golf is hard

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legitimatebeef
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golf is hard

Postby legitimatebeef » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:35 am

Nope, not another dumbass, fucked-out old guy rant about how much I suck, how hard and frustrating golf is, how elusive and unpredictable decent play is blah blah blah. (What, you think I'm looking for a job writing for Golf Digest, or Hallmark Cards or whatever?)

Yes okay, shooting good scores is a tall task for most people who just play for fun. But what I am talking about is the act of completing 18 holes of regulation full-length par 70-ish golf, in the way it's really meant to be played (on foot), and putting up a real, honest score even if it's a shitty one--it is much harder than it gets credit for.

A few rounds ago I was at Dyker on a hot summer day. On the 10th hole I caught up to a foursome of junior high looking kids. I saw them wilting, shuffling their feet down the fairway, bags drooping off their shoulders. Their shots were no better. Not surprisingly they didn't seem to be having fun. Sure enough after (barely) playing the 11th, they quit and headed back in. I was glad. Their ennui was palpable even from 150 yards away.

Golf is hard.

It takes decent fitness just to walk the four or five miles of a typical length course without stopping to sit or rest. To carry along a 20+ pound bag the whole time requires some strength, and above average fitness. To do so in hot weather demands yet more fitness.

Golf is hard mentally too. To abide by the Rules of Golf, from the first tee-off to the final hole-out, whether or not anybody is watching requires not just integrity but also constant vigilance. That is to say, just being honest is not quite enough. And then to accept all your due penalties and count your score accurately requires maturity and, in the lowest moments, a bit of what the Buddhists might call non-attachment.

For example. You are playing alone. You hit your tee shot sideways, and you can't see where it finishes. So you hit a provisional. But it also goes wayward and out of sight. Now what do you do? At this point you are looking at a very high score. Should you tee up another ball, it's very likely your fifth shot. Making a 10 or worse on one hole is extremely frustrating, but on the other hand, nobody's watching. What do you do? I suspect the answer, for a lot people, is not quite that simple. Writing down that huge number on your scorecard can feel like self-flagellation, and who in the world actually does self-flagellation? Very, very few.

Obviously we all want to play golf well. Trouble is, it takes a lot of concentration to try your very best on every shot for all 18 holes. And it takes physical endurance in addition to sound mechanics to continue making solid swings into the late stages of a round. I don't have to tell you that this is where stuff like nutrition and hydration factors in. More stuff to think about.

To manage all of these while maintaining a respectable pace of play, practicing courtesy and generally not being a self-centered prick, requires an advanced level of acuity and awareness, and not to mention practical wisdom gained only through experience.

Golf is hard, so we learn to cut corners. We figure out how to discreetly stretch the rules. We slow down the game to an unchallenging, leisurely pace. At some point somebody got the idea to allow miniature motor vehicles to be driven all over the turf and thus open up the game to those who were too old, too young, too un-fit, too impatient, etc.

I am not here to condemn those corner-cutters, the weekenders, the half-a-golfers etc. (I will do that on my own time. :fkno) They are merely doing what they can to have a good time. I am just reflecting on the true difficulty of this game. When you strip away all the contrivances, and the various cultures of cheating and rudeness and self-centeredness, the true game is revealed as a full-blooded challenge for one's entire mindbody. This challenge deserves respect, as do all the players who take it on.

:fk
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Re: golf is hard

Postby bryan k » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:24 pm

I've talked about this before. The whole process of playing golf is difficult. Everything about it. From walking 18 holes to ensuring that one's scores are correct without succombing to the temptation of cheating, none of it is easy. There are times when I tell people unfamiliar with the game that a typical round takes 4 hours, and their jaws drop.

Golf is hard. That's why the vast majority of people who play it suck at it.

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Re: golf is hard

Postby legitimatebeef » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:28 am

bryan k wrote:I've talked about this before. The whole process of playing golf is difficult. Everything about it. From walking 18 holes to ensuring that one's scores are correct without succombing to the temptation of cheating, none of it is easy. There are times when I tell people unfamiliar with the game that a typical round takes 4 hours, and their jaws drop.


I feel that the non-golf playing world has such a wrongheaded idea about what golf actually is. They think it's on par with bocce or croquet or cornholing or some such stupid shit. When the truth is, an 18 hole round on foot would probably cripple most of them.

