Let's Show Golf Courses Respect
Am I alone by feeling than when I step onto a golf course that I am priviledged by being allowed to enter such a place of beauty? Not only enter it but engage in full intercourse with the myriad of trees, wildlife, and overall serenity and tranquility.
Does anyone else feel the same or am I a fringe romantic naturist?
Certainly many do not share my views and was recently surprised by a visiting club's behaviour: Lager cans spread around the course, coins and cigarette butts on the practice green, and other reminders of their fleeting visit.
A few weeks ago I was taken aback by a player out on the course to whom I got chatting. He was dragging quite a large bag of clubs and his bag provided plenty of space. Or so one would have thought. Yet hanging from his trolley was a large square bag which swung to and fro as he trundled along the fairway.
His body shape suggested that he enjoyed his food, but possibly his bag contained the latest GPS technology or computer for calculating stroke allowances? I couldn't resist. I had to ask:
"It looks like you've brought yourself a nice lunch to enjoy out on the course," I jovially stated.
"No, forget food. That's our chilled beer!" He appeared to be sincere.
Should alcohol be allowed onto golf courses? It is banned in many if not most sporting arenas.
Although empty drinks tins spread around courses is a relatively new phenominon other behaviour which is arguably a more permanent form of vandalism has been around much longer. I refer to hacking divots out of tees by players using irons and balls laid on grass rather than set on pegs.
I recently witnessed a 'player' address his ball; legs three feet apart; six inches between his hands; and with the swing of a crazed axeman hack three large divots out of the tee before he even caught his ball, which then compliantly trickled around four feet.
"Are you a football player?" I enquired.
"No, why mate?"
"They are much easier to hit than those pathetic little balls."
I personally believe that iron play off a tee should always include a peg.
Reply : Wed 11th Jun 2014 16:58
Last edit : Wed 11th Jun 2014 16:58
Reply : Wed 11th Jun 2014 22:42
I tend to find that a lot of better golfers prefer to hit irons off the ground on tees as they prefer the contact. I do agree that alcohol shouldn't be allowed
Last edit : Wed 11th Jun 2014 22:42
Reply : Fri 13th Jun 2014 13:12
I don't see the need for a permanent ban on alcohol. Most golfers are social golfers and want to enjoy themselves. I am perfectly capable of partaking in a can of gin and tonic during a round without causing any damage to the course or impacting anyone else playing.
We have a few chaps who have a few pints beforehand and then pop a few cans in their bags at the halfway house to top up. I have never seen any cans left anywhere except in bins provided by the clubhouse.
As for taking divots - surely that just depends on the player and their type of swing rather than ability. I have seen plenty of scratch players taking 20oz steak divots on each fairway shot and on the par 3 tees.
Last edit : Fri 13th Jun 2014 13:12
Reply : Fri 13th Jun 2014 15:38
Some years ago the final of the Scratch Match-Play at a certain 9 hole Muni in Leeds was between a Mr George Brett and a Mr Jimmy Frew. On the first tee they decided that every hole won would be met with a celebration drink and off they went.
Four hours later, there was still no sign of them so a search party was sent out and they were found behind the ninth tee in a very giggley mood. They didn't even know what the match score was, so they had to meet again a few days later and without alcohol replayed the match.
As for other things, you will never be able to make a Golfer play a certain type of shot. If they want to play it off the deck then you shouldn't stop them.
Last edit : Fri 13th Jun 2014 15:38
Reply : Sat 14th Jun 2014 12:48
Ivan, I recall the great Peter Alliss making a comment re par 3s. Most damage on par 3 tees is caused by either very good players or very bad players. Im neither of these but still take a small divot as I tee my ball fairly low on a measured orange. As for beer on the course, I persoally dont coz I ussually do the driving and like a pint in the clubhouse. I have no problem with others having a few around the course as long as they dont turn out to be drunken yobs half way round, and they use the bins provided. Dave CAC handed Geordie.
Last edit : Sat 14th Jun 2014 12:48
Reply : Sat 14th Jun 2014 16:00
Nice to read your thoughts. It's a while since I've heard from you.
I'm no prude and have no objection to whoever doing whatever they want to their bodies, but the question of alcohol on golf courses raises two serious issues beyond how cans are disposed of or not:
I have engaged in a very limited number of arguably dangerous sports and I would arguably put golf right up there with the others.
My opinion is that dangerous sports and alcohol never mix well, particularly so with golf as it is always a third party who gets injured not the drinker. Also (and I believe obscenely) golfers are allowed onto courses without golf insurance.
The other issue is the image of golf. If (as is quite likely the case) that tour golfers are not allowed to either consume or display alcohol out on the course then why should regular golfers be allowed something different?
'Are but they are not being watched by millions.' Yes, that's true but they are being watched by youngsters and it gives out a message that ..............well form your own conclusion to that.
We are beset by an alcohol culture in the U.K. and it would be nice is sporting places were places portrayed as healthy and clean living. An alternative to tipping it back.
Anyway, surely 'Don't drink and drive' is a sound motto?
Last edit : Sat 14th Jun 2014 16:00
Reply : Sat 14th Jun 2014 16:46
Ivan, you bring up the point of insurance. I believe that one should have ones own Golf Insurance but also every Club Member should also check that they have some kind of Insurance through their Membership. This would also cover anyone paying a Green Fee at that Club.
