Ah yes. A fun meme about golf. They’re all over chain emails and golf social networks. You know, those tweet face things… These incredibly creative golf memes usually have some catchy golf quote and a great supporting photo. This one above asks if golfers “lie awake at night and brood on what went wrong…”
Me? I don’t lie awake and brood on what went wrong. I lie awake at night and brood on who-the-f tees up a three wood on the putting green 12 feet from the pin…
I’m mildly entertained by golf signs. I’m not sure who writes them, but they are often good for a laugh when one really reads them. Here’s one which is found on the first tee of my home course, Bonneville.
Fair enough. It’s some kind of warning to golfers that if they cause damage, they are responsible for it. But is this sign necessary? Are we not all basically aware that we are responsible for damage we cause, whether on or off a golf course? Why don’t we have signs like this say, I don’t know, on city streets? “Citizens are responsible for any and all damage caused by them.”
This sign is particularly entertaining to my twisted brain. Golfers are responsible for “any and all damage.” Um, if they are responsible for “any” damage would that not mean all damage? If they were responsible for “all” damage would that not also include any damage? Why not just say, “golfers are responsible for damage…?”
I’m glad that the sign does make it clear golfers are responsible for any and all damage caused by them. Before reading this sign I was actually in fear that I (a golfer) would be held responsible for any and all damage caused by high winds. I was especially fearful I’d be on the hook (so to speak) for any and all damage caused by meteorites crashing down to earth.
In reading this sign I’ve learned too, that I’m responsible for any and all damage caused by my equipment or my golf balls. After all.. golf balls are not equipment. So what is equipment then? Clubs? Is a golf towel considered equipment? What if my golf towel causes any and all damage? Am I responsible for that?
Further, what if my golf equipment or my golf balls cause damage, but I’m not around. What if I lose a golf ball in the trees on the 7th, then 12 days later a deer trips on it and falls down a hill and smashes through the window of the snack bar. Am I responsible for that damage? And I wonder… can equipment itself cause damage? The sign says the golfer is responsible for any and all damage caused by them or their equipment.
What happens if one golfer takes another golfer’s equipment and causes damage? Who is responsible then?
Wait a minute. I’ve been a bit wrong in this analysis. What if a non golfer caused damage? The sign specifies that golfers are responsible, not mountain bikers or tennis players or just non-golfers. So if a non-golfer came to the course and caused damage I would presume that individual would not be responsible for any and all damage he caused. But wait a second. If a non-golfer stole my 5-iron and caused damage with it, would I be responsible? After all, it was my equipment. Perhaps the sign needs another attorney to write up an addendum.
Finally the sign specifies that the golfer, his equipment and golf balls are responsible for any and all damage caused while on this golf course. So the golfer is only responsible for any and all damage caused by him, his equipment or golf balls on the golf course. That obviously means the golfer could cause damage elsewhere, not on the golf course, and not be responsible for any and all of it. And of course, if the person was not a golfer, he/she would not be responsible for any and all damage, because only golfers are responsible.
Okay. Got it. If any such occurrences happen I will report them to the pro shop.
Yesterday on the 500 yard par-5 12th hole two golfers in front of me blasted their drives a massive 150 yards down the middle, then sat there waiting for the green to clear, some 350 yards out. You never know when you might catch that 3-wood just right and hit it, you know, 350 yards.
That’s not the main beef though. Today’s beef is committee golf.
Once the green had cleared on that par-5, from 350 out Player A hit his shot. It went way right and I’m guessing about another 150 yards. Good thing he waited for the green to clear. He got in his cart where his partner was sitting and they drove…. wait for it… about 10 feet. After the 10 foot cart drive Player B got out, gathered his yardage, checked the wind, chose his club, then hit his shot way left about 150 yards. This drives me absolutely nuts.
Player B could have walked the 10 feet to his ball while Player A was sizing up his shot and playing it. B could have gotten his yardage, checked the wind, chosen his club and been ready to hit within seconds after Player A hit his shot. Instead it’s another several minutes.
