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Suru
11-22-2003, 12:19 PM
In Tallahassee a couple years ago, I was playing golf with a friend. The group behind us hit their shots before we were out of the way many times. Then on one hole, my friend and I had just finished putting and got back into our cart.

As soon as I got in the cart, a golf ball whizzed by my knee, missing it by an inch. Furious, I took out my driver and picked up the ball. I walked to the next tee box and teed it up. The group of three guys behind us, the same age as my friend and I, drove their carts up and watched me hit a perfect drive into the woods.

One of the guys said, "Now give us a new golf ball." I put my driver (my weapon) back into my bag and said, "Out of the question."

My friend was sitting on the side of the tee box, holding an iron. The two guys in one of the carts came walking toward me. I said, "Oh so you've got two buddies and I've got one, so you're gonna try me?" The third guy walked back to the last green and putted around.

One of the guys got in my face. The other one stood in my blind spot. I assumed a hands-down hanmi posture, and focused on the one doing the talking. I assumed that they didn't want this to get ugly any more than I did. I was shaking with anger. The guy in my face put his hands on my chest and said, "Calm down." I raised my arms inside of his and gently removed his hands. While I did this, I said, "Whoa."

I said, "oh you want me to calm down? You've been hitting into us all day." He said, "I didn't know I could hit it that far." I said, "Well you have to know your game. You wait till the people in front of you are out of your way before you hit." The guy standing at my side said, "Let's just go tell the ranger." They got back in their cart and returned to the hole they were playing.

I was shaking all over. I brought 3 irons to the tee of the par-3, not knowing which to use. My friend and I hit our shots and drove to the green. After finishing the hole, I realized that I'd left 2 irons back at the tee. The guys were at that tee, so I figured they had them. I took a brand new, but inexpensive ball out of my bag.

I walked back to where the guys' carts were and I said, "One shiny new golf ball for two clubs?" As he handed me the clubs I gave him the ball. He said, "Don't you hate it when it comes back to bite you in the ass?"
I immediately said, "Always does."

So, for those of you who had the patience to read my account, what do you think? What did I do right? What did I do wrong? I look forward to your thoughts.

Drew

Clayton Drescher
11-22-2003, 04:32 PM
Bravo, sir;

I think you handled that just right. I know it burned to have to give back a ball for any reason, but those guys probably would have given you serious grief if you just asked for your clubs back without a concession. And there's probably not a lot you could to at this stage in their lives to make them grow up and be respectable adults.

No blows were struck, doesn't even sound like any serious cursing flew around, well played on your part

Lan Powers
11-22-2003, 05:30 PM
Golf clap....:)

gi_grrl
11-24-2003, 03:50 AM
Hi Drew,

I think you should have left your clubs with them as punishment for your rash action ;)

Perhaps if you'd asked them to stop hitting into you earlier in the day, before you got mad, then none of that would have happened.

Just a thought.

ian
11-24-2003, 07:24 AM
I think I'd have done the same - always hard to judge anothers actions. The important thing is whether YOU think you did the right thing and whether you still feel angry about it, or if you've now left that behind (your anger that is, not your clubs ;-).

Ian

vanstretch
11-24-2003, 07:30 AM
those dolts were lucky your last name wasn't Nicholson......, Jack. good job in keeping yourself in check. read my post on driving and you will find the same correlations-driving on the street or the range! there are jerks abound!!

aikidocapecod
11-24-2003, 08:14 AM
Just my opinion.....as you asked for an opinion....I play quite a bit of golf....I have had this exact situation more than a few times....as I live on Cape Cod....a tourist area and there is always the exception to the rule "rude" 4-some that will have perhaps too much Saki prior to their stellar round of golf. The first time I have a ball hit through my group or over our head, I turn and give a friendly wave and point out where their ball landed. The second time a ball is hit through or over us, we wait till that group catches up to us and we allow them to play through.

It is only golf. My Sensei has always taught us that if there is a way to avoid conflict, no price is too high to pay. It seems to me that if the situation had escalated to a point where somebody found a 9-iron attached to a part of his/her body.......hence serious injury......letting the long-ball hitter play through would have been the aikido way to resolve the situation.

Again....just my opinion.....

jgrowney
11-24-2003, 08:15 AM
You could have just let them play through. Especially if the next hole was a par 3.

