Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fairway Violence Is Getting to Be Par for the Course

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Fairway Violence Is Getting to Be Par for the Course

Article excerpt

Tensions around the world have escalated to such a violent level in recent weeks that it might dissuade any rational individual from stepping outside.

We're talking, of course, about the recent incident at Springdale Golf Course in Fayette County in which one golfer clubbed another during an argument over the game's rules.

It might be true that mayhem has surged in 2014 in Iraq, Gaza, Ukraine and on the mean streets of Pittsburgh, but when it creeps onto the fairways of the fine links of our region, well, that's hitting a little too close to home for The Morning File's taste.

Police filed assault charges against both men involved in the altercation, which reportedly stemmed from a dispute concerning what to do with a golf ball landing in "casual water" (the puddles that can form on a golf course after heavy rain). A verbal argument escalated to the point where one golfer struck another with a club, and injuries from the ensuing fracas led to hospital treatment of injuries to both men.

This appalling incident raises multiple serious questions:

* If it's appropriate to yell "Fore!" before hitting another golfer with a ball, what is it best to shout before striking one with a club?

* When swinging a club at a fellow golfer, should you judge which one is best to use based on your distance from the golfer, the same as you vary club selection according to distance from the hole?

* Wouldn't golf attract more young men and lose its status as a boring, declining sport if you could attack other players in the middle of their backswings?

* As there are about 18,000 bazillion rules in golf that no normal person can remember, thus provoking furious debates that slow down the game during every round, would it be better to approach it the way ex-hippies treated parenting and just let everyone do whatever they want?

* If there's so much water on the golf course that it's interfering with play, shouldn't the players just forgo sloshing through 18 holes and skip to what they really came for: drinking in the clubhouse to get away from their wives even longer than the agonizingly slow game itself called for? …

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