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Michael Moore

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #100 on: September 22, 2009, 10:39:22 PM »
As the author of the topic in question, I appreciate your thorough (I take honesty and candor as a given) reply and I do hope that you return and answer the questions that have been put forth. I truly hate taking a cart, I love the visceral thrill of eighteen dynamic and visually jarring golf holes (Eastward Ho!), and I see your point precisely. So, my more specific question is -

Does the leveraging of cart paths, which obviously reaps huge benefits at the teeing grounds in the form of an expanded canvas, create limitations at the green sites? I guess this is a more nuanced framing of my original observation that your courses are unbearably scenic yet perhaps your bowled green sites are repetitive.
Metaphor is social and shares the table with the objects it intertwines and the attitudes it reconciles. Opinion, like the Michelin inspector, dines alone. - Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First

Michael Moore

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #101 on: September 22, 2009, 10:47:47 PM »
. . .  why should a Cart Ball courses require a different design to a walking courses in mountain areas?

Well, at a mountainous cartball course, you can put a number of tees at the top of a steep, long path. And from this secluded, elevated tee box, there is a spectacular view, which everybody enjoys, and a substantially downhill tee shot, which mountain-dwelling American cartballers generally enjoy.

That's why!
Metaphor is social and shares the table with the objects it intertwines and the attitudes it reconciles. Opinion, like the Michelin inspector, dines alone. - Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First

Andy Troeger

Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #102 on: September 22, 2009, 11:10:26 PM »
After reading a thoughtful post by Jim Engh, one of the many architects that takes the time to discuss, debate and teach those of us not directly involved in the design business (the majority of the 1500 people on this board), I muddle through almost 4 pages of crap that continues to drive people in the gca business away from here.  Thank you to those that tried to continue rational discussion based on Engh's posting.

Boys, many of you are taking yourselves far too seriously.

Ken

Ken,
Well said. I was thinking the same thing when I got to your post. Jim, thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts! Perhaps you forecasted what would happen with this thread when you came up with the title!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2009, 11:14:20 PM by Andy Troeger »

Patrick_Mucci

Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #103 on: September 22, 2009, 11:12:58 PM »
Jim,

I'm one of those that feel that cart paths are a neccesity today.

At clubs I'm familiar with I see men in their 80's and 90's playing golf.

Some walk, some ride.

Each golfer makes their decision based on multiple factors known only to them.

In addition, depending upon soil, terrain, weather patterns, etc., etc., cart paths can allow for play where walking only would limit or prohibit play for some.

In terms of the design element, I'd agree that the concept for the individual holes should be paramount, however, I think you have to allow latitude for cart paths.  And, if that means a slight incremental reduction in the value of the hole, I think it's a worthy compromise.

There may come a day when the only golfers who could play the course are those riding the course.
Without the cart path option, revenue for the day would be lost if cart paths didn't exist.

I like walking, but, at the present time I can no longer walk 36 a day for several days in a row.
But, I can play 36 a day, for several days in a row by riding a cart, or riding a cart one day and walking the next.

Why should golfers with similar conditions/restrictions be prevented from enjoying a round of golf on a challenging, yet enjoyable golf course ?

Lastly, if the demographic of those playing golf advances, they may be the only ones paying and playing.
 

David_Tepper

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #104 on: September 22, 2009, 11:18:14 PM »
Melvyn -

You really should make an effort to come to the U.S. some time to see the terrain on which many golf courses have been built here over the past 20-30 years in states like California and Colorado. Some are remarkable feats of engineering and construction. The changes in elevation on the land where many of these courses have been built can be extreme. Changes in elevation from green to next tee can be 100 feet or more. The views from some of these tees are spectacular.

More often than not, the change in elevation is uphill and the distance between green and next tee is can be 50 to 100 yards or more. Even if there is no change in elevation, the distance from green to next tee might require traversing a canyon or ravine of similar distance in width. In theory, any of these courses are walkable, but, as a practical matter, they are not. Remember, golf is played in temperatures of 85-90F degrees in much of the U.S. during most of the summer.     

I have played 40-50 seaside and inland courses in the British Isles and have seen nothing remotely close, in terms of topography, to the property on which some of these courses have been built. What is the change in elevation from the highest to the lowest point on courses like the Old Course or Muirfield? 25 feet? 50 feet?
 
