My last blogpost, The Confrontation, was about a crazy man attacking my friend Butch because Butch accidentally hit into him. Here are some similar situations which, thankfully, didn’t have quite the same level of aggression.
HARRY: In my normal weekday game, we try to play in the first group because, even in the 2nd group, it’s possible to get stuck behind slow players. This happened to us one morning. The right thing for the group in front of us to have done was let us play through. Doing so is actually written right into the Rules of Golf – page 4 no less! But nooooooooooo, they just weren’t going to be that considerate, so we were stuck behind them. And it’s not like they didn’t know we were waiting for them because, on the 9th green, one yelled back at us “Slow down, it’s not enjoyable if you keep pressing us”. There were so many responses we could have made, but Harry yelled back the best one: “Not enjoyable for you, try being us!” Miraculously, Harry’s non-confrontation confrontation made them speed up.
GEORGE & SEAN: Never intentionally hit into the group in front of you – you can kill someone. I know why the group behind us hit into us – George, one of our players, was horrifically slow. But still, one of us could have died when the group behind us hit a ball over our heads. But this story is about Sean, another player in our group, because he did something I’d never seen before or since. He picked up the ball hit over our heads, then, at a snail’s pace, walked all the way back to the tee box (about 200 yards!) and casually dropped the ball at the guilty players’ feet. In a calm voice he said “don’t hit into us again”. He then turned and, just as slowly, walked back to where we were waiting. This non-confrontation confrontation worked! Not only didn’t the group say one word to Sean, they didn’t hit into us again. But please note, I’d rather put pins in my eyes than to play with George again.
JEFF: Jeff wrote me an email after reading The Confrontation to tell me that he had been playing in Scotland when he smashed a tee shot over the crest of a hill not realizing that he could reach the green. When he came over the crest, he saw one of the players in front of him putting with a ball sitting between his feet. Uh oh, Jeff thought, that must be my ball. He hurried to get within earshot of those players to yell, “I’m sorry I hit into you” to which both players, in unison, yelled back “Great shot”! Where were these gracious golfers last week when Butch did the same thing? Oh right, in Scotland.
Golf is a “gentlemen’s game”. In last week’s blogpost, I wrote about a “non-gentleman”, so, I just wanted to give some equal time to all the gentlemen and gentlewomen golfers out there.