My final views on steroids in golf (too many other things to do!)
My attention was captured when Gary “Newsworthy” Player sparked a flame at Carnoustie with his insinuation that steroids and/or enhancement drugs have a building presence in golf. He did not mention on which tour, if any, the competitor(s) that confessed to him compete. My naive response in this blog space was to snidely remark that Player was after an attention grab, that he got it, sating his appetite for the time being.
As expected, responses poured in from Wolfrum, Judge Smails, and other worthwhile sources. My initial affront was replaced by a need to do a bit of research (only a bit) to determine what benefit these enhancers could provide.
Here are the sites that I visited this morning: Coolnurse.com, an interesting little place on the web that provides a cornucopia of information on taboo and essential health topics; Peel Public Health, a the ministry of a region just outside Toronto, Ontario; a site called Slate.Com, which turned up an interesting counterattack on all forms of enhancement. My subsequent points have their genesis in these articles.
If we have a rational bone in our bodies, and a sentient presence in our mind, then we know that steroids are bad for us over the long haul. The edginess, mood swings, outbursts, and obsessions associated with steroid use seemingly go against all that is proper and helpful for professional golfers. So does booze, however, but many golfers (most notably John Daly, David Feherty and Laura Baugh) abuse the stuff. Don’t even get into the calming effects of cigarettes on the tours! Many golfers swear by them, even as their lungs turn into a gooey mess of ineffective alveoli.
The reality is, most people who get into this stuff do so because they are uneducated, at an under-educated stage of their lives, or just plain desperate. You cannot opt to ingest something that will harm you when you are in your right mind, unless you are beyond desperation.
The first trenchant fact of the whole discussion is, what constitutes an unnatural aid? Certain surgeries are unnatural but accepted. What if a female golfer underwent breast reduction surgery, then shot to the top of the money and victory lists? What if a cure had been found for Casey Martin’s Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, and he had prospered on the PGA Tour? Heroism or cheating?
The second one is, how many enhancers are we up against? Anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, creatine, DHEA, dietary supplements, and the list goes on. The odds indicate that there will be use and abuse as the new millennium continues, in golf and other sports, in teaching and other professions, by teenagers, seniors, and every age group in between. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and just as soon as guidelines are developed by the PGA Tour or any other body, new enhancers will enter the fray and render those guidelines obsolete or at least outdated.
|« Improvement in Golf? Check out the Girls National Junior||The Nonsensical Punter: 2007 British Open Champion Prediction »|
I agree that most golfers don't fit the profile of the kind of individual who would use steroids; however, as they say, there's one in every bunch. By the way, it's for this reason (the fact that I don't think most golfers will ever cotton to steroid use) that I don't think drug testing is necessary in golf. My point is, though, logic dictates that SOME golfers must have used them at some point.
I also have to mention that everyone is overlooking an obvious point here. To whit: just because your primary motivation to work out is the improvement of your performance does not mean that vanity isn't a powerful secondary motivation. I used to work out arduously when I was a professional athlete, and I'd be lying if I said that an improved appearance wasn't a strong motivating factor. And, listen, if you don't think Tiger Woods derives ego satisfaction from having a great physique, you don't understand human nature.
My point is that a player can be motivated to use steroids for reasons other than his golf ambitions, even though he may not always be consciously aware of the degree to which the more frivolous desires are influencing him. And, once again, such people would be rare in golf, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
Where will your theory be then?
"Don't even get into the calming effects of cigarettes on the tours! Many golfers swear by them, even as their lungs turn into a gooey mess of ineffective alveoli."
Try to avoid immediately negating it with your next:
"You cannot opt to ingest something that will harm you when you are in your right mind, unless you are beyond desperation."
And that was more or less the most astute part of the post.
You're improperly assuming that nicotine-addicted and addled golfers are in their right minds.
Comments are closed for this post.