Letter to the editors

Dear Campus Editors,

I am writing in response to an article that was published on Oct. 8, entitled “A critical perspective on golf.” We are all entitled to our own opinions, yes, but I think that much of what was touched upon in this article is more of an attack on individuals, and for what reason? To paint every golfer and the industry itself with the broad brush of racism is at the very least close-minded, and, at its worst, serves to incite anger rather than trying to persuade them to agree with the points you have made. 

Blaming the whole golf industry for the “ostentatious bourgeois wastefulness and patriarchal white supremacist ideas underlying the imagery of the well-manicured lawn” is pretty far-fetched. Are baseball, soccer, football and other sporting complexes not held to the same standard? They also take up a large share of land and use pesticides and fertilizers to maintain such a manicured look. Meanwhile, the Allegheny golf teams’ home course, the Country Club of Meadville, is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. This helps to guide environmental planning, habitat management, chemical use safety and reduction, as well as water management and conservation on golf courses. Meadville is one of several hundred courses that are working to reduce the overall harm to the environment, one course at a time.

Yes, golf can be a very expensive sport to play. But what about all of the equipment, team fees, travel fees, and memberships that are required for any other sport if you play at a higher than beginner level? The clothing, while it may seem, how you stated, “arguably tasteless, [and reflects the] sort of bland, upper-middle-class, clean-cut, conformist standard of what is considered presentable that has become almost synonymous with whiteness,” just reinforced a narrow-minded view that clothing is representative of someone’s background.

Where this article really lost me is when you stated that “golf as a cultural practice is inherently classist and does a lot to support the exact sort of elitist attitudes that perpetuate racism.” This groups all golfers into a singular stereotype that is represented by a select few, and that is simply not true. A blanket statement that the whole golf industry is full of classist, elitist, racist white supremacists is lost within the acrimony of the readers who either play golf or know someone who enjoys this leisure activity.