When I’m at the golf course or practice facility, I always try to do the right thing in terms of etiquette. I expect it from myself and am hopeful my fellow golfers reciprocate. But an event from last Sunday’s round is sticking in my craw and I’d like some additional perspective if what I did was right or wrong.
I teed off as part of a threesome and we were following a foursome that was playing slow but steadily. At the turn, one player in our group dropped out which slightly exacerbated our wait time on nearly every shot. At the 12th tee, we got caught by a twosome. Normally this would be a perfect situation to join up and create a foursome to improve the spacing and pace of play, and I actually told my playing partner that we should ask these guys to join us. But as the first player rolled up I noticed he was playing music, and pretty loud. I made a snap decision to leave these guys on the tee and we pushed out into the fairway.
If I was the guy rolling up, I would probably have considered my behavior rather rude and a breach of etiquette. In this instance, I just didn’t want anything to do with having to endure his music for the last seven holes or confront him about it. My angst had been peaked the previous weekend at the same course. I was on the 11th tee, which sits fairly close to #8 green. A group had parked their carts to putt and had their music going while we were trying to tee off. I was hearing Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and couldn’t get my mind on my business and snap hooked my drive. (Strange choice of music, but that’s for another post.)
As I see it, I had three options:
- Do what I did
- Ask the twosome to join us and say nothing about the music
- Ask the twosome to join us but confront the player about his music
I’ve written before and we’ve discussed the issue of music on the golf course, and readers know that I am strongly opposed. What would you have done? Did I breach golf etiquette for not asking the twosome to join?
I don’t know why this is bugging me so much but it is. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
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 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?