During the playoff at the Northern Trust Open Keegan Bradley spit incessantly. And it is not just my opinion. One of the TV commentators said something like, “You wouldn’t think he had any spit left.” The other commentator was questioning the fact that Bradley must know he has cameras on him so why is he spitting with everyone watching. And then they noted that he will certainly be spoken to when he gets off the course. There was so much buzz about it that Bradley actually tweeted an apology.
So I give Bradley credit for apologizing but it did make me wonder if this was against the rules of golf. In my research I found that it is not listed in any rules but tournament officials do have discretion (based on code of conduct) to fine a player. To my knowledge Bradley was not fined but I wondered if any player has ever been fined. The answer is yes. Tiger Woods was fined last year, in February at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Tiger spit on the green (of all places) and the commentator was spot on with his analysis. The well-known British golf announcer, Ewen Murray said “…there are some parts of him (Tiger) that are just arrogant and petulant. Somebody now has to come behind him and maybe putt over his spit. It does not get much lower than that.” The amount Tiger was fined was not disclosed, and like Keegan Bradley, Tiger apologized via twitter but it is still disgusting and unprofessional.
Some online comments, at the time, were saying that it was wrong to fine Tiger. Most of them seemed to feel that spitting is just part of sports. Yes, many professional athletes spit when playing sports (you see it in football and baseball when the show the players on the sidelines or in the dugout) but is it really necessary or just a bad habit?
I can’t speak for other sports fans. I can only speak as a golf fan. For me, golf is supposed to be a “gentleman’s sport” and spitting is not a trait of a gentlemen. Spitting is just plain gross and incredibly disrespectful of the group coming up behind you on the course.
It is not just the professionals that have this bad habit. Unfortunately, if you have played golf, you have probably seen a guy spit on the course. So to all the guys out there that have this “bad habit” — why don’t you try to “conquer it” and give the group behind you some respect.