the weekly $10 access fee and then only if a winner is not mentioned from among an average of 20 tips per race meeting. The rest of the money goes into administration fees and is not covered by the guarantee.
"The public should be aware of Mr. Waldorf's previous dealings with this office. In 1994, the commission found him guilty of deceptive conduct over the promotion and activities of the 'If it's good enough for my cash, why wouldn't you want the tip' scheme. A number of his clients sought help from the commission when they found out Mr. Waldorf did not back the horses he had tipped. It found his excuses that the horses in question did not represent value, as they were much shorter in on course betting than he had anticipated, or that unforeseen track conditions did not favour his selections, to be spurious at best.
"Clients also complained of receiving the same recorded message on each of the first three Saturdays - 'Sydney race 1 - 2 to win from 4 and 5, races 2 and 3 - no tip (2yo events), race 4 - chances 2, 4, 6 and 7 (seven horse field), race 5 - 4 to beat 1, 2 and 3, race 6 - chances 1, 2 and 3, race 7 - 2 to beat 3, 6 and 11, race 8 - 1 or 3'. When formally questioned by ESIC, the promoter denied that his social activities were more important than providing a reliable and up-to-date service to his clients. 'Between dances, dancers and dessert on Friday afternoon at my city club, Men's Gallery, I review their complimentary Sportsman and I always check the weather and track conditions when I get the cab home on Saturday morning. That the numbers may have been the same on those three days is just a strange coincidence, but obviously the horses racing at the second and third meetings would have been different.' When confronted by the fact that races 3 and 4 on the second Saturday were the 2yo events, and on the third Saturday there were only seven races, Mr. Waldorf stated he suffered from a rare form of Anslow Dehydration (AD) that adversely affected his recall of most weekends. He produced a medical certificate from a local AD expert, Morisset physician Dr. Talbear, which supported his statement.
"When questioned about his expertise as a tipster, he said 'I throw it all into the equation - weights and measures, breeding, programming, sectionals, likely race scenarios, jockeys and barriers - and then I make my selections. It probably takes me about 2 hours per meeting.' He was then shown exhibit A, a Sportsman recovered from the Men's Gallery. 'Do you play darts at the club? 'No.' 'Can you tell the commission what has caused these numerous small indentations in the form guide?' 'No.' Exhibit B was then produced, and Mr. Waldorf was informed it was an affidavit from the owner of the Bexley North haberdashery shop. 'Are you familiar with term lucky pin?' At this point, Mr. Waldorf waved his medical certificate and declined to answer further questions.
Today, in amazing scenes at a hastily organised press conference, the leader of the consortium of Australia's Losing Punters (ALP), Tubby Waldorf, refuted claims of a sordid past life that included drunken brawling with cab drivers, drunken indecent behaviour at bucks parties and drunken serial womanising.
The emotional leader stressed that, while he had lived a full life and continued to do so, the allegations were without foundation. He claimed his enemies, many of whom would never like to see him return to the high life on the hallowed turf of Royal Randwick, had maliciously spread the allegations.
Close to tears at one stage, Mr. Waldorf admitted to being at many bucks' parties in the '80s and '90s but denied "to the best of my recollection" any wrongdoing. To support his case he nominated two companions, Amber and Crystal, whom he regularly ferried to and from these events and would support his claims of good behaviour. "These girls work in Surry Hills and can be contacted after 10pm most nights at their Albion Street terrace," he told interested journalists.
In relation to the run in with the cab driver, Mr. Waldorf stressed that he was simply trying to establish "Who's in charge?" or "Is money a problem?" and he placed the blame for any physical altercation firmly in the hands of a former late night drinking companion, JPY Hayes, and the driver. "I had to stop catching cabs with JPY - he's prone to cab rage once the meter ticks over $5 and he's not home. This wasn't the first cabbie he'd come to blows with."
Mr. Waldorf hoped to have close friend, Notah Kelly III, appear today as a character witness but Kelly failed to show. The leader brusquely dismissed rumours that he and Notah have not spoken since a drunken incident in Brisbane at a birthday party for Mr. Kelly's partner. "It's just another example of the absolute crap coming from people who claim to be friends of mine. They're just trying to play with my head."
