If you close your eyes you can almost hear the voice of David Attenborough:
“And here. In the long. Grasses the male slowly. Fans. His tail.”
Almost is the important word, though, because David Attenborough has never observed the mating ritual of the male golf ball. No-one has.
People assume that golf balls are manufactured, despite the fact that no-one lives near a golf ball factory and that no-one has ever met anybody who works in one. In fact the golf ball is an animal, and one of the most remarkable species on the planet.
Their natural habitat is the golf course, where they are equally at home in deep sand, underwater, or stuck halfway up a tree. Their breeding ground, though, is in the long grass known as “the rough”, for reasons lost, probably thankfully, in the mists of time.
While salmon struggle upstream to their breeding grounds, and while birds fly through rain, shotgun pellets and small children’s escaped balloons to theirs, the golf ball is clever enough to get humans to drive them to theirs. They have developed remarkably tough hides, and the thump of a golf club feels as gentle to them as a pat on the rump does to a horse. The resulting high-speed journey is so exhilarating that as they leave the tee you can hear them shout “wheeee!”
The humans, without fail, hit the balls into the rough. Nature has programmed them to do this.
When a male golf ball meets a female it fans its tail. The tail looks like a shuttlecock covered in gaudy flowers, and to be honest makes the male look like a bit of a pillock, though in this he is no different to any other male in any other species trying to show off in front of a girl.
If the female is attracted she responds by showing her dimples.
What happens next is unclear, and rightly so. No-one ever asks, for instance, how giraffes do it without toppling over sideways. No-one asks about the sex-life of the hedgehog. Or the Dalek.
Some things should just remain private.