AFR: Following Bishop gaffe, let's all step back


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on further examination of the Ted Bishop "little girl" gaffe, a woman who wasn't afraid to speak her mind after about growing the game and an overly robust PGA Tour schedule that constantly creates scheduling issues.

I think about Ted Bishop, but I keep hearing Rodney King. To paraphrase: "Can't we all just take a step back?" This country has been sharply divided for a long time now, and the two sides aren't likely to come together anytime soon. The Bishop case is a microcosm of those divisions - the "political correctness run amok" crowd vs. the "stop insulting entire groups of people" crowd.

So how about we all take a step back and take a good, objective look at ourselves as well as our opponents? To the PGA of America, dismissing Bishop was one thing, but was it really necessary to wipe his name off the roster of past presidents, pretending he never existed? Was his crime that heinous? To those who felt Bishop deserved whatever punishment he got (and much of the media is a big part of this group), do you really think his intent in that stupid tweet was to demean an entire gender? Shouldn't his history of inclusiveness count for something? Where should we draw the line on the things we say? Should I turn myself in for re-education because I have, on many, many occasions, uttered the phrase "Hit it, Alice"? Finally, to the people who repeatedly complain about what they see as an overly PC-conscious society, is the right to insult anyone you want, whenever you want, without fear of reprisal, really a noble cause? Is it more important than the right of people to have some dignity? Maybe these questions won't cause anyone to change their mind. But they're worth asking. And they're better than just going on the Internet and calling people idiots. - Al Tays

Suzy Whaley was the strong voice among women stepping up to lay out exactly why Ted Bishop had to go as president of the PGA of America, even if there was just a month remaining in his term. She, more than anyone else, laid out exactly how Bishop betrayed the association’s cause in growing the game, how the attitude even more than the words, threatened to undermine the programs she helps lead in taking the game to places where women and minorities haven’t felt welcome. You might not have liked what Whaley had to say, but she has more stake in Bishop’s leadership than most everyone attacking her opinion. She has more sensitivity to golf leadership’s long reach as a woman devoted to bringing women and minorities into the game. Her voice matters, and there’s something to admire in her stepping into the fray knowing the vitriol awaiting. Bishop's failure wasn't a slip of the tongue in an interview. It was clumsiness greater than that, clumsiness in going after a European Ryder Cupper in a calculated way that threatened other people's good work. - Randall Mell

While there are no easy answers for PGA Tour planners when piecing together a schedule that spans two calendars and four continents, it may be time to reevaluate the fall portion of the circuit’s line up. After four perfect days at Sea Island Resort for this week’s McGladrey Classic the conversation turned to next year’s dates for the coastal Georgia stop. The event will be played the week before Thanksgiving in November and it almost seems inevitable that the weather won’t be as accommodating. That date, however, was better than the alternative, the week after the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. Nearly every event has to deal with scheduling issues, but it seems time for the Tour to help alleviate some of those concerns. - Rex Hoggard