Some combinations were formed in heaven: chocolate and peanut butter; pizza and beer; March Madness and sick days. Others were created somewhere much warmer: toothpaste and orange juice; socks and flip flops. You get the picture.
When Rodney Dangerfield, a.k.a., Al Czervik, cranked up Journey from of his tricked-out golf bag at Bushwood Country Club in 1980, he was considered a menace. Today, however, the practice of bringing music to the golf course is gaining popularity.
Are music and golf a devilish combination or one brought to us by our beloved Golf Gods? Depending on your approach, it could be either. Like drinking at your boss’ party, moderation and awareness are key if you want to listen to music on the course tastefully. If you can’t resist the temptation, here are some tips to keep you and your tunes out of trouble during your round.
Don’t turn the volume to 11. Sure, that speaker you brought to the course has never played a note below full blast, but it’s time to test its low-end capabilities. Picture the hole with the shortest distance between the green and the next tee box. Put your music down and walk that distance. If you can still hear the music, it’s too loud. The wrath of someone who just three-jacked and blames it on your boombox far outweighs the bliss any song can deliver.
Don’t rage. Music and golf is already a fringe combination, but some genres are unquestionably out of bounds. You wouldn’t scream on the golf course – except to yell “fore!” – and your music shouldn’t, either. Keep the tunes calm, cool and collected and save the heavy metal for your post-round temper tantrum.
Don’t bring that Kool-Aid to a gin party. Your co-worker from three cubicles down finally invited you to his father-in-law’s ritzy country club. What could impress him more than showing off your sophisticated Eric Clapton collection? If you’re looking for a repeat invitation, you’ll have to resist. The more exclusive and expensive your tee time, the more you should reconsider your need for Creed. On-course music should be reserved for casual tracks where you can trade your spikeless Nike’s for Teva’s and a collared shirt actually makes you feel overdressed.
Don’t DJ. Stopping, starting and skipping songs can be a distraction to your playing partners, and if your attention is focused on constantly playing the perfect song it’s diverted from playing golf. Make a playlist, start it on the first hole and let it play through the end of the round.
Don’t use headphones. You’re playing as a single and think headphones are the perfect work-around to rules 1-4, think again. To paraphrase Destiny’s Child, voluntarily eliminating your ability to hear what’s going on around you on the course is a definite no-no-no-no-no. Whether it’s because you left your wedge on the green, are in the path of an errant tee shot, are being offered a refreshment, or are being asked to join up, play through, or be played through, you need to be able to hear on the course.
While not traditional, music and golf does not have to be a taboo tandem. Stick to these tips to add a new element to your weekly round… and let the good times roll.