men playing a game of golf
0 4 mins 11 mths

I was playing golf in a four ball in the Wednesday competition recently. It had been a bit of a bumpy ride in terms of my performance. Started off well but seemingly from out of nowhere I had an 8 on a par 4. Interestingly, whilst walking up the fairway on the previous hole after a chat about a bloke’s trip to the Kimberley’s, where he saw some amazing ancient rock art, another one of my four-ball sidled up to me. He, let’s call him Greg, confided some info from a book owned by another member which questioned the veracity of Aboriginal art and culture. I thought this exchange with Greg somewhat strange in that it seemed uncalled for. I am trained as an ancient historian, so, I asked a few pointed questions about the source of the information. I didn’t get any fruitful answers to my questions. Then, I told him that it sounds like racist propaganda to my ears. The vibe of our chat cooled markedly and I moved away to play my next shot. Playing golf with a racist, it can put you off your game.

golfer standing beside each other - playing golf with a racist
Photo by Styves Exantus on

Spreading Racist Propaganda At Golf

I thought about what prompts people to make such stuff their area of interest and to bring it up during a competitive round of golf. There is very little accurate historicity when it comes to First Nation’s peoples in Australia. Oral traditions over millennia are passed down within tribal networks and any white person making judgements upon such material has to ask themselves a lot of pertinent questions before deigning to publish. Motivation comes into it a great deal when interpreting this kind of data. Why would someone seek to discredit Aboriginal art and culture? This is a largely unknown and unrealised body of knowledge for white Australia. Appreciation and encouragement, I think, is called for in the circumstance.

girl in pink vest in front of man in red shirt
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Tiger Woods

It Was Just A Joke Stan

You do meet racism on the golf course and in golf clubs, sadly, but in the main, in my experience, it is dying out. A lot of what underpins racism is fear of the unknown and the different.

Small minded people wanting to keep their world small and limit their breadth of experience.

People with strange names get ribbed and this may be hurtful for them. This is because racism is not about what it appears like to the  comfortable white fella (It was just a joke Stan), it is how it feels to the person copping shit about it all the time. You have to walk a mile in another man’s shoes to really know. A lot of people fail to understand this when it comes to comprehending racism and racist behaviour.

roadway with end racism now title in town
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It is not all about you. It is not about how you feel about it but how the other person experiences it. Imagine what it is like walking down the street and into shops with all those white folk staring at you. Getting suspicious looks a lot of the time. Getting judged according to the colour of your skin. If you are white you don’t know what that is like.

Your unfunny little joke about them may not go down too well on top of a lifetime of nasty jibes and disenfranchisement from opportunities.

Playing golf with a racist is the last thing they need and I feel exactly the same.


man sitting on black and gray golf cart
Photo by Jopwell on