A brief lesson in golf and honesty

After spending every Friday morning this summer taking golf lessons, today was The Day. It was tournament day for Olivia.

Today was the very first time she golfed ON the actual golf course. She's practiced on the driving range before, and last year's tournament was three holes on that very same driving range. So today was sort of a big deal. For her. And for me and Kevin. Our "baby" was golfing four holes on a real course!

The group of golfers included Olivia and three other girls around her age (7-8) years old. One of the other dads was the "official" scorekeeper - a role he "earned" by signing his kids in first this morning. My dad was acting as Olivia's caddie, while Kevin and I were mere spectators.

On each hole the kids were given 10 strokes on the fairway and then five stroke once they were on the green. If they exceeded the 10 strokes on the fairway, they were able to pick up the ball and then place it one flag stick length away from the hole on the green. Simple enough rules, right?

Let's just say this: obviously the scorekeeper wasn't a math major. And he clearly failed ethics.

Olivia had some great drives on the fairways. She never once went over 10 strokes on the fairway. She only ended up in the bunker ONCE and took only two strokes to get out of the sand! She made her putts in five strokes or less - or at least only took five strokes to attempt to make the putt. And yet, somehow...she ended up with a final score of 47.

That's right, according to the"official" scorecard she golfed a 47 on four holes.

Yes, that IS good for a 7-year-old who has never golfed on an actual course before. (The tees were about 135 yards from the hole ... kid sized tees if you will). And while we are VERY PROUD of our little golfer, she was ROBBED of her actual score.

That's right folks, the other guy cheated/lied/fudged the numbers.

According to my dad's calculations, Olivia's score should have been a 39. And yet, it was recorded as a 47. Eight strokes higher than what she ACTUALLY golfed.

When I saw that score put on the leaderboard at the end of the tournament and then saw the scores recorded for the other kids (all in the mid 30s...which is impossible since I know on at least one hole one of the other girls had 10 strokes on the fairway!)....I was FURIOUS. Oh, and yeah...and the icing on the cake...one of his kids came in 2nd place.

I don't know how he did it, but the scorekeeper lied on the scorecard. He didn't count all the strokes for certain kids and obviously counted ALL the strokes, including missed PRACTICE SWINGS for Olivia.

And no, I'm not being a "sore loser." This is not about who won or lost, because in my mind, Olivia won today. She rocked it on that course!

But anyone who golfs knows that HONESTY is one of the core values of the game. You don't lie about your score. You don't cheat. You don't take mulligans. You don't use a "foot wedge." You play with honesty and integrity. That's why golf is often referred to as "a gentleman's game" (OK, yeah...a bit sexist, but let's all remember that women didn't always play golf.)

As proud as I am of Olivia, it angers me that someone could do that and be OK with it.
We should be teaching our kids honesty and integrity on the golf course, not teaching them how to fudge a scorecard for a lower score.

This wasn't a professional tournament. It was a four-hole tourney for little kids. It was all for FUN. There was no million dollar purse at stake. The kids all received little "bronze" medals and a toy for participating. So it just boggles my mind that this happened. Thankfully, Olivia didn't realize any of this was happening - she took her medal and her new Disney Princess "beauty set" and continued on her merry way.

But I know it happened.
And I'm not OK with it.
Next year, I'll be the scorekeeper.
And I'll do it honestly.

No comments:

Post a Comment