There’s nothing worse than a gloating winner

2009-03-04 00:00

DO you “high-five” your partner when he chips in for a birdie? You may be forgiven for that, although it isn’t really the correct behaviour for golf. It would be more acceptable for beach volley-ball, basketball or American football.

The next question is, do you “high-five” your partner when one of your opposition players shanks his ball into a hazard or the long rough? If you answer yes, you should be ashamed of yourself, even if it is in jest. This is definitely not the way to behave on a golf course. Golfers are expected to be fair and honest and play the game to the best of their ability with consideration for their playing partners.

Golf is an individual sport, although we do often play in competitions with partners. Many individual sports have a tendency to spawn spoilt young brats and the bad behaviour seems to stay with them for the rest of their careers. But in golf, youngsters are quickly taught by their elders and everyone around them what is and what isn’t acceptable. So this growing trend of “high fives” and gloating certainly doesn’t send out the right message to the younger players, or to anyone else for that matter. It seems this behaviour is on the rise and it should really be discouraged. It doesn’t belong in any sport and especially not in golf.

One often sees old footage of cricket and rugby and players taking wickets and scoring tries. A congratulatory hand-shake was sufficient, at most it was a slap on the back, but never too demonstrative. Nowadays, we see Australian cricketers run 40 metres to slap a fast bowler on the backside — and he hasn’t even taken a wicket, he has just finished his over. When a wicket is taken, the bowler is surrounded by team-mates and runs the risk being injured.

The manner in which some sportsmen behave today would have, in years gone by, prompted the use of a straight-jacket and a pacifying injection.

Play to win by all means, and when you do, win calmly, graciously and with humility. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than a gloating winner.

Last weekend’s results:

The weather had the last laugh on Saturday. The Saturday competitions couldn’t be completed at both city courses and were washed out. One member was overheard saying: “Out in 39, back in a boat.”

From the 19th hole:

A husband and wife are having dinner at the country club restaurant when a beautiful young woman comes over to their table, gives the husband a kiss, then says she’ll see him later and walks away.

The wife glares at her husband and says, “Who the hell was that?”

“Oh,” replies the husband. “To be truthful, she’s my mistress.”

“Well, that’s the last straw,” says the wife. “I’ve had enough, I want a divorce.”

“I can understand that,” replies her husband calmly. “But remember, if we get divorced it will mean no more shopping trips to Paris, no more sailing in Barbados, no more summers in Tuscany, no more Jaguar in the garage and no more yacht club. But the decision is yours.”

Just then, a mutual friend enters the restaurant with a gorgeous woman on his arm.

“Who’s that woman over there with Freddie?” asks the wife.

“That’s his mistress,” says her husband.

She replies: “Oh. I think ours is prettier.”

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