I know how good Tiger Woods is, I really do. I say this because I play golf. No, let me rephrase that. I say this because I attempt to play golf – those that have seen me play may disagree how much of a “golfer” I really am. I use Mr Woods as an example as he is not only a phenomenal golfer, but has just won his first PGA title after a two and half year drought.
If you ever wanted to know how difficult it is to hit a golf ball from the fairway with an iron (golf stick for the uninitiated) over a lake to within two metres from the pin from 170 metres away, give it a try. And I don’t mean go to a driving range and smacking a few balls as hard as you can with zero direction or target. Go to a real golf course and try the aforementioned shot, I’ll bet most shots end up in the water, just like mine.
I appreciate golf the same way other people look upon rugby, tennis, or cricket after playing their preferred sport and understanding how difficult each is to master. And I chose golf because it is one of the few physical activities that I partake in, unless anyone else considers peristalsis a proper activity. Another activity that I have recently been involved in is motor racing. Again, I won’t be so bold as to call myself a racing driver but I have raced before and currently participate in the Engen VW Cup.
By this long-winded route I bring you to my take on this last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. I watched the most phenomenal racing as drivers took advantage of the soggy conditions to lift themselves above positions that their cars normally allow. With regard for each others’ safety, drivers raced wheel-to-wheel at speeds sometimes in excess of 300 km/h.
It was breathtaking stuff and, having been in the thick of race action a few weeks ago, I could not help but cheer, scream and applaud every time someone pulled off an overtake, often with bemused looks coming from my viewing partners. I don’t mean to undermine anyone’s appreciation for a sport that many of us love, but to fully appreciate the skill and bravery those drivers possess you have to drive competitively at least once in your life. Racing side-by-side, while also trying to outgun the guy in front of you takes a decent level of skill AND a plenty of trust in the driver you are challenging.
I have to admit I also know exactly how Sergio Perez feels. For those of you that did not see the race the young, and obviously very talented, Mr Perez hunted down the slower Ferrari of Fernando Alonso as the race drew to a close. With a handful of laps left and the gap down to mere seconds, Perez made a driving error and went off the track. All his hard work had been undone as he lost vital time recovering. Alonso was given enough breathing space to claim the victory that Perez could have made his own. I did something similar, which you can read about here.