I realize that it is in part my snotty hipsterism that makes me sneer at golf, and the trappings of golf, like pesticide-drenched botanical monocultures with incredibly ugly subdivisions built around them, filled with McMansions and streets named after the wildlife that used to live there before some jerk-face developer caught up in the subprime mortgage orgy brought in the bulldozers.
Yes, filming instructional golf videos has now joined racing mutant pigeons in the big book of things people think are worth a hawk’s life. Tripp Isenhour, a small-time golf pro with a big-time sense of privilege, was apparently irritated by the Red-shouldered Hawk’s repeated vocalizations as he filmed in Florida in December. So he hit several balls at the bird, the last of which struck it in the head and killed it.
Isenhour claims that this was an accident, the result of a “one in a million” shot, and that he was just trying to scare the bird away. Members of his film crew, however, tell a different story, saying that he persisted in harassing the hawk after it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be scared off by a golf ball, deliberately hitting shots closer and closer to it.
The bird was buried off the fairway by a production assistant, but Isenhour’s sound engineer, haunted by bad dreams about the incident, later reported it to the authorities.
Frankly, I haven’t got much sympathy for the “accident” claim; hassling wildlife over something so trivial, in a way that has an inherent risk of injury to the animal, is in and of itself bad enough for me to condemn.