Has anyone else noticed how the game of golf has become so accommodating? I think we are really out of touch with how far the old balls / clubs actually went. 380 yard holes with one tee box were typical 100 years ago. Today, most players can reach a 380 yard hole. Did you know that very few people could reach a 380 yard hole 100 years ago.. That was called “tough shit”. Now golf owes you fives sets of tees, no matter what kind of player you are, you can all reach a par 4 now. 100 years ago, a bunker was a hazard, and hazards were meant to be avoided. Golfers played around hazards because of their penal nature. Today you are owed a perfect lie in a hazard. Old architects often put carry bunkers 80-120 yards off the front of the tee. Today we owe women, kids and our senior clientele a clear path down the fairway to start every hole. When was the last time you saw a cross bunker off the tee?
What happened to the idea that its a GAME? The game has weather, so figure it out…you’re not owed a calm day to play. The game has dryness, and for that matter wetness, you are not owed roll, nor are you owed the removal of dew. You are not owed a perfect cushion under your ball, nor limbs cut high so you can escape. Your rolling ball is not owed speed, nor smoothness, nor the hole cut in flat spot on the green.
Have you ever wondered what concept ruined it being a GAME? Someone invented “Par”. Without someone calling it a par 4, you would not have any of the expectations I just named. You would simply play. Some days you would play better than others, but what you are “supposed to score” would never enter your mind. Now it’s ALL that enters your mind.
Thanks to par, every par 4 must be reached in two, every green should be two-putted, every bunker should be easy to escape, and every shot from the woods should offer a chance to save, you guessed it… par. We don’t want to play on windy days, wet days, dewy mornings, drought conditions, why? That’s right, that will make it harder to make a par, that’s no fun. And fun is defined by how good our ego feels. when we are done. I know you love golf, imagine how much you would love golf if PAR hadn’t ruined the game.
Nick, I always enjoy your newsletter. If I still lived within driving distance I’d be a regular at RSP. I now live in a gated FL community that has its own 27 hole course. Thought you’d be interested to know that in FL the average annual cost to maintain one golf hole is approaching $100k. Yikes. We here are having trouble finding staff… maintenance crew is down 5 people and Food and Beverage employed 19 H2B visa workers this ‘season’. So I can relate to much of some of your challenges.
I do pass along your ‘Tales’ to others who appreciate your commentary… keep it up and try not to get too frustrated with the many things beyond your control. It is said that the key to happiness is reasonable expectations… so I’m off to expect PAR and probably not be happy when I make bogey or worse.