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Beavis and Butthead

Greetings Golfers,

Here’s a great quote by Percy Boomer from his book “On Learning Golf”:

“Our subject is power, and power like fire, is a good servant but a bad master. Uncontrolled power is the very devil - in golf or anywhere else.”

Power in golf can be a huge advantage. Making the golf course shorter makes it much easier. Much easier.

I can’t hit it reasonably far anymore. Yet, people say to me that it shouldn’t matter because I can hit it straight. Well, hitting driver off-the-deck on a par 4 is quite a bit harder than hitting a 7 iron. 

Especially on holes with water in front of the green. Or elevated greens. I’ve gotten decent at hitting cut 5 woods into greens … but I’d rather be hitting a 7 iron … or a wedge!

I know, I know … that’s why courses have different sets of tees. But even if the shorter tees put me into the “proper” landing zone … that second shot is still long because my 7 iron goes as far as my former wedge … or my hybrid where I used to hit 7 iron.

So … this got me thinking about golf course design. Old school courses were designed with the idea that golf is basically played on the ground … and modern courses with the idea that it’s played in the air. 

Very different mind-sets.

Last week I played in an event at an old-school 9-hole course. No par 5s. Short, narrow par 4s. Long hard par 3s. This course is difficult … especially for young power-players. Their small, tricky greens that slope off the sides penalize reckless and inaccurate shots.

Hmmmmm … sounds like a game that rewards strategy, patience and shot-making.

How about another game that rewards strategy, patience and shot-making … tennis … on clay courts. 

I think tennis should only have one-serve. Or do you like tournaments where almost every serve is an ace … and every return is a winner.

How about baseball? 100mph pitchers … every at-bat is a strike-out or a walk or a home-run.

Do you remember the cartoon show “Beavis and Butt-head”? They just watched television and liked MTV if the music videos were loud and had fire.

Beavis and Butt-head were just young knuckleheads … their idiocy was supposed to be funny.

The love of power fits right into that mind-set - they want it NOW! No strategy … no patience … no admiration of learned skills … just love of immediate gratification.

What if that type of person was a general in a war … wouldn’t they just use nuclear bombs at the start of a conflict?

They have no regard for future consequences.

Shouldn’t our games reward more than just raw power? Do we want to develop a society of Beavis and Butt-heads?

Power isn’t a bad thing. Money isn’t a bad thing. But the worship of power and/or money is a bad thing. 

A culture should be more than the “law of the jungle”. Obviously it has to be based in reality. But it should reward more than raw power … not based on “might makes right”. 

Our games represent our values … our culture.

I prefer golf courses that reward strategy, patience, and shot-making. Power should also be rewarded. But not uncontrolled power. Unless we want to live in an idiotic society.

That reminds me … the guy who wrote “Beavis and Butt-head” also wrote the movie “Idiocracy”.

Golf should be the antidote to Idiocracy. Percy Boomer knew what he was talking about.
 

Cheers!

Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351
www.deerrungolf.com
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