Golf has always been a social game. Whether it be on the links of Scotland or on the plains of Nebraska, it is a game that is most enjoyable while playing with others. Who they are matters little, as we have all had wonderful rounds with family, friends or complete strangers. Such is the powerful connection of the game of golf.
One of the reasons that the golf has grown in popularity is because people are social creatures and spending several hours with others on a golf course is often a very rewarding experience. If fact, if you were to ask a group of twenty people their top five reasons for golfing, the social element would probably be first or second on the list.
It makes sense that golf has always been a walking game, because there is no other way to play that provides such a great opportunity to converse.
Before motorized golf carts, did people did ride horses or take a carroage or ride bikes to get their golf ball?
No, they walked, and they walked for many reasons.
Primarily, walking is the most efficient mode of transportation on a golf course. It allows you to interact with your playing partners throughout the round and between shots. It allows you to experience the architectural and aesthetic beauty of the course every step of the way from from tee to green, and it allows you to plan your next shot while walking up to your ball.
There are many examples of why taking a cart dilutes the social element of golfing.
I was playing a round in Maui recently at a course that I had hoped to walk, but unfortunately it was carts only. Since I had pre-paid for the round I had no option but to play “cart golf”. I was paired with two fine gentlemen who were riding together in the other cart. During our four and a half hour round we probably had about fifteen minutes of discussion time on the tees and greens, which was a real shame.
How can you get to know fellow golfers if the only opportunity you have to speak with them during a round is at the nineteenth hole? Even if you are riding with someone, all of the hopping in and out of the cart provides much less time to chat than when you are walking as a twosome.
In no way am I advocating slower play for the sake of social interaction on the golf course. The beauty of the game is that it allows an amazing amount of discussion during a three hour round, just as the founders of the game intended hundreds of years ago.
There is not doubt that the Scots have a very social culture and golf is one of the bedrocks of their society because it promotes a wonderful amount of personal interaction. Thus, it only makes sense that golf was created as a walking game.