The Holy Grail of Golf, four majors in a decade, appears at the mercy of the Croydon super golfer, Davidson Love III. The young shark mannequin claimed his 3rd Match Play Championship in 6 years today with a scintillating display, combining powerful driving with a deft touch around the greens. Love, after a perfect front nine on The Royal and Ancient Marrickville links course, was never in trouble against an ineffective and out of sorts Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson.
In presenting the winner with his blue jacket with white pinstripes, club handicapper Tubby Waldorf said, "This jacket is made from the finest Waldorf family tartan and it gives me great pleasure to present it to you. May you continue to bring home the bacon in future years." A gregarious Davidson said, "I've always felt confident about winning this major, even when I was a golfing nobody. Putting on the Waldorf tartan is a real buzz, part of the grand tradition of this event and, let's be honest, it gives me a walk up start if I want to take up a trade in the meat industry. From the moment this year's draw was announced, I've had a horn thinking about my chances." Mindful of further embarrassing his family, Davidson moved on to thank them, his supporters and tournament sponsors, and promised to defend his title next year.
The runner-up, Fatcatsson, was presented with a sleeveless T-shirt in the Cavey Pavin family tartan - white with a large yellow L printed on front and back - by Club President, Java Haas. Although conceding he was clearly outplayed by a focused and experienced opponent, the runner-up muttered darkly about an incident on the first tee. "I got stung and it wasn't by a bee." Urged to elaborate, a despondent Per-Ulrik said, "He psyched me out. He won the toss, shook my hand and whispered in my ear, 'Ever been this close in a major Ohio Fatboy? Your grip feels as slippery as a walrus!' Well that was it, I just turned to jelly." Asked about the personal nature of the sledge Davidson responded, "Rubbish, absolute rubbish. It's not part of my game. I just wished him all the best and happened to mention he reminded me of a young Tack Nicklaus, or possibly an older Craig Stadler. He must have misunderstood the compliment. Anyway, from what I observed today, losing a few pounds wouldn't do him any harm."
Postscript. It took another decade but Love finally collected his 4th major with victory at the 2004 Match Play Championship.
ESG&EC handicapper, Tubby Waldorf, was today under increasing pressure to resign from his honourary post as allegations of widespread sports rorts were raised in Federal parliament. Mr. Waldorf, often described in Sunday gossip columns as a prominent racing identity and confirmed bachelor, was accused by opposition leader Alexander Downer of failing to observe the rudimentary protocols of golf handicapping.
Mr. Downer said, "The annual Match Play Championship held at the R&A is one of Australia's premier sporting and cultural events, combining the pomp, ceremony and tradition of a British royal coronation with the appalling behaviour of Munich's Ocktoberfest patrons. Allegations of widespread rorting and abuse of position should not taint this wonderful event. Mr. Waldorf's statement that the handicaps issued for this tournament were fair and reasonable remains unsubstantiated. I have requested the records of previous tournament handicaps be tabled in the parliament."
Tubby, who claims to have kept tournament scores on tags normally used to identify butchers deliveries, and to have worked out each years handicaps on a white board kept in his bedroom, says that a young relative erased the details from the whiteboard a day before the allegations were raised in parliament. "I'm personally devastated by Alexander's comments as he is well aware of my meticulous nature. I still have the receipts from the first cow I sold in 1975. Tell him not to ring for the tips on Saturday if he's going to continue to go on like a pork chop!"
Postscript. Waldorf survived the Downer blowtorch but resigned in 2002 after an inquiry was launched into the circumstances of his World Series of Golf victory. Although Waldorf declined to appear at the inquiry, R&A stewards were critical of his self-assessment system that delivered him a very generous 40 handicap and they were especially outraged by his failure to notify tournament officials of the many gear changes he donned during the event, in particular a golf glove, golf shoes instead of loafers and a set of new high-tech clubs borrowed from a relative to replace the set given to him a quarter of a century ago for his 21st.
The Big White Nark announced his long-rumoured intention to seek entry to the ESG&EC tour next year. The Nark said, "I need another challenge. The European, Asian and American tours are now second tier events. The top players from those tours need to be able to take the next step so I am proposing a system of promotion and relegation, just like in the English FA."
Although ESG&EC officials refused to comment on the issue, disgraced former President Seve Hemosteros was more forthcoming. "When we started up five years ago and offered him a spot, the choker told us to piss off. Now he's got his eye on the money we generate from endorsements and pay TV. He started banging on my door two years ago with his unrealistic demands. I mean, he doesn't tell the public this, but he wants to play off 7, and I told him his handicap wouldn't be any less than 11. The sharks on this tour would just eat him up off that handicap. I can't see it happening until he accepts he'd just be a little fish in a big pond."
