Pro Vision – November 2007

Do you think the PGA should test for steroids?

It seems like the right thing to do. Other major sports test for several reasons. Besides, keeping the competition fair, testing for steroids helps protect the players. If I knew that twenty percent of the field was taking steroids and they were playing better golf, I would think of doing it. Even though it is against the law and has harmful side affects. If you know all the players are clean then that temptation is taken away.

At first thought I would say testing tour players for steroid use as being disrespectful to them and the integrity of the game. The game of golf and the PGA Tour has had tremendous growth and strengthened in many ways but certainly not from steroids. The game of golf and The PGA Tours for decades have been recognized as being one of the cleanest of professional sports. However, when one considers the bigger picture of perception in a time when some professional athletes are tainting themselves, their achievements and more importantly the reputation of their sport it only makes good sense for the tour to adopt a drug testing policy to take the mystery out of any speculation of steroid use by individual players and maintaining their reputation of playing by the rules.

I don’t believe the PGA Tour should test for steroids. Golf is still the only game in which we call penalties on ourselves and keep our own score. Steroids may make you hit the golf ball a little further; however, you still must use soft touch to get the golf ball in the hole and steroids won’t help with that at all. The only benefit steroids may have on a golfer would be allowing their body to recover from an injury quicker than normal. I am not sure the risk is worth that. I don’t believe there is a steroid problem on the PGA Tour and I would like to see the speculation end.

My opinion is no. Golf is not a team sport. These guys are independent contractors and if they are crazy enough to take them and take the risks, Let ‘em.

Next Month’s Question:

Since the advent of the over-sized driver, range finders, and high-performance durable golf ball (i.e. the Pro-V)... what do you see as the next big thing in golf?