Two ‘we-know-what’s-best for you’ science authors (not actual scientists, mind you, but “science writers”) recently penned two separate articles just a few days apart in major global publications in Europe and Australia calling for the end of golf.
Their mission: to cancel the game of golf through environmental shaming in order to save the planet.
The first editorial, written by a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald named Jenna Price, wastes no time getting to her point in the piece. In a story entitled Give Golf the Boot: There’s No Space for a Sport that Offers So Little to So Few, her very first sentences make the direction of her opinions clear:
“Shut them down. Shut them all down.”
The second article, by ‘science communicator’ Abbie Richards in the Euro News, is titled Golf is a Giant Board Game Damaging the Planet: Time for it to Go.
Richards, who is studying for her masters in climate at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, argues that the game of golf is both socially and environmentally destructive. Also wasting no time in staking out her opinion, her thesis goes full-bore in its first sentence: “Society has evolved past the need for golf.”
As you read the logic used within each of these two articles, remember that golf course maintenance practices have undergone significant environmental science break-throughs and undertaken scores of operational changes in the last 25 years. Without dispute, the game’s leaders have dedicated themselves to environmentally-friendly practices, to the point that golf has been used repeatedly to reclaim land laid to waste by other industries.
But these two writers ignore all of that change completely. Instead, they use clichés from decades past to paint golf with an elitist broad brush. Facts aren’t going to get in the way of their idealist opinions.
Most of us living here in the USA believe strongly and wholeheartedly in the First Amendment. (Most.) Thus, these two women have every right to express their opinions, and to put those opinions in front of the world using the benefits of a free press.
Conversely, we golfers and golf course owners/operators have the right to respond that these writers’ virtue-signaling statements and over-the-top opinions have little basis in fact.
But even more importantly, all golfers and non-golfers alike the world over should fiercely push back on anyone who believes that their opinions should control the thoughts, activities and property rights of others.
So no thank you, Jenna and Abbie. We golfers love the planet, regardless of your contrary personal viewpoints. We’ll keep playing. And we’ll say so without shame, and do so without fear.