The age old question of how to get around a golf course.
I suppose it isn’t such an “age old” question but more of a “age young” question when we consider the origins of the game. The game, invented nearly 600 years ago, has been without transportation choices for approximately 85% of its lifespan. The 1930’s introduced a rudimentary pull cart because of a lack of caddies. Since the 1950’s the golf cart has offered people with health concerns and limited mobility the opportunity to golf. Fast-forward to today, and now there are numerous ways to “get a round” in.
Many argue that the game should be experienced fully by all senses. When you walk a golf course, you give yourself the potential to fully immerse yourself in the grounds. You can feel the turf beneath your feet. You have more time to purely reflect between shots and take in the environment. You can “connect the dots” between shots and literally play the course as it has been GIVEN to you.
Pace of play standards in this country have increased the stigma that trotting around a layout in an electric or gas-powered golf cart is a more efficient and speedier option. Power carts also give the user opportunities to socialize with their riding partner. If you choose this option, keep in mind that you will often have to travel “more mileage” on the course as the cart is carrying equipment for more than one person if you are playing in a group. Lastly, carts carry heavier agronomical effects, which demand additional care for the course. There are always pros and cons to innovations that make things more accessible or easier for humans.
The last decade has introduced several updates to course transportation that has attempted to solve some of the issues surrounding pace and impact to the turf. Golf boards, bikes and scooters are single passenger options that are lighter and often have larger tires that do not compact/impact the grass plants as much as a traditional power cart. The single passenger feature allows each player to go to the location of their ball to play their shot. Perhaps, this solves many problems, BUT what about socializing?
Everyone plays golf for different reasons. As a golf professional, it is my job to ensure that every golfer gets the most out of their golf experience. What is the trick? Make sure that your WHY matches your HOW. If you are constantly leaving the golf course in a less than fulfilled state, start asking yourself why you play the game. Many golfers are looking to score better and enjoy the people they choose to play with while taking in the fresh air. Most people do not play golf to exist faster, but actually to SLOW down the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I urge everyone to try walking (if you are physically able). Start with three holes in the evening. Add a few more and play nine. See if you are able to enjoy your game just a little deeper and connect with a few more souls along the way!