I played a wonderful round of golf with my early morning golf friends, BF, BR, and DH. My score of 44/50 from the blue tees at Wakonda was not so great, but in that round were some shots that were of such perfect shape and trajectory that my interest in this game was reinvigorated. Good company, I realize, is as much a part of the game as the game itself. The rules of golf dictate how we play golf, but it also imposes standards of behavior that harken to a different time where honor meant something.
Which brings me to this afternoon’s playoff results from Harbour Town’s PGA tournament. Jim Furyk, a perrenial winner on tour, ended up tied with Brian Davis, an Englishman who currently is 162 in the world rankings. If he could pull out a win, it would change his career in a dramatic way. His approach ended up on the beach, literally. His ball was surrounded by litter, and as he took his backswing, his clubhead touched a reed ever so slightly. If no one noticed, and usually the people in the TV booth would call it if they saw it, Brian could have kept mum and had a chance at par and staying alive in the playoff.
Much to his credit and to the credit of golf, he called the penalty on himself. He even argued with a rules official and asked to have it reviewed on video. With the two stroke penalty, he was done. Having lost the tournament though, he won the admiration of many fans, including myself, at his adherence to the rules of golf, placing honor above reward. This is the true spirit of golfism.