by Jeff Skinner
Golf is one of the few sports that expect its players to police themselves when it comes to following the rules. The rules and etiquette of the game supposed to be self enforced with players expected to call penalties on themselves. Honesty and integrity are as much a part of the game as chips and putts. Any self respecting golfer plays by the rules all the time, not just when it is convenient. Most golfers follow the rules and are content to pay their greens fees, but there are those few that will cheat at both. Real golfers have no tolerance for these immoral thieves of the game. Carol Wallace, in The New York Times, has an article on a golf course in Scotland that collects its greens fee strictly on the honor system. There is no clubhouse attendant to take your cash or starter to check your receipt, only an “honesty box” where you place your greens fees. Oh, the joys of living in an honest, trustworthy village. According to the tourism agency, VisitScotland, eighteen percent of the courses in Scotland run on the honesty box. I wonder how an honesty box would work at my local Muni course. Somehow I think that there would be more golfers playing for nothing and few golfers paying their way. That’s disappointing, realistic but disappointing. To me it makes golfing and living in Scotland even more appealing. It’s time to search the web for a rental in Strathay and pack my clubs.
Speaking of paying your way, The Sunday Times had a small blurb on Tiger Woods and his ticket policy to the AT&T National last weekend. I can’t believe that the media outlets didn’t pick it up and scream “Controversy.” There were $25 tickets available for the first two rounds and military personnel and children were allowed in for free all week. Woods said, “We don’t want to have what happened at Yankee Stadium; tickets are so over priced you can’t bring the family. We want to have everyone come out and enjoy being in a family atmosphere, walk around, have a good time and not have it cost an arm and a leg.” I think it’s great for Woods to make the tournament accessible to more fans. But, how did he get away with taking a shot at the Yankees and not getting banged for it? Anyway, during the telecast Peter Kostis suggested, and Jim Nantz agreed, that Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour do the same every week. Letting kids and service people in for free says two things: Thanks for your service and let’s grow this game.