You can and likely will argue that a golf course should never have been built on such land. The developers who employ Mr. Engh will tell you that there are people who live and/or vacation in these areas and they are interested in playing golf in this type of environment. They have the income and a willingness to spend it as required to make these project financially viable. That is the free market for you.

Until you have these some of these properties first hand, you will likely not be able to appreciate what I am saying.

DT   

PThomas

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #105 on: September 23, 2009, 07:39:53 AM »
Jim,

I'm one of those that feel that cart paths are a neccesity today.

At clubs I'm familiar with I see men in their 80's and 90's playing golf.

Some walk, some ride.
 

Pat, your post made me think of this question for all of us:

if due to health considerations the only way you could golf would be to take a cart, what would you do?

i love the game too much to give it up, so i'd get a cart

and thanks Jim for your interesting and thoughtful post
198 played, only 2 to go!!

Melvyn Morrow

Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #106 on: September 23, 2009, 09:07:01 AM »
Paul

In answer to your question, I cannot play for health reasons, this may or may not change in the future, but I will not play from a cart.  No matter how I love the game, using a cart (for me) just does not feel like golf.

In 2007 I was taken round Strathpeffer Spa hilly course near Tain & Dornoch so as I cannot walk more than short distances, the Captain took me around the course in a cart. First time on a cart for nearly 20 years, yet I would hate to play my game this way. Its totally devoid of feeling, no continuity between holes, tracking back to the transport each time, hell for me its not golf, its not the way I have played since the 1960s and it will not be the way I want to play in the future.

The contact from the course, from ones vision and ones concentration is totally broken. The ability to observe as you progress around the course is restricted. I understand why many golfers need to use distance aids, markers, electronic aids, mainly because they ride carts, which seems to be the equivalent of stopping the blood flow to your brain minimising its ability to function correctly, forcing the golfer into being reliant on all outside information. Sorry just not for me, and how millions like playing the game this way is just beyond me, I need to observe, think and plan as I walk to my next shot, using a cart gives me a devoid blinkered view.

So the decision I made a few years ago was based upon do I actually want to change my game or stay true to its roots. Sorry, just no contest as a cart is not a replacement for my mobility problem, its just compounds the misery and is a constant reminder of what I have lost. Carting IMHO is not a second best option, its no option at all due to the remoteness of feeling it generates as it moves around the course. And if you are forced to stick to the cart paths, then just why bother.

Many on here say they are only using it to get from shot to shot. Rubbish, it shows that they have not fully experienced the feeling of the course speaking to you as you walk. Your senses are in a far higher state of alertness, adding fundamentally to the quality and enjoyment of your round. Riding you turn onto auto mode and everything else seems to switch off, sorry it is not for me.

I do not know if this helps you in anyway, but it is the path that I have chosen for myself.

Melvyn

« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 09:31:12 AM by Melvyn Hunter Morrow »

Kalen Braley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #107 on: September 23, 2009, 10:35:25 AM »
Just to elaborate and run with the theme David T started.

Living in Utah and having played many legit mountain courses in the region, its usually not the holes themselves that make these courses very difficult to impossible to walk.  Its the transitions between green to tee that will kill you. In many cases the courses are built along the side of a slope so to fit a course in, most holes run perpindicular to the slope of the mountain.  So while the hole itself is relativly flat and very walkable, its getting to the next hole thats the problem.

And when there is little usable space in some areas, sometimes the transfers between two holes will both negotiate steep slopes and be several hundred yards long.  If there were shuttle transfers on these worst ones, I would gladly walk these courses, but I can't imagine this would be very feasible in terms of staffing.

P.S.  If stepping foot inside a cart at any point of a round turns golf into "cart ball", then that would mean even the PGAtour is a violater of this!  ;)

Adam Clayman

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #108 on: September 23, 2009, 10:51:56 AM »
As someone who has experience on both sides of this fence there's good (and poor) cases on both sides. Mitigating the impact of concrete can be just as thoughtful as a well placed knob or nose. What gets me is how often the poorer execution of cart path placement can affect not only the disabled but also those aesthetically sensitive. One issue that is guaranteed to chap my ass has to do with green exit strategies. I can say for an almost certainty that I have never felt that way on one of Jim's courses. I can not say the same for most others. Even some of the biggest names in the business. I can recall the very first time I was struck by a lack of respect for the walker and for pace of play. It was on the front nine @ San Juan Oaks. The total disregard for an intelligent routing hits the golfer almost immediately on what is flat terrain.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing your whole life." - Mickey Mantle

Garland Bayley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #109 on: September 23, 2009, 03:04:08 PM »
Just to elaborate and run with the theme David T started.

