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Pondering the mysterious whys of golf


Just a few decades ago cult filmmaker Douglas Adams produced “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” in which he promised the answer to, “The ultimate question about life, the universe and everything.” I would have added golf to the list. It’s really about the question “why?”

Then, about 15 years ago, Budweiser aired their TV ads featuring, “Why ask Why?” Remember? As your resident golf curmudgeon, I have once again been pondering the many of golf’s imponderable questions “why?”

For starters, why doesn’t the USGA designate sand-filled divots as automatic “ground-under-repair?” With all the revised rules in 2020, including tamping down spike marks and leaving he flagstick in, we shouldn’t have to play out of someone else’s divot.

Here’s another one: Why haven’t recreational golfers gotten any better over the last 35 years? Handicap data confirms that, if anything, average weekend golfers’ handicaps have gotten worse. My suspicion is many serious golfers dropped out, replaced by newbies.

Why can’t golf courses figure out a way to avoid soaking the bunkers with the sprinklers so that the sub-surface is basically mud? Heavy rain (which is rare) is understandable, but there should be a method to keep the bunkers sandy.

Why don’t golf courses equip 10 percent of their golf cart fleet with protective enclosed covers that stay warm and comfortable during the cold weather season? The airlines offer an upgrade on seats; if golf courses did the same with carts, they’d make money with a win-win deal.

Why do so many golfers avoid taking golf lessons? Whenever I ask that question to some of those avid golfers, I get stupid, incomprehensible lame excuses, like “I can’t afford lessons,” or “I don’t have time.”

These are the same folks who will fork over $500 for a new driver. Go figure.

Why can’t we stop the overseas-based purveyors of fake golf clubs, which are mostly knockoff and lookalike reproductions of quality clubs like Titleist, Cobra, TaylorMade, Ping and Callaway?

Some U.S. club companies have taken foreign cheaters to court, but the high expense of doing so is prohibitive. The Feds aren’t much concerned about American golf club makers. They’re more concerned about protecting filmmakers.

Lastly, why don’t the other major professional sports that make mega-billions follow the PGA Tour’s lead with generating substantial charity dollars? During this difficult past Tour season, the PGA Tour surpassed $3 billion in charitable funds with Tour events.

By the end of 2021 they could approach $4 billion. Super stars like Charles Barkley, Steph Curry and Peyton Manning took part this fall in hit-and-giggle, TV staged fundraising golf scrambles, but that’s not enough.

Hey NBA, NFL and MLB, step up!

Incidentally, the answer to the “Hitchhikers” ultimate question is “42.”

Dr. Charlie Blanchard is a licensed psychologist specializing in sports and leadership. Contact him at docblanchard71@gmail.com.