Golf is ready to begin testing for performance enhancing drugs.

It is obvious that the NFL needs to test its players for drugs like steroids, amphetamines, human growth hormone and others. These overgrown, hyper-trained athletes fly around the field and try to remove body parts from competitors. Performance enhancing drugs and supplements help you to better mangle your opponent and recover faster from the mangling you receive.

Also obvious are the benefits of performance enhancing drugs in baseball. Sammy Sosa just became the fifth person to hit 600 home runs - the second to make that exclusive list with the obvious help of steroids or some other similar substance. The other four are Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays.

Like Mark McGwire and Bonds, Sosa is suspected of using steroids before they were banned by baseball, and he was caught with a corked bat in front of his home crowd when he played for the Cubs in 2003.

John Kruk, who would never have been accused of using any performance enhancing drugs, commented on Sosa’s achievement and the steroid and bat corking scandals on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

“Did he do this or do that? Who knows? Who cares?” Kruk opined. “That is still a big deal.”

As long as you can overlook a little cheating, you can still appreciate the accomplishment.

But golf?

Angel Cabrera just won the U.S. Open. A lot of men wear the Tiger Woods line of clothing on the golf course. But many of these weekend duffers can wear Cabrera’s actual shirt.

You might give the guy a breathalyzer, but you certainly aren’t going to find any Acutrim or Nicorette in this guy’s system.

The guy hauls a beer gut around the course lighting his next cigarette with the final embers from the last.

Cabrera is not shooting ‘roids and hitting the gym before he heads to the driving range.

What good does it do to be muscle-bound in golf? Even if it helps you drive the ball 400 yards - which is debatable - how will it help you when you are only 30 yards from the green in the rough?

If you can’t get the ball close on short shots, all the bulk in the world won’t help. That is why you never see a long drive champion on the PGA tour.

Perhaps drugs to help with recovery from injuries could prolong a career. But typically, those issues are handled equally well with rehabilitation plans.

It’s funny that golf would institute drug testing policies, but they are coming from a good place.

“A lot of people have talked about that integrity and honesty of golf is what makes it so special,” said PGA member J.J. Henry. “I'd like to think there's none of that going on out here, to be honest with you.”

As long as there is competition, there will be cheaters. Many athletes are willing to sacrifice their long-term health for short term success.

Testing is necessary. And that is too bad.


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