What IS a Zeitgeist?
Jerman for "Spirit of the Age". In this case it is to mean the "spirit" of the Utanian
people, the magazine reporting the people's thoughts behind the press-releases and reported
Utania's golfing revolution!
Three men have overturned Utania's relationship with Golf. The exclusive Luka
Golf Club has opened its doors to women and Utani, traditionalist Utani are no longer
referring to it as the "Devil's sport", and Utania's first international sporting event will
be the Utanian (golf) Open. In addition, these three Utanians have made more money in but a
few short months than many Utanians will make in a lifetime. Zeitgeist looks at the men
behind the revolution, and sneaks a peak at the men who would follow their blazing trail.
You can imagine opposition parliamentary figures mumbling under their breath while
smiling at the success of Aretesuna, Pennenton and Rannatosu, the three golfers that
President Hope sponsored into the International Golfing Tour (IGT), a sponsorship that
threatened to split a country (see Zeitgeist article).
On Sunday, Amea Aretesuna won over Û700,000 by placing third in the Zartlam Open in
Eastern Zartania. To date, the three have collectively won over Û2.58 million (ChC
862,000), and astounding amount considering the President was prepared to sponsor the three
for a year at Û100,000 each.
Hard-won respect: Amea Aretesuna
While their success means qudos for the President who was prepared to risk his office
to sponsor them, it comes particularly satisfying for Amea Aretesuna, the Savaj athelete
that was criticised by his own people for taking up the sport of the Unkyakorae,
the conquering traitors, the Guwimithians. Aretesuna is the name of the second highest house
of the Savaj, and for such a young man to be mislead was considered a tragedy. Aretesuna,
however, had been bitten during his private school years in Luka's prestigious Waltheim School
for Boys, and was provided in '84 a trainer by the school when they noted his skill. Though his
skills flourished, his family forbade his participation in competitions, and the school was
forced to comply. As a consequence, Aretesuna hadn't played a tournament until he was 19 and
at Luka University. Though he won several trophies, he couldn't show them off to his parents
when they visited him in Luka from their family home in Navoomi (then called Sljeme, a name
the Savaj now revile). He would swap dormitory rooms with a fellow Savaj student to hide the
truth. (Although it apparently meant, on one occasion, that his parents were confused as to
whether he was really studying Economics, or secretly taking biology.)
Aretesuna would eventually win, at the age of 21, the University cup, and his photo
was splashed all through the Luka Herald: "Savaj student wins university cup". His parents
and extended family were furious, and spent the next three years preventing him playing and
convincing him it was the "devil's sport". It didn't stick. For in '92, at age 24, Aretesuna
left for Ujam to work in a distant cousin's smelting plant, and took up golf again. His
meteoric rise is the stuff of legends: the Ujam championship in '96, Luka cup in '98 and
finally second place in the Guwimith Wide Shore (Lasanne) Open in '99, second only to George
Pennenton, who now accompanies the rising 32-year old star on the international circuit.
Aretesuna's family had reconciled to their son a year or two after he had left, as he
had married and is now proud father to a one year old boy. Colleagues of the golfer remark
about the quiet nature and inate integrity of the deeply religious Savaj Cruisian. He shows
no signs of reveling in his fame, and makes a clear point of donating the "first fruits" of
his earnings to his favourite charities. Aretesuna will make an excellent ambassador for
Utania, and he has earned the respect.
Veteran: George Pennenton
George Pennenton is the only classic player of the three: Uta-Decashi, though
with some B'yantusu blood (Great Grandmother, he says), born and raised to a five generations
Waitaki farming family originally from Christiana (Ingall province). Born in '53, the 47 year
old golfer is a seasoned professional, and with three adult or late-teenage children, he is
now sufficiently free of family responsibilities to be able to tackle the international tour.
What makes Pennenton such a good golfer is his years of experience and dogged
persistance. Starting, like Aretesuna, with golf in school, Pennenton liked the game, he
convinced his father to clear a small plot of land for a single 215m hole of a golf course.
Pennenton says he eventually learnt to win the par 4 hole (bunkers and other obstacles could
snatch the ball) with only two stokes. Then, he would reform the landscape and try again. By
the time he was 22, he was the Waitaki district's champion golfer, but it would take another
ten years, between marriage and young children, and the demands of a 1000ha farm, before he
won the prized Luka Cup, the most senior amateur tournament in the land, in '85. Still, he
wasn't the best golfer about. Robert Perkins was the champion of the time, a man Pennenton
aspired to be, and who dealt the 32 year old amateur a terrible blow: he told him he should
not go professional; he just wasn't good enough.
It would take another eight long years of dogged persistence before he proved the
patriarch of modern golf wrong, winning the Luka Cup for the third time in a row, in '93, and
successfully crossing over to professional golf, third-placing the coveted Guwimith Wide
Shore (Lasanne) Open. Since then, Pennenton has won five of the seven GWS Opens, beating
Aretesuna in '99. Now that the barrier to competing overseas has been removed (only
Guwimithian players were allowed to do this under the Tsarist rule), Pennenton is the elder
statesmen of Utanian golf, and performing quite nicely for himself, ranking 70th worldwide.
Youth star rising: Goran Rannatosu
Goran Rannatosu has had a reasonable year, but hasn't performed as well as he has in
the past. The 23 year old won the '98 Guwimith Wide Shore Open (beating Pennenton) in a
meteoric rise to professional golf. Hailing from Kanhara city, the young Kanharan was
discovered by golfing legend Robert Perkins when Rannatosu played in the Horn of Olives
Schools Golfing championship in '94. Perkins trained the youth, and eventually let him loose
on the small Guwimith Dependencies professional circuit in '97, after he won the Vela Luka
Open. He was an enormous hit, winning Utania's greatest golfing prize in '98. Injury kept him
from playing the following year, an injury that may have slowed his career.
It is claimed that Rannatosu is too young to play the IGT, that the allure of the city
lights has his eye, but Rannatosu is determined. Though set back by injury, he is determined
to maintain his place on the IGT, and improve from his current ranking of 170.
New faces ready to sign-up
The recent Luka Cup also raised a few new faces who will probably join the Utanian Open
in three weeks. The winner was Samual N'banj, a jovial 26 year old who has been trying
to crack the seniors for eight years. His success now allows him the opportunity to cross
over to the professional circuit in the Utanian Open. He is considered inexperienced for the
professional circuit, but his determination will probably see him there.
John Uroja is a twenty year veteran of the pre-independence semi-professional
circuit, and now best placed to tackle the international circuit. Uroja has won the Duck Egg
Shore Open seven of the past eleven times, and placed third last year in the Lasanne Open, his
first professional tournament. The raw talent in this 45 year old is equal to Utanian legend
golfer Robert Perkins, but he requires further experience.
Another seeking to join the Utanian Open is Ajama Gaddich, a 39 year old forest
caretaker and father of six children from Twizel, who recently won the Jostt Golf Classic,
beating Uroja and Pennenton.
Certainly golf is reaching new highs in Utania, and that is primarily thanks to the
success of the three that President Hope sent on tour. What will determine the success of the
inaugural Utanian Open will be the organisation performed by the Luka Golf Club. Sponsorship
has been a roaring success, considering the state of the economy, and though the event has
been poorly advertised (and lacking a web site), expect the next three weeks to be
intensively covered. It is a real shame that the Football organisers in Utania are nowhere
near as disciplined.
Stocks continue to stagnate - when will the Govt. release cash controls?
©Zeitgeist Magazine, 300 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)