Editors' BlogJune 23, 2009

Four-letter "bombs"

*"Some guy hit my fender and I said, 'Be fruitful and multiply,' but not in those words." * Woody Allen

In the July issue of Golf Digest columnist David Owen argued that "the occasional unscripted F-Bomb makes golf on TV easier to endure." Not so fast, said one Idaho reader.

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Dear Editor,>

Regarding the "Fleeting expletives" article by David Owen: To compare dropping four-letter "bombs" to ads for ED or prostate issues in the TV decency debate is like comparing raisins to coconuts. Golf has always been and should always remain a gentleman's game, the last bastion of its kind. That being said, it remains that a gentleman does not need to use 4-letter "bombs". End of debate.

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Sharon Hanson

Boise, ID

Thanks, Sharon. Just how we keep golf a "gentleman's (or gentlewoman's) game" is a tough one. At our club, for example, we're currently engaged in a debate about cargo shorts, a piece of apparel that is seen as ungentlemanly by a lot of our members. Not part of the game's great tradition, what? I know that language is very different than this and it's disquieting to hear a professional athlete utter a word you'd prefer your kids not hear and certainly not repeat. And I'm not sure I'd argue that it makes golf on television better, except, as David argues, that it allows us to see more of Tiger, who seems prone to these utterances. There are obscenities I'd attack first, however, the primary one being slow play. I suspect it's the source of more foul language than imperfect shots, and the source of most golf "road rage", as Bill Pennington reported in the Times over the weekend, which results in some very poor language. If the pros all take off their hats and shake hands after the round, that forgives momentary language lapses for. Provided they play at a reasonable #$%^#ing rate of speed.

--Bob Carney

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