Just like many of you, I know a few golfers who have headed off to Portland for the 2014 Professional Disc Golf World Championships. I am excited to follow the local players and see how they play, as well as the touring pros. I’ve been watching my Facebook feed for updates and pictures about what is happening on the other side of the country.
However, one particular post struck a nerve. It was posted on Facebook via DG Guy, Terry Miller. A screen capture of the post is below. Admittedly, I was not there, so I do not know the specifics as to the particular instance he is referring to. But, I do have some personal experiences dealing with the same issue.
Pittsburgh is hosting the 2015 Professional Disc Golf World Championships, and I was fortunate enough to attend one of the planning meetings that was held earlier this year. This opened my eyes up to how much time, effort, and planning goes into an event of this size. Everything is planned in order to make the players, volunteers, spectators, and others have a great experience. I can’t even imagine how terrible I would feel if I were up on stage giving a presentation at Worlds expressing how excited I was to show everyone the result of the year plus of hard work, only to look out in the audience to see people not listening and distracting everyone else.
I even experience this at the league I run. I generally start off by raising my voice and saying, “Ok, it’s **time**, let’s get started.” I try to talk fast and be brief when making any announcements, only occupying a few minutes of time before I give card and hole assignments. I know that not everyone is interested in some of the things I may be talking about. More and more I was finding that I was trying to talk over people standing 15 feet away from me immersed in their own conversation. So then it happened, it finally made me angry. My solution was to turn my back on the group and walk away. That got their attention, and the group got quiet. I walked back in, mentioned that I do my best to try not to take a bunch of time, and it will go faster if they just pay attention for a few minutes. It has gotten better since that day.
I think a lot of it has to do with a general issue, not a disc golf specific one: lack of manners and respect, whether it is intentional or not. When people are giving a performance or presentation, it is respectful to pay attention and stay quiet. If you do need to make a comment to a friend, then lean in and whisper as to not cause a distraction to others. There is nothing more annoying when you pay money to go see a movie that you have been anticipating for weeks, only to have someone sitting behind you yacking loudly about something and ruining your experience.
This is truly a simple fix. We can remedy this by creating a culture where it is expected that you will be respectful to others, at all times. Correct each other. Give people your time and be conscience of how your actions are effecting others. I understand that not everyone feels like the need to attend a players meeting, that they have been through these events numerous times and that they know how these things operate. However, it may be the first time the people running these events. They are excited that the pros and players from all over the world are in their city playing their event. Don’t ruin it for these people that give part of their lives to make these events run.
Just as you prefer that people are not talking and distracting while you are trying to make an important putt, give others the same respect for things that are important to them.