UP Golf Club Draws Flak for Tone-Deaf Post That Implied Fellow Students Are Thieves
Oct 16, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
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Oct 16, 2023   •   Meryl Medel
Over the weekend, the newly established UP Golf Club received criticism from netizens for a post that was supposed to celebrate golf as a sport “for all.” Here’s what happened.
After opening their Facebook page at the start of this month, UP Golf Club shared photos from their first-ever meet-up. Held at Royal Ace Driving Range, Capitol Hills, Quezon City last October 13, Friday, the event was filled with smiling faces of both “experienced and first-time golfers.”
Despite being captioned with the hashtag claiming “golf is for all”, the post was flooded with comments of disbelief and disappointment, largely due to another hashtag that read “wag nyo po kami nakawan sa campus.”
The post has since been edited. But the internet has already taken screenshots, and Facebook’s edit history has kept the original version. It has since garnered up to 11,000 reactions, 3,700 shares, and 800 comments, while their event invitation post has racked up similar numbers.
Disappointed netizens have flocked to their page, calling them out for essentially accusing their fellow Iskos and Iskas of being thieves.
The day we tolerate the founding of a UP Golf Club, who jokes that their fellow UP students will steal from them, is the same day that we wholeheartedly accept the changing demographics in UP.
— mark ian (@markvidor13) October 14, 2023
Others also offered suggestions on what the club can do to own up to their claim that “golf is for all”, including free golf sessions or even converting golf courses to public parks and mini golf courses to make it more accessible.
It seems the tone-deaf hashtag was added to the post as a joke in response to a comment on their page, where another student joked about stealing from members of the club. Still, netizens agree that the hashtag was done in bad taste and even a step too far.
While most people agree that the students can enjoy the sport, they could’ve also committed to the inclusivity they were promoting with the hashtag claiming that golf is for all.
“There is a clear disconnect between proclaiming that #golfisforall and, in the same post, jokingly writing #wagnyopokaminakawansacampus. At that point, I think the criticism is well deserved,” UP Assistant Professor Micah Perez wrote in a Facebook post.
You can’t say na “[insert sport here] is for all” samantalang hindi naman lahat ay afford ito outright.
— BA (ᜊ) (@bumaBAgyo) October 14, 2023
This further led to a heated discourse online on several topics, including the merits of golf as a sport, its environmental impact, and the changing demographic pervading the University of the Philippines.
As a sport, golf is inherently exclusive, requiring expensive admission fees, equally expensive gear, artificially designed high-maintenance acres of land that could be used for literally anything else, tons of water to maintain said land and more. Unlike other sports like basketball and soccer, golf cannot be easily played in any environment and thus, is not easily accessible.
Statement on the Establishment of UP Golf Club
We recognize and uphold the democratic right to organize and join organizations. However, as land rights and environmental activists, we feel compelled to join the discussion and set the record straight on why golfing is not giving. pic.twitter.com/bHMiYdLJpB
— NNARA Youth – UP Diliman #StandWithFarmers (@NNARAYouthUPD) October 14, 2023
Moreover, Iskos and Iskas are protesting the changing demographic of the University of the Philippines, with more privileged students dominating the campus. As the national state university, UP and its students’ tuition are funded by the people’s taxes. Most students and alumni believe that if particular students are privileged enough to play golf as a pastime, they can also pay for their tuition fees in full. And maybe not in UP, where the people’s taxes can instead educate other less privileged students.
It doesn’t sit well with me that low-income families, through taxes, end up supporting wealthy students who then create things like the UP Golf Club.
— John Paul Punzalan (@jpbpunzalan) October 13, 2023
As of writing, UP Golf Club has yet to comment on the issue.
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