The Real Danger of Driving One into the Rough
When we think of golf, what do we think about? Images of funny pants and polo shirts might spring to mind; maybe a little drinking during the back nine, or perhaps the many shots that seem to find their way into the water or sand traps. If you’re a golfer, you may think of the green of the grass and the stretch of the fairway; of the open sky and shining sun glinting off the metal of the pole as the flag waves gently in the breeze. But what about some of the other things that go on during the game? What about the things we as players do that we try to keep off the score card and out of the stories of the day when we return home? The things we leave out of that idyllic picture we paint?
Now, I’m not just talking about how you casually kick the golf ball away from the tree blocking your would-be perfect hit to the green – we already know you do that. What about the other thing you do near the trees? When, secluded among the furs and pines, you look out across that endless green and you see…not one restroom in sight. You’re one with nature, and nature’s calling. So you do what any man would. You do what 85% of male golfers have admitted to doing: you pee. Meanwhile, the other 15% are either a.) quite apt at planning and controlling their bodily functions, b.) proud owners of the mythical “ UroClub”, or c.) telling a little lie about their behavior on the course.
Either way, what’s the big deal, right? You’re the only one who touches your ball, and you’re the only one who uses your clubs. If you don’t have a problem with it, why should anyone else? After all, it doesn’t really concern them, does it? Right?
The problem with that theory comes from a simple little ritual at the end of each hole – the flag pulling. Every man, after every hole, when they get to that moment of victory, has no choice but to pull the flag. So, that little bathroom break you took in the bushes is suddenly communally spread on that shared flag. Which every man, after every hole, has to pull.
Again, I’m sure some of you are asking, what’s the big deal? Why do we have to wash our hands anyways? Well, aside from simple courtesy, the Center for Disease Control says keeping your hands clean is “one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness.” While you might feel clean, bacteria is constantly spreading and growing – bacteria like coliform bacteria, which has the potential to cause serious illness. Your boxer region is crawling with coliform bacteria (of which E. coli is a strain), and it’s a guarantee that some of the bacteria make their way to your hands whenever you do your business. While washing your hands does not get rid of all the bacteria nestling in your pores, it does get rid of whatever has made its way to the surface. Which, in turn, stops you from spreading it to that flag pole, and the many other golfers who would encounter it there.
So, the next time you’re answering the call of nature or pulling the flag in victory, you’d better put on some gloves. If you touch any of the flags on a golf course, you may as well shake the hand of the guy standing next to you at the urinal.
…I guess it’s ironic that the color of the flag is yellow, huh?