I find golf one of the most fascinating sports that I have played in my sporting life. Now I am sure there are other stories of sports which may hold similar claims, but I have yet to encounter them.
So what is this claim?
I think Golf is amazingly ‘self-policing’.
Golf has a dignity, an etiquette, a code that makes even the novice, the hacker basically do the right things on a golf course. Yes, we may occasionally cheat on our ball lie. We may not quite observe the correct rule or positioning for where to play the next shot after hitting the ball into the drink, or out of bounds. And of course I am sure the clubhead touches the sand occasionally in the sand trap, given the number of times the ball seems to find its way in there.
But overall from the mid-week player who completes a 100+ round to Rory McIlroy, we all play to the rules of the golf course. And more importantly, we ‘police’ ourselves while we do this – no matter how good or poorly we are playing.
The PGA tour is an incredible showpiece of such personal control and demeanour of the highest standard compared with most other sports we know. We could count on one hand the play, or the players who lose control of their emotions in front of huge galleries and viewing audiences of millions – especially where the stakes and prize monies almost ride on every shot.
Even taking into account, Golf is not a contact sport where there is some tolerance for erratic emotional behaviour induced by the physicality demanded, Golf for me stands head & shoulders above the sports with which I am familiar.
So, I do find interesting a recent few articles about golf –
http://ow.ly/MYsJh – a collaborative approach to growing & sustaining the game
http://ow.ly/MYsKQ – the periscope case of who owns the game, and the Olde world Golf management meeting new world technologies
http://ow.ly/MViFR – while the game is still simply about getting the ball in the hole the quickest way you can, there are amazing new tools that can help and can confuse the professional golfer on how best to do this
Hence the fascination with the game continues as Old meets New every day it seems.
The confrontation ultimately plays out on freshly mown fairways, wild and unendearing rough, and green billiard tops surrounded by gouged sand defences and ball magnetic ponds of deep blue.
Yet for all this change, I know that whenever I step onto the first tee again, I will not have to read the codes of behaviour. I will not need someone telling me not to move my ball to a better hitting position. I will just obey what is expected to be done on a golf course and what has been expected on golf courses for well over a 150 years.
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