That was the question my playing partner and I were asking last Saturday. It was a marginal golf day here in Maryland: 42 or 43 degrees with a Northwest wind of about 6 to 10 knots…enough to remind you that you were living. There couldn’t have been more than 20 people on the course.
The two of us were walking. The Clubhouse Pro told us we had at least three open holes ahead of us when we started. Sure enough, though, we caught up to the group ahead on Number 7. Four guys in two carts with combined handicap (if they kept handicaps) of about 120. They were hitting left and hitting right, but mostly hitting short. And, that was all well and good…but, they wouldn’t let us through.
So, standing on number 10 tee box, we waited fifteen minutes for them to scurry around like so many water bugs until we could hit. “Let’s pick up our fairway balls and go to 11.” We passed them on the green at 10 and wave. Hard stares came back.
“Well, at least we’re by them.” Not quite. 12 and 13 have fairways that adjoin. I’m over my tee ball on 13 when my partner stops me. Here comes one of their carts into my fairway. We’re waving, they’re ignoring. And the whole time, they’re walking around. Ten minutes. Then they leave the cart behind and return to their fairway. We look through the trees and there are three groups bunched up behind these guys. Twenty people on the course and we were all together.
Finally, we got to hit and move on. But, it does make one wonder what in the world people think on a course. I can understand not being able to play well. But, to take the carts, ride hither and yon, and then just gum up the flow…that makes no sense. Playing 7, 8, 9, half of 10 and waiting on 13 took almost 2 hours. What should have been a sub-four hour round took over five. And, it was too chilly for all that waiting.
Golf rounds have definitely slowed down over time. But, from what I can see, they’re going to get slower.