Any decent golfer will tell you that the drive to the green is one of the most important parts of the game. For Casey Martin, the idea of "driving" definitely seems to be more trouble than it's worth.|
Casey Martin is suffering from a disease which has basically crippled his right leg. As a result, he has to use a golf cart in order to compete in the PGA.
The question, as asked by the PGA officials, is "does using a cart give Martin an unfair advantage over the other players?" Even though it would cause him great pain, should he have to walk the course like everyone else? Some of the older pros like Arnold Palmer think Martin is practically cheating.
The newer, younger stars like Tiger Woods think Martin deserves a break considering his condition. This controversy has forced PGA officials to take this matter to court.
As far as I am concerned, the PGA is welcome to do whatever they wish. But I
|do think that all the parties involved are missing the big picture. |
This is not a matter of whether or not Martin should be allowed to use a cart. This is a matter of if Casey Martin should be allowed to play.
It is obvious that walking causes a lot of pain for Martin. I would bet that standing still long enough to hit the ball is no picnic either. If playing golf is causing him so much pain, maybe he should strongly consider taking early retirement.
On the other hand, Martin is one of the better players in the PGA. In fact, he recently won a major tournament using a cart to travel on the course.
Anybody as good as Martin at golf should have a long and prosperous career. But, if he ends up having to lose his right leg, his career would end before it even started.
So, what is more important to Martin: becoming one of the world's best golfers, or having two working, healthy legs?
The unfortunate reality of this is that it is a lose/lose situation. If Martin plays with a cart, many of his fellow players might refuse to compete alongside him. |
On the other hand, if Martin walks on his bad leg, that leg will eventually be amputated. Some might say that he should just retire and regain his health. Then again, many sports fans might claim he should compete as long as he can and try to bear the pain.
This is a perfect example of the double-edged sword known as competition. Should one man be allowed an advantage just because of a handicap and risk the wrath of the healthy competitors?
Should a potential superstar be forced out of his sport, only because the way to solve his problem might be against the rules? Whatever decision is rendered, I hope for Martin's sake that he is ready to make a sacrifice.