When they say you’re lighting it up on the golf course, that usually refers to great sub-par scoring.
However, as of May 23, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will give it a whole new meaning with the bill he recently signed prohibiting smoking on or in city-owned beaches, parks and public squares.
That, of course, means no smoking on our public golf courses Silver Lake, LaTourette and South Shore.
Oh, sure, non-smokers will no doubt cheer this new law, but those folks who look forward to a relaxing round in the open air with a cigar or cigarette will not take this lightly.
We’re all aware of how harmful smoking is, but an awful lot of golfers will argue that smoking outdoors in the wide open spaces of a golf course, beach or park will not affect others. Furthermore, many golfers believe smoking provides a calming effect that aids in good scoring.
The city’s public golf courses play host to many outings that result in raising funds for worthwhile charities and with those outings go the enjoyment of some food, a brew and a smoke in the open air just as they do at private golf courses.
The task of issuing summonses for smoking violations will fall on the Department of Parks Police who are not classified as “Peace Officers”and lack the powers of the NYPD.
Thus far, members of the Parks Police have been quite adept at issuing tickets for unoccupied cars parked illegally without contending with drivers. That makes us leery of the reaction of an irate chain-smoking golfer who just missed a 2-foot putt and is greeted with a summons. This could result in the Park Police ducking a flying putter and calling the NYPD for assistance as well as slowing up play on the course.
We wonder just how the enforcers will travel the courses. Hoof prints can do a lot of damage to the carefully maintained fairways and greens.
If Bloomberg’s campaign is successful, it just might turn all the smokers to tobacco chewers who spit regularly. Then we’d have droppings from the humans that would equal the thousands of geese who frequent the courses and parks.
I’m a non-smoker, but I could tolerate the aroma of a cigar quicker than the slipping, sliding and inhaling of all those droppings.
How about you? We’d like to know your feelings.