I generally subscribe to the theory that golfers are good people. After all, we follow the rules, we don’t need officials, bending the rules isn’t encouraged, you are expected to behave.
Yesterday, however, I realized that golfers can be selfish fools just like the rest of society.
While for those of you who live in Minnesota, this is well established, but for others out there we have had a bit of rain over the past six days or so. We’ve been measuring in inches instead of tenths or quarters or even halves. My club was closed much of last Thursday afternoon and for some of Saturday afternoon due to the rain. When I played on Monday morning, it was walking only because of all the rain.
When you walk from the 13th green to the 14th tee at my club, you walk right by the driving range. We’re fortunate to have a row of mats at the back of the range for use early and late in the season and when we’ve had a bunch of rain. On Monday, range balls were placed on the mats and there were clear signs that indicated that you should hit your range balls from the synthetic astroturf instead of the grass cows eat. It wasn’t that hard to figure out.
So what did we see on the way to the 14th tee? Considering this long windup, it’s not that tough to figure out.
There were two older individuals, a husband and wife, hitting balls off of the grass. There were divots, it was the real deal. The woman was literally just feet from the “Mats Only.”
When my buddy (and blog reader) saw them, I could see his blood pressure rising. Are these people stupid? Can they not read? Do they not speak English? Do they not care? Are they really that selfish? Apparently ‘yes’ is the correct answer to at least a couple of these questions.
I just don’t get it. It’s wet. We want to keep our very modest range in good shape for as long as possible. So what would prompt you to just ignore the signs. I get putting a tee in the ground in front of the mats to hit a couple of drivers (and I’ve done that), but to just start carving up the turf with your awful, beaver-pelt-producing swing? Just awful.
I’m pretty sure this is right up there with a couple of my other least favorite on-course behaviors — the guy who leaves his cigar ashes on the green and the group that won’t let anybody play through despite their glacial pace.
Anyway, rant over. I’ll be back to my regular happy posts soon.