Take responsibility for your actions on the course

Monday April 23rd, 2012
Ben Crane is known for being one of the slowest players on tour.
Darron Cummings / AP

We live in a world of immediate gratification and blaming other for our problems. With Twitter and Facebook and our 24/7 culture, we expect everything five minutes ago and not a minute later. At work, we're asked to do more, faster, with less, and that relentless pressure now permeates our entire lives. There might be one place left that is a respite from that pressure: the golf course. There you can silence your cell phone, not worry about texts and tweets, and enjoy the challenge of the game and, if you're lucky, the friendship of your foursome.

So it's ironic that amateur golf's biggest problem is exactly the opposite of the problem in the rest of our lives: the pace of play is too slow. In addition to the nonstop 24/7 pressure, we've also become very good at the blame game. I've even heard people blame Ben Crane for slow play at their local course. "People watch him play slow and they imitate it at their own course." That's demonstrably false -- the slow players at your local track have nothing in common with the way Ben Crane plays golf.

Slow play can only be solved when we take personal responsibility for our actions. Play ready golf. Drop a guy off at his ball and then drive to your ball. Pick up rather than putt out for a 10. Save a minute here and there, and you'll be surprised how quickly they add up. Another benefit of a brisker pace is that you'll likely start shooting lower scores. Golf is all about rhythm and being in the moment, and if you can't focus becuase you're waiting on every hole, then you won't play well.

Golf demands personal accountability (that's why we call penalties on ourselves) and is always a reflection of the world we live in. Taking responsibility for our actions on the course can make the game a reflection of the best parts of our modern world and an escape from the worst parts.

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