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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stop and smell the grasses

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       The fastest players at my club in Connecticut fight for the earliest rounds.  I never like to be the first off the tee at 7 a.m. unless I am playing by myself.  Then I can stay comfortably ahead of the rabbits behind me, without the pressure of rushing.  But if I am in a foursome and one or more of us is playing deliberately or taking a while to look for wayward balls, the pressure builds, I rush my shots, and I invariably play poorly.    

    This is on my mind today for a few reasons.  First my own golf club has sent members a letter asking us to pick up the pace of play this season.  Then on Monday, I read a letter to the editor of the Hartford (CT) Courant tying the reduction in rounds played in the U.S. to slow pace of play.  I couldn't resist responding, and today the Courant printed my letter, which I include below:

Obsessed by Fast Pace

    We Americans are obsessed with doing things fast, even if it means spoiling a good walk.  Golf is a game that should be savored every step of the way, whether a round takes four hours to play or five and a half.
    Yesterday I received a letter from my country club about new regulations to speed up play.  Then Tracey Baldwin's letter (May 15, "Slow Pace is Killing Golf") took me back to a conversation 10 years ago in Japan.  
    I was on the train from Tokyo to Osaka and noticed my Japanese "chaperone" reading a golf magazine.  I asked him if he played.  "Oh, yes, every Saturday morning," he replied.  Mindful that golf memberships in Japan at the time were $1 million and higher, and public courses were scarce, I asked where he played.  He mentioned a course two hours away by train.  
    I empathized that the travel made for a long day after a long week of work.  "Yes," he said without irritation, "and golf takes about six and a half hours to play."  Noting my look of surprise, he added:  "But we do stop for a 20-minute lunch after nine holes."

Read 3205 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 03:37
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.