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Golfers are athletes and sportsmen that play on international and world-class levels, so it is clear they look after their health and do not take unnecessary health risks.
Media frequently ask ‘do golfers smoke?’, and they’re met with a hearty yes, to which they respond ‘should golfers smoke?’, which opens up a debate for health practices of elite-level athletes.
Golfers are allowed to smoke, but it is up to them if they choose to do it because they do not require as much stamina as other physical sports, making it acceptable for smoking to be common among golfers.
Let us explore some of the events that allow golfers to smoke without any consequences.
Can Professional Golfers Smoke on The Course?
While many golfers smoke, it is common to avoid smoking on camera and during special events and tournaments like the Open de France at Le Golf de National.
Nicolas Colsaerts was witnessed smoking on camera after winning an event, which took several years after a series of dry performances and low rankings.
He was found to be smoking during his round, which was unavoidable for the cameras not to pick up because he had climbed the rankings and was of interest to the viewers at home.
Now, the problem isn’t that people aren’t allowed to smoke, but they probably shouldn’t smoke knowing that there are individuals and fans at home watching their heroes and being highly influenced by figures they look up to.
That is undoubtedly a big responsibility for players to take on, but they don’t have to define themselves in order to meet the expectations of people they haven’t ever met.
It’s a little naïve and selfish to think that people aren’t entitled to do whatever they want with their lives, especially if it’s in front of a camera.
We project our ideals and selfish desires onto scapegoats, and then when they fail to meet our expectations, we shame them.
The PGA Tour has not disallowed smoking or chewing tobacco and certainly cannot prohibit players from engaging in such acts. Still, they stress that players should practice a bit more discretion so that it doesn’t unnecessarily complicate any situations.
Colsaerts smoking on camera led to some social media storm, which essentially stated that young viewers are likely to be easily influenced by such acts. In contrast, others maintained that since the Tour does not ban it, it shouldn’t matter.
Being under the public eye can force people to change who they are in order to appease the crowd, but maybe it isn’t that deep, and players need to be more tactful.
We’ll leave that for you to decide.
Should Smoking be Banned For The European Tour?
Darren Clarke is a famous golfer who frequently smokes and has been found to smoke at various times during the European Tour, along with other golfers.
It’s one thing to smoke when you’re off the course, but some players do not care and engage in the act while playing.
Golf is a sport with a massive following and requires golfers to be performing at high levels. Still, since it doesn’t require as much stamina as other physically demanding sports, smoking doesn’t negatively impact performance.
The only thing golfers should keep in mind is to control their public image so that young golfers do not become easily influenced by bad habits and therefore jeopardize their health.
Smoking should not be banned because it is ultimately up to individuals what they do with their health, but a certain level of discretion conveys respect for the tournaments and golfers’ public image.
Golfers also argue that smoking is a way to calm their nerves and if it helps them play better and manage their stress, who are we to scrutinize and burden them with the responsibility of how others may perceive their actions?
In this day and age, anything can offend people, and it isn’t easy to behave to appease everyone.
Enforcing strict smoking policies against golfers is not the best course of action because we must separate the sport from personal acts and choices.
It is entirely up to golfers to smoke and decide how to play the game. Public shaming should undoubtedly be banned or discouraged so that players can separate their professional lives from their personal choices.
Which PGA Players Smoke?
On many occasions, John Jacobs has been seen with a cigar in his hand while casually carrying about his day as if there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the pleasures of smoking.
Golf retains some of its individualism despite the calling for politically correct behaviors and attitudes.
The rules are somewhat lax for golfers compared to other sportspeople, which allow them to thrive and play the game according to their whims.
You cannot teach a world-class player the best courses of action to take in order to improve their game; they have coaches and have been playing the game for long enough to understand the nuances and attitudes it takes to be the very best.
It’s best to take the criticisms of armchair critics with a grain of salt and continue doing what you know to be the right course of action for yourself.
That is not to say, of course, that smoking is in any way good for you, but the distinction to be made is that it’s a personal choice, and all athletes are well aware of the health risks that come with smoking.
Other players like Jim Thorpe are also known to enjoy the occasional cigar on the driving range, and Rocca Mediate also lights a cigar from time to time.
Brad Faxon used to be a smoker but quit following his marriage, making it clear that people change when it is the right time for them, and not because someone objects to their behaviors.
To answer the questions, ‘do golfers smoke’ and ‘should golfers smoke,’ it is important to realize that smoking is a personal choice and should not be banned by golfing associations to cater to what the public deems appropriate.
Controlling others comes at a price, and the last thing you want to do is detract from the love of the game that allows golfers the liberty to be who they want to be.
Shaming is a destructive tactic for controlling others and often comes with self-repercussions, with ‘shamers’ feeding their negative behaviors and setting themselves up for mental health problems in the future.