I was having a bagel at my local shop a few weeks ago before a round when a father and son walk into the cafe. They were obviously related, tall, fit and professionally dressed. Light weight Khaki pants, dry-fit collared polos, and clean hats. Father and son day at the ball golf course. How could I not look at myself and compare. I had on a black Off-Axis polo, a new pair off canvas khaki colored shorts, a pair of Merrel hiking shoes, a mostly clean Nike hat that matched my shorts, and a black pair of socks that matched my polo. That is my disc golf attire.
The PDGA has a rule about collared shirts during A-tier tournament rounds. No TD I have ever known has enforced this rule. They should enforce it every time. Having rules that we don’t follow only undermines the efficacy of all rules. Not only is it a rule already, it is also exactly the kind of rule that we need to bring disc golf to a respectable level of acceptability and popularity.
This got me thinking about the most egregious failure to follow this rule. It was at the Shady Oaks course at the 2012 St. Patrick’s Open and was an A-tier event. A guy in the intermediate division, who actually ended up winning the division, wore the same disgusting t-shirt with the sleeves torn off all three days of the event. The shirt had been white at some point but was brown by this time. The db had terrible manners, actually moved my disc from it’s lie at one point, and used horrific language the entire day. He smelled like he had not showered all week and it only got worse from there.
While on the safari nine of the extended course, we picked up a spectator. This is what this sport needs – an audience. An audience will bring sponsors, sponsors will bring more golfers, which will bring more sponsors. The db, of course, started an argument with the man. The spectator soon left with a bad impression of our game.
I did pretty well in the event but should have been one better. The winning db should not have been allowed to compete. The rule is clear. The TD would not have even had any reason to refund the entry fee. Instead the db did compete, a spectator was discouraged, the entire intermediate division was shamed by his appearance and odor.
Until we recognize that this type individual, and the ruling bodies that permit this type of behavior to continue, are the reasons there are not enough open competitors and there are no mainstream big money sponsors, things will never change. Represent your club, your course, your sport by maintaining professional hygiene and following the rules of the events we are participating in. TD’s please enforce these rules. Take a shower, dress appropriately and remember:
Don’t be the douche bag on the course today.
Categories: Disc Golf Etiquette