Note to Myrtle Beach starters: Enough already with the pre-round lectures
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Golf is a relatively straight forward game, not difficult to comprehend even at its most arcane. And even the best golf courses in the world have more in common with the rank-and-file than not. Fundamentally, if you’ve been on one golf course, you’ve been on them all.(I’m talking fundamentally, folks.)
So I wonder why all these starters around Myrtle Beach feel the need to preface your round of golf with a 10-minute rundown of “rules” and “instructions"? On a recent trip, it started as an oddity, morphed a bit into an impertinence and finally settled firmly down in the realm of an annoyance.
I have a raw dislike for rules, especially when delivered by someone of faux authority. When it comes to golf courses, it’s all the more maddening because, really, how many rules can you have that are unique? You’re expecting to be told that here you are not allowed to play the blue tees unless you are over 6 feet tall, or some such things. Instead, you’re told to fix your divots and your ball marks and that carts can go off the path only on NOs. 3, 6, 14 and 17 - all stuff that can be taken care of with a sign (and usually, in addition, is!).
Note to starters: We know that the white stakes are the 150 markers, the red 100, just like we know No. 14 comes after No. 13.
I wouldn’t have that much of a problem with any of this if these pre-round dressing-downs weren’t always conducted by some grumpy geezer with a clipboard and a knowing expression suggests the thought: I can kick you the hell off this track. Myrtle Beach has some of the rudest, most humorless starters I’ve ever seen.
They don’t even make an effort to lighten up.
At Prestwick, the starter said to my group, “Now gentlemen I’m going to tell you how to play this golf course.”
“Let me guess, hit the ball straight?” I said. Ok, so not the greatest comeback, but he didn’t crack a smile.
At Long Bay, I was on the putting green when my group was summoned to the tee (nearly 15 minutes ahead of our start time). I continued to putt. “Jeff, come over here,” one in my group said.
I said, “Just fill me in later.” But the starter stood there and made it clear that he would not start without me. When my attention flagged a little bit during his monologue - “The white tees, gentlemen, are 150-yard markers” - he said to me, “Young man, please pay attention.”
I could never shake the feeling during these moments that this old man was simply sizing my group up, seeing if he liked our kind.
I’m sorry, we just don’t need this. I know the job of the golf starter was invented to give old men something to do before senility sets in, but we would all be better served if Myrtle Beach starters took themselves, and all these “important” but trivial rules, a little less seriously.
|« Michael Campbell gives back to New Zealand||Is Chris Baldwin serious about Justin Timberlake? »|
Crail in Scotland, in response to our request for tips,
to keep our putts low to the ground. Classic! Just
imagine the humorless, self-important drivel that
those Myrtle Beach cranks would have offered.
As he was obviously a master of the completely obvious, you should have asked that old fart at Long Bay what
the dimply white ball was for.
starter's attitude; like Friday at 5 PM on an LA Freeway. That's why I gave up on golf out there; too many people crammed into too few spaces. It's west of the Mississippi only, for my golf.
I agree with the spirit of what you say, but it's not quite as simple as you paint it. There's the East -- then there's the East. If you drive into upstate NY, you will find bucolic areas with beautiful, relatively empty courses. And, needless to say, in Maine you can sometimes have a course to yourself.
The problem, of course, is the huge metropolitan areas; get far enough away from those and the East is much like the rest of the country.
This is why I drive into upstate NY to play. I travel about 70 miles to a certain course; it's often not that crowded and gives you a lot for your money.
Comments are closed for this post.