SEATTLE, Wash. — Most people are aware of the controversy created when professional golfer Tripp Isenhour killed a red-shouldered hawk by intentionally hitting golf balls at it. Mr. Golf Etiquette and Keepers of the Game, along with like-minded golfers around the world are outraged by this callous act, but, at the same time recognize that a solution exists that encourages responsibility on the part of Mr. Isenhour and that draws on the finest traditions of the game of golf.
Isenhour’s claim that he was merely trying to scare the bird away and that it was a million-to-one shot seem unlikely at best and a blatant lie at worst. Either way, the result is the same – a hurtful and immature act unbefitting the traditions of the game of golf and unbecoming to the spirit of the game.
Every golfer who appreciates the history of the game understands golf’s unique place in sports. When a player violates a rule of golf, the player calls the penalty on himself. In no other game is that element even considered, but in golf this implicit trust is supported by the entire community of players, respected among all enthusiasts and it is expected from every player.
Therefore it is the considered recommendation of Mr. Golf Etiquette and Keepers of the Game that Mr. Isenhour, be required to impose the sanction upon himself for this cruel act, to be carried out according to his own conscience. He alone knows what his true intentions were.
For those who think that is letting him off easy, we know the opposite will occur. When he realizes that his name in the annals of the game will be tied to how clearly he understands the infraction, how maturely he stands up and takes his penalty and how sincerely he exhibits his remorse for this impulsive act which tarnishes the name of the game, it is likely he will follow the honorable examples of the five centuries of golfers that came before him.
One might expect that he would donate all proceeds from the video to the Audubon Society, that he would do many hours of community service teaching about respect for wildlife or that he would provide golf lessons for juniors with the proceeds going to The First Tee where kids are taught the values that Mr. Isenhour seems to have missed.
Please join Mr. Golf Etiquette and Keepers of the Game in supporting the values that golf has taught for hundreds of years: honor, integrity, sportsmanship and calling penalties on oneself when an infraction has occurred.
Mr. Golf Etiquette (www.mrgolf.com) is the only web site exclusively devoted to promoting good golf etiquette on the course and the principles of good golf etiquette off the course. Started in April 1996, the web site is run by Jim Corbett (mrgolf @mrgolf.com); Mr. Corbett is the author of “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Golf Rules & Etiquette” (ISBN: 978-1-59257-642-5) and “The GolfBook for Kids.” Contact 425-879-0012.
Keepers of the Game (www.keepersofthegame.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the traditional values of the game of golf. The organization was founded by Dr. Robert Brown, author of The Golf Gods, Who They Are, What They Want, and How to Appease Them, contact info: bob @keepersofthegame.org.
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Send2Press(R) is the originating wire service for this story.
NEWS SOURCE: Mr. Golf Etiquette