Keep Calm and Walk On!
Last week when things were semi-normal here in Kansas City, I was thinking about possible topics for the weekly e-mail I send out to my club friends. I was determined to find a topic that was positive and cheery.
The popular introduction of the 10 “Stalkers” (Club Car’s Tempo Walk, a hands-free, autonomous caddie that offers GPS yardage, carries bags and coolers.) at The Kansas City Country Club reminded me that I am very lucky to be able to play a course that is beautiful, challenging and very walkable. Simply put, the distance from greens to tees is minimal and our uphill climbs are manageable. A foursome at KCCC typically plays in four hours or less.
Historically, we have a lot of walkers at our club. Last year, excluding tournament rounds, our members and guests walked 59% of the time. That’s impressive given the fact that our membership is “older” and our summer months are hot and humid. Odds are that percentage will go up now that the Stalkers are available.
While I am certainly not a NEVER-CART-TAKER, I do love walking and do so most of the time for many reasons:
Yes, there is the exercise. Eighteen holes at our club equates to about a 4 ½ mile walk. Walking can help increase your energy level and stamina, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help you with your weight control.
Walking gives you time to forget about your last shot and then focus on your next shot. As three-time Major Billy Casper winner said, “Think ahead. Golf is a next-shot game.”
There’s nothing quite like hitting a green in regulation and then taking out your putter and walking to the green.
The talking. For most of us, golf is a sociable game. Talking with your friends is an essential part of golf. Carts are conversation killers.
Walking is quieter. Even when you are in a foursome, there are going to be numerous times when you find yourself walking alone. Savor those moments when it’s just you and your thoughts.
A walker can easily change his pace. There are rounds – and holes – when you are moving out and other rounds – and holes – when your pace is more moderate, more leisurely.
From the beginning, golf has been a nature walk – the sky, the wind, the turf, the oceans, lakes and streams, the trees, the birds, the deer, the sheep, the rabbits, squirrels and turtles. Watching the hawks gliding through the air as I walk down the fairway never gets old.
And last, but certainly not least right now, you can enjoy a walking round while maintaining the proper “social distance” -- or going out solo.
Finally, I leave you with this Great Quote about the World’s Greatest Game: “If you hit a bad shot, just tell yourself it is great to be alive, relaxing and walking around on a beautiful golf course. The next shot will be better.” -- Al Geiberger (b. 1937), who won the PGA Championship in 1966 and was the first player to shoot a 59 (−13) in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event. His 59 came during the second round of the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic in 1977.
Distance Is Everything These Days,