Hip-Hop Golf: Next step in the game's American evolution?
Can you hear the sounds of our youth blasting across a golf course? Hip-Hop, R&B, Rap, Metal, and good old Rock and Roll take turns setting a hypnotic pulse to which the game’s alternate rhythm beats.
Can you see the colors of the game, greens and browns and sky blues, complemented by pastels, neons, and other, less-muted tones? Dress, equipment, hair, even the playing grounds take on a distinctive hue as a box of crayons spills into the dye of the ancient sport.
Can you envision the outcome of a round of golf changing? Numbers, hole counts, winners and losers cease to preserve importance as young athletes strive for fluid, relaxed, casual passes at the golf ball, which retains its spherical shape, its size restrictions, and its dimpled patterns, for the most part.
I can envision executive-length courses for kids who might not be exposed to the game via the country-club route. Kids who don’t follow the equivalent of the “Advanced Placement track” for young golfers.
I can see the box of crayons personified in pigments, as neon oranges and limes, electric blues and purples, and pastel pinks and yellows pixilate the landscape. Nicklaus used black sand in his Anaconda Course in Montana. Why stop there?
I can hear these sounds, reminiscent of a skateboard park, a snow terrain park, a climbing park. You don’t go if you don’t need the ambience, the camaraderie, the buzz. You go, young or old, because you want to feel young in a non-traditional golf setting. You go because you want to learn the game in a less-restrictive, less-inhibited environment.
And if or when you’re ready, you move on to the traditional playing fields, with their traditional rules, dress codes, colors, sounds and outcomes. You do so of your own accord, because you love the sport, love the game, regardless of the clothes it wears.
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1. In order to play there you must have a membership card from the course.
2. In order to receive a membership card you need to carry a current USGA handicap index. No index, no play.
3. In order to maintain your membership card, you must be capable of completing your round of golf in 3-1/2 hours or less.
4. If you fail to complete your rounds in 3-1/2 hours more than 3 times, you're suspended, more than 5, you lose your card and go play somewhere else.
5. Tee times are organized throughout the day based on your pace of play rating. Players with lower average elapsed times get priority on morning tee times, with slower players playing later in the day.
While this might be extreme, I think it is high time the golf industry figures out a way to time foursomes, identify the problem players, and make some corrections.
Sure, there are a lot of people who wouldn't like this and wouldn't play there. But I think there are a lot of people that would love it and would only play there. This would separate the people who want a day long stroll in the grass from those that just want to play and move on to the rest of their day.
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