Maybe it was pissing them off that you were playing slow and they were trying to give you a hint... which you never picked up on.

I think the best solution to that scenario is to let them hit into the group in front of you. Then all you would have to do is fight the urge to hit into them as they were doing to you:-)

Jim

aikidocapecod
11-24-2003, 09:36 AM
The best test of one's aikido is never to have it tested.

mj
11-24-2003, 01:23 PM
Romeo and Juliet

'..the reason that I have to love thee

Doth much excuse the appertaining rage

To such a greeting: villain am I none;...'

kironin
11-24-2003, 02:15 PM
So, for those of you who had the patience to read my account, what do you think? What did I do right? What did I do wrong? I look forward to your thoughts.

Drew
Well, I would have taken a cue from my Dad who played his whole life (starting golf sometime around 1930). I would have let them play through after no more than the second time of shooting in to our group. The first time of doing that might be enough to ask them to play through especially if they didn't wait for you to clear the green. The last thing you want is someone with bad judgement and bad etiquette playing behind you as you found out when the white missle just missed your knee.

It sounds like you handled well the aftermath of the conflict you created by hitting his ball into the woods, but if you want an opinion, good aikido would have been to nicely ask them to play through the very FIRST time it happened. Then by doing this irimi you would have been safely behind their backs out of harms way and no conflict would have arisen. This just happens to also be good golf reiho and it sounds like these guy(s) would have gotten the message that they were screwing up.

Craig

kironin
11-24-2003, 02:25 PM
You could have just let them play through. Especially if the next hole was a par 3.

Maybe it was pissing them off that you were playing slow and they were trying to give you a hint... which you never picked up on.
This is part of what I meant by bad etiquette. Actually terrible etiquette, though it sounds like their bad etiquette was more like bad judgement.

FYI for anyone ...

Good etiquette is if you see a group behind you playing faster, that is they seem to be waiting a lot for your group to finish shooting then finish the hole and wave them through.

Craig

paw
11-24-2003, 02:30 PM
The best test of one's aikido is never to have it tested.

Does that work with other things?

"The best test of one's abilities as a surgeon is never to have operated"?

Hmmmm....

Regards,

Paul

kung fu hamster
11-24-2003, 02:42 PM
Some aspects of this incident strike a familiar chord... over and over again I read articles about not letting repetitive emotional irritations build up without being addressed, because when they finally find an outlet they can take on the quality of a mountain that came from a molehill. The first time that group shot at your group was a yellow light, perhaps something should have been addressed then and there. I don't know any rules of golf, but letting 'speeders' pass through sounds like good sense to me. When I drive, people who closely tailgate me are encouraged to go ahead, better that than an accident or incident. I imagine their karma closely follows.

;)

Eric Joyce
11-24-2003, 03:25 PM
Does that work with other things?

"The best test of one's abilities as a surgeon is never to have operated"?

Hmmmm....

Regards,

Paul
Well put Paul.

Karl B
11-24-2003, 03:37 PM
We could also sit here all day telling you what you should have done. Its hard for individuals to second guess a situation because we all act and re-act differently to a given incident, and then there is our ego that tells us how we THINK we would act in the given situation.

My question to you is, "What bothered you about what happened?"

Were you upset that they were hitting at you? Were you upset that you lost control, became angry and began shaking? Or were you angry that they made you so angry that you forgot your clubs allowing them to get even?

Suru
11-24-2003, 04:32 PM
A 2-some has rights over a 3-some or 4-some.

Golf is a game of patience, and the group behind us was impatient. If they wanted to play through, they could have asked to play through and we would have let them. I don't think playing through was their intention. I think their intention was to repeatedly hit into my buddy and me, then laugh with each other about it. They weren't out there to play golf. They were out there to cause trouble. They could not play the game for its inherent beauty, so they played a different game: giving other people a hard time.

Thankfully he didn't put his arms on my chest again or it would've been kata dori nikyo with a painful pin. Who knows what my friend holding a club and the guy next to me would've done. It was almost an ugly situation. I must say, hitting his ball into the woods felt a lot better then being subservient to their antisocial games. And Clayton, it did burn a little to give them a ball back, but at least then the hatchet was buried.

