In golf, silence is golden

 

Sir, – Another Monday, another sports writer taking a pot shot at golf and golfers. Malachy Clerkin, in predicting the death of golf, is particularly critical of the culture of silence as a player executes a shot (“‘Quiet please’ for the rapidly accelerating death of golf”, Tipping Point July 11th). “The notion that they wouldn’t be able to function with a crowd shouting at them from outside the ropes is a nonsense.” Perhaps. It is curious though, that crowd silence, when afforded the goal-kicker in rugby, is universally lauded. Allow me to quote the R&A rule book. “Golf is for the most part, played without the supervision of a referee or umpire. The game relies upon the integrity of the individual to show consideration to other players and abide by the rules. All players should demonstrate courtesy and sportsmanship at all times. This is the spirit of golf.”

Golfers and followers of the sport know that silence is part of this culture of courtesy and sportsmanship. The game as we know it would indeed be dealt a mortal blow if it were cast aside. – Yours, etc,

RONAN McDERMOTT,

Rathgar, Dublin 6W.