Golf's Biggest Delusions

nine things people say about the game that aren't true—and one that is

golf is only for rich people. only 10% of the 26 million golfers in the u.s. belong to private clubs, according to the national golf foundation. the rest play primarily at public courses, where the average rack-rate cost per round, on weekends with cart (not including resorts), is $43.

business people play golf so they can make deals on the course. that's the stereotype: secret handshakes behind the hedges. some of that goes on, no doubt, but the main point of business golf is building relationships. where else do you get four or five relaxed hours with a potential partner or client and learn a few things about his or her character in the process? the golf itself is too distracting to actually talk much business.

keep your head down: 'that's probably the biggest piece of misinformation new golfers hear,' said instructor hank haney.

in scotland, golfers never take longer than three hours to play a round. whenever the grillroom conversation turns to slow play, american golf's most vexing problem, someone invariably pipes up with this chestnut. in fact, a foursome of scots in a four-ball match average about four hours a round, according to hamish gray, chief executive of the scottish golf union. that's the recommended pace of play posted at many u.s. golf courses. the difference is the scots really do play in four hours, whereas at most u.s. courses it's the impossible dream.


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