Drew

kironin
11-25-2003, 02:09 AM
A 2-some has rights over a 3-some or 4-some.
only in so much as a 2-some tends to play faster than a 3-some or 4-some, unless you have some specific club rules.
Golf is a game of patience, and the group behind us was impatient. If they wanted to play through, they could have asked to play through and we would have let them. I don't think playing through was their intention. I think their intention was to repeatedly hit into my buddy and me, then laugh with each other about it. They weren't out there to play golf. They were out there to cause trouble. They could not play the game for its inherent beauty, so they played a different game: giving other people a hard time.
Why wait for them to ask? If you felt that was clearly their intent, all the more reason to hold your temper, have them go through, and talk to the golf ranger at the end of the first nine. Getting someone with such bad behavior thrown off the course is far more productive than letting the situation go on until you find yourself wacking the guy's ball into the woods and coming close to blows. If you were right, the group that was in front of you would soon be able back up your report to the ranger.

*** You asked for an opinion.

I guess I find it curious that you seem to think that it some how subservient to get out of the line of fire. Sounds like ego at work.

Craig

Kevin Wilbanks
11-25-2003, 08:42 AM
Golf is a game of patience, and the group behind us was impatient. If they wanted to play through, they could have asked to play through and we would have let them. I don't think playing through was their intention. I think their intention was to repeatedly hit into my buddy and me, then laugh with each other about it. They weren't out there to play golf. They were out there to cause trouble. They could not play the game for its inherent beauty, so they played a different game: giving other people a hard time.
This sounds like the typical logic behind any escalating, violent conflict. Instead of communicating with the other, you dehumanize them, ascribe devilish motivations to them, hence adding to your feeling of justification as you prepare for the war/fight.

Frankly, "if they wanted to play through, they could have asked to play through" sounds pretty childish. Since you never made any attempt to communicate with them, you basically did the same. If you asked them, they'd probably say that if you wanted them to play through, you would have offered.

All the presumptions about how they view golf and the purity of their hearts and whatever flow from this stubborn lack of communication. Once again, they may have been thinking similar ones about you: "those guys plays so slow they're probably just out here gossiping and not paying attention to the game", "they're not out here to play golf", "they don't have the concentrative abilities to appreciate the skill of this game", blah, blah.

So, basically, there was almost a fight with potentially lethal weapons over nothing. Unless they were unswervingly determined to hurt you or others you consider it your business to protect in a situation that could not be resolved without violence, in my book, it's a fight over nothing.

I'm not saying this as a moral precept, but a personal practical one. In contemporary society, it seems to me that there's no way to win an avoidable fight - it is likely you'll be hurt or jailed or sued or some combination of these... all of which make you smaller, weaker, and less able to care for yourself and those you care about. Since you know nothing about this "enemy", you could have been in for worse... perhaps the guy was rude because he's the son of a big-time organized criminal, or he's secretly a Jeffrey Dahmer type looking for victims.

In my view, one need not be a peace-loving new agey type to have powerful motivation to unlearn the stubborn logic of emnity. I think plenty of people are scum who heartily deserve to suffer beatings or worse. It's just that the societal game is not structured in a way that makes it to my advantage to give people what I think they deserve.

Also, there is a whole other element of how entering into an enemy relationship with another inherently limits one's freedom and redcues one's quality of life. It's analogous to the whole Hegelian master/slave thing. I think I've yammered on enough already though.

(A nice reference for exploring the psychology of emnity is an out-of-print book by Sam Keen, called "Faces of the Enemy")

aikidocapecod
11-25-2003, 09:42 AM
Paul Wrote

Does that work with other things? "The best test of one's abilities as a surgeon is never to have operated"?

My response is.............the skill a surgeon employs is to operate on the human body. Aikido is a martial art. The two skills, in my humble opinion, are so different that they cannot be compared. So to compare my thought of testing one's ability in Aikido to a doctor testing her/his ability to save a life, does not seem not to make the point.

I will expand on my thought.......if I can walk away...or run away from a situation that may require the use of a force that could cause another harm, I will do so. I know in life, there may come a situation that one may need to act to avoid injury. But if the act I need to perform to avoid injury is to turn and run, that will always be my first option. (My first Sensei, God rest his soul, used to call it the Reebok method of self defense)

Some may respond, what if you are with a family member....what if this...what if that......One can never anticipate all possible scenarios. We must deal with life as it comes.

