Be sure to play with a smile
Is golf a game? Is golf supposed to be fun? A lot of people don't seem to think so. In fact, many seem to think that it is some sort of sacred kabuki ritual requiring that all participants perform the correct motions and intone only approved incantations. No hymns, though. Music is forbidden.
I have a good friend like this. Every putt must be holed, no beer may be imbibed during the round and only discussion (in detail) of the last shot, hole or state of the player's (his) game overall is allowed. Golf for him is a very serious endeavor.
Golf is not religion, no matter how many believers’ visions of the true grail would have it so. At its best, golf is a game between two people or perhaps a four-ball. Gimmes may be given, a lost ball may be dropped without penalty (we all know it was right around here), the beverage cart may be hailed and tipped lavishly to ensure a speedy return. And worst of all, these rounds may be posted. Don't tell the USGA, and don't worry about the effect on handicaps. If anything, it lowers them, to the delight of future opponents.
If you're trying to grow the game, a new player will be more likely to return if introduced in a fun atmosphere like this and not at an extended rules seminar.
This may not be appropriate for your men's club events, but it is a lot of fun. When you were a kid, you likely played a lot of sports, games in which you altered the rules to reflect conditions, players involved, etc., but mostly to ensure that a good time was had by all. Even small children understand this.
Play by every rule, if you want; play with none, if you want. But keep it fun out there. Remember that life is short, and that putt is good by me.
St. Paul, Minn.
A small wager would boost interest
If I could have bet on the number of responses to your article regarding legalized wagering, I doubt I could have even come close to realizing a return on my wager (“Odds are good that gambling won’t mar Tour,” May 18); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 19).
I manage my disposable income very tightly, but a few dollars here and there on my favorite players would only enhance my interest and viewership into any given tournament.
Maybe Dallas needs a coastline
The AT&T Byron Nelson was the most boring golf tournament I have ever watched.
Not because of the golf but because of the course. Every hole at Trinity Forest Golf Club looked the same. Very mundane. No excitement. The only thing that changed was the par of each hole.
Even the British Open has the ocean sometimes.
The Nelson was blah and very hard to watch.
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