Karma

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Karma – defined as:  “the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence; broadly: such a force considered as affecting the events of one’s life.”

Golf is an exceptional recreational activity.

In having the privilege to play golf in earnest since I was twelve, starting as a caddie at the Willie Park designed Philmont Country Club, I have met less than five people on the course that I would not care to play golf with again.

The individual photographed above is one of them.  No, not because he was arrested at the course for allegedly growing and selling marijuana out-of-state using the US Postal System but because there is an etiquette associated with the sport.

Because of the demand for golf, I usually book a tee time as a single and am paired with a threesome.

I have met some incredible folks.  The lead criminal attorney in Delaware stated that there is a 1000% correlation between crime and income, except for pornography and child rape.  A senior manager for Constellation Brands – the largest distributor of alcohol in the US.  They are investing in marijuana heavily (Canopy Growth:  CGC) but believe the usage with remain in the home and not in bars.  Three Naval Academy graduates who are F-14 or Helicopter pilots shared their experiences while in Bahrain.  Three drinking buddies of one of the top current NFL quarterbacks from an out-of-town franchise was described as insecure with women always asking the waitress if he was the best looking.

When I am talking about etiquette, there are many topics that I am not focusing on.

Dress for one.  I have seen a wide array of “outfits.” Forty years ago, if you boarded an airplane, you wore a coat and tie. Today, 80% of passengers wear jeans or sports attire.  What is acceptable fashion evolves.

What one wears at a public golf course should be subject to wide discretion.  Does the shirt have to have a collar or be tucked in? Aren’t hoodies fashionable? I would love to buy the hoodie the US Ryder Cup team wore.  That was cool.

Does it matter if Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, a new entrant to the game, plays in athletic spandex or carries his clubs backward from the range to cart?  Absolutely not.  Welcome, Von and your playing partner Courtland – I wish I had your swing speeds.  See Courtland getting True Spec custom fit for clubs here:  Fitting Day with Broncos WR Courtland Sutton – YouTube.  It is awesome they are trying to learn the game.

I am also not talking about playing music.

To a person, everyone who has played music this summer, whether through speakers they brought or by using the Shark Experience installed in the carts, has asked first, “Is Music ok?” Who cares.  While I have preferences for the genre, who cares.  The opportunity to be outside for four hours doing what we love with others is special.

I am not talking about the cigars they may smoke or the vast quantities of alcohol they may consume.  The Constellation brand folks have a $500 per month expense allowance for Uber.  Get arrested for a DUI – go straight to the human resources as you were just fired.

Golf is a recreational sport that should be enjoyed.  I enjoy getting paired with strangers, exchanging stories, and collectively moaning as we all try to seek perfection in what is imperfectible.

What I am addressing is that there are “unstated” rules of etiquette.

First, one should never hit high lob shots to the practice putting green if a short game area is available.  Our pictured friend does that.

Second, the golf course is not the range.  Save for a mulligan here or there, searching for your ball for 3  minutes, a chip shot flubbed and retried, or a second stab at a missed putt, the foremost etiquette rules in golf, I believe is to keep pace within your group consistent with the flow that day for the course.  Four hours should be the goal.

Our pictured friend hits two or three balls off of every tee, a missed iron shot results in several more balls launched, and an incessant search on finding every lost ball of his and others in the woods, creeks, or lakes.

One day I was in the group behind him – 200 yards away on the 10th hole.  His group has finished putting, I thought, and cleared the green driving away in their carts.  So as I launched my shot, he came out of the woods in front of the green.  How I missed him, I don’t know.  He proceeds to hit several chips shots, putts out, and proceeds to the next tee.  His group has already hit and are in their carts driving to their balls in the fairway.  Our inappropriate friend then tees off with his playing partners at risk of getting hit.

I think the fundamental etiquette rule of golf is the consideration for your playing partners. Somehow, taking off one’s hat on 18 and shaking hands, that always feels just right.

Karma – the golf gods got him.

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