YOUR VIEWS

Golf with Kangaroos
G’day Tom,

Wildlife is ever present when you play golf in Australia, particularly when
you get to some country courses.  Here are some photos taken at the golf
course in Angelsea, a small town in Victoria.  




























The kangaroos get used to people here, but only if you do not get too
close.  As I was practicing recently, two kangaroos were eating grass close
by quietly and unperturbed.  They were probably wondering what I was up
to, and quite frankly so was I at times.  Snakes, including the king brown,
are quite often seen lazing in the sun. We also see echidnas (spiny
anteaters), the occasional koala (at certain locations) and wallabies, which
are like small kangaroos.  

The worst problem is a bird called the magpie, which around breeding
season will swoop and peck your head.

I live in Orange, a town approximately three hours drive west of Sydney in
Central Western New South Wales.  We have 38,000 people and three top
quality 18-hole golf courses, and our main industry is the growing of fruit,
mainly apples and cherries as well as stone fruit, such as peaches and
plums in the last 15 years   Orange is also renowned for its cold climate
wines .

Gordon Hare
If you have an interesting golf
story or photo for "Your Views,"
please
send me an e-mail.

Back to Top
Tom's Golf Tips
Have an interesting golf
story/photo for "Your Views"?
Contact Tom
Useful Links
Featured Lesson
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Golf Cart

By Scott McCormick

   Golf is a game of tradition and routine, and people love the sport for a
variety of reasons. Golf is a challenging activity that provides limitless
opportunity for improvement, and this is a main reason that it’s become a
world game. Courses are popping up around the globe like invasive weeds
and people are finding new ways to tweak their stroke and strive for
perfection.
   The evolution of the game is awesome to see, especially within a sport
that can be played well into people’s later years. As a golf fanatic, I
appreciate the development of the sport, but there are aspects of the
transformation I can’t quite get behind. The cart is one of them. I’m not a
huge fan of using a cart (when physically able) on the links.
   Before you disagree, and even if you do, my reasons are listed below. I
don’t expect everyone to agree, and everyone shouldn’t, but the ideas
below outline my feelings about why carts are unnecessary on the golf
course. Not only do they seem excessive, but I believe walking can help a
golfer’s game while simultaneously maintaining the integrity of the sport.

Exercise

   A major reason to drop the cart is simply that it takes the exercise
component away from the outing. Those several miles you could have
walked make a big difference in the way your body benefits from the day out.
   Golf is unique to most other activities because it’s a low-impact form of
exercise. This is ideal because regardless of your body type or physical
ability, your joints and muscles shouldn’t feel an unbearable amount of
stress. Furthermore, swinging without the natural stretch carried out by
walking can cause injury.
It’s much better physically to put the keys away and walk the golf course. It’s
completely understandable if you aren’t physically able, but if you are, it’s a
solid choice to get out the comfortable shoes at least every other round. As
you develop the habit, it’ll become second nature each time you grab the
golf bag.

Walking can clear the mind

   Regardless of what level you’re playing at, you will have a bad shot on
the course once in a while. Sometimes when you have a bad stroke, the
best thing to do is walk it off. The couple minutes between the first shot and
the next can set your mind and body up for success.
   When you’re in a cart, and you hit a bad shot, you find yourself lined up
for your next shot 20 seconds later. This doesn’t benefit you because the
mental frustration will more often than not still be simmering. Walking is an
inherent way to give yourself time to keep a reasonable pace on the golf
course. Patience is critical to golf success, and carts can be detrimental to it.
Mental stability is the magical component of a steady golf technique.
Walking is a more natural way of maintaining this equilibrium through times
of frustration, and even success.

Carts can take away nature observation

   The beauty of golf is that it enables people to escape from their everyday
lives and experience the great outdoors. A cart not only disrupts this
escape for you, but also impacts any playing partners you’re with. The
constant sound of tires, screeching breaks and an engine (even electric)
can immediately negate any hint of tranquility.
Walking can help you appreciate your surroundings. Similar to fishing, a
large portion of golf appeal is simply getting outdoors. Even if you feel
otherwise, you’d be surprised if you walk a few rounds. The birds, colors
and sky all seem to be a little bit more vivid outside the cart.

Expenses
   Ditching the cart is a good way to save money, regardless of your
budget. If you walk for three rounds, you should have enough money to
play at least an extra nine holes with the money you saved. That’s a lot of
extra golf each year.
Even if you’re not walking a tight rope financially, golf is an expensive habit.
A cart is just another cost tacked on to the outing, and it’s something to take
note of.
Golf is a great pastime, even if you decide to take a cart. However, I’m a fan
of walking if physically able. Regardless of your personal thoughts on the
matter, these points can help add perspective to the way you approach
your golf experience.

Scott McCormick writes for
San Diego Golf Now about the best courses to
play in California.