Also I can see an argument to bring Drink Driving to Zero tolerance. I know of a man who was involved in an accident and was given the Breath Test and blew about 18 yet was totally under the influence. If you ban drinking on a golf course, who polices it? The Tours can do this with ease, but how would you do it on a local Muni? Keep it as it is at the present because I don't see a problem now but if it does become a problem, then Yes do something then.
Last edit : Sat 14th Jun 2014 16:46
Reply : Sun 15th Jun 2014 08:04
I completely agree that most courses are not adequately policed. Where I used to play in Northampton at peak times an old boy would sit in his little shelter next to the first tee checking membership disks and green fee receipts.
When I played as a youngster at Peewit Municipal in Ilkeston and old boy would be zig zagging all over the course all day checking members. He covered more miles than many walkers in training.
There is no reason why such characters should also not be authorised to check bags for alcohol. I see that it is routine to be frisked before entering night clubs so such an exercise would not appear to offend lefties.
Your idea that golf clubs should be made to carry what would effectively be members' insurance is absolutely spot on. The present 'system' - not there is one - is dangerous and ridiculous.
Golf is a poorly regulated sport, but that is not to say that it is not inundated with rules, regulations, decisions and such like contained in a plethora of places. The irony being that even expert tour players invariably cry 'Call the rules official' if their ball suffers the tragedy of running off the fairway. As daft as crying 'Call a police officer' every time you parked a vehicle on the highway.
Sometimes - indeed often - when one over-regulates one misses the wood for the trees. And that certainly appears to be the case in golf. Whilst committees had their heads down cooking up even more rules golf equipment was turned into rocket ships; g. & t's (possibly a grand piano or two) were wheeled out onto courses; and the occasional father of young children blinded in one eye with effectively no recompense when his non-insured assailant claimed impecuniosity.
Such is life. Such is golf.
Last edit : Sun 15th Jun 2014 08:04
Reply : Sun 15th Jun 2014 16:27
Ivan, I can't say this is true of every Golf Club but most should have 'Public Liability Insurance' at least. This covers them for any accident on their premises.
Also I have sat on Golf Club Committee's and found that we were trying to make things comfortable to all, rather than making Rules for the sake of it.
Last edit : Sun 15th Jun 2014 16:27
Reply : Mon 16th Jun 2014 08:14
Ivan, do you have any statistics to show that alcohol causes golfers to injure other people?
I would argue that golf in not 'inadequately policed', it is 'self policed'.
It is an interesting point about how it used to be that an 'old boy' would be at the first tee and another on the course making sure everybody was paid up and behaved. I strongly suspect this was not a paid role but voluntary. You just don't seem to get that any more - the volunteering. We have open qualifying next week and are still short of a few volunteer spotters. I can't believe they struggle to fill all the posts. The standard of golf is fabulous to see and there is generally the odd big name trying to qualify. One of the groups had about 80 spectators walks up the 18th after the players and yet we cant get half a dozen volunteer spotters. Sad.
Last edit : Mon 16th Jun 2014 08:14
Reply : Mon 16th Jun 2014 19:22
Judy, No I have no statistics but nor do the police when they prosecute drunk drivers. Whose to say that the driver would not have run over the pedestrian had he / she been sober? Alcohol affects co-ordination is a commonly held belief, but there may be the odd exception such as 'Hurricane' Higgins. All I know is that I would hope that golfers on the next fairway to me were sober. Is such common sense or sheer prejudice in the absence of statistics? Readers will draw their own conclusions.
Maybe I could test your driving before and after three large G.& T's? If it's as good then I will defer my opinions to what may be yours.
Incidentally, and you may know this, physiologically a woman's body is far less able to cope with alcohol than a man's body. Why I mention this may come to me later, but I'm sipping a Boddingtons and my focus is slightly askew.
Last edit : Mon 16th Jun 2014 19:22
Reply : Wed 18th Jun 2014 09:31
I have only played golf once when drunk. It was in New Zealand and I was on a Lady Captains away day and they plied me with drink from 8.30am in the morning. By the time I arrived on the tee at 2pm I was properly sozzled and after 2 air shots I managed to nob it off the tee about 20 yards. I didn't manage to hit it hard enough or far enough to endanger anyone!
When sober my shots can hook and slice like a good un and could easily endanger people on other fairways.
But that is a bit tongue in cheek - I guess I was just wondering how many accidents really are as a result of an inebriated golfer as opposed to a perfectly sober one. Is it such a problem that we have to ban anyone from having a drink on a golf course?
As far as drinking goes - I think regardless of gender it is all down to putting in the hours of practice - same with golf
Last edit : Wed 18th Jun 2014 09:31
Reply : Fri 20th Jun 2014 17:39
I used to belong to a small club that had an annual 'wine nine', played on a Saturday evening on the inner loop of nine holes, plus 3 odd holes (putting, chipping and bunker. Texas scramble, shotgun start, teams of 4 or 5.
Each player takes a bottle of wine and a glass to their starting tee. All have one glass of someone else's wine. Tee off and proceed down the fairway, leaving your bottle but taking your glass. Repeat the process at the next and subsequent holes.
Everyone reckoned their golf got better, edging brilliant by 10 holes. Surprisingly the scores didn't seem to reflect this.
Fortunately, the club was based on a hotel which gave us very good rates for the night.
Last edit : Fri 20th Jun 2014 17:39
Reply : Sat 21st Jun 2014 23:50
Hello guys, I agree. Hope we can play golf tournament.
Last edit : Sat 21st Jun 2014 23:50