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Golf: The gentleman's game?

With club in hand, hole in sight and ball teed up, Canadians love to play on the greens of the golf course. Though Mark Twain deemed golf "a good walk spoiled," supporters are passionate about the sport and say that it teaches etiquette, discipline and an unending quest for self-improvement over frustration. The CBC has chronicled our love of the game from coast to coast, in sun and in snow.

Want to improve your game? Forget golf lessons! An honest golfer would never stoop to these:
1) Ignore the rulebook. After all, ignorance of the laws can save you strokes.
2) Avoid the resentful, penetrating glares of your foursome.
3) Listen to this 1957 CBC Radio commentary on how to bamboozle your golf peers. 
• Here are some other tricks an honest golfer would never employ:
- fudging the number of strokes you take on a hole
- not admitting a penalty when you inadvertently move the ball with your club
- shifting your ball off the place marker to get a better line to the hole when your partners aren't looking.

- taking a few practice shots, pretending that you are unsure which was your practice ball and which was your game ball, shrugging your shoulders and going with the one that landed in the best position.

• Former U.S. president Bill Clinton was notorious for bending the rules of golf. In August 1997, five months before Clinton was besieged by the threat of impeachment, journalist John Omicinski wrote about the president's golf game. "President Clinton has developed the mulligan into a fine art," he wrote. "Apparently Clinton's zeitgeist tells him that if he thinks he shot 79, then he shot 79. Call it Zen golf…" Omicinski then warned Clinton that he needed to learn from his mistakes rather than cover them up.

• A mulligan is an extra shot taken, but not recorded on the score card, after a particularly bad first shot in recreational play.
• Golf writer Ron Sirak on cheating: "On the recreational level such infractions are barely more than desperate attempts to magically make yourself into a better player than you really are," he wrote. "In those cases the only loser is the player." — in Golf World, Feb. 18, 2005
Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: April 29, 1957
Commentator: Bill McNeil
Host: Ken Ellis
Duration: 3:17

Last updated: June 12, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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