As Dr. Watson sat reading The Times at his breakfast table in Baker Street, he stopped as he noticed the back page where the sports section was.
'I see The British Open is starting tomorrow', he remarked to his colleague, Sherlock Holmes, 'what a strange game golf is! And how strange we forget to publish this story in the summer! Lots of otherwise sane men and women, hitting bits of -'
'We have no time to lose, Watson!', Holmes suddenly cried, making the doctor start, 'there is murder maist foul about to happen in Scotland!', and soon the pair were on the 'Flying Scotsman' as it thundered northwards towards what was to be 'The Case That Baffled Sherlock Holmes', or 'Dr. Watson and the British Open Mystery'.
'Are we in Scotland yet?', Watson asked Holmes, as the train pulled out of Berwick station, and at that moment about a dozen people spilled into their carriage, swigging cans of Carlsberg Special Brew and smoking fake cigarettes and breaking into a drunken version of 'Flower of Scotland', before one of them threw up against the window. 'Ah, it seems so', the doctor deduced correctly, and for the next hour the two sat in nervous silence, wishing they'd taken out life insurance policies with Lloyd Grossbonds of London.
In Edinburgh they switched to a bus, and eighteen hours later they were having dinner in the Turnberry Hotel in Ayrshire. 'Well', said Watson, 'no sign of any murderous villains here, what!' 'On the contrary', Sherlock Holmes replied, 'I fear murder is only too close to us. Watson, you must enter the British Open tomorrow and play the game of your life, so it reaches a play-off after 72 holes.'
'But -' 'No buts, Watson, you have 2 hours to learn the noble game of Kings, and to learn to play it badly, in an almost mind-numbingly boring way that will make you consider suicide as the only way out. Then at the play-off you must simply give up, and I shall collect the thousands of pounds I have bet against you with McSwindlers the bookmakers.'
'This is monstrous, Holmes! Why, we are the defeaters of crime, and yet the great Sherlock Holmes sits here and plans to defile the holy name of gowf, to -' 'You get eight per cent of my winnings.' 'Where are the clubs?', and soon Watson was practicing missing easy putts on Turnberry's famous TheOnlySportYanksCanWinAt putting green.
The next few days went well for Watson, and despite his age of nearly 60 years he was tied at the lead on 44 over par with American Blandy Nobody, and so a play-off had to happen. And sticking to Holmes's plans Watson then began playing in a way that would embarrass an alcoholic chimpanzee, or in exactly the way that George W. Bush plays golf, and it was soon all over.
'Well done, Watson!', Sherlock Holmes said to him, 'but I fear I haven't been entirely honest with you. This was all merely a ruse to trick Blandy Nobody into winning the Open, so that the murderer of golf would be revealed. But alas the swine has been too clever for us, there are too many culprits here - the ones that cut the rough short to make it easy to win, the ones who also made the flag positions too easy, the ones that kept John Daly's juice bottle topped up with neat vodka.'
'This will now become known as 'The Case That Sherlock Holmes Would Rather Not Mention Again, Thank You', and soon the sleuth and the doctor where once again battling their way through the crowds of heroin addicts and pickpockets in Edinburgh's Waverley station, before locking themselves in the toilet to skip the fare all the way to London King's Cross.
'All a bit of a waste of time, this Open has been, Holmes', said Dr. Watson, drinking some of the 'Warning, This Water Is Unsuitable For Drinking' water out of the toilet's washbasin. 'Here, fill the basin with water', the detective replied, then emptied a pint bottle of Laphroaig malt whisky into it.
'Visiting Scotland is never a waste of time, when you come home with this!' 'Jolly good show, Holmes, slainte mhath!', and 'Tha mi aig-iarridh mo thuisge-bethea mhath', came from the sleuth, before using one of the doctor's rubber operating tubes to siphon some of the water and whisky mixture into a dirty glass sample jar.
Next year, Dr. Watson may be playing in the Senior Losers Tour.