Golf is such an interesting sport/game. One of the most unique aspects are the rules. While you are playing a round of golf there are no referee’s or officials out there watching you to see if you break any rules. In fact, as you may already know, a golfer is responsible to call a “foul” or breach of rule on him or herself. This is where the saying “golf is a gentlemen’s game” comes from. Now I don’t mean to get anyone upset by using this reference. In this day I guess that saying could be “offensive.” What this saying means and what I want to write about is that how golf is a game of character. A “gentlemen,” while playing golf, is supposed to hold themselves accountable to the rules and let their playing partners know if they mess up. Golfers are held to a higher standard in their game. When I watch other sports I see many athletes intentionally break the rules or one of my favorites is “flopping.” Flopping is acting like some hurt you or fouled you when in fact they didn’t to trick the referee into calling a foul on your opponent. This is dishonest and wastes time during the game. Golfers don’t do this.
In my experience professional golfers won’t play another shot until they talk to their playing partners or call in an official if they even think they broke a rule. I’ve seen experienced professionals call in an official for a drop out of a hazard area. This is something so simple and remedial that they’ve done hundreds of times before yet they still call in an official because they want to do it the correct way. Also in my experience, I have never seen a bad situation happen after a player has confessed breaking a rule or that has been called out for doing so. Sure, it would be understandable for them to be upset but golfers are ready to accept the penalty for their actions. This is the character issue I’m highlighting. I’ve seen other athletes physically attack other players or officials for calling fouls on them. This doesn’t happen in golf. Two good examples of this are Dustin Johnson in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and Lexi Thompson a couple of years ago in the desert. Both players had penalties called on them, were both upset (it cost them the championship), yet they professionally accepted their consequences.