The question was raised once before here, but I think that based on the many interesting comments in the post below on Merrill Lynch CEO Stanley O'Neal getting caught playing golf while the company burned, there is an interesting debate here on the positives and negatives of so easily researching handicaps online.
I'd love to hear if you all think this has been a good thing for the game or if incidents like this only do golf harm? After all, as many noted, O'Neal might have been doing some entertaining and who is to say there was much he could do back at the office? But in general, his undoing was in part driven by the image of him out enjoying our beloved sport. And based on the fact he was canned, the imagery is not positive to the outside world.
Anyway, is it a good thing that handicaps are available to see for anyone and everyone in the world?
Or might it be better to only allow access for other registered handicap golfers (if that's even possible)?
About this time, Mr. Cayne began his summertime ritual of taking a helicopter from New York City to Deal, N.J., on Thursdays to make a late-afternoon golf game at the exclusive Hollywood Golf Club, associates say. (He pays for the 17-minute, $1,700 trips himself, one person says.) After spending the night in his vacation home nearby, associates add, Mr. Cayne generally hits the golf course again Friday morning for another 18 holes, followed by 8 a.m. tee-offs on Saturday and Sunday. Friends say that after his Saturday game, he often heads back to his local home for several hours of online poker and bridge and to play with his grandchildren.He played online poker and bridge with his grandchildren? Sorry, my bad.
Samuel Molinaro Jr., Bear's chief operating and financial officer, says, "I've never had a problem reaching him."
In the first week of June, the more leveraged fund told investors who wanted out that it couldn't immediately return their money. Wall Street creditors that had lent the fund money reacted sharply to this news, making margin calls, or requests for additional collateral. One creditor, Merrill Lynch & Co., which was owed $400 million, seized the assets that backed its loan on June 15. Mr. Cayne was on the golf course in New Jersey part of that day, a Friday, having left the office Thursday afternoon, according to a Web site that tracks individuals' golf scores.
Mr. Angelo says Mr. Cayne doesn't carry a cellphone or email device while golfing, in accordance with a policy at the Hollywood club. Mr. Povich says that on Fridays, Mr. Cayne would occasionally use a land line near the course's ninth hole to check in with the office. Associates of Mr. Cayne say top Bear executives often didn't try to contact him between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Fridays, preferring to leave messages with his assistants at Bear to call the office when he was free.
On the subject of Cayne, the New York Post was far more direct, Photoshopping his face over Ty Webb's torso and writing:
According to online postings about his golf game, Cayne was on the course on Thursday, June 14 - the day Bear Stearns reported an embarrassing 10 percent drop in profits. The following Thursday he also was on the links as Wall Street recoiled from moves by other big banks to squeeze Bear Stearns for more money to back up loans to a collapsing hedge fund.
And sure enough, the following day - when Bear Stearns had to put up a stunning bailout pledge of $3.2 billion to rescue its imploding hedge fund - he was back at Hollywood taking his swings.
Still, despite those added hours on the course, his game only got worse. On June 14 he shot a 96; on June 22 a 98. He split the difference with a 97 the next day.
Most institutional investors resisted commenting on Cayne's golf habits while others found they weren't out of line.
"Being a 7-handicap myself, when you go out of the office you're always in contact with what's happening," said one investment firm's CEO. "His scores are so bad, I think he's spending too much time at work," quipped a portfolio chief.