Competing at golf also means keeping scores. Marking one of your co-competitor’s strokes and at the same time trying to remember your own – in my case often way too many – attempts to get that damn little white thing from here to there.
Thus, upon entering the world of amateur golf tournaments, I had my first chance to experience cheats. People debating down the number of strokes it took them to get to the green, albeit you tell them the exact amount of hits they took, along with the position their ball lay off the tee and along the fairway, plus the amount of putts to sum up the result of a given hole. Insisting, it was only four up to the side of the green, whereas I knew it was five. And said so. But then again, it was an old man, maybe Alzheimer and/or wishful thinking made him forget.
A few holes in, another player in my group almost succeeded to bring tears to my eyes, though. Standing over my ball, trying to overcome the frustration of just having missed the ball alltogether (which counts as a stroke, even if the ball didn’t move at all), I lifted my head to watch the impossible: the man strolled from the spot, he just was looking for his tee shot way in the rough on the side of the fairway, a good fifteen meters toward the hole and a supposedly better lay, throwing a ball to the ground. I still can see the arch, the ball made, from his trouser pocket to the ground. What were this people doing here? Surely, they never came to play golf.
I felt, this game was just being disgraced by what my estranged husband would have called “continental cretins”. And for what? We all were at a level of play not noteworthy at all. None of us would ever become a great golfer. Our results in this little competition were of the proverbial importance comparable to the bag of rice dropping somewhere in China. It’s sole purpose, to give us the opportunity, to have a fair go at what was the utmost of our golfing ability that day, comparing it with others. The way, the game was designed, fair and just, no matter how good or bad you are. These people trampling everything, I know about sportsmanship. Yuk! Am almost proud to have the bad results I happen to have, compared to whatever results they cheat themselves to.