Artful Facebook Nudity Leads to Golf Team Suspension

Is artful nudity a breach of golf etiquette? Photo via SFGate
Competetive golf is a demanding, highly diciplined pursuit, so it's only natural that players might want to let loose a bit when they're not on the course.  

Off-course activities can sometimes go awry however, and the inventive young men of the Bethany College golf team appear to have earned themselves a suspension for their playful take on a team portrait.

The photo in question had the attractive athletes posed in row on grassy hillside.  The team's camaraderie was visible in their jaunty smiles, and their collective nudity added a refreshing element of light-hearted, joyfulness.

Yes.  That's the thing, the guys were all stark naked... but each and every one of them had taken care to assure that their "male parts" were artfully obscured behind a strategically placed driver.  A couple of the guys even added a club cover.

Controversial photographic inspiration - photo: Joe McNally/Getty Images
It seems the Bethany "Swedes", were inspired by photo of the UCLA Men's Golf Team... in a similar state of déshabillé... that was published in Golf Digest way back in 2004.  One can only imagine the Bethany boys were completely confident that their fun-loving photographic foray wouldn't be deemed offensive. When the pic found its way to the pages of Facebook however, someone was indeed offended and that person sent an angry email to the team's coach.  Hence the (three game) suspension.

Some see the suspension as an epic over-reaction to a harmless bit of fun, while others feel the punishment is fitting of the crime.   Many have attributed the severity of the suspension to the fact that Bethany College is a small Lutheran school in a socially conservative state (Kansas), however, when the UCLA - Golf Digest photo was published there was also a substantial negative reaction.  It turns out male nudity... even when there's no emphasis on sex or sexuality... is still quite provocative.  Unfortunately the Bethany College Swedes seem to have learned this the hard way.

The team is planning to appeal the suspension. 

Sources: kansascw.com , sfgate.com