Living in Utah and having played many legit mountain courses in the region, its usually not the holes themselves that make these courses very difficult to impossible to walk.  Its the transitions between green to tee that will kill you. In many cases the courses are built along the side of a slope so to fit a course in, most holes run perpindicular to the slope of the mountain.  So while the hole itself is relativly flat and very walkable, its getting to the next hole thats the problem.

And when there is little usable space in some areas, sometimes the transfers between two holes will both negotiate steep slopes and be several hundred yards long.  If there were shuttle transfers on these worst ones, I would gladly walk these courses, but I can't imagine this would be very feasible in terms of staffing.

P.S.  If stepping foot inside a cart at any point of a round turns golf into "cart ball", then that would mean even the PGAtour is a violater of this!  ;)

Kalen,

Are these cart ball courses as good as Indian Canyon? Or, are the GCAs who built them taking misguided advantage of using a cart to make the transistions?
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Kalen Braley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #110 on: September 23, 2009, 04:07:18 PM »
Just to elaborate and run with the theme David T started.

Living in Utah and having played many legit mountain courses in the region, its usually not the holes themselves that make these courses very difficult to impossible to walk.  Its the transitions between green to tee that will kill you. In many cases the courses are built along the side of a slope so to fit a course in, most holes run perpindicular to the slope of the mountain.  So while the hole itself is relativly flat and very walkable, its getting to the next hole thats the problem.

And when there is little usable space in some areas, sometimes the transfers between two holes will both negotiate steep slopes and be several hundred yards long.  If there were shuttle transfers on these worst ones, I would gladly walk these courses, but I can't imagine this would be very feasible in terms of staffing.

P.S.  If stepping foot inside a cart at any point of a round turns golf into "cart ball", then that would mean even the PGAtour is a violater of this!  ;)

Kalen,

Are these cart ball courses as good as Indian Canyon? Or, are the GCAs who built them taking misguided advantage of using a cart to make the transistions?


Garland,

In reviewing my xls that lists all the courses I've played, I found about half a dozen courses that would be called "cartball" courses which rank higher than Indian Canyon.

As for how they got there and what could have been, I defer to the Huckaby Theory.  That is, there is no way to know because I or you don't know what the architect originally had to work with in terms of land, environmental restrictions, owner goals, etc, etc.

Garland Bayley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #111 on: September 23, 2009, 04:21:21 PM »


Garland,

In reviewing my xls that lists all the courses I've played, I found about half a dozen courses that would be called "cartball" courses which rank higher than Indian Canyon.

As for how they got there and what could have been, I defer to the Huckaby Theory.  That is, there is no way to know because I or you don't know what the architect originally had to work with in terms of land, environmental restrictions, owner goals, etc, etc.

What ranking would that be that you are referring to?
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Kalen Braley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #112 on: September 23, 2009, 05:09:26 PM »


Garland,

In reviewing my xls that lists all the courses I've played, I found about half a dozen courses that would be called "cartball" courses which rank higher than Indian Canyon.

As for how they got there and what could have been, I defer to the Huckaby Theory.  That is, there is no way to know because I or you don't know what the architect originally had to work with in terms of land, environmental restrictions, owner goals, etc, etc.

What ranking would that be that you are referring to?


My own personal ranking list!!  ;D

Jim Franklin

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #113 on: September 23, 2009, 05:10:48 PM »
And the only one that really matters.
Mr Hurricane

Garland Bayley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #114 on: September 23, 2009, 05:21:27 PM »
Are you kidding Jim? He used to rave about circling raven.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Jim Franklin

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #115 on: September 23, 2009, 05:26:17 PM »
It's the only one that matters to HIM. I don't agree with his list, but I have my own. I like mine better.
Mr Hurricane

Kalen Braley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #116 on: September 23, 2009, 05:29:44 PM »
Are you kidding Jim? He used to rave about circling raven.


Circling Raven is a good quality layout, and i still like it alot, but no doubt as Jim said in the other thread, its not in the same class as most of the others we played on that trip.

