IN most instances the professional game is nothing like the sport played by weekend warriors at the amateur level, but this week the European Tour brought its players back down to earth with a stern warning about safety.
European Tour officials printed and distributed a note at last week’s Turkish Airlines Open about the need for players to call “fore” more often while on the golf course.
An increase in complaints from marshals and spectators over the lack of use of the above warning by players, combined with an increase resultant injuries to spectators, claims for compensation and indeed a recent injury to a member are of serious concern to the Tour.
Members are reminded that the use of the word “fore” remains the traditional and expected warning/etiquette when there is a danger of hitting someone (See page 26 of the rules of golf) and that regulation D 1 (b) 2 (page 48 of your handbook) requires you to “comply with normally accepted standards of golf etiquette”.
All members are therefore strongly reminded that the use of such warnings is expected at all times when there is a risk of injury and failure to do so will result in a player being disciplined under the above regulation.
Joy Chakravarty, a journalist with newspaper Sport360, posted an image to Twitter of the note that was posted around the clubhouse in Antalya, Turkey, for the attention of those in the field.
“This is basic etiquette that many players have forgotten.”
The European Tour was widely commended on social media for the proactive move, with a number of users agreeing that the world’s top players should be held to the same standards as golfers at all levels.
There is no detail as to what the punishment might be for a player who fails to call “fore” after losing a ball offline, but you can guarantee that the officials at this week’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa will be listening carefully.