But to me personally, Aikido is not a method to take down and harm, one who with poor judgement may have initiated an attack, rather, it is a method to avoid every having to be in that situation.

Back to the origin of this thread, Allowing the foursome to play through with a smile on my face is how I would have responded.

Thanks....Larry

paw
11-25-2003, 07:18 PM
Larry,

If I may be frank....

As I understand you, you assert that as a general policy it is best to do one's level best to avoid physical confrontation. That's sounds like a perfectly reasonable point of view on a number of different levels.

However, the original statement was the best test of one's aikido is never to have it tested. Which is all together a different thing.

I very much doubt there would be aikido if the Founder did not test his aikido (although he would not have labeled his martial abilities with that word) against the military soldier. Nor would aikido have spread if the Founder's students did not test aikido in demonstrations and on the mat.

If aikido makes any claims toward martial effectiveness or budo, one would hope that there would be evidence to support the claim. I for one would further hope that providing the evidence did not make one's aikido base or unenlightened, provided it was provided with an open, caring heart that did not intend malice.

Regards,

Paul

Kevin Masters
11-26-2003, 07:09 AM
WWHGD?

What would Happy Gilmore do?

Seriously though. On the "the best test of Aikido is never having to use Aikido" point.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say the best test of one's Aikido is never having to throw or pin some fool for being a slave to his karma (jerk)?

Aikido is a way of life. My Aikido is tested when I pick up the phone, pick up my kids, or pick up speed on the road.

Personally, I would have felt better letting them through than whacking their ball into the woods. But it's too easy for me to make that judgement a thousand miles away in my office where I should be working.

More beside the point, I've never been on a golf green. It does look like a nice place to take ukemi though. All that soft squishy grass!

aikidoc
11-26-2003, 10:14 AM
"dehumanize them, ascribe devilish motivations to them, hence adding to your feeling of justification as you prepare for the war/fight" Sounds a lot like what societies and people do in every conflict situation where they want to justify their escalation or rationalize an attack. It's definitely not an aiki approach of redirection and minimizing the attack.

Suru
11-26-2003, 12:00 PM
After the ball barely missed my knee, I guess I should have driven back to where they were and said, "So, you've been hitting your golf balls into us for the past five holes and almost took out my knee. Super! Gosh gee whillikers it's a beautiful day isn't it? Would you all care to play through even though the players in front of us are slow? Or would you rather just keep having a good time taking target practice at us? Either way is fine by me. I'm a pacifist Aikidoka! I don't get angry!"

Drew

aikidoc
11-26-2003, 01:46 PM
You might have considered elevating their awareness that they were hitting into you and made them also aware that the group in front was playing slow and your speed was being dictated by their play. By getting in their face you play into their level of civility-i.e. you put yourself at their level. There are always alternatives when you do not let your frustration get the best of you.

Then, if the conflict escalated you were not the cause and you have the right to defend yourself. You could also have reported them to the course management for creating a potentially dangerous situation. Perhaps they were under the influence-which also should have been reported for the dangerous situation it created.

I'm not suggesting a totally turn the other cheek approach. However, your description suggests you helped escalate a situation with other possibilities. I'm not being critical but it was you who requested opinions-"What did I do right? What did I do wrong? I look forward to your thoughts." Your handling of the situation must have bothered you since you state it was 2 years ago and you are still bothered by it.

Nick P.
11-26-2003, 01:58 PM
However, the original statement was the best test of one's aikido is never to have it tested. Which is all together a different thing.

I very much doubt there would be aikido if the Founder did not test his aikido (although he would not have labeled his martial abilities with that word) against the military soldier. Nor would aikido have spread if the Founder's students did not test aikido in demonstrations and on the mat.

If aikido makes any claims toward martial effectiveness or budo, one would hope that there would be evidence to support the claim. I for one would further hope that providing the evidence did not make one's aikido base or unenlightened, provided it was provided with an open, caring heart that did not intend malice.

Regards,

Paul
Paul,

I think his point was more

"The best eskimo role in a kayak is the one you never have to do" or "The best handgun is the one you never draw".

