A part of

Issue # 18 Thursday, March 5, 1998

About the Author:

Charles Loyd McIntosh

In 1997 Charles Loyd McIntosh was a news writer for the Talledega Daily Home (www.dailyhome.com). He was a former reporter for The Western Star in Bessemer (a small city west of Birmingham), Alabama, and a former Sports Editor for the Clanton Advertiser. At the time he was writing for the Sideroad, Loyd was pursuing a Masters in English degree at the University of Montevallo, Alabama. An avid sports fan, soccer is Loyd's sport of choice, one he has been known to coach in the recent past.

"These instances of allowing carts to be used sometimes and not others only deflated the PGA's argument. . .."


On the Use of Golf Carts in the PGA

The PGA recently lost a landmark case and, more importantly, a round in the public courtroom, after a judge in Oregon ruled that golfer Casey Martin can and will be allowed to use a golf cart in competition.

There has been some debate on just what exactly the PGA was thinking when they decided not to settle out of court and save themselves from some of the public embarrassment that was sure to come. By fighiting Martin in court, they made themsleves look like they don't like "crippled people". (I use that word in reference to the mindset of the PGA).

Their argument; It would ruin the integrity of the game. Most of you have heard this all before, but some things just don't make sense. For instance, why do they let the golfers on the Senior tour use carts only if they want to? There seems to be no continuity in not forcing all participants to follow the same rule.

Also, Martin and several other golfers, one of whom was a diabetic (this is important to me since I am diabetic, also) were allowed to use carts in qualifying school! These instances of allowing carts to be used sometimes and not others only deflated the PGA's argument, and somebody should have seen that.

Of course, golf has a long storied tradition of racism and bigotry, and, apparently, some things die pretty damn hard. Now everyone hold on, I'm not saying all golfers are bigots. I am saying that the sports history does tend to taint their current actions.

My beloved home town of Birmingham had a bit of a P/R boo-boo in 1990 when the PGA Championships were held at Shoal Creek Country Club. The executive director said there would never be a black person admitted to his club. I will reitterate, this was in 19 freakin' 90. This man is no longer employed by Shoal Creek but Birmingham may as well have dragged out the dogs and the fire hoses.

Only in golf would a black athlete cause any kind of uproar. Tiger Woods is a great player, but if he were a white guy from Connecticut, would he really generate the kind of excitement he has created? Of course, hockey has had some racial problems recently with a couple of black players, but hockey is not golf. Hockey players don't wear plaid pants and saddle shoes.

With golf's personality of sophist-i-o-cation and refinement, the MEN in charge of the grand old game should have accomodated Martin if only as an effort to broaden the sport's appeal. However, I'm not so sure the PGA would have the LPGA if they wouldn't be forced to in our current political era. Of course, we all know what GOLF stands for; Gentlment Only, Ladies Forbidden.

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Text copyright Charles Loyd MacIntosh, 1997 - '98. Part of the original Sideroad ezine.
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