Apr 18th, 2019
IS ETIQUETTE DYING IN GOLF?
GolfPunk ponders whether they are over reacting or is it a fact?
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Etiquette - “The customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.”
There were certain sporting maxims when we grew up. Football is a gentleman's game played by thugs, and rugby is a thug’s game played by gentlemen. Cricket and golf were games for protaganists who played with a significant side order of honour.
Yet in the last few months we’ve witnessed Jos Buttler being mankaded by Ravi Ashwin in the IPL (Indian Premier League cricket) and Sergio Garcia committing arguably the worst crime in golf when he deliberately damaged greens in (apparent) frustration at the Saudi International in February this year.
Some justify the behaviour in outlining the vast sums of money involved these days. The argument goes that cash promotes poor behaviour in the pursuit of victory. The very same rationale which has seen video replay being used in all major sports and even the previously reticent football authorities finally adding VAR (soccer for our US readers.)
However, what is really galling GolfPunk is that even within the amateur game it is becoming more and more prevalent at a general club level. It appears that some of the more unwritten rules either need writing or our golfing community needs a bit of a reminder.
So here are GP’s top five unwritten manifesto, so our fellow comrades can spread the word and we can bring back honour in our beautiful game:
1. The Gentile Gimme – Highlighted again by GolfPunk’s current favourite bad boy Mr Garcia in his recent fracas with the less than gentile Matt Kuchar, we believe there has been a change where golfers have become miserly.
GolfPunk petition for a return of the do unto others as you would have done unto you level of generosity.
2. Handicap Heresy – We’ve all been there when we meet our opponent, see their handicap and then watch them smash the ball down the middle of the fairway a long way in the distance. Only then to find out they used to be a low single figure but haven’t picked up the sticks “for a few years”.
Let’s be honest people and leave “El Bandito” to the Spaghetti Westerns of yesteryear.
3. The Need For Speed – Let faster players through, don’t spend forever looking for your ball (by letting other players through so you can keep searching) or be the Fairway Hog and build up a traffic jam behind you. After all, the rule is now 3 minutes remember.
Keep it moving people and stick to the rules.Especially when the course is busy!
4. Just Do It – Rake bunkers, replace divots, take your rubbish with you or place in an appropriate receptacle. Remember what your mother taught you!
Just be a decent golfing citizen as (a leading supermarket chain’s tag line says) every little helps!
5. The Biggest Vice is Advice – GolfPunk love a bit of local knowledge so we’re all for sharing helpful hints when you’ve played the course a thousand times. But other than that, the best rule is keep quiet unless asked, particularly if your handicap is over 20 and you shanked your tee shot into the next post code (zip code for our US cousins).
That said GolfPunk likes, from time to time, to engage in a friendly bit of “banter” particularly if you meet El Bandito or Mr All the Gear so if you play GolfPunk and he happens to be a bit chatty do feel free to put him straight.
So, there you have it dear reader!
GolfPunk wants a return to the more considered and honourable side of the game. We are lobbying for a return of etiquette in golf where the unwritten rules which didn’t have to be mentioned before are now a matter of routine to prevent our beautiful game descending further. Even if we realise this makes us sound massively like old farts….
Please feel free to send us your unwritten rules that perhaps should be written and we’ll publish our favourites!
And Another Thing...
Tiger Woods is a lucky golfer!