How golf is driving a wedge in the armed forces

Narayan Menon, a retired air marshal, has a piece in Deccan Herald, where he laments the diminishment of the sporting prowess of the armed forces. From a time when the Services teams topped the medals tally in national events, the officer class refrains from participation in contact sports due to fear of injury resulting in career setbacks!

“Many reasons are attributed to this dismal state of affairs, but one factor not talked about is the adoption of a game called golf by the officer class,” he writes. “It is not unusual these days for itineraries of senior officers visiting lower formations being structured around the senior officers’ golf preferences. Does the senior office wish to “tee off” early morning or later in the day.”

Cricket grounds have been converted to golf greens, trees have been uprooted to create fairways, and vast tracts of defence lands have been reserved as golf courses, all to fulfil the golfing ambitions of commissioned officers who constitute just four per cent of the fighting forces.

Air Marshal Menon says the time has come to go back to “traditional” games and for the officer class to be discouraged from playing golf. Reasons:

# Golf is exclusionary. Only the officers get to play it, to the exclusion of the vast majority of the armed forces.

# Golf is a individual pursue objectives for individual profit, which is against everything the armed forces stand for.

# Golf has spawned a parallel HR system bypassing usual channels of communication, which weakens the entire system and dilutes military authority.

Read the full article: Driving a wedge: the golf divide