Why it is important for players to follow rules and respect others

By Vincent Wang’ombe: Friday, February 21st 2020 at 08:20 GMT +3 | Golf
Western Jazz Golf day overall winner Paul Orawo in action at Kenya Railways Golf Club, Nairobi county, February 8, 2020. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

The Kenya Open Golf Limited last week announced that the prize purse for the season-ender of the Safari Tour at the Karen Country Club will be three million shillings.

The winner of the event will be taking home Sh450,000. At the conclusion of the event on February 26, Tournament Director, Patrick Obath, will announce the eight Kenyans and the top two regional player who will have earned a slot to play in the Magical Kenya Open next month.

After 11 Safari Tour events, four of which have been played in Uganda, Kenyan and regional professional golfers will join the European Tour players to determine the winner of this year’s event.

The points gained during the 2019/2020 Safari Tour season are what will determine who will get slots to play in this year’s Magical Kenya Open.

Current leader of the Road to Magical Kenya Open 2020 table, Dismas Indiza is assured of a slot even if he does not play in the tournament. Ditto for Simon Ngige and Greg Snow, who are currently in second and third positions respectively.

The other player who has received a special invitation is the 2019 Karen Masters winner, Toto Thimba, who proved to be a favourite. He drew large crowds on the final round when he played birdies and eagles at will.

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It is however clear that in the last few tournaments, a number of professional golfers have been on edge especially when they are unable to conjure up good rounds of golf.

Some will be seen eyes blazing, hunched shoulders and seemingly at war with imaginary foes. They will stride off after a bad shot or curse like a sailor and can be graceless or devastatingly rude. This  usually leaves everybody around them unsure of how to proceed around them.

Some of those who have suffered these moody rebuffs from the dispirited golfers have requested not to be drawn ever again with the offending players. I have questioned a few of the offending players and they are always very defensive. One told me that he is never offensive to other players and that his curses are directed at himself.

“I have a right to call myself stupid” he said.

This line of defence reminded me of the quote “the right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins”. For as long as the other players hear the curses and witness the anger in their fellow player, it will most likely affect how they play. It is akin to emotional assault.

This goes back to the spirit of the game of golf which is encapsulated in the word ‘respect’. A golfer must respect the course, respect the Rules of Golf and above all, they must respect their fellow golfers.

Golfers must not carry themselves in a way that is likely to offend their fellow golfers. They must remember not to get the panties in a bunch over a bad round. After all, they are not the only ones on the course.

Wang’ombe is the General Manager of Kenya Open Golf Limited


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