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Golf Australia Express : Issue 44
IN CENTURIES PAST, golf was criticised as the ruination of a good walk. On many courses today, a quip like this would reveal only ignorance such is the prevalence carts. Golf carts were first seen in the early 1930s as a means to enable crippled golfers to get around the course—they were a rarity that opened the game to people who otherwise could only watch. Now, they are a massive business. The very notion of golf is fundamentally tied to long walks through open expanses of nature, manicured though it may be. Golf courses are not only beautiful places— the walking counts. It is a part of the course and a part of the game. Steep hills have to be climbed and the putt at the top is all the harder for it. Heat drains. Rain soaks. And it’s all a part of golf. It is a game of patience, a meditation that calls for the inner quietude of a Zen monk and such a state is rarely found zipping around in a cart. But the rise of the cart not only threatens one of the fundamental aspects of the game, in some instances it shapes the very courses the game is played on. Long walks between holes were once seen as an irritating instance of sloppy layout, but as carts have grown more commonplace, so too has the tendency for course designers to allow a little more leeway between the green and next tee, much to the walking public’s displeasure. As I said, there are many people who play golf thanks only to mechanised USING YOUR HEAD IS ONE THING WITH GOLF BUT USING YOUR FEET IS EVEN BETTER, WRITES WILL HONE. WHO CARTED? with Will Hone IN HONING assistance—some travel in carts, others walk with a motorised buggy. This is a brilliant thing. But for the healthy golfing population, such aids are both unwise and uncalled for. In an age when we learn more of the benefits of exercise in maintaining a healthy body and mind, it is boggling to watch the development of deep-set socially accepted laziness. Ghandi said we should be the change we want to see in the world. Carts are there because people use them. This is a call to walk the grassy path, to feel preceding steps as the 18th green approaches, and to work their weary harvest into the approach shot. This is a call to feet, that we who enjoy the game may also reap the harvest of what fitness may be gained from a good walk well spent. OTG This is a call to feet, that we who enjoy the game may also reap the harvest of what fitness may be gained from a good walk well spent. DO YOU AGREE? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS X
Issue 45—The British Open