How To Change Bad Behaviour

CaptureUh it’s been three weeks and a day since I last posted. And that’s about as long as it’s been since I last phoned my Mother. I am bad, bad, bad. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff (all good) and a minor case of writer’s block. Not sure why I haven’t phoned my Mother though.

So just a wee Pearl this week before you forget who I am – normal service will be resumed next Monday.  

I like golf…

…but I don’t normally get to watch it on the telly because I don’t have satellite TV as I am not that interested in passive screen gazing anymore. Incidentally, my boys, aged 12 and 9, declared the other day that “TV is dead.” They said “who’d want to just…sit there…?”

But the BBC…

…somehow got the Masters on from Augusta National and I sat down on Sunday to watch. After a few minutes Tiger Woods is on the tee. He hits the ball and I wait for the numbskulls in the audience to shout “get in the hole!” as these dimwits have been doing without noticeable loss of enthusiasm for years. Gawd. Frankly, I forgive Tiger everything just for having to put up with these crayon-eaters.

Anyway, there is no shout. It doesn’t come. Now I’m assuming that it isn’t just one idiot who does this shouting at all the major events. So the explanation for the missing shout cannot be that he has been clubbed to death by a righteous citizen confident in the knowledge that no jury would convict her. No.

So what’s happened?

How have these chronic attention-seekers been silenced? How has their behaviour been changed? It might be interesting to know and maybe you could use this wonderful technique yourself?

Did the Augusta National big potatoes suggest politely that their guests might like to, if at all possible, refrain from called out “get in the hole” when Mr Woods tees off as it never was funny and now it’s older than God. In other words, did they appeal to the idiots’ better nature? Well maybe. But it’s a bit like asking children to “behave.” It doesn’t work because if they knew or cared about “behave”, they’d behave.

Well here’s the answer…

The august officials at Augusta National (see what I did there?) have security guards at the tee. And if a pinhead yells “get in the hole”, he, for it is always a he, will be removed from the golf course. No warnings. No second chances. One strike and you’re out.

And it gets better. You are out forever. Lifetime ban. You never get to set foot on the golf course again.


This is how you change behaviour:

  • Be clear on what is required.
  • Be clear on the sanctions for non-compliance.
  • When you have to smack, smack.

I should say this is how you change bad behaviour. And it’s very parent-child if you’ve heard of transactional analysis.

So only use this approach when you’re dealing with ingrained bad behaviour.

But it works. In fact it’s the only approach that does work. Try it!

7 Responses to How To Change Bad Behaviour

  1. Ian April 16, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Wow – I didn’t realise they’d done that. Excellent.

    I always wondered if it was just one knobhead doing the shouting or an organised gang of them. They need to bring those stewards to the Ryder cup too.

    Now if only they could do something to encourage Tiger to do the right thing when he cheats…


    • Mark Nugent April 16, 2013 at 2:00 pm #


      I did however see him signing autographs (for free) which is something he used to not do when he was at the heights of his dickheaddom.

  2. Ieuan Roberts April 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Great post Mark.

    Now where can I get a pair of those trousers?…

  3. John McCulloch April 16, 2013 at 2:18 pm #


    Sorry, couldn’t help it.

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