I’ve written about the fact that as a child growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and before that, Upstate Seneca Falls, New York, I spent quite around golf courses. Some of my earliest memories are crawling around on the putting green grabbing golf balls as my dad practice his putting. When we were old enough, dad took us all golfing at times.
Our home in Lancaster sat next to a golf club called Meadia Heights. That course was a wonderland for a kid, as we roamed around on foot and poked about the streams and woods for fun. But we also knew the rules of conduct when setting foot on the golf course. Stay off the fairways when possible and never, ever spend time on the greens.
Years later as a high school and college cross country runner, I raced many times on golf courses throughout the Midwest. For four years in college we raced at a golf club in Grinnell, Iowa. That rolling landscape made for challenging racing. We ran down the fairways in our cleats and Nike waffles, and I get the greenskeeper was not too thrilled at some of the marks we left behind.
Of course, those footprints were no worse than divots left behind by golfers. The etiquette on any course is to replace a divot either with the chunk of turf you tore up or a dose of seeded sand so that grass can grow back again where your golf club removed it.
No carts allowed
Getting ready to play a round of golf and preparing to race your guts out on a five-mile cross country course are two massively different things. The amount of effort to play golf is minimal, especially when using a cart to get around the course. That’s why professional players aren’t allowed to use golf carts in tournament play. Caddies carry their bags and the players must walk.
A pro-level player named Casey Martin once sued the PGA to be allowed to ride a cart during tournament play. That lawsuit failed. A 2013 story in USA Today detailed the fact that even when Martin became a golf coach, he was not allowed to ride a cart on the golf course.
Casey Martin never thought his use of a golf cart would be an issue again.
“Martin, born with a debilitating birth defect in his right leg that makes walking difficult, sued the PGA Tour in 2001 for the right to ride when he played in Tour events, citing the Americans with Disabilities Act. He won. Twelve years later, he’s the golf coach at the University of Oregon, and the issue has resurfaced.
Martin arrived Monday at a U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier in Oceanside, Calif., expecting to ride in a cart as he followed a couple of prospective recruits around the course.
He said he cleared his plan beforehand with tournament chairman Matt Pawlak. But after five or six holes, Martin says he was stopped and told the U.S. Golf Association had found out about the cart and it was not allowed. Because Martin was officially a spectator, USGA rules did not permit him to use a cart. The controversy was first reported by GolfWeek.”
That’s how the game of golf approaches its principles. Rules matter. Etiquette matters. And while I’ve had opportunity to sort of “breach” those rules in my lifetime, I still respect the fact that rules exist for a reason. That is why it disturbs me to see people who flaunt those rules for no other reason than the fact that they can.
A year into the Trump presidency, video emerged that showed Donald Trump driving his golf cart on the greens at a course that he owns. Some pundits rushed to justify his actions with the claim, “Well, he owns the course! He can do what he wants!”
But there’s more than arrogance at work. Apparently Trump doesn’t like to walk on the golf course because he believe it wears him out. His belief is that people are given a certain amount of battery life and using it to walk around golf course could in fact shorten his life.
So why golf at all? Doesn’t swinging a club use a certain amount of energy too?
The fact of the matter is that in everything he does in life, Trump behaves like a selfish hypocrite. He complained for years about the amount of time President Obama spent playing golf, then massively exceeeded those totals when he became President.
During the early phases of the now-defunct Trump presidency, a Sports Illustrated golf writer named Rick Reilly reported that he known Trump for thirty years and noted that Donald Trump cheats to win. He even wrote a book about it titled Commander In Cheat: How Golf Explains Donald Trump.
A Guardian article about the book contained this passage: “Donald Trump is the worst cheat ever and he doesn’t care who knows,” Rick Reilly says as he describes a man he has known for 30 years. “I always say golf is like bicycle shorts. It reveals a lot about a man. And golf reveals a lot of ugliness in this president.”
Now all that ugliness and hypocrisy is playing out in all-new ways as results point to a Trump loss and a Biden win in the presidential election. Those results are real, and the rules that govern elections do matter. Trump’s attempts to cheat the system by gutting the United States Post Office delivery system in an attempt to delay mail-in ballots still failed. He also resorted to claiming in advance that mail-in votes were fraudulent. Now he’s suing states all across the nation in whining attempts to delay certification of Biden as President. All these actions signify a failure in character and of conscience. Despite all his cheating and lying to steal the election, Donald Trump is the loser.
His despicable nature leaves zero reason to offer the outgoing Commander In Cheat any sympathy or respect. He should get the same treatment as any law-breaking, money-grubbing, tax-evading cheater, and be prosecuted accordingly.
At the very least, he should be made to pay for the crime of driving on the golf greens. A suitable punishment for this abuse of power and attempts to cheat the system would be to make Trump run laps around his own golf course. Treat him as any tough 7th-grade gym teacher would. Run his ass into the ground to teach this bully and brute a lesson. Make him spews his McDonald’s hamburgers all over the green grass. Teach him a lesson that he’ll never forget. And if he dies in the process, then we can all agree that his life battery just sucked. Perhaps if he was not such a lazy bastard and did some actual exercise to recharge his battery once in a while, it wouldn’t be so weak.
As for the near-term, it’s Tough luck, Tough boy. Your cheating luck just ran out.