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Michael Lee

Golf etiquette - why is it improper to laugh at the misfortunes of others?

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Why is it improper to laugh at the cruddy strokes of other players?  Because only jerks do that?

Because although golf is fun, it's serious fun.

You can laugh at friends in a casual round, but to do it to strangers makes you an arsehole.

Do you need to have this explained to you?

Do you laugh at people who fall over in the street or people in minor car accidents?

Laugh at crap golfers on Youtube, if you must.

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Depends on the situation and people involved. If my friends tipped a golf cart, I would probably bust up laughing.

But that makes them disrespectful  jerks for treating others' property poorly.

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Of course it's immoral to laugh at the misfortunes of others if they are

of a serious nature.  Flipping a golf cart is not funny as people get hurt or even killed by

such events.

In the film "Caddyshack" it was hilarious when Judge Smails threw his putter

and hit someone in the head, but that was just a movie.

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Obviously it depends on who you're with. My regular foursome will just kill each other when we hit bad shots. If I'm playing with folks I don't know, that's different.

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I laugh at myself all the time when I hit a bad shot. It is my way of letting it go, so I don't get overly upset. In a serious round with others I would not laugh at someone else's shot unless they did so first.

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I played in a skins game at my club just this morning and on No. 17, one of the guys hit a low screamer off the tee that drilled the ball washer on the women's tee and broke the the plastic loop that holds the towel clip. There was a loud thump and then the towel just dropped to the ground.

Me and the other two guys burst out laughing instantly. The guy who hit the ball was pissed about the lousy shot at first, but even he had to laugh at the result.

Sure, we've all played together on multiple occasions, but that laugh would've been hard to stifle even in the company of complete strangers. I really don't think I could've done it.

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Interesting thread @Michael Lee .  I think you need to read the situation and the person.  When you laugh, are you laughing with them or at them?  With them is genuine warm humor and can relieve the tension that the player may have had that caused the problem.  At them is not humor, but more of an insult.  You may feel better for an instant, but should really reflect on yourself at feeling better due to someone else's misfortune.

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Me and my friends often laughter with and at each other! It's good for the soul and dampens sensitivity! Of course, I would never do this with people I'm less familiar with! But I don't mind people laughing at me!... I like to cheer people up!

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I laughed when Henrik Stenson broke his club on his knee at the British Open,

but he could have impaled himself with it and that would be horrifying.

Also, never under any circumstances should a player throw his club

or beat it into the turf, especially on the greens; that's just called being

a total golf jerk; there ought to be a four stroke penalty for doing such a thing.

Besides, if anyone was hurt as a result of such a club throw,

not only could one, depending on the damages, be sued for

everything they have, but embarrassment, expulsion from

the club, getting arrested or, more importantly, the weight of doing such a thing

on the human conscience, implies throwing a club is really dumb!

And since that has been said, please do not throw your cigarette butts on the golf

course; it's littering!

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Also, never under any circumstances should a player beat it into the turf, especially on the greens; that's just called being a total golf jerk; there ought to be a four stroke penalty for doing such a thing

Or preferably a 4 punch penalty! Nothing worse on a course than someone disrespecting the work that goes into green maintenance!!! Always repair pitch marks, and those of others who are too much of a jerk too bend down and reject those 3 precious seconds!

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I laughed when Henrik Stenson broke his club on his knee at the British Open,

but he could have impaled himself with it and that would be horrifying.

That's not really the topic. Please refer to the OP. :)

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I laugh at my buddies all the time and they laugh at me. But the only time I ever comment on shots by others that I wouldn't consider "buddies" is when they hit good shots, particularly during a match. If I don't know them well, I have no idea how they would react and it may not be pretty.

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Some people are total jerks, and I do find a little enjoyment in seeing them fail. And sometimes I am a trash talker, especially to jerks (I would potentially catch myself making a comment about an artichoke being in the way of the putt, if this guy and I had a later run in). However, I realize after the fact sometimes that all I did was stoop to their level of jerkiness, so that makes me a little of a jerk too. So, I try to catch myself when I can. I also realize that I don't know the reason why someone is a jerk, so I should probably let them be, and maybe even hope they figure it out someday and find a little happiness.

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I laugh at whatever I find funny enough, but not always in the person's face.

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I find it hard not to laugh at really bad putts. I have tried so much not to do it. Even though I play with my family most of the time I feel it's like rubbing salt In a wound. But there is something about blowing a 5 foot putt 10+ feet past the hole or tapping a ball 6 inches on a 3 foot putt that I find uncontrollably funny. Even when I do it. It's just like wtf are you serious with that.

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I find it hard not to laugh at really bad putts. I have tried so much not to do it. Even though I play with my family most of the time I feel it's like rubbing salt In a wound. But there is something about blowing a 5 foot putt 10+ feet past the hole or tapping a ball 6 inches on a 3 foot putt that I find uncontrollably funny. Even when I do it. It's just like wtf are you serious with that.

Yeh, I think putts make me laugh more than anything, I think it's because, mechanically putting is the easiest thing, so when someone makes a complete cock up of it, it's just a WTF moment.

My friend has this little quirk, when he has short putts, he decelerates on the way down, and kind of pushes the ball, then follows it with his putter trying to change where it's going, it's funny to see.

I play with this guy all the time, he's one of my best friends, and I really want to help him get better, but he's a little too proud, and I don't want to just jump in and tell him what he does wrong.

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What does golf have to do with it??

Is it EVER "proper" to laugh at the misfortunes of others??

I think so, and for a number of reasons.  For example, a month or so ago several people climbing on Mount Rainier fell and died.  I made a comment on a news blog that "As they were ragdolling down the mountain I'm sure they were screaming 'At least I love what I'm doing!'".  Some people thought it was funny, others thought I was being an ******* (more of the former than the latter actually).  I wasn't laughing at their misfortune so much as pointing out the stupidity of their decision to climb a mountain in the first place but in either case the comment probably wouldn't be considered "proper".

Anyway, like I said I enjoy making comments like this for a couple reasons, 1.) because I think humans take themselves FAR too seriously.  I'm under no illusion that I couldn't walk outside in 5 minutes and get hit by lightning and be dead.  Or be bit by a rabid dog, or crushed by a falling tree, or run over by a drunk driver, or catch the ebola virus, or any number of the millions of ways to die.  Other people however seem to act shocked or horrified when things like this happen to them and it makes no sense.  I think it's a combination of stupidity and arrogance that makes people behave this way and it offends me.  Laughing at the misfortunes of others is one way I've found to remind people of their mortality as well as relieve the burden of their stupidity.  The 2.) reason I occasionally laugh at the misfortune of others is simple gallows humor.  If you've heard the George Carlin bit about how he waits 6 weeks to delete friends who have died from his address book I would say it's something like that.

Dying is obviously more serious business than simply missing a putt but in the case of golf I probably wouldn't laugh at something this small, unless of course the guy was a prick to me then I'd be hoping he screws up all his shots.

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What is really funny on a golf course are these ravens hanging out at my club.

Not are they really noisy, but they're smarter than humans to some extent.

The club tried scarecrows, plastic owls, plastic snakes, playing the sounds of hawks, etc.

Ravens, crows and magpies are much too intelligent to fall for such things.

These birds, according to scientific studies, can recognize peoples' faces.

They did so at a university where familiar people causes them no distress,

but when these same people wore halloween masks, the birds did not recognize them

and thus began to "sound the alarm" by making calls.

Instead, they hang out in a spruce trees above the garbage bin and watch when the

employees leave the lid open and then they ring the dinner bell.

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