Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Watch your balls

Police in suburban Pittsburgh are investigating an assault on a golf course that landed two guys in a hospital. The Associated Press reports that a 66-year-old man and his 46-year-old nephew required treatment after a fight with two other golfers, a 71-year-old and his 66-year-old playing partner. The older victim was knocked cold. It appears the altercation began when the suspected attackers hit one of their balls close to the cart the victims were riding in. I've played hundreds of rounds of golf in Western Pennsylvania, and most of them were highly uneventful, but there have been times when I have had harsh words, and came close to fighting, other golfers. In pretty much every case, the impetus for the altercation was, plain and simple, lack of common courtesy. And very often, the offending parties are old guys. They may not have anywhere else to go or anything else to do, but a lot of the rest of us are not interested in playing a six-hour round. And, yes, sometimes, as we get more and more frustrated, we might not wait as long as we should for them to get out of range before hitting our next shots. Many is the time I have played in a group that was walking the golf course, only to held up interminably by four old guys in carts. And it's not just the senior citizens. It's the guy who surveys six different angles before hitting a four-foot putt. Or the guy who decides a busy golf course is the perfect place to teach his girlfriend how to play the game. Or the guy who spends 15 minutes looking for a two-dollar ball and wouldn't think of suggesting that the faster group behind him play through. Or the Yuppie with $2,000 clubs and 50 cents' worth of skill who takes six practice swings before hitting a chip shot. These are the reasons people get angry. When you put these things together with my observation that there seems to be an inordinate number of a-holes on golf courses, there are times when violence will result. Golf courses that simply take the players' cash and then make no effort to police their play bear a large share of the responsibility for uncivil behavior. The real cure is for everyone to exercise common courtesy, but that attribute seems to be sorely lacking in our society as a whole, and even more rare among today's hackers.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd pay to see Tiger & Mickleson go three rounds.

April 10, 2008 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Tiger would kill him. One shot to the gut of the Pillsbury Doughboy, and it's over.

April 10, 2008 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Common courtesy is almost dead in America. Everyone's offended at the slightest thing. I don't golf much (it takes the groundskeepers several days to repair my divot damage), but didn't golf used to be somewhat of a civilized sport? I'm not talking about the few incidents Brant related. These occur for the very reasons he noted.

Maybe in the future, golf courses could add the 20th hole: for the a-holes Brant mentioned!

April 13, 2008 at 6:56 AM  

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