When questioned on his recent impeachment, Mr. Hemosteros was far less informative. Was it true that his links with failed Perth businessmen Bondie and Laurie led to his demise? "No comment." Did he really lease Bondie's Swan River mansion for an annual fee of $1? "No comment." Was he part of the Rocket Racer sting? "Look, I was just trying to help a couple of old mates re-establish themselves with the big end of town. People from all over were just throwing money at me. I even had reverse charge calls from some asthmatic in Majorca talking about where he might hide some cash from the authorities. Now, where's the harm in that?"
The golf and euchre fraternity traces it's origins to the guilds and craftsmen who built golf courses in medieval Europe, where members devised secret methods of recognition, including the use of strange and occasionally amusing nicknames.
Members believe the club provides a code for building character based on the application of spiritual, ethical and moral standards to the games of golf and euchre. Belief in a Supreme Being (Right Bower or Handicapper) is a prerequisite for membership, though all faiths are accepted.
The club was established in 1812 and still meets at the Earlwood Hotel Grand Lodge on Homer Street. Inside the public bar exists a hierarchical world of nicknames and secret handshakes, where raised glasses denote seniority, and where Worshipful Masters, Grand Wizards and King Poobahs administer Club business.
Long cloaked in ancient all-male rituals practised in strict tournament secrecy "north of the Hawkesbury", the movement is seeking to introduce new blood in a bid to halt a decline in their aging membership. Change has never come easily to the club, but new recruits are no longer required to just remove their trousers during initiation ceremonies. Initiates must now also remove their underwear and bare their chests to prove they are not women.
The Earlwoodians like to say they are not a secret club, only a club with secrets. To improve their image, the doors to one of their most elaborate, and hitherto, one of the most secret ceremonies - the issuing of tournament handicaps by Tubby, the Grand Wizard of Figures and Bovine Culture - are being thrown open to the public. "People see us as being far more secretive than we really are. The idea of having an open handicapping day is to show people, including our members, that they have nothing to fear from the process. It's just like a bad haircut," says Grand Master Per-Ulrik Fatcatsson, "In two weeks time, who cares?"
Fatcatsson, the man charged with leading the club into the new millennium, has forwarded to the King Poobahs (the Club's Board of Directors) a petition signed by a quorum of members to:
The Poobahs believe all three motions are within the spiritual, ethical and moral standards of good club governance, and they will be voted on at the next Annual General Meeting.
Like every year since 1998, golfing legend Sir Dick Faldo has announced his intention to skip this year's World Series of Golf tournament. His financial manager and partner, Deb the Decent, now well versed in reading Dick's annual statement, spoke to a largely disinterested media gathering. "I regret that, due to personal and business commitments, I will be unable to play in this year's World Series of Golf. The week of tournament play is an arduous and expensive adventure and I do not have sufficient time nor funds to prepare for its demands. I hope that my many fans will not be disappointed and I am devoting all my energies and spare coins towards playing next year. Good luck to all competitors."
Dick, along with fellow sexagenarian and legend Arthur Palmer, is credited with bringing the big crowds and lucrative sponsorships to the World Series with his "quick wing" swing and socially intemperate drinking. Tournament spokesman, Java Haas, said, "While his continued absence is a major blow to organisers and fans alike, it will give a number of the younger members a chance to jump out from under his enormous shadow."
Postscript. Sir Dick returned to the Central Coast for World Series XXV and spent the week interacting with the local community as the club's cultural ambassador.
Answers supplied by Ford Funk, an ambassador for the Don Lane Lay The Cable Foundation. He is also an immigration judge and a director of the discreet humanitarian aid organisation, The 386 Society.
0-4 correct. Do not visit this website again.
5-6 correct. Pay more attention when The Judge is telling tales.
7 correct. You are first reserve for the next Lay the Cable tour.
8 correct. You are on the plane to Melbourne! Join The Judge and other Don Laneophiles as they lay down some cable and visit many of the great man's favourite places in the southern capital including the GTV9 studios, a discreet Richmond factory where those infamous glass top coffee tables were custom built, and his regular restaurant, The Exploding Vindaloo Firecracker.