Shirt Swap­pin’

When a sim­ple hand­shake isn’t good enough

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Close Out -

hat be­gan in soc­cer decades ago now hap­pens in other sports.Af­ter the game, you peel off your jersey and hand it to an op­pos­ing player, per­haps the dude most re­spon­si­ble for all the blood and mud stains, as a ges­ture of your deep­est re­spect, win or lose.

When it comes to sports­man­ship, golf will not be one-upped. So an­tic­i­pat­ing the adop­tion of this rit­ual into our game – golf is un­der­go­ing a pe­riod of great social lib­er­a­tion – we thought we would of­fer

Wsome early guide­lines. Sure, it might sound crazy, but so did GPS. First, sweaters are best. If not an op­tion, limit swap­ping to days when the tem­per­a­ture is mod­er­ate and the hu­mid­ity low.Also, golf shirts can get pretty tangy af­ter 18 holes on a hot day.

Sec­ond, the ges­ture is meant to be re­cip­ro­cal. So un­less you’re un­afraid of strut­ting into the club­house top­less, be ju­di­cious with your pur­suits. Just as Ki­radech Aphibarn­rat prob­a­bly hasn’t earned the right to ask Rory McIl­roy for a swap, or would not come close to fit­ting into Rory’s trim tops, don’t poach the club cham­pion just be­cause you hap­pened to get paired to­gether in the Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon bet­ter­ball comp. By all means, em­brace spon­tane­ity and al­low your­self to be moved by the events of the day. But a text be­fore the round to con­firm a swap will pre­vent an awk­ward mo­ment.

Third, swap­ping is an ideal way to com­mem­o­rate team events where the spirit of com­pe­ti­tion reaches a spe­cial mag­ni­tude, as in the Ry­der Cup, or the many sim­i­lar ver­sions which are played all over the world at a more social level. Those with the uglier out­fits, like the Amer­i­cans his­tor­i­cally at the Ry­der Cup, could per­haps toss in a hat, too.And, on a club level, con­sider par­ity of lo­gos. Does the guy from a smart club re­ally want your less dis­tin­guished club wind­breaker?

Fourth, never swap if there’s any chance what­so­ever you might be in a play­off. It will con­fuse your friends.

While we’re not en­tirely sure swap­ping will make its way into golf, we’re cer­tain our game needs some­thing new. When we doff our caps on the 18th green and shake hands with ev­ery­body, even the cad­dies, the mean­ing of the act is di­min­ished in the rush.Tak­ing the time to give a guy the polo off your back? Well, that says you re­ally en­joyed play­ing with him. Like se­ri­ously, let’s do this again. – MAX ADLER

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