As for lists, I think most lists are interesting, but yes my list is compiled to my own personal likes and dislikes.  I would suspect everyone's list is done this way if they are being honest with themselves and not homers to what other people think!!   ;)
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 05:32:12 PM by Kalen Braley »

A.G._Crockett

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #117 on: September 23, 2009, 08:08:31 PM »
"If you're not walking, you're not playing golf. You might be playing "cart-ball," but it's not golf." from A Call to Feet "Golf is a Walking Game", USGA, 1995


I've seen this quote on websites that are selling products for walkers, but I can't find it on the USGA website.  I'll call USGA tomorrow and try to get a copy of the booklet for myself to see the page number and complete context.  (Perhaps you actually have the booklet, but just failed to provide the page number.)  I don't object to the sentiment, but it seems a bit over the top for the USGA, an organization not, shall we say, normally given to excess.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Jim_Kennedy

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #118 on: September 23, 2009, 09:40:18 PM »
A.G.
The second sentrence is not in the USGA's booklet, the first sentence is.
"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

DMoriarty

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #119 on: September 23, 2009, 09:58:58 PM »
Mr. Engh,

I’ve been thinking about your post, which to my mind touched on many of the most important issues facing golf and golf design today.  Thanks again for posting  it.   Unfortunately, I find myself with so many questions and concerns that I am not really even sure how to address them in a coherent and cohesive manner.  It may be that we are better off breaking down some of these issues into separate threads, so that we can really flesh them out.

For now though I think I'll try and make sure that those of us discussing this are actually on the same page about just one basic issue.   If you’d like to participate in the conversation that would be great, but if not I won’t hold it against you.  I am sure that others won’t mind jumping in and offering their comments.  

Designing for Walking
.
 

Over the years, much of our discussion about your courses has been about whether or not you design your courses for walking and whether your courses are indeed walkable.  Hopefully your post will allow us to put this discussion to bed.   I understand that the following examples may be just three scenarios on a continuum, but hope they accurately represent your views:

1. On severe sites, walking is not even a consideration.
On the truly mountainous sites like Sanctuary, Redlands Mesa and Lakota Canyon, the decision was not whether walking is reasonable, but more to the point, is this project even possible to build on this land. At this point, riding vs. walking is a mute point.   The good news is, if it is possible it will be very spectacular.

2. On moderate sites (where a walking course might be suitable for about 1/2 the golfers) walking is still not much of a consideration.
When dealing with moderate land upon which it might be "possible" to create a walking course, I have the following decision; should I create a course that is very much less exciting/fun but is potentially walkable for 50% of the players? Or should I decide that this will be a mostly cart course and create a much more powerful golfing experience and sales engine for the project? When making that decision, you must, as a professional, consider that if the course is walkable for 50% of the players, it is likely that you will have 90% of the golfers using a cart. In my mind that is an easy decision. Do the better course.

I suppose that one could argue that the resulting “better course” might happen to end up walkable for some hiker-types.  But, if so, this would be more by happenstance than design, wouldn’t it?   At the very least, isn’t the deck stacked heavily against the course ending up reasonably walkable?

3. On a flattish piece of land “the factor of walking is a much bigger consideration.”   For example at Awarii Dunes, the course you are designing in Nebraska:
I have set a paramount on walking. Cart paths will be green to tee only and consist of a mixture of native sand and small gravel. Tee placements have been located for ease of access from the previous green.  

I’m glad to hear that that you will build for walkers there. It makes sense, especially if the client is so inclined.  But I am having a little trouble understanding why flattish land is treated differently from a design perspective.  Most golfers will still ride.  And the best holes you can find will not necessarily be the same holes that would be most conducive to walking, will they?  So why don’t the same considerations apply to flattish sites as apply to moderate sites?  Instead of trying to put the tee boxes next to greens, why not put them on better, higher ground even if a bit further away, to create the better golf hole?   In short, why choose walkers over “the better course” just because the land is flattish?

One possibility is that your approach is the same on all sites, but there just aren’t a lot of opportunities to build powerful, inspiring, and spectacular holes on flattish sites.  I guess another possibility is that you attach a much greater value to the traditional golfing experience in certain settings.   If so I am curious as to why?  Or perhaps it is some of both or something I am not considering?    

At Awarii Dunes you plan to place your tees for ease of access from the green, and don’t plan on building continuous cart paths.   Have you designed any other courses with the tees placed for easy of access and without continuous cart paths?    Which of your courses have you set out to make easily walkable for most golfers?   Have you designed any courses on a relatively flat site where walking was not a primary consideration?

