Hayes, a tour veteran who has earned about $7 million during his career, was invited back to Pebble Beach, and at least four other PGA Tour events this year, because he turned himself in at Q-school. He called officials from his hotel room for a mistake that no one else had noticed, and that probably would not have been uncovered if not for Hayes’s admission.
He said he never considered not turning himself in because it was a standard of the game that golfers called penalties on themselves, even those that would result in disqualification.
In light of all the recent revelations regarding Major League Baseball, this story from the New York Times draws some of our interest. We realize that golf is an entirely different sport with an entirely different code of conduct (the game instills and effectively requires an adherence to an honor system due to the lack of formal officiating), but the way that JP Hayes views his own revelations shows decency bred by a game's system of rules. Significantly, he's the definition of journeyman and yet still felt a deep-seated obligation to turn himself in, to risk his career and future for the sake of the rules he knew he was required to follow.
We only bring this up to show the various ways in which different sports can instill a sense of personal responsibility. Golf is, for the most part, an individual sport, where players carry the rules in their bag and have to rely on themselves for exposing infractions. Baseball is an umpired sport, where players play and rely on others to make the calls. On an even more macro level, Major League Baseball has, for too long, remained captive to a vague set of (non)-rules regarding behaviour outside the lines, exacerbating the confusion*. Just as we fans don't have any clear sense how to judge those who have violated these (non)-rules, neither it seems do the players themselves.
Maybe the sport with the littler white ball has something figured out.