Question of the Week

Name that tune

Does music have a place on the golf course?

Golfers on both the driving range and putting green can routinely be seen with some form of Beats, AirPods or other listening devices on their ears. Now, they're making their way onto the course. Is this a good or bad progression?

Please email your response to editor Stuart Hall. In order to publish, please include your first and last name, along with your city and state of residence.

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I do not enjoy listening to other people's music on the golf course. However, I don’t think it would be a problem if played in a manner that does not disturb other groups on the golf course. Unfortunately, if allowed, I believe there would be a lot of abuse.

Oz Johnson
Leesburg, Fla.

I think there is a time and place for music. Most of the golf I play lately is in outings where music in the cart has been encouraged at a reasonable level. I’ve really enjoyed it while still being able to enjoy my playing partners and nature. I would say no headphones anywhere else but the driving range. If one is going to be totally isolated, play virtual golf indoors. Also, for safety, one needs to be able to hear “Fore!”, especially if I’m out there.

Kevin Vander Klay
Arlington Heights, Ill.

My two cents:

Practicing with earbuds on the driving range is fine, no problem. Might help with swing pace or rhythm, distract a person from overthinking, etc. But, definitely use earbuds — not a portable speaker that impacts anyone else's practice experience.
I don't, however, think music has any place out on the course. And I love music — I play in a band, and spend lots of time on my other (along with golf) favorite hobby.

A big part of the attraction of golf for me has always been the peace and serenity (aside from the swear words) of being out in nature on a beautiful day in a natural setting. Music is, to me, an unwelcome distraction from that.

Earbuds detract from the personal interaction and camaraderie that goes along with a round of golf. I feel the same way about cell phones on the golf course. I turn mine off and leave it in my bag until the round is over; I wish everyone else would as well.

Granted, some people would rather not be interactive — and I can respect that — but I think on the whole, golf is also a shared social experience. Maybe that's more of a generational perspective. I'm 59 and have been playing since I was 13. I think today's kids don't have the same sense of tradition or appreciation of social events that we grew up with.
And, if some X'er or Millennial hits me with an "OK Boomer," over my perspective, I'm good with that.

Ron Friedland
Broomfield, Colo.

Absolutely not! Why do we cater to short-attention spanned, backward hat-wearing, self-important Millennials who are on their iPhones the whole round? Can’t we have four hours of quiet playing the best game ever invented? If they want music go to the beach or a bar.

Pat McGonagle
Haverhill, Mass.

I have been playing music in the cart for many years now. Played at a reasonable level it hasn't bothered anyone.

Budd Bieber
Oswego, Ill.

I am against it. But, in order to grow the game I can understand it. If you want music, plug it in your ears — although I hate to see you miss a chance to enjoy nature and a great social opportunity. It's like staring at your phone during dinner. When someone is playing music in their cart, I only hear bits and pieces of it and can't possibly enjoy it. Make the experience the priority.

Jim Wells
Southport, N.C.

My personal preference would probably be no, but I actually played with a friend a couple of weeks ago and one of the guys that joined us asked before starting the round whether any of us would mind. I think we were all a little taken back at the question, but each of us said OK.

He turned on light rock from the 1970s and it turned out to not be distracting at all. I actually would prefer to hear that over non-stop talking and whispering on the tee box, and cell phones buzzing and ringing, and people talking on their phones.

What I do object to is someone playing music at a volume loud enough that everybody on the course is subjected to it.

Rochelle Winston Davies
SaddleBrooke, Ariz.

My issue is when I can hear it from two fairways over. Seriously, keep it to yourself and inside your cart. Better yet, walk and no music.

Joe McDonald
Vancouver, Wash.

Call me a luddite, a cantankerous old guy, an old fogey, whatever age-related insult you prefer, but I am not a fan of music on the golf course. I love music and am an avid collector from all genres, but I simply don’t want others to inflict their musical tastes on me or others when I’m playing golf.

I play golf for the challenge, the silence, the camaraderie, the exercise, being outside instead of in the office. For some knucklehead to blast Free Bird for all to hear is a crime against me, nature and the sport of golf itself. You want to hear Free Bird for the 47,001st time? Get a pair of ear buds and rock on, but for crying out loud do not blast it on your Bluetooth speaker across the entire golf course for all to hear.

Mark Carlson
Moorpark, Calif.

No!! When playing a round of golf, a golfer should be concerned about his game, not listening to his stereo.

Don Cross
Lafayette, La.

So long as I can’t hear the music, it’s fine. Not only is the kind of music a personal choice, it’s supposed to be quiet during play. Ear phones or not at all.

Terrance Gleason
Woodstock, Ill.

Yes, music has progressed into golf and it needed to in order to continue to grow the game. The younger players don’t have the attention span to play a 4- to 5-hour round of golf without some form of entertainment, and, quite frankly, neither can I.
Yes, I too have a Bluetooth speaker built into my golf cart, but the volume is kept at a low enough level that you have to be in the cart to hear it.

Don Raley
Phoenix, Ariz.

I tell my golf association that I will not play in a foursome that plays music. It is horrible that I have to listen to somebody's music that I don’t like. It also puts my timing off.

Ralf Smets
Pleasant Hill, Calif.

As long as it doesn’t disturb others (e.g., Al Czervik), I see no problem with it at all — makes [the round] fun and the waiting between shots more tolerable.

Jim Adams
Birmingham, Ala.

We have a weekly group of 12 guys and do play music during the round — it’s 1960s, '70s and '80s on Pandora. It doesn’t bother anyone, especially the ones who left their hearing aids at home. Now, if we have a new golfer(s) join our group, we do ask if the music bothers them. Also enjoyable is a cold cup of Chardonnay.

Jerry Hanson
Jacksonville, Fla.

The only music I want to hear on the golf course is the tweeting of birds!!

John Nix
Ashburn, Va.

I’m all for having music on the driving range, the putting green and the golf course. I actually think it is one of the best things to happen to golf since the metal wood and the one-piece ball. The newer golf carts are even coming fitted with on-board speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. Obviously everyone should be aware of other groups on the course when in close proximity, but music on the course should be here to stay. Hopefully that helps attract the younger golfers we need to keep the sport we love viable moving into the future.

Patrick Kelly
Bethesda, Md.

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