Loud Music on the Golf Links Here to Stay?
Meditation is Giving Way to Background Music on the Tee
Leave it to good-ole John Daly to occupy the vanguard of new age golf, a sport where calm and silent conentration was the theme, to accompanying rock concerts and, who knows, troupes of dancers joining each player’s entourage. Actually, it isn’t all that dramatic in Daly’s case, but there’s no question that the man is hip. Playing a pro-am somewhere in the world (I don’t know where – I can’t keep up with this guy), a fan appeared out of nowhere with a guitar, and began to sing a song Daly composed entitled “Hit It Hard.” Why wouldn’t Daly write a song like that? It’s begging to be written by someone just like John Daly. One journalilstic observer says that the song, and the way the golfer sings it, is pretty good, but I’ll make my own judgment when I hear it – if I ever get around to it. Somone from every profession thinks that he or she can also sing, and so long as they’re not singing German Lieder, French chanson, opera or 12-tone to avant-garde top one hundred hits, some of them can. How many people know that Clint Eastwood released a cowboy album back in Rawhide days? He’s not all that bad, but combining music with golf as the new thing – well, I just don’t know.
Actually, yes I do know. Matthew Hall of Turtle Bay Resort says that golf has got to be fun, and he positions DJs around the course. He says that Sam Snead used to hum The Beautiful Blue Danube for the rhythm of his swing. That might irritate me, but at least he was singing during his own swing, and he didn’t bring along a heavy metal band for atmosphere Suddenly, it’s boom boxes at the driving range and around the course, as disapproving old-schoolers look on with dagger smiles. Mr. Hall, my inner world, the quiet one in which I play golf, in part to get away from the noise of life, is a lot of fun. I don’t care if it isn’t fun for you, or if it isn’t noisy enough for you. Go find your own inner world.
Somebody’s going to make some good money for a while as courses with added music become the rage. Then, some other courses are going to make money as havens for golfers who want a quiet place to concentrate, and who want you to remain blessedly silent while they’re doing it. It’s not even minimally ironic, come to think of it, that while course pros, managers, etc. are starting to embrace recorded music, the rules of golf stipulate that we’re not allowed to put anything in our ears during our round, either to play it silently to ourselves, or to shut it out from others. A pro at one course in California enjoys taunting the marshalls in the red carts by playing particularly profane tracks of his favorite artists. He shouldn’t mess with oldsters, who have stockpiles of ammunition in the form of Mahler symphonies and Viennese operatic immortals with which to fight back.
Thankfully, most of the people who are having a good time with golf and music blended into the same experience have retained some sense of manners. One recommends that the volume level be decided by whether you can hear it emanating from the cart past fifteen paces away. Just know that as a senior citizen, if I hear you blaring Metallica down the fairway, I’m not going to hit you with my drive because I’m feeble. I’m going to hit you with it because I’m trying to., at least if I can manage one of hose straight-hitting days. As a final thought about loud music accompanying one through the round,, I can scarcely be blamed if I hit you because you couldn’t hear me screaming “fore” – now can I?