Fore! Tour pro’s please pay attention

As a casual follower of the European Tour on television something that has been brought to my attention is golfers shouting fore, or the lack of it. Last Sunday in the eager anticipation of Nick Faldo’s wild card picks at 7pm and with the weather blowing a gale, I was slumped in front of the television watching the final round coverage of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.

At around 3pm Nick Dougherty was finishing strongly and I held a wishful thought that Faldo might repay the loyalty Nick had showed to his series as a junior, and place him as one of the two wildcard picks.

Unfortunately this wasn’t to be but Dougherty showed a wealth of maturity and high regard to his fellow players who were also in contention in his post round interview.

This brings me on to a subject that I feel needs urgent attention from those in charge at the European Tour headquarters at Wentworth. Having regard for your fellow players and your supporters should be second nature for the professionals of our game; some though show little of this. On Sunday the coverage followed closely the final round pairing of Gregory Havret and Anthony Wall. On one occasion both pulled their shots left of the green – into the crowd. Wall’s ball dropped in between two spectators but Havret’s hit one and rebounded closer to the hole – yet neither shouted “Fore!”

 I must add that the spectator hit by Havret was okay. However at a time when heath and safety are paramount and the suing culture is growing I am surprised that players haven’t been briefed to shout the warning when a misfired shot is heading towards the galleries.

A golf ball weighs 45.93g, is 42mm in diameter, and when travelling in excess of 100mph it can cause a substantial amount of damage. It is the players who have the best view of the flight of their ball, and they should have the decency to warn their supporters they are in danger. At the Open Championship this year there were no guidelines or information for spectators about being hit by flying golf balls. Even though a lady needed stitches after being hit by Woods, and a freelance photographer was hit by Garcia behind his ear in the 2007 championship.

Hopefully this will be addressed before someone is seriously injured.