It’s June and that means that tournament golf season is well upon us. You never know what you can expect to see when you play tournament golf, either professionally or as an amateur. One thing that I see often clearly lacking in is a sense of honor among golfers. Sure, you do see the occasional golfer enforcing a penalty as per the rules of golf on themselves but what I witnessed last week at a member-guest event does not quite happen as often.
More often than not at tournaments golfers are all about one thing, the trip to the prize table. Too often golfers will sacrifice their honor for something as small as a dozen golf balls or a wind shirt. How many times have you read about or witnessed a golfer fudging their handicap and then proceeding to shoot a “miracle score” to capture a net prize. All the while they are fooling nobody but themselves.
While playing a member-guest recently a player within my group posted a solid score, good enough to earn him a trip to the prize table as the third overall gross score winner. Rightfully so, he was proud of his accomplishment, as were we . I was even prouder of him the next day for another reason.
It was then that I received an e-mail from him stating that he had gone over his round in his mind the previous night, as was his custom before falling asleep, and he had concluded that on one hole where he had recorded a bogey he had in fact taken a double bogey. First thing in the morning he called the club and informed them of the error and that he wanted to be disqualified to ensure that the prize he had received would go to the person who was actually deserving of it.
Imagine the surprise of that golfer when he learned of his windfall and rightful place as the third-place winner. Hopefully that golfer had been just as honest in his own round, ensuring to record his score properly and finish out every short putt. If not I imagine he was the recipient of one very guilty lesson of honor.
It is nice to know that there are still honorable people that play this game. Knowing that is more gratifying to me than any trip to the prize table I might make this year.
Cheers Joe, good on you!