"In golf, honesty's the norm"
By mustang6560 on 6/28/12
In light of Joel Peralta's recent eight game suspension for "entering a game with pine tar on his glove" (which is a no-no), Bob DiCesare believes baseball could learn a thing or two from golf.
Contrast the culture within baseball with that within golf. There are no guaranteed salaries on the links. No one cashes checks while spending time on a disabled list. Either you perform or you don’t get paid, and how well you perform determines how well you’re paid. Given its structure, no sport would appear more prone to cheating than golf.

Instead, golf takes the flip side and pursues integrity’s extreme. The expectation is that if a golfer breaks a rule — or even falls victim to a rule — he’ll turn himself in. Recent U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson lost last year’s Zurich Classic in a playoff to recent Masters winner Bubba Watson after incurring a one-stroke penalty four holes from the finish.

In golf, honesty’s the norm. Graeme McDowell took a two-stroke penalty in May when his ball moved while he located a wayward drive that landed in a precarious position. McDowell later brought it to the attention of officials who viewed television footage and deemed him correct. In essence, McDowell penalized himself twice. It’s enough to make you wonder which sport should be considered our national pastime.
I probably take the rules of golf too serious at times, but I do enjoy the fact that your personal integrity is on the line each time you hit the links. Unlike basketball and soccer (and most sports), you're not rewarded for "flopping" your way up and down the course trying to sell a foul to the referee. In golf, you are the judge, the jury and the executioner (most of the time) and if you break the rules, it's on you to penalize yourself, even if it'll cost you a stroke (or worse!). And if you don't, you'll be labeled as a cheat and nobody likes to play golf with a cheater.

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Image via Flickr, Pierre-Olivier

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[ comments ]
bducharm says:
This single thing is what makes golf AWESOME!!!
bobhooe says:
i agree but some rules are in need of an overhaul
gpickin says:
I still hate people who dont putt out.
I know when it counts they have to, but 4 foot gimmes isn't cool... and people need to learn about stroke and distance. They always lose balls and then take 1 penalty as they drop from the wrong place.
Then they gloat when they beat you, but you play it out and dont cheat the penalties.
accarson3 says:
In the case of Peralta who pitches for the Rays...he was called out by the Nationals who knew he was cheating since he used to be in Nats organization. Astonishingly, the Rays manager called out Nats manager Davey Johnson for turning him in since he had that inside knowledge...so the culprit was Johnson not the guy cheating? The "unwritten" rules of baseball are hard to fathom sometimes.
joe jones says:
As an ex pitcher I fail to see the difference between pine tar and any other substance. There have been many current pitchers that say pine tar has no effect on the flight of the ball and what happens when you throw a spit ball. All I know is they must be scuffing or doctoring the ball someway in order to throw some of the pitches they throw today. As far as golf is concerned , any old pro will tell tales about players that put petroleum jelly or oil on the ball or the club face to take the spin off the ball. For every player on the tour that plays to a strict rule book there must be 2 or 3 that bend the rules occasionally. We just don't hear about it.
sigmapete1 says:
It is true that when performance directly equates to paycheck you might expect more desperate measures to get that extra edge, but you left out one important factor, TV. These players know they are scrutinized on TV but a country full of casual rules officials. They know that second, third, fourth, or even 32nd place gets paid a hell of a lot better than a DQ. PGA purses are so high that to make a wealthy living, all you have to do is make a cut and not get disqualified.

So I would argue that the monetary incentive, and not necessarily the fact that golfers are more moral than baseball players, is responsible for the intense adherence to the rules.
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