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Mark Andrews: Strange packages are par for the course

Parcel for Adam. There is always a parcel for Adam.

It seems that golf might be changing
It seems that golf might be changing

Barely a day goes by without some package arriving for this newspaper's intrepid investigative reporter.

There was the wicker basket full of snacks. And a stale cake which was so hard he needed a hacksaw to cut it. Indeed, when you consider the stream of weird and wonderful deliveries that arrive on Adam's desk, it is a constant mystery why my Royal Mail shares perform so badly.

But there was a bit of extra-special anticipation about the contents of the plain black cardboard box.

"I wonder if it is a sample of pork scratchings for review," ventured Adam as he hurriedly slashed the sturdy sticky tape.

Pork scratchings! Suddenly, Adam had got the attention of the newsroom. Stale cake, cookery books and chavvy crisps are no big deal. But a nicely seasoned jigsaw puzzle of a pig is pretty much guaranteed to grab any journalist's attention.

With anticipation now at fever pitch, Adam kept his audience on tenterhooks as he performed his big reveal. First out the box came a sex toy, swiftly followed by a bottle of oil which apparently aids the experience. And then, like Paul Daniels pulling a rabbit from his top hat, Adam, produced a disposable camera. Which led to the pretty obvious question: "what have you been writing about this week then?"

Despite looking for all the word like some kind of "blackmail for beginners" kit, it was the final item in the box which provoked the most head-scratching – a press release about a golf centre in Birmingham.

Now I'll admit I don't know a lot about golf. In my university days I played a few rounds with friends on municipal courses. More recently, I experienced the dubious delights of indoor crazy golf, complete with jungle sound effects. But on no occasion did it ever occur to me that a battery-operated marital aid and a bottle of viscous lubricant would improve my stroke. I guess it gives a whole new meaning to the term "swingers club".

Public relations officers often like to describe themselves as being a "creative" industry – which I think is code for being a bit off the wall. Even so, surely it would have been more appropriate, not to mention cheaper to have sent a couple of tees and a golf ball?

"They've probably sent all this to get our attention," explained Adam. And, I suppose, in a way it has worked. Because until Adam's package arrived, I was deliberating about whether this column should be about my struggles to understand the technology in my new car, or my disappointment that much-vaunted heatwave was over in the blink of an eye, and that it didn't even last until my weekend in Bath. But thanks to this stroke of marketing genius, I am instead writing about a golf centre I have never been to.

Anyhow, according to the publicity material, "The Big Fang Collective are a group of creative individuals with a vision to change the way the UK enjoys itself."

And wandering around a "ghetto golf centre" with a nine iron, sex toy and a disposable camera is certainly one way of achieving that.

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