Henry A. Lister
Carolinas Golf Association Rater
Generally, I’m not a whiner but I may need an intervention. This whole thing about Patrick Reed staining the game of golf by cheating has taken hold of me and I can’t let it go. I’ve spent many hours talking with readers who want to talk about the numerous commentaries on Reed’s taking liberties with the rules of golf. Shockingly, few will take the final step and say he cheated even when you show them the video tape.
Even TV analyst and reporter Peter Kostis has kept his opinions to himself despite saying he’s seen Reed improve his lie four times! As Kostis said, it’s his “job to report the story, not to become the story.” Surely Kostis was not the only one to notice those infractions, but perhaps the other players didn’t see Reed cheat up close as ably as did Kostis. Still, it’s hard for me to believe that a professional player would cheat so blatantly and frequently—AND get away with it. Mysteriously, other players are reluctant to speak out when witnessing Reed’s transgressions.
TV commentator Brandel Chamblee is a straight shooter, and for his forthrightness he was threatened by Reed’s attorney with a Cease & Desist letter demanding he stop calling Reed a cheater. If Chamblee is prosecuted, I’ll be posting his bail. I also will stand with the fan who was attacked by Reed’s caddie during last year’s Presidents Cup when he spoke the truth on Reed’s character (unfortunately, he used words that cannot be printed in this family publication).
So, I must repeat what I posited in last month’s column; who is going to do something about this serial cheater? Why has the PGA not fined or sanctioned him? Why do tournaments continue to allow him to play in their events? Have we all become so inured to the low standards set by the characters involved in the impeachment of the President that we no longer have standards of decency? Currently the game of golf is suffering from a black eye at Reed’s hand that I refuse to overlook. Even Hardy Greaves, Bagger Vance’s young protégé, would have his heart crushed to see Reed so brazenly kick the rules of golf to the side of the road. I AM heart sick and I’m at a loss as to what I can do.
The winter was another wet one. When it was clear it was cold, and when it was warm it rained. Area courses have taken a beating from erosion, downed trees and divots that haven’t grown back. It’s clear there is a lot of pent demand and that golfers, me included, are itching for dry and warm conditions. Fact: I did not play a round in February for the first time in 18 years! Unless the planet suddenly flips on its axis and we are plunged into winter again, favorable conditions will return quickly, and it will soon be difficult to find a tee time. I for one am looking forward to an active and productive season. Not playing has driven me to adopt a golfer-focused exercise routine that should produce desirable results. If we play together, be sure to have some folding money in your pocket ready to hand over at the end of our match.
Hobbit Golfer 2020 index: 3 rounds. Average score 85. CGA handicap = 7.1. As of March 8, Donald Trump will have played 264 times since becoming President, 23% of his term. Really?