Perhaps an example will help explain what I am asking.  You built the course adjacent to the CSU practice facility, Harmony Golf Club.  I haven't had the pleasure of playing there, but apparently it is a fairly flat piece of land, isn't it?   If so then it is probably walkable for some, but from photos and representations I’ve seen, I am having trouble understanding how it was designed with walkers in mind.   For example, on quite a few of the holes it doesn’t look as if there is any way  easy way for the walker to even get to the fairway or green, except for some roundabout trek on the cart path.  For example aren't there some water crossings where the bridge looks to be well away from the fairway.  These roundabout treks are tough on walkers even on flat sites; carts can get navigate them much faster.  Was the course one of those specifically designed for walking?   Do golfers there actually walk?   How about the college team?  
_________________

Whatever you do with "flattish" sites I hope it is fair to say that, on the moderate and severe land, you aren’t just building cart-ball courses because it is a bad site.  In fact, I would be very surprised if you considered these to be “bad” sites at all.   Challenging certainly, but I doubt bad.  It seems like you see these sites as great opportunities to build powerful, inspiring, and spectacular golf holes in a unique setting, and that might be impossible at more mundane sites.   At least that is how I read the following passage and similar statements.  

I still, and will always believe that the single greatest thing about the game of golf, is the diversity of the settings upon which the game is played. From desert golf to mountain golf to prairie golf to woodland golf to links golf to ocean golf, each type of golfing experience should be appreciated. That is what seperates our game from the sterile experience of bowling. Some of these types of courses, by nature, do not allow for easy walking and I will always choose to create inspiring golf holes with the use of a cart, rather than mundane golf holes walking.

I hope this is a good place to stop.   I haven’t gotten into most of the issues that your post brings to mind and I haven't even touched on many of your design features that I have questioned in the past, but there has been so much conflict about whether and when you design for walkers, that I thought I'd try to make sure I am understanding you before I move on.  

Thanks again for contributing to the conversation.   I think you are very much in the majority regarding your views on carts and "the realities of the profession" and it is nice for me to read your frank and articulate comments on this issue and others.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 10:08:37 PM by DMoriarty »
Golf history can be quite interesting if you just let your favorite legends go and allow the truth to take you where it will.
--Tom MacWood (1958-2012)

A.G._Crockett

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #120 on: September 23, 2009, 10:22:23 PM »
A.G.
The second sentrence is not in the USGA's booklet, the first sentence is.

Jim,
Thanks; I suspected something along those lines.
"Golf...is usually played with the outward appearance of great dignity.  It is, nevertheless, a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul."      Bobby Jones

Garland Bayley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #121 on: September 24, 2009, 11:56:17 AM »
A.G.
The second sentrence is not in the USGA's booklet, the first sentence is.

Sorry to burst your bubble Jim, but both sentences are in the booklet. As to the page number, it is 3. It is the very first point they make in the booklet. Why are you interested in misrepresenting what is in the booklet?

Perhaps a more apropos quote from the booklet for this thread is on page 13. "Golf courses must be designed with walking in mind. (There is not a great course in the world that is impracticable to walk.)"
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 12:12:57 PM by Bayley R. Garland »
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Melvyn Morrow

Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #122 on: September 24, 2009, 12:29:41 PM »

Bayley

So let me get my head around this, Golf is a walking game, as confirmed by USGA in 1995. They also called for more walking courses at the same time.
Cart Ball is not Golf.

It that what the US Governing Body has been saying for over 14 years?

Melvyn


Garland Bayley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #123 on: September 24, 2009, 12:56:14 PM »
Melvyn,

All I can do is report what the USGA said in their 1995 booklet. However, I have never seen them rescind the statements made there.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

Kalen Braley

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Re: ....so much fuss over concrete...
« Reply #124 on: September 24, 2009, 01:14:54 PM »
Garland,

You still can't get around the fact that a legal USGA handicap round can be scored while playing golf in a cart.  So outside of making a specific rule to prohibit this, any thing else they say on the matter is merely an opinion.    ;D  Just like building USGA greens is another opinion they hold

If they were so dead set against carts why wouldn't they just make a simple rule that says playing golf in a cart is non-reportable for handicap purposes?

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