Brandon TuckerThis Week at Dec. 5, 2006

Europe has free health care for all but complimentary water coolers for none?

During my recent visit to Scotland, I wrote a holier-than-thou column essentially labeling all American golfers fat, lazy snobs for using golf carts. Adding insult, I even said in a recent Sweet Spots podcast that Scots are better golfers than the average Joe Americans I'm often paired with.

But you Scots and Euros aren't off the hook. Namely: Where are your water coolers on the golf course? I don't remember filling up once in any of my travels across the pond whether it was in Portugal, Scotland or Central Europe.

Now I know as a continent you love gouging tourists, especially with drinks. It doesn't matter if you're in Venice or St. Andrews. The word "refill" is taboo and you aren't getting any free tap water at dinner. It's all bottled and it ain't cheap.

In America, we fat weenies in our Club Cars have an abundance of free aqua even when we're burning about as many calories in a round as we shoot over par. Yet when we work up a sweat hoofing it overseas, there's no relief? We keep hearing that your free health care systems are so much better, but then you remove any human decency by not allowing us free hydration on the golf course. Somebody explain this to me.

Americans are already hopelessly nailed by your exchange rates, then we get shafted a few extra bucks for bottled water before the round and at the turn. Even the worst $20 dog track in the U.S. has a few jugs of suitable and complimentary hydro whether it's in Michigan or Arizona.

There's an easy fix, superintendents. Simply stick a hose in a few jugs and leave 'em on a few tee boxes. Problem solved. You probably hate the idea of the waste all those little paper cones make (even though the packaging of your precious bottled water does tremendous harm to the environment), so I'd even be willing to bring my own empty bottle if I knew I'll be able to use it consistently.

As always, welcomes your comments.

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