Then again, that false image was created by GOLFERS. The ones who cut corners and basically invented their own soft, bastardized form of golf.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby jasonfish11 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:43 am

Great now I'm going to feel like I'm cheating when I use my push cart this weekend.

I admire those of you that carry your bags, physically I could get around 18 holes but I know from experience those last 4 really kick my ass and I can't swing the club like I want to. Even on a flat course. Throw in some hills and man I'm huffing and puffing if I tried to carry my bag and it's all I can do to get through 18 let alone trying to post a score on those last 3 or 4 holes.

Hopefully as my son gets older I'll have more time to exercise and get in better shape, as there is a retired guy I see every morning at the range. He carries his bag 18+ holes every day. I admire that so much that one day I hope to grow up to be like him (or BK) lol.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby legitimatebeef » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:06 am

Don't feel bad. It's not about condemnation. It's more about recognizing the true game. Respecting it. Understanding that most of us, most of the time, fall short of the challenge and take one or more easy ways out.

Ok so I guess it kind of is about condemnation.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby srogers13 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:28 am

It was interesting last weekend, I was working the scoring tent for the Symetra Tour tournament they held here, and to see how the different girls handled the task of getting their golf bag around the course. 132 player field with $15000 for first means there is not a lot of money going around. Not everyone had a caddie, the ones without a caddie, most used a push cart, but a few carried their bag. There was even a discussion in the tent after the round between a carrier and a pusher just comparing how they felt. The pusher thought it was tougher on her legs. Then for caddies, some used local volunteers, some used family members, and I think I saw maybe 4 or 5 "professional" caddies. What was interesting was that the caddies could use push carts, also, if they wanted to.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby jasonfish11 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:37 pm

srogers13 wrote: What was interesting was that the caddies could use push carts, also, if they wanted to.


The USGA allows this in almost all of it's tournaments. I know for US Open qualifying (both regional and sectional) the caddies can use push carts. I'm not sure if they can in the US Open or not.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby DougE » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:31 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
The USGA allows this in almost all of it's tournaments. I know for US Open qualifying (both regional and sectional) the caddies can use push carts. I'm not sure if they can in the US Open or not.


True dat. In the US Open Qualifier here at Worthington Manor last year there were many who had caddies who were pushing carts. Some players pushed their own cart and still others carried. A few of the members got paid to caddie. Two that I know carried for their players. One guy got paid 100 bucks.

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Re: golf is hard

Postby legitimatebeef » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:18 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
srogers13 wrote: What was interesting was that the caddies could use push carts, also, if they wanted to.


The USGA allows this in almost all of it's tournaments. I know for US Open qualifying (both regional and sectional) the caddies can use push carts. I'm not sure if they can in the US Open or not.


DougE wrote:True dat. In the US Open Qualifier here at Worthington Manor last year there were many who had caddies who were pushing carts.


More proof that golf is hard. :school

How long before PGA TOUR caddies are pushing carts? 100 years? Never? I suspect it's like their long pants dress code, creates a specific image that they don't want to mess with. What always bothers me is that the pro staff bags look super old fashioned and like they are actually made to be as heavy as possible, as if to play up the servitude aspect of caddying. Fuckin shit. With modern materials and engineering they could easily be made lighter and streamlined, but you know what, nobody cares about the lowly caddie, and actually the golf establishment thinks it's funny. Classic case of the upper class abusing the lowly for their own sick amusement. :puke "Show up, keep up, shut up" ugh so much arrogance and classism and elitism in that one stupid little catchphrase. Jesus Christ golf makes me want to puke sometimes.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby jasonfish11 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:25 pm

I think it's more due to getting money for sponsorship on the bag, than to piss off your caddy.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby GBOGEY » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:30 pm

There's a monthly Golf Digest series called "Undercover Tour Pro" where each month a tour pro anonymously writes about a topic. A few months ago the article was about how the tour would be different without caddies. He made it very clear that the staff bags relate to sponsor money - they need a big bag for their logos - and without caddies everyone would have a little bag to save their backs - the bag money isn't worth what it would cost in winnings. He said some guys might even switch to the skinny carry bags and use less than 15 clubs.

