Tour teaching the game's traditions

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

There are prizes to be won and champions to be crowned.

But Dunc Mills believes the McLennan-Ross Sun Tour is about more than rewards.

"We want the players to respect the game of golf, their fellow competitors, the course they're playing on and the volunteers who put on the events," said the tour's executive director.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Because that is so important to the tour, a code of conduct is available on the tour website and is posted at each stop during the 26-event schedule.

"It's an ongoing learning process so that they can learn what's expected of them," said Mills.

"The players have to accept the traditions of the game. We're not saying to them that they can't have fun because this is a sport that we'd like them to enjoy for a lifetime.

"Learning the etiquette of the game is just as important as hitting a driver 300 yards down the middle of the fairway."

Mills does some of his own policing during the events, but by and large it's the players themselves who will make note of who's going against the grain.

"It's been pretty good all along but every year there are a few kids who've never played on the tour before who try some things. They find out pretty quickly what won't be tolerated," said Mills.

ACCOUNTABILITY

"It's about respect, self-respect, honesty, integrity and being accountable for your actions. A lot of it is just little things like shaking hands after your round, keeping a neat scorecard and taking your hat off when you're in the clubhouse.

"We've had very few cases of cheating over the years. You don't want to be labeled a cheater because none of the other kids want to hang out and play with those people."

TOUR TALK: Three new events highlight the 2006 McLennan-Ross Sun Tour. The first is at Northern Bear, which is also the first Edmonton-area stop of the season on July 10.

Leduc joins on July 25 and Black Bull at Ma-Me-O-Beach steps up on Aug. 17.

The two other local events will be held July 13 at Goose Hummock and Aug. 13 in Stony Plain. The tour championship runs Aug. 28 at Wolf Creek.


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