Adults and Kids on the golf course: some get it and some lack a clue
We completed week one of the 2008 %$^#&* golf camp (name concealed to protect the innocent) on Friday and adults continue to behave true to form. Some majors absolutely understand that minors are the present and the future of the game and the world while others simply cannot grasp that fact.
The camp works something like this…on Mondays and Wednesdays we have an hour of etiquette and rules chat, then head to the course for short game and long game practice before lunch. After snacking, the kids play up to nine holes on a short regulation course. Tuesday features more etiquette and rules, long game practice, lunch, then 1.5 hours each on a three-hole short course and a ginormous short game facility. Thursday and Friday are the tests of strength: 18 holes of regulation golf, walking, carrying your own bag. Keep in mind that these are middle school-age kids.
What happens is this: the place we go on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday rakes in money for course rental AND concession sales. Each year the clods in charge never fail to butt a motorized twosome right up against the final foursome (we usually have 7) on Thursday, forcing one of the counselors to act as a moving barrier between the young and the restless. The kids move a 4.5 hour clip, but that doesn’t seem to influence the adults. They complain as if on pace for a 7-hour round. As the kids make the turn, the kitchen help take their money while providing shoddy service and attitude. Last week, the cashier REJECTED sales because she couldn’t keep up with the petitions of the kids for overpriced candy bars. Funny how she served all the bar patrons with a smile.
Tuesdays and Fridays, in contrast, are hosted by kid-friendly golf courses. The ownership is so understanding that they go out of their way to greet the kids at the start, say farewell at the end, and give them a constant thumbs up as they complete each hole or session. As you can imagine, we’re working to get away from the Monday-Wednesday-Thursday locale as early as 2009; we have another course to replace the Thursday 18, but the options on Monday and Wednesday (range, 9-hole, chipping green) aren’t as available with a snap of the fingers.
In the meantime, all you adults out there, remember what it was like when you were a golfing kid…be nice to the kids you see on the courses. Here’s one to chew on if you treat the young’uns poorly: if you’ve ever uttered the statement “If only I had started when I was young…” Well, if you child had run into you adult, you probably would have quit the game to avoid the abuse. Show some friendship and some empathy to those just starting out…you just might head for home with a smile on your face this time.
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Of course, if the adults were worthy of respect and respected tradition and truth, the kids would reflect that. So, look in the mirror.