Thursday, January 31, 2019

Golf Meritocracy

          On Tuesday, with a stiff wind blowing as I finally shivered my way off the golf course a half hour before darkness, the workings of a meritocracy came to mind.

          The league I play in here has had its start time bumped forward, from morning to afternoon. At least 20 or more play, and a tee time of 2:15 is meaningless if you’re in the caboose portion of the group, since you have to wait for those ahead.

An arrival time of 1:45 for everyone to get organized easily morphs into a start time after 3:00 if you’re assigned to bring up the rear. I'm not a fan of waiting almost an hour and a half just to hit the ball, my fate for the entire season so far, I assume since I’m one of the less proficient players (and possibly, I suspect, because I’m a resident of a different complex).

          The logic that the better players hit the ball farther and thus move more quickly down the course broke down Tuesday as those of us at the back stood around and waited for the “superior” players in front of us to move ahead. All groups were traveling at the same speed, regardless of position.

          The league I play in at home is strictly democratic. Starting positions and foursome groupings are based each week on random chance, so the strong players are often teamed with the weaker ones. Since in golf you’re really just trying to better your own score from the week before, this works out just fine.

          The atmosphere is very different between the two. Here, there’s a more relaxed attitude, with “do-overs” and “gimmees” (the ball stopping an inch from the cup often considered equal to actually falling in), and little interest in your partner's score, assuming she’s even keeping score.

          At home, rules are followed to the letter, and score is kept and calibrated with more intensity than a tax return, and we all know who fudges in order to keep her strokes low. The scores are then gathered and measured, and handicaps handed out. While everyone in this league is much more serious about rules and play, I enjoy my huge handicap, which is a real bonus for anyone on my team, often putting our group at the front of that day’s tally.

          I haven’t decided which I prefer- my friendly fellow outcasts always with me at the back of the bus, or playing in the big leagues when I at least have a chance of getting home before dinner. 
 (By the way, this hole and its pond is everyone's nemesis. That's my ball, which sailed over it and brought me just under par.)


  1. I do not play golf and have no plans to do so. I have realized that various golf clubs have various personalities.

  2. Hooray for avoiding your nemesis.
    Sports are not for me. Being a non competitive klutz will do that.

  3. sounds like more reasons not to play golf to me.

  4. I know nothing about golf, but that (photographic) shot is impressive.

  5. You are doing well to adapt to both situations.

  6. I watched my sister and her friends play a couple relaxed games while I visited in Florida. Lots of do-overs and gimme's going on, as well as some real fun to be had. I was a bit envious. :-)

  7. My inclination would be to play for fun, do-overs and all. That is what it's about, isn't it? (I'd be traumatized by that many players, frankly.)


Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to hear what you think.