On Wheels or On Feet Golf Offers Lots of Choices

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WhatTo wheel, or not to wheel ' that is the question.
 
Whether it is nobler in the match to stroll along, developing rhythm, or to take cars against a sea of blisters, and by riding, end them.
 
Something tells me Shakespeare would have had a caddie/lackey if he had played golf (Forsooth, it is verily a cubit to the front edge, my lord.). But thats all academic, and we are left with golfs classic choice: Walk or ride?
 
Unless youre an inside-the-Beltway politician, its possible to favor one and not hate the other. Although golf cars (not carts; the major golf car manufacturers say a cart is for pushing and a car is for driving) are frowned upon in Europe, theyre a mainstay of the North American game, like it or not.
 
Yes, they do make money for their courses. But the best courses offer a choice and dont force cars upon us as a revenue item. And of course, geography comes into play: Those of us who play in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and similarly hot places cant often hack a midday round in the summer, no matter how young and strong we may be.
 
All that said, lets review some of the equipment issues comprised in the walk-ride-push-or-pull decision:
 
RIDERS AND THE STORM
 
Just as with any element of our sport, good manners and good sense are paramount when it comes to transportation and the good of the course. Carmakers put fat tires on their cars to distribute weight, but still it takes some help from drivers to avoid the moist areas. It just stands to reason that in addition to keeping the car away from greens, tees and other sensitive areas, you should also steer clear of low-lying areas that dont drain well. No need to turf the course, even accidentally.
 
ALL DUE SPEED
 
Theres no real evidence that cars slow play or speed it up. But one thing you can do to help when playing in cars is to get right in after youve seen your shot land, and then head off to the next scene of action. Just hold your club next to you as you drive or ride, and re-bag it when you arrive. Youd be amazed how much time this saves.
 
BUY OR LEASE?
 
Buying a car is not as out of reach as you might imagine. Used golf car dealers are reconditioning experts, and the cost can be in the low four digits. As long as the course you want to play allows private cars, it can be worth the expense, especially if you play pretty regularly. Private cars also have a lot of what I like to call milk-and-bread applications, that is, they make sense for all kinds of little neighborhood errands. Just hide the keys from your 12-year-old.
 
COEXISTING
 
Theres no hard and fast rule; just cooperate. If a group of walkers is cruising, it can easily stay ahead of a group on wheels. Reviving the courtesy of allowing people to play through, judged on a case-by-case basis, would greatly help at courses where some walk and others ride.
 
BREAK THE MOLD
 
Were all used to certain kinds of push- and pull carts, but advances are coming even in this prosaic corner of the business. For instance, at least one manufacturer has already combined the easy-wheeling action of those baby carriages for runners with a push-style golf cart, and the big-wheeled result rolls very smoothly over both hill and dale.
 
GETTING THERE IS (ONLY) HALF THE FUN
 
Remember, cars and carts are lots of fun, but the real game is what happens between the transportation. Whichever mode you choose, a little courtesy to your fellow golfer can make a lot of difference. Get there any way you see fit ' then enjoy the game.
 
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