I make no apologies for being 'old school' when it comes to upholding the foundational values of golf--the etiquette of this great game.
So I felt the need to post this because of a disturbing trend I'm seeing at junior golf tournaments and even at open events...
I attend quite a few amateur golf tournaments both junior and open and I'm seeing something that I don't like and I'm sure many of my golfing friends on FB would also support me on this...and you can by sharing this after you read it.
Let me get right to the point. R.E.S.P.E.C.T for fellow players. I notice frequently that junior golfers when they finish their putting walking straight to the next hole even when their playing partners haven't finished putting out.
And believe it or not some are even teeing off on the next hole before their players have arrived at the tee!! I know that is hard to believe but it happens!
Often they are shadowed by an overzealous mother or father who knows very little about the 'game of golf' and who is busy talking to them about stats etc, and it makes me feel disappointed that there is so little respect for their playing partners that they are virtually ignoring them.
There is no excuse for this type of behavior in golf, and there is no place in golf for it. I don't care that 'the game is changing,' this is simple respect for one another.
As I said, I make no apologies for being 'old school' about this. Golf is a great and noble game and it doesn't need this level of behavior to grow and become the norm.
I was having dinner with friends recently and one of them was caddying for the other at a recent women's open event in Perth. My friend (a professional golfer and PGA member) told me that in the event she was caddying for her friend, the golfers she played with on the day were all aged under 21 with one about 12 years old and she said she was dismayed at the lack of respect they had for each other in the group.
Walking off the green and going to the next tee whilst playing partners were still putting happened all the time, my friend actually felt for her friend because she might as well have been playing on her own.
Not only that, she said she couldn't help noticing how unhappy they looked when they played, and the father of one of them was actually telling his daughter how to play shots on the way around, and even told her "this is a 2 putt green..."
How will a golfer learn personal responsibility and awareness of others when this type of behavior goes on?... I know that I'm not the only golfer that witnesses this but I want to say something about it because I'm not seeing it addressed enough.
It seems like many of these junior golfers are totally oblivious to the values that are the foundation of this great game. My friend went up to the youngest golfer and put her arm around her and tried to cheer her up but the girl just looked at her blankly as if she didn't know how to enjoy the game.
If parents are reading this and have junior golfers behaving like this then do everyone a favor NOW and stop it.
There's a reason why more than 50 percent of junior golfers will give up playing the game before they reach 18 years of age and as a golf professional who has been around junior golf for over 30 years I can assure you that it will happen.
They will walk away from the game when they feel they can make the decision for them self.
And as golf teachers / coaches etc it is our responsibility to teach young golfers about the values--the etiquette of this great and noble game. Stamp out this disrespectful behavior before it gets too late.
I'm not sure what the game will look like if this behavior continues, but there's one thing for sure, I wouldn't want to play a game where you could be in a fourball but playing on your own.
From the Randa Webpage http://www.randa.org/RulesEquipment/Etiquette/Behaviour-on-the-Course
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