Voting with Your Feet: Results of the September Poll Question.

While may seem like a foreign or intimidating idea to beginners, it's really just common decency.

While may seem like a foreign or intimidating idea to beginners, it’s really just common decency.

Golfers, it seems, are creatures with conviction.

For the September Blog Poll Question, I asked if you, Dear Readers, had ever walked off of a golf course because the pace of play was too painfully slow to continue.

While I expected there to be a few curmudgeonly responses akin to the golf version of “Whippersnappers” and “Get Off My Lawn,” I didn’t really know what to expect.

My feelings on this narrow question of the slow play problem, the idea of walking off of a golf course in the middle of a round pits two fundamental pillars of my personality in direct conflict.

My dead Scottish ancestors would be effervescently happy at how conspicuously cheap I’ve become in my adult years.  The idea of walking off the course without completing all nine or eighteen holes is a direct assault against the idea of “getting my money’s worth.”

Even the most reasonable pro shop is going to look sideways at my request for a rain check due to the pace of play being too slow on an otherwise playable day.  And the handful of dollars I would have “lost” by not playing all the holes would eat at me for days, inflicting restlessness and a worse than normal attitude for all of those who were forced to cross paths with me.

On the morning of the 5th day of a 7-day cruise, the maître d’ informed the captain that the ship had run completely out of alcohol.  Not wanting a mutiny on his hands, the Captain gathered all the guests together in the main dining hall after breakfast to inform them of the situation. He said, “Folks, I’m glad you’re having such a good time, and we want you to continue having such a good time, so we’re going to pass a hat around for donations for buying rum at the closest port.”

The Captain began laughing as he finished counting the money.  He stood up on his chair and declared, “Folks, thank you for your generosity.  Collectively, you’ve ponied up $2,345.04, which is more than enough to secure a sufficient stock of rum to see us home.”  Laughing again, before stepping down he concluded with, “And to I want to extend my special thanks  to the Scotsman than donated those last four cents for the effort.”  

The room erupted in laughter.  However, as the Captain was about to step down, a bearded man stood up from his table in the front of the room and angrily declared, “Excuse me, Sir, but there are FOUR Scotsman on board this ship you ungrateful jerk.”

On the other hand, I don’t do well in situations in public that require an unnecessary amount of patience.  Seriously.

I am completely baffled and amazed by the people who have the personal and psychological constitution to camp out at Best Buy on Thanksgiving night.  I was born without the ability to join a line around the building for tickets to anything.

There isn’t a restaurant in this world that I’ll wait 20 minutes to eat at when, even if I’m only marginally hungry, even if it were free. (*** I have no problem making and keeping a reservation for a great meal, though.)

I equate waiting on every shot on a golf course for more than two consecutive holes with waiting in a line. And completely unnecessary. And avoidable.

Of course, becoming such a big John Pinette fan during my formative years may have disproportionately skewed my thinking.

Nonetheless, I was a little shocked at both the statistical and anecdotal responses to the poll question.  Fully 2 out of 3 respondents answered that they had, in fact, walked off of a golf course due to slow play, as is indicated in the poll results below.

My analysis: either golfers have an acute per-capita understanding of the economic concept of sunk-cost, or, more likely, spending an uncomfortable hour or five on a golf course is worse than letting the course not earn the full green fee.

Personally, I’m more inclined to stick it out and try to find a way to make the most of the round if I’m playing with friends.  If I’m a single or simply paired up with strangers, I’m much more likely to pack it in at the turn or walk off under the guise of an appointment at a point relatively close to the parking lot.

Here’s hoping for light tee sheets and empty fairways in the near future, Dear Readers. The full poll results are presented below.

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