If your partner drove his cart into a lake would you do it too?
Keep in mind that was just the 2nd shot on the 12th hole. Multiply this scenario by however many shots each player hits on each hole, times 18. On a par-5 it could happen 5-6 times, adding 5-10 minutes. Do that on every hole and hello 6-hour round.
Play Ready Golf
Now that I’ve covered what not to do, here’s what you should do, play “ready golf.” In ready golf each player is always surveying his/her next shot, even before getting to it. When walking or driving up to the ball start looking at the wind and the situation. By the time you get to the ball, you’ll already know what direction the wind is blowing and where you’re going to aim. Also be aware of the yardage before you get to your ball. If your ball is roughly 160 out and you’re walking by a sprinkler that’s marked at 175, pace it off on your way to your ball. By the time you get there you’ll already have a yardage.
If you are in a cart, split up. The driver of the cart should drop his passenger off at his ball, let the passenger grab a few clubs he may need, then drive to his own ball. Then both players can be getting yardages, surveying the situation, doing their pre-shot routines and getting ready.
For the love of GOD do not do committee cart golf. Too many times I’ve seen a whole foursome in two carts drive to one ball. They watch the player check yardage, check the wind, do practice swings, then hit. Then the whole group of four and their two carts drive 20 feet to the next player and do it again.
Rinse. Repeat. BARF.
If you stop playing committee golf and play ready golf, we all might get home before dark and in time for dinner. The golf course might be able to squeeze a few more clients on the tee sheet and make more money. Maybe you can help your local course stay in business and help all of us golfers enjoy the round more. And best of all, you might avoid having me wrap my new hand-forged blades around your skull on the 12th fairway.
I was horrified to see this tragic situation first hand, a couple of days ago. It was on the 5th tee.
What events transpired to produce this awful waste? What happened? Looks like the person got one bite into it and boom. End of story.
Was that dog #3? Just couldn’t have any more? Did the wife catch him on the golf course eating hot dogs when he was supposed to be at the gym and on a diet? Did Gary Player make an unexpected appearance and the dog-eater had to secretly dump the one-biter in the trash?
If anyone has any information… any at all, please contact me.
Pop quiz: What’s the only document more complicated than the USA’s IRS tax code? You guessed it, the Rules of Golf!
I’ve just read through, ok glossed through the new and immediate rules decisions by the USGA and R&A regarding video evidence, disputes, and decisions. Golf has had such a bad reputation because of things like the recent Lexi incident the governing bodies obviously felt it immediately necessary to do something. In regular fashion, they added more language to the rules which doesn’t address the main problem.
If the committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of the potential breach, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules.
The above line is the key to the new changes, and I completely agree with the sentiment. If it isn’t humanly possible to conclude there’s a breach in the rules, then there are no rules broken. That’s the good part, but not the elephant in the room.
What’s completely missing from the new rules is the way that rules infractions are discovered, reported, and the timing in which these notifications happen. I’m talking mainly about the viewer call-ins, emails, or social networking of rules infractions. In the case of Lexi Thompson, she was notified and penalized an entire day later, and during her final round. In my opinion, any possible infractions and related penalties should have an expiration date. Perhaps once the next day’s tournament tees off, all possible issues from the previous round become invalid. If there isn’t an upcoming round, perhaps one hour after each player finishes the tournament is the point at which any questions about rules violations become moot.
That time limit can apply to any source of the possible infraction, whether another player, a spectator, a rules official, or some fat dude sitting on his couch eating Cool Ranch Doritos who has nothing better to do than shuttle his DVR back and forth 12,000 times to see if Segio’s ball moved on the 13th at Augusta in the final round of the Masters. That has to be the worst run-on sentence I’ve ever typed, but it sure rolls off the tongue nicely.
In my opinion (yes I realize nobody is asking for it) there should be NO call-ins. No emails. No tweets of rules infractions. There’s no other sport on the planet who allows such a thing and it’s one more way the golf industry makes itself look more dumb in the eyes of the general public.