Ah, for the good old days, when the only drugs found on a golf course were nicotine, alcohol and occasionally an aspirin.
Now the major governing organizations of golf - including the Augusta National Golf Club - have announced they have agreed to an anti-doping policy to begin in 2008. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has released a list of banned substances, and said that the policy will be coordinated worldwide.
Golfers on steroids? It sounds like a comedy skit. Readers can insert their own joke here.
But the decision makes sense. The integrity and civility of golf fit perfectly with a drug policy that encourages and strongly assures honest play. The sport's highest officials should be praised.
Citing a skill set that rewards accuracy rather than brute strength, speed or prolonged endurance, officials repeatedly have said that they don't think drugs are a problem in golf. But noting that other sports have been wracked by drug scandals in recent times, they said they felt the need to take the step.
The issue made headlines during the British Open when one of golf's legends, Gary Player, told reporters that he knew of at least 10 players who were taking some form of drugs (he never named them).
Golf is a gentleman's (and lady's) game, and one that has a history and tradition of honor and honesty. But today, on the professional level, the purses have gotten so large ... well, people will do a lot of strange things for money.
Let's hope no one ever tests positive.