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Re: golf is hard

Postby DougE » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:50 pm

They better use less than 15 clubs now!

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Re: golf is hard

Postby sjduffers » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:42 pm

I read somewhere a few years back when I was into that sort of things that using a push cart didn't vary that much in terms of calories spent in a round vs carrying a bag. There was indeed a difference like 1500 vs 1800 calories for an average course. Maybe more or less depending on the course. Either way, it's not a trivial amount of energy being spent when walking. I think the number was around 800 calories or a round riding in a cart. But sure, carrying one of the staff bags that the pros use would be tough, especially on a hilly course.

So there, we have it, golf is indeed a sport! :lolz :yess
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Re: golf is hard

Postby srogers13 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:50 pm

i used to carry when I walked, but I started to get stiff in my shoulders when I played, so I switched to a push cart.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby DougE » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:13 pm

Though I ride most of the time, I do walk every now and then and will do so more once the temps start to drop a bit. When I walk, I either carry my Titleist 14-way lightweight stand bag, or push a Sun Mountain cart. When I use the push cart, I usually put my everyday, full Titleist mid-staff bag on it because I am too lazy to move everything over to the stand bag. Yet, sometimes I do use the stand bag on the push cart and have found that there is a big difference between pushing the cart with the staff bag and pushing it with the stand bag, as far as my stamina goes. Though walking in general wears you out, I find that walking and carrying a lightweight stand bag is much easier than walking and pushing a cart with a full staff bag on it. But my course is hilly. It may be much easier pushing on a flatter course.

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Re: golf is hard

Postby jev » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:04 am

A tour golfbag with 14 clubs, balls, towels, raingear and water weighs up to 40 pounds. Really, that's not bad if you compare it to what the average infanterist has to lug around (60 to 100 pounds... now that is heavy).

I ride only when on holidays in the heat. Pushcart otherwise as is the norm on the flat areas we call "golf course" around here :-). In the winter I switch to carrying a half set, but often limited to 9 holes. My wife has an electric powered pushcart, but uses it only when playing in the national competition (2 x 18 holes matchplay on a single day).

As for "honest scorekeeping"... it's just force of habit. If you get used to dealing with bad situations, you tend to not mind the double digit score on your card. Sh*t happens, eh?
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Re: golf is hard

Postby legitimatebeef » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:47 pm

jev wrote:A tour golfbag with 14 clubs, balls, towels, raingear and water weighs up to 40 pounds. Really, that's not bad if you compare it to what the average infanterist has to lug around (60 to 100 pounds... now that is heavy).

I ride only when on holidays in the heat. Pushcart otherwise as is the norm on the flat areas we call "golf course" around here :-). In the winter I switch to carrying a half set, but often limited to 9 holes. My wife has an electric powered pushcart, but uses it only when playing in the national competition (2 x 18 holes matchplay on a single day).


Wow, your wife competes nationally that is pretty neat. What is the competition like?

As for "honest scorekeeping"... it's just force of habit. If you get used to dealing with bad situations, you tend to not mind the double digit score on your card. Sh*t happens, eh?


I'm very accustomed to these "bad situations" but I will still get angry over blowup scores, like to the point where I wish I could push a button and detonate the entire planet or whatever. It's all part of the fun.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby jasonfish11 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:24 pm

legitimatebeef wrote:I'm very accustomed to these "bad situations" but I will still get angry over blowup scores, like to the point where I wish I could push a button and detonate the entire planet or whatever. It's all part of the fun.


Well I hope that Trump doesn't take his golf that seriously, because he DOES have that button.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby legitimatebeef » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:43 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
legitimatebeef wrote:I'm very accustomed to these "bad situations" but I will still get angry over blowup scores, like to the point where I wish I could push a button and detonate the entire planet or whatever. It's all part of the fun.


Well I hope that Trump doesn't take his golf that seriously, because he DOES have that button.


I highly doubt that Trump ever writes 9s or 10s on his scorecard.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby jev » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:52 pm

legitimatebeef wrote:Wow, your wife competes nationally that is pretty neat. What is the competition like?

Not that special really. The national competition in the Netherlands is a yearly team competition for amateurs. Each year they play 5 days (one day per week), 18 holes foresome followed by singles matches. There are 4 classes: top class, first, second and reserve. The men's competition is nice, the first team of my club plays consists of 2 plus handicappers and the others all carry a hcp < 2. They keep demoting from top to first class one year and promoting back to top the next. Fantastic golf though, these guys sure do know how to strike a ball! They all hit the bloody thing a mile too...

The ladies are nowhere in that leage, the first team carries handicaps up to 7 or so (they too played top class this year). My wife played the second team last year, first class. Her handicap varies between 9 and 11.

It all seems nice enough: organized team training during the winter, lots of fantastic courses, interesting teams, great dinners afterwards. Very long and exhausting days though. With my handicap (14 something), I could prolly play reserve class with the 6th gentz' team. I chose not to participate, too expensive and too time consuming. Instead, I used to referee in this competition.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby bryan k » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:23 pm

sjduffers wrote:I read somewhere a few years back when I was into that sort of things that using a push cart didn't vary that much in terms of calories spent in a round vs carrying a bag. There was indeed a difference like 1500 vs 1800 calories for an average course. Maybe more or less depending on the course. Either way, it's not a trivial amount of energy being spent when walking. I think the number was around 800 calories or a round riding in a cart. But sure, carrying one of the staff bags that the pros use would be tough, especially on a hilly course.

So there, we have it, golf is indeed a sport! :lolz :yess


I had this conversation with my doctor a while back. 410 calories per hour is the magic number that is burned while playing golf and carrying one's bag. That equals 1640 calories per 4-hour round. The amazing part is that allegedly, walking while using a push-cart still burns 400 calories per hour.

Driving a cart allegedly burns around half of that (around 200 calories an hour). Sitting around having a conversation burns around 100 calories an hour.

The difference is that if one is using a push-cart, one is engaging several different muscle groups in order to move that push cart. When one is carrying, one has to engage a specific muscle group repeatedly. Therefore, it is my assertion that using a push cart is actually a better, more well rounded work out than carrying.

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Re: golf is hard

Postby bkuehn1952 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:25 pm

Pushing or carrying is a bit of an effort, no doubt. Certainly not like a 25 mile bike ride or running a 10k, but it still requires some stamina. I literally bought the lightest bag available and make an assessment of how many balls to take (usually 6), level in the water bottle (half) and whether to carry a jacket or umbrella, before walking 18.
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Re: golf is hard

Postby DougE » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:53 am

I am looking forward to cooler temps and the course quieting down in the late fall. It's been some time since I walked a full 18, particularly on a course as hilly as Worthington, but I do often walk nine here and find that by the end, I seem fine cardiovasularly-speaking (is that a word?), but my hips get sore if I'm pushing a cart and/or my back gets a bit sore if I'm carrying. I am hoping once I start walking more, that discomfort will be less.

Though I am sure it is physically much more beneficial for one to walk 18, I also find that I tend to keep my mind in the game and have better focus when walking. I consider my options more thoroughly as I walk to the ball. I see the nuances of the terrain better. I feel the course better. I think golf was meant to be played walking not riding, even though I ride 90% of the time right now.

Though walking is allowed on my course, it is frowned upon during busy times, particularly earlier in the day on weekends or any busy weekday period. So, I try not to rock the boat. Most walkers at my course are out very early, or go out late afternoon. But, once it gets cooler, there will be more times available to walk and I will certainly take advantage. Besides, saving a 14 dollar cart fee is an additional benefit. Even though I am a member, I still have to pay a cart fee unless I walk. I have probably spent $1600 or more in cart fees so far this year, and have had many rounds where buddies working the pro shop charged me half rate or didn't even charge me at all. That 1600 number would be much higher otherwise. So walking more often in the fall and winter will help my bottom line and my fat bottom. Win win.

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Re: golf is hard

Postby bryan k » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:15 am

I've found that when I walk, I find myself waiting for the group in front of me consistently even if they are in a cart.

I think my biggest pitfall is that I'm a very fast walker. That could contribute to how quickly I tire when walking 18.

The other pitfall is that carts are part of the culture down here. Most courses will allow walkers, but they offer a better deal for a cart. That means that there area lot of courses without benches because they don't need them. At all three of the Phoenix munis I regularly play at, I have regularly "suggested" that they at least put benches on the par 3 holes that have a tendency to back up.


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