Monday, September 25, 2006

The Pathetic Cup

Warning: If you are not a golfer you may get lost in this rant or your eyes may glaze over.

At my local golf club there is an annual event that is modeled after the Ryder Cup. Two teams playing against one another. Individuals qualify for the team based on their tournament performance over the course of the season. For the sake of argument, lets call it the Harry Cup.

Now that it'’s over, here is my real take on the frickin'’ Harry Cup. My opinion is that the winning or losing of the Harry cup competition won'’t hold any true value unless there is some revelation and the cheaters (aka sandbaggers) disappear. Sandbaggers manipulate their handicaps to give themselves an advantage.Will Barry Bonds home run record ever have value? Will he ever be respected? Baseball is a game that was not founded primarily on the principle of honor. Golf is. If there is one life lesson to take from this game it'’s that you are the only one looking over your shoulder and you should do so with honor. Cheating on one'’s handicap is dishonorable and disrespectful to the game and to your fellow golfers.Hey bagger boy, you are missing the entire frickin point!

I know the sandbaggers won'’t disappear but I don'’t have to respect their actions or stoop to their level for the sake of claiming a victory in a meaningless local tournament or any tournament. What I set out to do was have fun playing the game, challenging myself and getting to know some very nice people.It'’s really the only reason I would ever play in this thing in the first place. The reward is in the process. Mission accomplished. I had a great time.I am not pointing fingers at anyone or asserting that sandbagging has been confined to one team or the other. I am not saying we lost or won because of sandbagging. I'’m saying that win or lose I would have felt the same way about the tainted value of a victory.

It's a goddam shame. There is no better reward than prevailing in a fair competition. There is no better feeling than playing on a level playing field and giving it your best; even if your best isn't good enough on any given day. The cheaters are stealing that from all the competitors.

Is it just me or does the idea of cheating to beat your “friends” in anything, let alone a golf tournament, seem pathetic? I'’m sorry but it pathetic. Make it a capital P Pathetic.