What makes a golfer?
Does playing golf well makes you a golfer?
Does driving the ball 250 – 260 meters make you one? Or holing out putts from all over the green? Or getting your second shot onto a long par 5? Or hitting bunker shots close to the hole?
Does the fact that you tell people that every putt must be holed out make you a golfer, including the 1 foot gimmes? Does taking 2-3 minutes everytime to swing make you one? Does the fact that you play to a 78 on a tough course make you a golfer?
What makes a golfer?
None of the above.
Obviously the above makes you a good player. But the only thing that makes you a golfer is integrity and honesty.
I recently played in a tournament (not named here, nor the venue), but it was a relatively tough course. I was driving ok, but since I got into this low carbs diet, and lost 4 KGs in one month, I’ve been playing terrible. I am trying to get below 100g of carbo every day, so I’ve not eaten rice, noodles, bread etc for weeks. The weight loss is there, but the energy is not. But still, coming into the tournament, I gave my actual handicap of 16.
I was surprise to find myself one of the lowest handicap declared in the group. So I joined in. The guy I sat with was an 18 handicaper. The other two declared 15 and 18. The 15 handicaper played like a 15. My 18 handicaper partner was OK, I don’t think he was 18, more like 16, but he had his jitters, but did manage 2 chip in birdies.
The one guy, who was this young guy teed off last since he was ’18 handicaper’. You knew from his swing that he wasn’t. He declared his ball brand out loud. And he thwacked his driver. He was a skinny guy, not tall, but his ball was easily 30m-40m in front of mine. And mine was a reasonably good shot, which was around 210m. His carry was 250m.
Throughout the entire game, he played very quietly, in his own zone, not offering any banter, and even though the organisers declared putter length as gimmes, he refused to give to anyone, declaring everyone must putt out. So imagine – even a one foot putt, he would walk up to his goddamn ball and mark it and refuse to putt and wait for you. Then he would go, mark ball, address and go with 2 – 3 practice, go behind, unmark the ball, address, 2 -3 practice and put in.
I had a big board meeting to go at 3 pm and by the time this showboat was going on for the 5th hole, I wanted to take a shot gun to my head and kill myself. He would routinely take years to hit his ball.
But he was good.
In fact, he was almost pro-level.
Which brings me to my topic: you can play slow, since this is tournament, I get it. You want to win. And you can play serious, I know, you want to win. You can not engage in banter, I know, you want to win. Young men all think they need to be focused assholes on the course and in life to succeed. Which is so stupid, honestly. I think mainly they are not brought up correctly. But this is still a personal opinion. There are some people who aspires to be assholes in life and that’s really their call. Nobody is stopping there.
But why the flaming f*ck would you declare your handicap as 18 when you are obviously playing around 2-4 handicap? Why would you want to destroy your entire integrity as a golfer by saying you never play golf much when the caddy herself told us he was there almost every other day the previous month practicing? Why in flaming hell would you lie about everything and then go about declaring how serious you are, nobody talks, nobody stand behind you, nobody has gimmes, and spoil the whole damn game for everyone by taking so long to hit the ball, that my kindergarten son would be graduating from college by the time you f*cking finish your game?
I don’t know this kid. But he isn’t a golfer. He was good at the game, but golf isn’t just about how good you are. It’s like the other guy I know that always cheat, but he played well. We’ve stopped playing with him, or at least stopped betting. Yes, technically you didn’t cheat in the game. But really, by over declaring your handicap by as much as the distance between earth and Neptune isn’t just massively stupid, it’s massively disrespectful to the game. It’s a complete insult to the game of golf. You didn’t cheat in the game, but you cheat the game.
This is a disease that we need to get rid of. If you are a 15, declare it. If you are single, declare it. If you are an 18 declare it. Be honest. If you are young and you are now so full of shit, nobody gives a fart about your game. You are going to grow up thinking its ok. It’s not ok. As far as we can see, that’s cheating. All is seen is a disrespectful son of a gun who doesn’t deserve to hold a golf club and play the game. Is this prevalent in our game? Unfortunately yes.
But come on. Ubah-lah. Government also change already. Why can’t golfer attitudes also change likewise? Why must we constantly wallow in the shit of lies when we have a castle of honesty and integrity next to us?