Is it acceptable to play golf on Christmas Day?

The Scoop

It's the most wonderful time of the year – but to play golf? Mark Townsend and Alex Perry lock horns in Alternate Shot

Yes, says Mark Townsend

Quickly distancing myself from anyone who does do this, and as someone who has never and nor will do this, but what’s the problem?

Sebastian Coe would always train on Christmas Day in the knowledge that Steve Ovett wouldn’t be – it might be the other way round but you get my drift – so, who knows, it might just help to get you over the line in the Spring Meeting.

When better to work on your ‘first move’? When better to work on your hip clearance? When better to crank your 3-wood half a degree and see how it affects your ball flight? When better to finally get your compression-layering concept right for that certain temperature?

And you’d fly round. There’s that lull between 2 and 5pm when it should be possible to cram in 18 holes of Stableford action. Once you have got over the fact that you are doing something very wrong then you should/would have the course to yourself. You could even chuck a few balls down around the greens.

Live a little, it’s Christmas Day.

Then again all the best rounds are played when you shouldn’t really be doing it. Midweek days out/mini breaks are far more enjoyable as you should be at work so imagine the feeling when you’re trying to rattle up 29 points on Christmas Day.

You vs. the course. What could be better?

No, says Alex Perry

You have three children, I have one. How you find time on any day to play golf, let alone Christmas Day, is beyond me.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to love slipping out for 18 on Christmas Day. As you say – what better day to play?

I especially enjoyed a Christmas Day round in the period of my life where I was no longer a kid myself but before I had kids of my own. I was also working a lot over the Christmas period.

But once I became a dad, Christmas became relevant again – so to speak. So now there is no chance of getting out.

Christmas morning is about opening the 4,000 presents under the tree – 3,998 of which are for my daughter – then hosting various members of four or five different families.

By the time the turkey is carved and surrounded by more pigs in blankets than is neither necessary or healthy, the sun is touching down on the horizon.

So is it acceptable to play golf on Christmas Day? Well, yes, of course it is. And I do miss my wintry jaunts round my old track.

But with a family? Not a chance.

Not if I want to see New Year, anyway.

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