The following was placed in the comments today. It is well written and I feel it deserves to be a separate post. Thank you Martin for your thoughts.
Been reading about this matter and it is very disappointing to see the event occur. Being part of this group on and off, and then coming back to re-join when we return to Chiang Rai each year, I would like to think that we will be able to see all of our friends there and play in the great skins competition.
Being a current member of a golf club in Australia and playing strict competitions that include side bets etc I would like to make a comment about the ethics of the game. There are a couple players at my club who are known for trying to manipulate their handicap. Recently there was an instance of them doing just that in a round of golf, one of their playing partners reported them (which took courage) and the club had to act. That process did not reflect poorly on the person who reported them, it reflected poorly on the individual who believes that they have a right to behave in that manner and try to make a mockery of the ethics of the game – as well as the ethics of their playing partners.
In this instance, the same should be said. The issue lies with the individual who decided to behave in such a manner. The behavior disrespects the group as a whole and individually disrespects those who were involved in the side bet – irrespective of if it is within the rules of the side bet or not. At no stage should a person believe that it is ok to not play out the round with the intent to play appropriately and with some sort of effort. Picking up on a par 5 having hit just two shots is absurd and should be treated as absurd.
I see that the group has a Code of Conduct in place, that Code should be applied in this instance so that the integrity of the group is maintained. The group is bigger than that one individual member. If that member cannot come back to the group and indicate that they acknowledge what they did was disrespectful then they should not return to the group. No one else should have to feel that they need to leave the group as a result – that is certainly disappointing to me and I hope that the resolution lies in the group coming together to make that not the case.
I would agree that the group can, and probably should forgive, however the matter should not be forgotten and a repeat of it would truly spell the end for that person as there should be no tolerance for it moving forward.