It goes without doubt that modern sports provide avenues for athletes to amass tremendous amount of wealth. With such colossal amount of money and fame at stake, there is a possibility that anyone would be tempted to cross the line and as such necessary for the implementation of stringent anti-doping procedures.
Golfers, like other athletes, therefore should be subjected to such scrutiny. However, there is a question of the impact of drug testing on golfers. Is it even necessary? And if so, what are the implications on the performance of the golfers?
These are the fundamental questions that the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) are trying to unearth. This paper will highlight some of the reasons why drug testing is not important to golfers.
Golf Requires Skills Not Energy-
The Professional Golfers Association Tour book prohibits the use of recreational drugs and alcohol. Alcohol is considered because of its influence on the players’ conduct. The tenets of golf are not about the power but rather feel and touch.
This implies that the nature of the sport does not necessitate energy but rather skill and judgment. Retief Gossen, the US Open champion, said “I don’t know if somebody took steroids how that would affect the game. I don’t think golf is that much a power sport as it is in other sports, like athletics or things like that, where there is such a small margin between the athletes.”
The nature of the sport itself discourages the use of enhancement drugs thereby limiting the need for drug testing on golfers.
Golf Is Honorary Not Materialistic-
As opposed to other sports, Golf is founded on honor rather than material gains. Anything honorable should, therefore, be conducted with integrity and sanity. Golfers are unlikely to be persuaded to use drugs hence there is no need to waste time and resources looking for such drugs by administering drug tests to the athletes.
The pressures of ensuring that athletes remain true and clean should not be a reason to blindly subject golfers to drug tests. PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem supports this position by saying, “”Some say we ought to test for drugs because all sports test and you want to know you’re clean, in a vacuum, I see how you can make that argument. But honestly … I don’t know what we’d be testing for”.
Therefore, drug testing should only be administered where necessary rather than as ritual or coronation. Due to the honor accorded to the game, it is upon individual players to maintain higher levels of integrity in the sport since there exists no honor in cheating.
In conclusion, Golf is a sport that is built upon a culture of strict adherence to existing rules. It is a culture that has been nurtured for many years and has served the game well. Drug testing, therefore, would be an insult to the sort of cultural value system. These values make golfers less prone to temptations of drug abuse as compared to other sports. All these factors challenge the concept of subjecting golfers to drug tests thus making the process unnecessary.