As surely as December is the season of year-ending retrospectives and tedious, list-based slideshows, so January is journalism’s time for predictions. If we were talking about soccer (not rubbish MLS), basketball, tennis– nearly any other sport– a selection of one from a handful of likely outcomes is all that’s required to chart the destination of the year’s biggest prizes. Is it going to be Nadal or Fed, with the sneaking possibility of a Murray? Barcelona or Real? Lakers or… eh… I think I’ll leave the basketball analogies to Steph.
Anyway, long-range predictions tend to mean very, very little in golf– even less now that Tiger seems to expend most of his energy being so thankful and pondering Vick-style marketing redemption.
It was with this in mind that I read Lawrence Donegan’s preview of 2011 in Tuesday’s Guardian. Lawrence is probably my favourite golf writer, and not just because he used to play bass in The Commotions, but because his columns are usually the place where solid journalism and moral outrage collide. It’s exciting stuff. Or at least it usually is, because his predictions for the coming year are uncharacteristically dull.
Major wins for *clears throat*: Dustin Johnson, someone quite boring like Matt Kuchar or Steve Stricker, a British person, and Tiger Woods. Should it come to pass, Lawrence’s 2011, Euro winner of The Open aside, is about an expanded FedEx Cup Playoffs schedule away from being the stuff of my nightmares.
Maybe Lawrence is on to something, though. Maybe our New Year’s predictions should be less about giving voice to our golfing hopes and aspirations than about exorcising our greatest fears in the form of forecasts that will, hopefully, never be realised. So, rather than trying to legitimate our deepest desires in the form of quasi-scientific forecasts (Conor: “Harrington will win the Grand Slam and ride away into the sunset on a magical unicorn, obviously.”), maybe we’d be better served, in a karmic sense, by purging ourselves of those nightmare scenarios we secretly suspect are going to come to pass.
Give vent to your biggest fear for the coming year– that one thing you hope won’t happen but are afraid might– in the comments section below and we’ll compile the best ones in the form of a WUP Year of Hell.