Driving a “higher standard” for South African golf

Sep 11, 2021 | Golf Course Management, Info Brief

I am sure many golfers will have heard about the recent pronouncement by the PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan,
regarding spectators calling Bryson DeChambeau, “Brooksie” – this being the extension of a relatively innocuous ‘spat’
some time ago, between DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. This ‘name-calling’ behaviour will now be considered
offensive and worthy of the ‘guilty’ fan being removed from a tournament.

Perhaps this is a point scored for decency, as boorish crowd behaviour has, sadly, become more frequent at golf
tournaments. However, what is really significant has been the response by a number of tour players, not least Rory McIlroy
and Patrick Cantlay, who reinforced views of a number of other professionals in that heckling of Bryson DeChambeau may
be “crossing the line”. McIlroy added that as the players are held to a higher standard than other sports, why shouldn’t the fans or spectators be also held to that same high standard.

Given that fans can get so close to golfers, there is a level of decorum, civility, intimacy and respect that is required from
the crowds, and these have become the hallmarks of the game, which are now not often seen in any other sport.
From the golf club’s perspective, the obvious question that we need to ask ourselves is shouldn’t golf clubs be applying the
same “higher standard” in terms of the levels of environmental compliance and good governance in their own operations?
If tournament golfers and fans are measured by the aforementioned hallmarks of the game, surely golf clubs, and this is
largely a rhetorical question, should measure themselves by the legislation and standards applicable in terms of their
‘behaviour’, as regards environmental compliance and good governance? The most recent research into environmental
compliance of golf courses in South Africa, indicates a compliance level of 30%.

Happily, the process of raising a club’s compliance levels is not a particularly difficult process, and the tools and support,
provided by the John Collier Survey, can assist in uplifting a golf club’s compliance levels to the “higher standards” referred
to. In the September edition of Business of Golf Magazine (see www.businessofgolfmagazine.com) there is article on “Calling
All Clubs” to participate in the 2021 questionnaire process. Over the next few weeks, those clubs that have previously participated in the John Collier Survey will receive their updated questionnaire, and we ask that you spend some time updating your questionnaire and returning it.

For those clubs that have not previously participated, we encourage you to become involved, as it is a very worthwhile and
productive journey to embark upon.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0834557712 or through our website
www.johncolliergolf.com.