Is There Something About Golf?

CBS Sports reports that Tripp Isenhour is being charged with killing a red-shouldered hawk on a golf course. Apparently, the hawk was making noise while Isenhour was trying to perform for a video production. It took shot after shot for a while, but Isenhour finally managed to bean the hawk in the head with a golf ball. Neither Isenhour nor any of his production crew figured out that this was a bad idea before he actually managed to fatally injure the hawk.

According to court documents, Isenhour got upset when a red-shouldered hawk began making noise, forcing another take. He began hitting balls at the bird, then 300 yards away, but gave up. Isenhour started again when the hawk moved within about 75 yards, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Brian Baine indicated in a report.

Isenhour allegedly said, “I’ll get him now,” and aimed for the hawk.

“About the sixth ball came very near the bird’s head, and (Isenhour) was very excited that it was so close,” Baine wrote.

A few shots later, witnesses said he hit the hawk. The bird, protected as a migratory species, fell to the ground bleeding from both nostrils.

Back in 2006, there was the Orlando golf course that called in the USDA to kill a red-shouldered hawk. Is there something about golf that turns people’s brains off? [Looking back, that golf course was the “Villas of Grand Cypress”; this one is called “Grand Cypress”. Does anyone know if this is actually the same facility? — WRE]

Update: The story expands to unveil another seamy aspect of human behavior, this time in the form of parasitic attention-seeking. Unable to interest people in the core issue of severing all ties between humans and domesticated species, animal rights groups desperately latch onto just about any incident that might be somewhat more broadly respectable and milk it. Poser-group “Humane Society of the United States”, whose name even was chosen to illicitly borrow credibility from the far older animal welfare groups that actually ran pet shelters and did good work in countering cruelty to animals, has jumped on the Isenhour incident with all the unseemly haste of a junkie going for a dropped wallet. Why the San Francisco Chronicle chose an enabling role by putting that non-news action in their lead sentence on the story remains a mystery.

An animal rights group wants the PGA Tour to take action against player Tripp Isenhour, facing charges for hitting a hawk with a golf shot because it was making noise as he videotaped a TV show.

I wouldn’t mind if the PGA Tour wanted to add on some penalties to obvious idiocy on the part of high-profile people in golf. But that’s what makes this such a juicy target for parasitism, since that is likely to be a generally approved-of action.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

6 thoughts on “Is There Something About Golf?

  • 2008/03/07 at 1:57 pm
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    Am I the only one who has never heard of Tripp Isenhour? Guy sounds like a real dingus.

  • 2008/03/08 at 10:32 am
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    I had never heard of Tripp Isenhour either. I just hope he ends up in jail.

  • 2008/03/11 at 9:11 am
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    A web search suggests that “Villas of Grand Cypress” and “Grand Cypress Golf Club” are apparently two different golf resorts run by the same company. See http://www.grandcypress.com/golf/ and http://www.grandcypress.com/villas/.

    Is there something about golf that turns people’s brains off?

    For the top level, like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, no. For those who only play it casually, I don’t think so. For the ones in between … too often the answer is yes. Judging by his stats, Isenour is an also-ran on the PGA Tour and probably makes a rather tenuous living as a pro golfer. Wants to play with the big dogs but isn’t good enough. He might have quite the inferiority complex by now, and a bit of trouble keeping his temper under control.

    As for HSUS, at least the Chronicle correctly identified them as an AR group. CBS Sports didn’t even do that much.

  • 2008/03/11 at 2:32 pm
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    Wolfwalker, thanks for the additional information on Grand Cypress.

    It just seems that red-shouldered hawks are at risk in that area.

  • 2008/03/13 at 1:06 pm
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    Of course there’s something about golf. Wouldn’t chasing little balls into gopher holes drive any sane person crazy?

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