Tucker had an epiphany during a recent trip to Scotland, where golf carts are pretty much nonexistent. Walking courses such as Turnberry and Prestwick, Tucker realized that going it on foot made him play better, generating a rhythm that translated to a smoother swing and greater consistency.
And, it turned out, walking is also faster than riding.
For the most part, readers applauded Tucker, complimenting both his writing and his rhetoric, and lamented the prevalence of carts on U.S. golf courses. Some pointed out, however, that carts are necessary for older golfers, among others.
Here's a bit of what they had to say:
More courses should encourage walking
Bravo for your comments regarding walking. For the last several months I have had to ride because of a bum knee, and carts do serve a purpose in allowing invalids and the very elderly to continue to play, but having to ride has made me appreciate even more the 45 years I have spent walking golf courses.
We need more courses to encourage rather than discourage walking by allowing pull carts (or "trolleys" as they say in Britain). My club resolutely refuses to allow them, on the groundless basis that it would make a rather exclusive club "look like a muni," when in fact it would make it look like Muirfield.
Keep up the good work.
Carts are changing the game
I agree with the problems carts bring! Speaking as an operator in a resort destination, nearly 97 percent of our customers ride on a course we designed for walking.
The game has changed! Developers making the riding-only layouts have created a phenomenon that has wounded forever the game and business: Riding has produced a golfer that can take golf or leave it.
The game in my opinion is not in your soul like it becomes when you walk to play. They don't play in less than ideal weather, and they play less. Carts also create huge maintenance problems with signs, ropes and compaction; all of which costs money.
To me, the game is about exercise and getting more in touch with the outdoors. I love the revenue carts bring, but it appears to me it comes with a huge downside.
Golf is not a sport
Sorry guys, but golf is not a sport, and you are not athletes. It is a recreational activity that should be played with a group of friends in carts with beer.
If you want exercise, go jogging or ride a bike. If you want to play a sport, take up basketball, baseball or football, but quit kidding yourself. If you are walking and I am riding please get out of the way because there is no way you are faster.
Walking adds to the sheer joy of golf
As a middle-aged lady golfer, I have golfed both Scotland and Ireland - with "the girls." Both 10-day trips were arranged so that we played 36 one day, followed by 18, then 36, etc.
Walking with our local caddies added enormously to the sheer joy of the experience. Were we tired? Yes. But the "best tired" it could possibly be.
It was golf as it should be - including, or possibly especially, the round at Glasgow Gailes during which our caddy led us over the fence and down the road so that we could "use the facility" at his home. (No bathrooms at all on the course. Not such a problem for the guys, but for us girls ... )
The many problems with golf in America
There really is no comparing golf in America to golf in Scotland - carts and downing a six-pack by the fifth hole are obvious differences. Here are the other cancers on the American game - cart paths, cart girls, cart noise, cart-path-only rule (just let me walk), slow play, water, slow caddies, 20-handicappers from the tips, 20-handicappers plumb-bobbing their two-footer for double, $500 green fees and the overall lack of etiquette... Where's the cart girl? I need a beer!
Carts a necessity for some golfers
You are right, it is much better to walk than use a cart. You are also young and haven't learned what age and lousy lifestyle can do to the body.
After several leg and heart surgeries, I have to ride and do my walking on a treadmill. Only time I mustered the energy to walk was at Pinehurst No. 2 several years ago.
Painful and slow but totally worth it - had a great caddie to boot. Our club in Virginia encourages walking (with caddies at peak), then pull carts, then carts. When they get old, all ways get slower.
November 20, 2006