Freeway Driving vs. Fairway Driving
So while driving back from the PGA Show on a 6 lane freeway between Jacksonville and Savannah, I started thinking about how a golf course is a one lane freeway. A one lane freeway is what causes traffic jams on the golf course – it makes it pretty tough to pass. I know – you can hit up on a par 3 … yeah, yeah, yeah … but that doesn’t help much. It probably helps the group that went through, but the next group has probably caught up, and it’s jammed again.
You need all of the groups to play at a reasonable pace. If the golf course is full, this becomes vital. If a golf course has huge gaps, pace of play and playing through groups is easy. When we’re stuffed all day and still playing around 4:15 a round in the afternoon, I’m pretty pleased – sometimes pretty smug. Think about it – if you lose just 5 minutes an hour, by 2 PM you’d have lost 40 minutes, and that 5 hour round has snuck up on you … and if the course is full, it’s not fixable.
So, we need everybody to play at a 4 hour pace all day. That’s like everybody driving 60 mph on the freeway. Obviously some people want to drive 80, and others want to go 40 … but, our Rangers try to make them understand that 60 is what we expect and is FAIR. This isn’t easy. Some people have “serious” matches and if they lose a ball, the Rules of Golf allow 5 minutes to search. Some people are just really bad players. Some people are just in La-La Land and never ready to hit their shot.
I think a lot of the problem is that people just don’t know. Same thing on the freeway. So back to my story – we had 3 lanes going North to Savannah. The middle lane is to drive at the speed limit, the right lane to exit/enter the freeway, and the left lane to pass. Rocket science. Think it worked like that? Hardly … cars were passing on the right … driving slow in the left, and then criss-crossing … and then all bunching up in a cluster. Mind-boggling. But why should I care? Driving 70 mph in a metal box … there’s no risk involved. Think about this: the golf course with people swinging metal sticks, hitting rock-hard balls 200 mph, and driving golf carts all over … that’s safe compared to being on the freeway with those maniacs.
GM and Head Golf Professional