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Spirit of the Law

Greetings Golfers,

Years ago, when I went to the first tee at a former local golf course, they had a pole with signs telling you what you couldn’t do. I guess one pole wasn’t enough … they had another pole and it was also filled with rule signs. 

I’m not making this up. Each sign was different … looked like they added new signs every year - maybe every month … I don’t know. 

The message was clear … they had no confidence in the golfers. And - it seemed to me - no respect for the golfers.

The culture was more of a police-state than a friendly golf course.

I love clarity. I hate misunderstandings. But, does everything have be spelled out? I’m talking basic decency - not nuances.

Meaning: “Do not punch people in the face” shouldn’t have to be said … but (maybe) “No sunflower seeds” needs to be said. Some people don’t realize that sunflower seeds cause problems - especially on the greens. (We have a weekly “seed” culprit … his identity is a mystery).

This is where we get into the battle of The Spirit of the Law vs The Letter of the Law. 

Common sense tells us that hurting people or taking their stuff is not acceptable. That type of behavior shouldn’t need to be articulated with signs. 

More laws and more signs are not the answer. Almost 2,000 years ago, the Roman Tacitus said: “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” 

At first, that quote seems backwards. However, if the laws are clear and simple and people are basically civilized … the fewer the better.

Having more laws gives unscrupulous people more chances for manipulation and finding loopholes. It becomes a game.

We all know it’s wrong to violate someone else - either their person or their property.

But some people love to play “gotcha”. And some people love to play “I didn’t know because nobody told me.”

These people are made for each other. A constant game between control freaks and slippery con-men.

I think our society would be better off without either group … but that’s not my call. However, I certainly don’t want their attitudes influencing how we run DRGC.

So … you won’t see a pole with a bunch of rule signs on our first tee. We believe that you know how to act. 

However, we do have a sign saying “No sunflower seeds”. I’m offering a big reward if you catch this culprit!


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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