What difference does it make what the skill of the user/operator/aikidoka is? To "use" it, in this instance, is to acknowledge that it was needed or worse, the only thing left to do. Having been upside down in a river in a kayak, the answer there is "I really don't want to swim that wave train I glimpsed; role!". On a golf course where words are bing exchanged...

Well done Drew.

PS - Those who know me well would have expected me to try and run the wanks over with the cart while joisting them with clubs. Maybe I could learn from Drew

paw
11-26-2003, 02:38 PM
Nick,
"The best eskimo role in a kayak is the one you never have to do" or "The best handgun is the one you never draw".
My roll is best. I've never done one.

Taken at face value, I can avoid all but the calmest waters (maybe those as well) and justify it to myself because I've recognized a potential problem and avoided it --- by not kayaking. How is that beneficial?


What difference does it make what the skill of the user/operator/aikidoka is?
You tell me. Would you like to learn how to kayak from me --- remember I've never rolled --- or my brother, who is a BCA certified instructor, instructs on a regular basis, has lead kayaking groups, and kayaks regularly?
To "use" it, in this instance, is to acknowledge that it was needed or worse, the only thing left to do.
I fail to see what is inherently wrong with that. Let's say Drew explained the situation to the group and in doing so was calm, polite --- made no threatening gestures, etc. There's no guarantee that the group will behave like reasonable people and adjust their behavior. They may escalate things, regardless of Drew's correct actions. Now what? So Drew should never golf again because the possibility exists, by no fault of his own, that a physical confrontation will occur?

You learn to roll in a kayak so that if, despite all reasonable preparation to the contrary, you end up underwater, you can right yourself. The test in kayaking isn't in sitting on the shore....it's out in the water.

Regards,

Paul

Hagen Seibert
11-26-2003, 03:04 PM
Hello Paul,

I guess you´re just missing one point of this sentence:"the best test of one's aikido is never to have it tested".

It´s a double meaning in it,

the "aikido" is used in the physical sense of hand-to-hand fighting down the attacker and secondly the ability of conflict management in an aikido way.

Is says: The best test of you conflict management abilities is never having to get physical. Nothing about avoiding conflict.

right ?

Hagen

paw
11-26-2003, 04:58 PM
Hagen,

By your own parsing of the statement you are making the two (hand to hand v conflict resolution) separate and therefore the two cannot be tested together and have both elements "pass". Hence, there is no singular "best" test.

Similarly, one could argue that an automobile's excellent steering is proof of an automobile's safety. Even if that were true, avoiding objects does not test the airbag or seat belt. To test the seat belt, you have to hit an object with a car. To test aikido physically, you have to engage in a physical confrontation, even if such a confrontation is a simulated training exercise.

Regards,

Paul

PS - you do realize that your post assumes that verbal and non-verbal conflict management is taught as part of aikido.

Suru
11-26-2003, 05:25 PM
I'm not being critical but it was you who requested opinions-"What did I do right? What did I do wrong? I look forward to your thoughts." Your handling of the situation must have bothered you since you state it was 2 years ago and you are still bothered by it.
I asked for opinions from people who--odds are--had never been in that exact same situation. Therefore I appreciate and value all the opinions that were offered, but I take them with a very large grain of salt.

Drew

Suru
11-26-2003, 05:56 PM
The reason that golf course conflicts bother me so much is that I consider golf to be the most beautiful pastime there is (when I'm playing well!) There's a certain purity about it, being out in nature. Also, it's a great way to get to know people.

When people on the course have no respect for other golfers and can't just play the game for the beauty of it, I get pissed. On the few occasions that I've hit into the group ahead (either by not seeing them or misjudging the distance,) I immediately and without hesitation drive up to them and apologize. I let them know I'm not going to ruin their day.

Drew

happysod
11-27-2003, 03:02 AM
Hiya Drew, glad to read that there's other normal people out there - annoying situation, got angry and reacted, still wondering whether there was a better way and niggled by incident. Thanks for the thread as I loved reading the replies from so many enlightened aiki-folk, I now aspire to be so smugly humble and forgiving in all my future interactions with the rest of humanity :rolleyes: (mind, golf? bleh)

Paul, leave them alone, you know you're being a baad boy by questioning self-satisfied trite tenemants of faith with logic. Just stop it now!

deepsoup
11-27-2003, 03:41 AM
The reason that golf course conflicts bother me so much is that I consider golf to be the most beautiful pastime there is (when I'm playing well!) There's a certain purity about it, being out in nature.
Pah! Nature!?! A golf course!?!

