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经济学人:当代高尔夫 要荣誉不要古塔球

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International: How much have golfers improved? No gutties, more glory

国际:当代高尔夫球手的水平有多大进步?要荣誉,不要古塔球
Comparing modern golfers with champions of old is trickier than escaping from a pot bunker with a niblick.
拿现代高尔夫球手和多年前的冠军作比较,难度可比用9号杆捞出锅状沙坑里的球还大。
The winner of this year's British Open golf tournament, which started on July 16th on the Old Course at St Andrews, will pocket £1.15m ($1.79m) .
今年,赢得英国高尔夫公开赛(该赛事于7月16日在圣安德鲁斯老球场进行)的选手将会入账115万英镑(179万美元)的赛事奖金。
Golf was not always so lavishly rewarded.
高尔夫赛事的奖金并非一直如此丰厚。

当代高尔夫球手要荣誉.png

The first time the Open was played at St Andrews, in 1873, the first prize was £11 (£1,079 in today's money) .

1873年,在圣安德鲁斯老球场举办的首届高尔夫公开赛上,第一名的奖金是11英镑(相当于现在的1079英镑)。
There was no sponsorship, no TV (for obvious reasons) and only a handful of spectators braving the blustery Scottish weather.
那个时候该项赛事既没有赞助也没有电视转播(这些都是明摆着的),只有冒着苏格兰大风前来观赛的寥寥观众。
The prize money was a welcome windfall for the champion, a local caddy called Tom Kidd, but he still died poor 11 years later.
一名叫做汤姆-基德的当地球童最终摘得了桂冠,从而获得了赛事奖金,然而尽管得到了一笔令他欣喜的意外之财,他仍然在11年后死于贫穷。
He is thought to have sold his clubs and his champion's medal to pay for booze.
人们认为他为了偿还酒钱,可能早已卖掉了自己的球杆和冠军奖牌。
It is not only the rewards that have improved.
如今,该赛事提升的不仅仅是奖金的数额。
Because the Open has been played at St Andrews—the home of golf—more often than anywhere else, it is possible to measure what has happened to scores over a century and a half.
由于公开赛在高尔夫的发源地——圣安德鲁斯镇举办,这里举办的次数比其他地方都多,因此便于将过去一个半世纪以来选手们的成绩进行比较。
They are vastly better today.
如今,选手们的水平的确提高了不少。
Kidd took nearly 90 shots for each 18-hole round he played.
当年基德挥出了将近90杆才将每局的18洞打完。
Any competent modern amateur could do that.
这样的成绩当代任何一位业余球手都能做到。
Louis Oosthuizen, the Open champion in 2010, averaged 68 shots a round, even though the course is now 7,305 yards, up from 6,577 in Kidd's day.
2010年高尔夫公开赛的冠军路易-乌修仁打完每局平均只要68杆,这还是在球场长度从基德时代的6577码延长到今日7305码发生的情况。
Yet the comparison is not fair, says Scott MacPherson, author of a history of St Andrews.
但是这样的比较是不公平的,《圣安德鲁斯的历史》的作者斯科特-麦克佛森这么说道。
In Kidd's day, sheep rather than mowers kept the grass short, so the greens were bumpy and unpredictable.
在基德的那个年代,球场的草坪主要靠绵羊而不是割草机来完成修剪,所以草地显得凹凸不平,让选手捉摸不定。
And Kidd played with primitive equipment.
而且基德使用的也是更原始的装备。
Winston Churchill once said that, “Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an even smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose.”
丘吉尔就曾经说过,“高尔夫是用十分蹩脚的用具把一只很小的球打进更小的球洞的游戏。”
That was certainly true in Kidd's day.
这在基德的那个年代千真万确。
He used wooden-shafted clubs (which tended to warp) and a “gutty” ball (made of the solidified sap of the Malaysian gutta-percha tree) .
他使用的是木制杆头的球杆(还带点弯曲)和“胶质”古塔球(由固化的马来西亚杜仲树树液制成)。
Gutties were better than the leather-wrapped, feather-stuffed balls they replaced, which often exploded in mid-air.
胶质球以更优异的性能一度替代了用羽毛填充在皮囊里的(这类球飞到空中常常会爆炸)羽毛制高尔夫球。
But nobody could hit one more than about 200 yards—as far as a 12-year-old might hit a modern synthetic golf ball with a graphite-and-titanium club.
但是人们从未将这种球击出200码以外的距离——这与当下一位12岁的少年用石墨和钛制球杆挥击现代合成用球如出一辙。
Still, today's golfers could almost certainly have beaten yesterday's.
尽管如此,今天的高尔夫球手几乎肯定可以击败他们的前辈们。
They practise longer, lift more weights and use motion sensors to analyse tiny errors in their swings.
如今,球手训练时间更长,力量训练的负重更大,挥杆结束后还会使用运动传感器来分析自己每个微小的失误。
Rory McIlroy, the pre-tournament favourite until he pulled out with an injured ankle on July 8th, has built a gigantic practice ground in his backyard, complete with a replica of St Andrews' “Road Hole” bunker, a notorious black hole for errant approach shots.
因脚踝受伤,已于7月8日退出公开赛的夺冠热门罗里·麦克罗伊就在自家的后院里建了一座大型高尔夫训练场。这座训练场带有圣安德鲁斯老球场“魔鬼沙坑”(臭名昭著的地狱地堡,近距离切球的噩梦)的仿建模型。
They face competition from all around the world.
他们面对的竞争来自世界各地。
This year's Open features players from 24 countries; in 1873 the field consisted of nine Scots and an Englishman.
今年参加公开赛的选手更是多达24个国家。回望1873年的那场比赛,参赛选手只有9名苏格兰人和1名英国人组成。

译文编自卡ka

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champion ['tʃæmpjən]

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n. 冠军,优胜者,拥护者,勇士
vt. 保卫

 
primitive ['primitiv]

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adj. 原始的
n. 原始人,文艺复兴前的艺

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core [kɔ:]

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n. 果心,核心,要点
vt. 挖去果核

 
singularly

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adv. 异常地;非常地;令人无法理解地

 
unpredictable ['ʌnpri'diktəbl]

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adj. 不可预知的

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tournament ['tuənəmənt]

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n. 比赛,锦标赛,(中世纪的)骑士比武

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errant ['erənt]

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adj. 错误的,脱离正途的,漫游的

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lavishly ['læviʃli]

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adv. 浪费地,丰富地,大方地

 
glory ['glɔ:ri]

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n. 光荣,荣誉,壮丽,赞颂
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comparison [kəm'pærisn]

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n. 比较

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