When I was in high school, we had a guest speaker one Saturday afternoon who talked to us about morality and sexuality.
Try as I may, I cannot remember the speaker’s name but I will never forget one analogy that he used to answer a question. The speaker was talking about abstinence from sex when a smooth-talking lad with a Ray Parker Jr hairstyle quickly rose to state that he was 18 years old and that as an adult, he could have sexual intercourse with a lady as long as she was willing. “…it is very natural and it is as nature intended it!” he concluded smugly to the glee and applause of the students.
As all the students were giggling and murmuring, the visually impaired speaker felt his way to the front of the table where he was sitting. He slowly started unbuckling his belt and the room went completely silent.
“I need to do the poo poo, is it okay if I do it right here?” there was shock among the students as many actually thought that the speaker actually intended to defecate right there. With the whole room shouting “No!” and some even offering to show where the washrooms were, he asked;
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“why not? it is very natural and it is as nature intended it!” imitating the tone of the student who had asked the question.
The lesson that day was that despite how we felt, there was a time, a place, and the right way to do things.
This lesson was obviously never taught to a few of the professional golfers who are currently playing on the Safari Tour. There are a few professional golfers who have been ‘doing the nasty’ in full view of everyone on the golf course. There are those that are throwing balls and clubs in anger tantrums.
There are a few who swear like a sailor whenever they miss a putt or mishit a shot. The effect of such behaviour is not only off-putting to their fellow players, some who have complained but is also in breach of the Safari Tour code of conduct.
When joining as members of the Safari Tour, the players accept that they shall abide by the code of conduct and ethics.
The etiquette that all golfers (both professional and amateur) are expected to abide is encapsulated in the word “Respect”; respect for the golf course, respect for fellow golfers and respect for the game.
Golfers respect the golf course by replacing divots, repairing pitch marks on the putting greens, raking bunkers and not willfully causing unnecessary damage on the course. Respect for fellow golfers, and in the case of professional golf, spectators, is probably impossible to define exactly but by being courteous and acting with decorum will go a long way. Respect for the game can only be shown when golfers play according to the Rules of Golf.
The Safari Tour has set a fine of $150 (Sh15,000) for a breach of the code of conduct. This may be a sufficient deterrent for members of the Safari Tour who when they feel angry at how they are playing, or a ruling that is contrary to what they expected.
Throwing an anger tantrum is tantamount to doing the poo poo in full view of all present.
-Wang’ombe is the General Manager of Kenya Open Golf Limited and Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Golf Union. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kenya Open Golf Limited or the Kenya Golf Union.