Good walk spoiled, mate.

;)

Kelly Allen
11-27-2003, 04:27 AM
This is not about avoiding conflict. That is an impossibility. We'll always come into conflict no matter what we do. This is about not escalating conflict, which you failed at miserably by smacking the guys ball into the woods. Granted you were able to deescalate it by offering his ball back, even though it was just to get your clubs back.

I am a golfer, and I have had this happened to me a number of times. At first I used to do the same thing as you. I'd pick up the ball and keep it for myself. More often than not the person would confront me and ask for his ball back. I'd tell him to piss off, words would be exchanged, and because I'm a rather large intimidating fellow they'd back down. However, I know that someone some time will not back down and then the fight that would insue would not only be partially my fault, the legal conequences of the fight could linger on long after the fight is over.

Now when this happens to me (and it still happens) I will still pick up the ball,to keep them from hitting it into me again. Offer it to them after I allow them to play through. Then tell them that I have informed the marshall of they're dangerous play, adding that the marshall will be watching them, so that they don't do the same to the people in front of me.

I have descovered that there are people on the courses that do this premature tee off in order to get the people ahead of them to allow them to play through. By doing what I now do it allows me to protect myself and the people that are golfing ahead of me, forcing the perpetrators to stop their premature tee offs, or they will get kicked off the course.

also yelling FOUR after they get about 50 feet down the fairway in front of me is a bit gratifying as well.:D

Kelly

paw
11-27-2003, 05:37 AM
Ian,
Paul, leave them alone, you know you're being a baad boy by questioning self-satisfied trite tenemants of faith with logic. Just stop it now!

Me?!? :eek:

Drew,

My apologies for hijacking your thread. I thank you for your patience and indulgence in this.

It took a good amount of guts to post your story on the forum and open yourself up for feedback. So job well done.

Regards,

Paul

Nick P.
11-27-2003, 07:36 AM
After I roll my kayak for the 200th time, or have my airbags and restraints tested for the umpteenth time, I would start to ask myself "Is there a reason why I keep finding myself in this position?".

happysod
11-27-2003, 08:37 AM
Nick, what I understand that you're trying to say is you'd prefer never to be in the situation to use the airbags/restraints(or aikido). However, to use your analogy, an airbag of the same type HAS been tested at some point and that version has passed the test, which was Paul's point. If that model of airbag had never undergone any such tests would you want trust your life to it should the unexpected happen? I also presume you do routine maintenance/checks on your airbag to ensure it's not broken/expired (training?..hmm, airbags and aikido, damn it fits)

Nick P.
11-27-2003, 08:53 AM
What I am tryin to say is; if given the CHOICE, I would not always want to test <insert choice here>. From time to time sure, but always?

Now if you'll excuse me, I must scrap my 1991 Accord that does not have airbags, and get a car with those fancy side-curtain ones. :)

davoravo
11-27-2003, 04:21 PM
Dear Drew

I practice Aikido instead of golf, a deliberate choice given the limited time in my life. Surely Aikido is the most beautiful pasttime!

Many years ago I foolishly stayed in a tent in a very crowded camping site on New Year's Eve. Our tent was knocked down and our possession's scattered.

We convinced the camp site manager to move us to a quiet corner the next night. i set up our tent and began inflating the air mattress with a foot pump (sound effects - oomph, oomph, oomph).

Our new neighbours thought we were having a lot more fun than we were. One came and shook our tent pole, ripping a ten inch hole in the fabric.

As you can imagine, I was a little annoyed. I aggressively stormed up to him and if he hadn't been backing up I would have shomen-ate'd his arse into the new millenium.

he backed up into the middle of his group which was about 15 people. This gave me an opportunity to reassess the tactical situation and withdraw.

When I cooled down I realised that we would have to camp next to these people for the next two days and were very vulnerable in our sleep. I therefore went back to their group and apologised for losing my temper and explained how stressful things had been. They offered me a beer and a joint.

Being a hippie pacifist aikido-guy can work out the best for everyone.