A Golf Marshal’s Chronicle
“What happens on the course stays on the course” until the Marshal tells all
Author Chuck Burgett, Ph.D.
Copyright 2009 Charles Burgett
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In the beginning days of golf, rules of play and conduct were carefully crafted and religiously adhered to by those fortunate to be playing the game. Golf, as most of you readers know, is one of the few, perhaps the only, sport that players themselves monitor the enforcement of the rules, call penalties on themselves and keep their scores. Golf has long been known as the gentlemen’s game, a title well deserved. However, as time passed and more and more people got involved in the game some subtle and not so subtle changes occurred.
Once played almost exclusively on private golf courses by members only golf started to move to the realm of the common man and the development of the “municipal” golf course made it possible for everyone to play golf. With more and more players on the course, with a lower understanding of the traditional honor of the game, the game itself began to degrade. Most notably were a disregard for the physical golf course itself and most importantly the pace of play. Suddenly what used to be an enjoyable four-hour event in a beautiful outdoor environment became a six or seven-hour ordeal played on courses that resembled cow pastures or rugby fields. Something had to be done to restore the natural order and hence the exalted position of golf “marshal” was created.