Turn That Music Off!

Rodney Let's Dance!Back in April, I was playing a round at Poolesville and had bunkered my tee shot on the par-3 8th hole.  As I was preparing to play, a group pulled their carts up to the nearby 10th green.  One of the carts was playing music loud enough for everyone in their group to hear, as well as my group and anyone within a couple  hundred yards.  At first I thought some house nearby was having a party, but then I watched this group play out on the 10th and drive off to the 11th tee and it was clear the source was them.  The quality of this sound wasn’t off some phone, it was a powerful and came from a good set of speakers.

Fast forward to my Myrtle Beach trip in June.  I’m playing an afternoon round at The Legends – Parkland with my friend and we catch up to a twosome of young guys on the 9th tee.  They were blaring Lynyrd Skynyrd from their cart.  While they were kind enough to ask us to join them for their final hole, they made no effort to turn the music off while any of us was hitting.

This morning I was out cleaning the patio in preparation for my July 4th barbecue.  My house backs to the 3rd tee at Lakewood Country Club, and a foursome pulls up in two carts with music blaring.  They all play their shots and speed off as if nothing happened.

When I’m out back working with power tools and a group comes through, typically I’ll power down as a courtesy until after they’ve hit, and sometimes I’m thanked.  When you attend any professional sporting event, music is usually played during stoppages in play but when the action resumes, it’s discontinued.  Music is hardly ever an issue at a professional golf tournament (with the exception of The Phoenix Open), and even there, the drunks keep the noise level on the 16th to a dull roar when players are hitting.

I love loud music.  I’ll turn up my electric guitar when nobody is home and rattle the windows; rock and roll was made to be played loud.  But on the golf course?  Is this the new normal?  Rory BoseRory McIlroy is now sponsored by Bose and typically warms up with his music, but uses headphones.  Where is the decorum out there?  Have you noticed this as well?

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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13 Responses to Turn That Music Off!

  1. Brian

    I have not encountered this situation, but it would be distracting for sure! I am not sure if it is the new normal, but modern technology has changed the face of golf in many ways. Maybe. Music while you play is next.

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim, I may sound like an old stick in the mud, but I’m holding the line on this one. Some of the true pleasures of golf include the socialization aspect, but that included conversation, laughter, etc. Never loud music. Granted this doesn’t happen often (now) but the effect seems to be cumulative with me. Hoping it’s not the new norm.

      Thanks,

      Brian

  2. linleygolf says:

    It’s nuts the playing of loud music. When I moved to Florida I found that my new golf buddies always play music – no matter how exclusive the course. It was strange to me and to this day I still sheepish when we roll up to someone else or are within range of them. Maybe it’s the new world for younger golfers.

  3. Brian,

    Personally, I can’t stand listening to music on the golf course. If a group all wants music, and they are not disturbing anyone around them, then I don’t mind. As soon as the music starts to echo down the fairways, or you’re on a golf course where neighboring tee boxes and fairways are within close proximity and it is effecting other people, It’s a problem.

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh, courses could control this if they wanted to. It just hasn’t become too visible. . .yet. One club in my area has a no cellphone policy. Bring it out and get kicked off the course. Pretty harsh but they enforce it and the members don’t have an issue with it. Probably harder to control at your public courses. I’d like to see something done to the effect of a sign near the cart staging area. Kind of like “no chipping on the putting green.” That’s all that’s needed.

      Thanks,

      Brian

  4. Hi Brian,

    I actually love music on the golf course. That said I don’t actually have music on my phone nor play it myself.

    In the club championship on the weekend the facility next door to the course was having a car show event and had music pumped all day. I loved hearing the music as I meandered down the fairway however the response was mixed. Lots loved it but just as many didn’t.

    I also have playing partners who listen to music while playing which I enjoy however it is never blaring that the group in front or behind could hear it.

    I think if it is not obnoxiously loud, music accompanying your round is great however I see from reading the comments above that many disagree with me.

    Cheers,
    Tiffany

    • Brian Penn says:

      Tiffany,

      It’s good to heard from someone with a different perspective. Do you listen to music on your earbuds or have to have it out in the open? I guess I’m more of a traditionalist and like it quiet when I play so I can concentrate. Also we had a guy on our annual trip to Myrtle Beach who played with music on and earbuds in. It was difficult to talk to him during the round because he was off in his own world. A little off putting.

      Thanks for your comment and play well!

      Brian

      • Hi Brian,

        I don’t actually play music myself but have a few summer playing partners that do and I quite enjoy it.

        They just play it through their phones though – no speakers.

        And I danced down the fairway to Johnny Cash in the Club Championship on Sunday – it was fun having old school tunes piped in from the car show nearby.

        Nothing actually bothers me golfing (I could talk in my own backswing) however I do know that everyone has their own idiosyncrasies and some people detest any sound (even the birds) as it ruins their concentration.

        Cheers,
        Tiffany

        • Brian Penn says:

          Tiffany, I bet you were able to study with the TV on, right? I never could. Guess it transfers to the golf course. 😋

          Thanks,

          Brian

  5. Doesn’t bother me one way or the other. I have played with it when others in group are playing it, I was fine. My thing is you can hear it in your group, but nowhere else then that’s fine. To each his own!

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