Paint me as a redneck; golf etiquette is for snobs

April 08, 2011 |

I have thought of countless ways to begin this strongly opinionated rant, and I have concluded that its best to just be blunt; I think some of golf’s deeply rooted traditions are way too drab for the common sports fan’s liking.

This is not a recent awakening for me, by any means. I have felt this way for a long time, but I’m not a close observer of the sport and I have never felt comfortable in writing about the competitive balance or respective performances impacting the pro game.

However, given this is MASTERS WEEKEND, I figure this is as fitting time as any to reveal my informal and personal impressions of the culture surrounding this “gentleman’s game”. Of course, some of my rambling will be meant with jest, while other portions will be from the heart.

Indeed, I’m one of the guys who never really paid the PGA much notice until Eldrick Tont Woods arrived on the scene. Yup, I’m part of that HUGE viewing demographic that will watch portions of the late rounds on Sunday, if Tiger is in the hunt.

All of my additional observations, Thursday thru Saturday, are simply by coincidence …. or if I’m deliberately searching for a soothing voice – such as a golf commentator – to lull me into a Saturday afternoon nap.

I suppose the primary question to consider is “could the PGA do anything to further enhance and solicit the interest of myself and millions of others?” Frankly, I don’t know that answer …. but, I suspect the overall response would be a resounding MAYBE.

I think the PGA is too deeply entrenched in the heritage and rituals of the game. I find some of these rules, regulations and customs to be antiquated, if not silly. But, that’s just my opinion …..

In regard to criticism, I usually confront those who spew confrontational rhetoric with a challenge of suggesting improvements, rather than simply lobbing digs with no useful purpose for building a discussion.

You wanna take shots at the way something is done? Fine, but point out the ways to enhance the same process or product.

Today, I will answer my own challenge and point out what BORES or OFFENDS me about golf’s unique customs, and how I think the PGA could “modernize” its platform, in an effort to be more appealing to the mass audience.

I’m going to point out five particular rule/etiquette changes I would embrace, with overriding objectives of becoming more casual, informal and downright embraceable. In other words, my emphasis would be in conveying the following message to the PGA:


Enough with the rambling, below find my five proposed rule changes: