Saturday, January 28, 2012

Golf, A Good Walk Spoiled? Not!!!

There is just something about a Lowcountry golf course in April that makes you feel complete. The warm sunshine beaming down from an almost indigo sky, the birds singing in the long leaf pines and the smell of fresh cut Bermuda. Not to mention the azaleas, I have never seen azaleas as vibrant and colossal as those on a South Carolina golf course. That pretty much describes my day today, well at least up until the part about the fresh cut Bermuda and azaleas. You see you just can’t find any freshly mowed Bermuda grass or hot pink azalea blooms in January. But otherwise, that’s how it has looked and felt this week.

Even the spring peepers (small chorus frogs) were out in force Tuesday celebrating spring in January, they could be heard anytime I was close to a pond, lagoon or marsh. The weather wasn’t the only thing that was enjoyable about Tuesday’s round of golf. I had the rare pleasure of playing in a foursome with three other walkers or “hoofers” as some would say. Golfers who walk and either carry their golf bags or push them on a push-cart are becoming a more frequent sight on Lowcountry golf courses and for good reason. They are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of walking and playing golf as opposed to riding around the course on a motorized golf car. At my club, Summerville Country Club, I often play in the noon weekday blitz and three years ago, out of the 20-30 golfers who regularly played in the daily group there were maybe a total of 3 or 4 golfers who would walk while playing on a regular basis. Tuesday, that total was easily doubled, if not tripled in number. And it’s a trend that I observe at other golf courses around Charleston that I visit from time to time.

Health benefits aside, I enjoy the game so much more as a walker. It is said that Mark Twain referred to Golf as "a good walk spoiled" although even though the comment fits Twain, he probably never really said that, but the beauty of the golf course, the sounds the wildlife, and the chance to reflect on all matters of import while strolling along through the pines and manicured bermuda grass all add to my overall pleasure with the experience. Tuesday's round was really special, because it reminded me of how golf must have been before 1952 when the Marketeer Company began producing the first electric golf carts that were widely used by golfers to traverse the golf course. I usually enjoy my playing partners even when they are riding carts from tee to green, but the sight of four golfers walking abreast down a wide fairway, conversing, sharing stories, and telling jokes between shots is a thing of beauty, and a rare sight on golf courses today. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-golf cart. There are many golfers in our group who could not play the game without the convenience of the golf cart, and for that reason alone I am grateful that they are available. But, there will always be something chivalrous about the spectacle of a foursome of hoofers approaching the 18th green for the final prelude to the fabled 19th hole. Besides after walking the course, the cold beverages taste so much better.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like fun if you didn't have to stop every few minutes to knock a little white dimpled ball a few feet ahead.


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