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Greetings from The Booth!
As of this writing, Shenandoah University Baseball is 2 wins away from an automatic NCAA D-3 Tournament berth, as they enter the Championship series of the ODAC Tournament. The Hornets, at 30-9, have cracked the 30-win plateau for the fifth consecutive full season. Good Luck to Kevin Anderson’s squad as they take on Lynchburg this Friday!
OK, with the PGA Tournament set for Kiawah Island this weekend, I wanted to write about a golf pet peeve of mine, knowing full well that I’m going to come across as the old curmudgeon shaking his fist at the sky. Nothing gets my dander up (see, I’m already talking like an old curmudgeon) like slow play on the golf course.
I respectfully blame Tiger Woods for slow play. Tiger brought thousands, probably millions of new players to the game, and with all those newcomers came crowded golf courses and golfers who simply don’t know the etiquette of the game. Those two things lead to slow play, and 4-hour rounds that become 5-hour rounds and longer.
A few weeks ago, I was playing with a friend at a local track, which was hosting a tournament on one of it’s 18-hole courses. Thus, anyone who made a tee time that day was placed on their other 18-hole course. For whatever reason, there were 4 groups waiting on every tee box. After 7 holes, we raised the white flag and retreated to the clubhouse for a sandwich and a beverage. I love my golf partners, but not for 6 hours.
Then, a few days ago my foursome was in a local charity tournament, which is actually a fun, well-run affair. These “captains choice” tournaments traditionally take longer to play than your garden variety weekday round of golf. These are fundraisers more than golf tournaments, and you know that going in.
But my team got behind a foursome that, on every shot, threw grass up into the air (to seemingly gauge wind direction, but probably just to look like the pros), pulled out GPS gadgets, slide rules, protractors, and Jenny Craig calorie conversion charts to figure the exact distance to the hole, then proceeded to slice the ball into the woods. They weren’t just on the clock, they were on the calendar.
A golfer of any ability can do his or her part to combat slow play by being “golf ready.” Think about the next shot as you’re driving to the ball. Have an idea about what club you’re going to use and the conditions before you get out of the cart. Don’t rely so much on the gadgets. GPS is nice, but most of us can’t dial up a 153-yard shot on-demand. If we could, we’d be collecting paychecks on Sundays. That $2 Nassau might seem like the US Open, but it’s not.
It’s also incumbent upon local golf courses to do all they can to insure that everyone is playing at a steady pace. I know it’s a busine$$, but space groups out so that each tee box doesn’t look like the lineup at the Daytona 500. And make sure course marshals are hurrying slow players along in a gentle way.
Or, we could just take a page out of Rodney Dangerfield’s character in “Caddyshack,” Al Czervik. When you see a player dilly-dallying ahead of you, just yell, “Let’s go, while we’re young!”
Hit ’em long and straight, and until the next visit from The Booth, GO HORNETS!