Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

5 Things Not to Do When Bringing Music to the Golf Course



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.

Your Reaction?
  • 76
  • LEGIT18
  • WOW4
  • LOL11
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP8
  • OB7
  • SHANK221

Nick Heidelberger writes about all things related to golf, from the world's best players to the weekend warriors, although he can only relate to the latter. When he's not writing or golfing, Nick co-hosts the @AtTheTurnPod, hikes with his dogs and roots for his wife's soccer team. Twitter: @njheidelberger



  1. Iain

    Mar 17, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    I play golf with a guy who plays music in his golf cart but only between shots. He has the decency to turn it off if someone is having a shot. I like playing golf with him because he plays good music and it helps me relax. He also asks his playing companions if they mind and if they do he will not play music. Love the post

    • John klobusicky

      Mar 7, 2019 at 10:02 pm

      I think it’s bullshit and totally inconsiderate for someone to roll up 8n my fouresome with a speaker on. And I they ask me if ok and I reply no then I have created a tension filled environment. Not even sure why it is considered, and I would rather stick needles in my eyes than listen to pop country.

  2. America

    Mar 6, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    The term decorum comes to mind. If you’re on the beach, next to the ocean, relaxing, and someone sits next to you. This someone has decided to bring a speaker. Not headphones…a speaker. Myself being 5’10 225, a former collegiate rugby player, armed skydiving, running, and push up enthusiast is never one to shy away from a pleasant “how do you do sir/madame could you please turn the level of your terrible music down. i’m here to relax and my therapist said this is really bad for my blood pressure and anger issues. thank you.” If they doth protest I invite them to keep listening. At lower volume that I cannot hear and to please be respectful of others on our beach. If not I begin my inquiry into the waterproof rating of said speaker. Because if they keep playing it i’m going to throw it in the ocean. They are then invited to a)stop me b)hide and watch. Same rules apply on the golf course. Be considerate of those around you. If someone outside your cart can hear your speaker, it’s too loud. Always turn it down when on the tee-box or for social interactions. It’s not a problem until it is a problem. I have encountered plenty of jeans wearing/flat billers on the course imbibing whilst taking in some Chesney. Nay, nay I say. Thou are being that guy. Also please keep the “get off my lawn” chatter to yourself. Things change, I am against the use of oncourse GPS/range devices and believe that you fat sons of bitches should trade in the carts for a push cart or caddie. Different strokes for different folks. Be nice to people. They’ll be nice to you. Then we’ll all be sitting around being nice. Then we’ll start laughing. Then hot chicks show up and show us their titties. Don’t say no to titties.

  3. jc

    Mar 6, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    what is really bad is when two tees are next to each are ready to hit and here comes dudes with backwards hats and playing crappy loud music…I know there name is dude because every sentence is ‘hey dude, what are you hitting”…I am hitting a driver dude….dude, you really hit that one..

    gads…go back to the video arcade

  4. tim crider

    Mar 4, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I just listened to the 3 songs you have put in as ( Gotta hear em at least once ) , you must have surely been thinking some place other than the golf course, if at all, and I can ,, and do listen to everything.

  5. Grizz01

    Mar 3, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I guess deaf people are not permited to play golf. They can’t hear what’s going on around them.

  6. WolfWRX

    Mar 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Music has no place on the golf course. End of story. If you want to listen to music that badly, do it at home, in your car, or at a concert. Literally anywhere but the golf course.

    Also, the idea that “growing the game” has to necessitate lowering standards by allowing things like music to keep people with short attention spans, and no appreciation of nature entertained, is truly pathetic.

  7. BIG STU

    Mar 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    It is funny. I live down here on the Grand Strand on the south end and mostly play on this end. Seriously from what most of you are saying with the tourist golfers we get from all over the country of various ages I have never heard any music on any of the courses I have played or seen anyone with Bluetooth speakers etc. In case anyone wonders I ain’t blind or deaf either I have not seen any signs posted prohibiting it either. Just makes me wonder what is going on elsewhere in the world

  8. Robert

    Mar 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    The thing that bothers me about people playing music on the course isn’t the music. It’s that the people in a cart with the music will talk louder to each other because they have to talk over the music. I’ll be over a shot and hear them yapping when if they didn’t have music going, I wouldn’t ever hear them. That’s the problem that it causes. With that said usually constant noise isn’t really a problem during the swing. Just think about how you can hit balls on a noisy range without issue. The problem comes when it’s silent and something makes a noise that distracts you.

  9. Jose Pinatas

    Mar 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I like music in a beer drinking charity 4 man scramble….. When I’m playing my own ball and playing money games I don’t want to hear it…. And when drinking and playing a scramble , I love to rage(Clutch, Gogira, Opeth, and Machinehead)…… Besides if people are taking beer drinking charity scrambles serious, they got issues…..

  10. Bob

    Mar 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    It is not the custom to have music while golfing so simply ask those who you are playing with if they mind and don’t play so loud that you offend other groups. I don’t play golf to hear music or nature. I play to be with friends, compete, for the thrill of a well struck shot and to enjoy the outdoors. If you like to spice that up a little, I understand. I’d rather not hear music but if you ask first, I’ll acquiesce because after all it’s the gentlemanly thing to do and golf is a gentlemen’s and gentleladies’ sport. That is a part of golf that should never go away.

  11. David

    Mar 3, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Simply against the rules…. From the USGA….
    Rule 14-3

    Wearing Headphones or Earplugs During Stipulated Round

    Q. May I wear headphones or earplugs while playing in the state amateur?

    The use of headphones or earplugs to eliminate noise or other distractions is prohibited under Rule 14-3.

    Decision 14-3/16 covers listening to music or some other broadcast during a round. Here is the text of that Decision:
    Rule 14-3a states that a player may not use any artificial device or unusual equipment that “might assist him making a stroke or in his play.” Listening to music or a broadcast while making a stroke or for a prolonged period might assist the player in his play, for example, by eliminating distractions or promoting a good tempo. Therefore, the use of an artificial device to listen to music or a broadcast, whether or not through headphones, while making a stroke or for a prolonged period of time during a stipulated round is a breach of Rule 14-3. However, it would not be a breach of Rule 14-3 for a player to listen to a device briefly, for example, to obtain the results of another sporting event or traffic information, while walking between the putting green of one hole and the teeing ground of another hole.

    There is no restriction on listening to music or other broadcasts while practicing (whether on the practice ground or on the golf course, and whether by oneself or while playing with others), although club rules and disciplinary codes could apply in such circumstances.

  12. BallBuster

    Mar 3, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Good rules of thumb if you want to play music I suppose. But you missed rule #1… as your group if its even okay by them to play music. Otherwise shut it down. Don’t ruin everyone’s time there and waste their money because for some odd reason you can’t live 2-4 hours without some music. Is someone’s addiction to it that strong like cigarette smoking that they can’t go without without shaking or something? If so, get a live… This also is no different than those who want to talk on the phone during the round. i realize a lot of younger people don’t mind and that’s fine, but find out if everyone in your group thinks like that AND don’t slow up play (worst part of it) so other groups are effected by your selfishness.

  13. FL Golfer

    Mar 3, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Apparently most of you have never played with some fool that insists on yammering throughout the round. Music is played to drown out the non-sense that continually comes from mouths of other golfers.

    • KK

      Mar 4, 2017 at 5:51 am

      An illogical lie. Music doesn’t cause talking to stop.

  14. Mark

    Mar 3, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I am 59 years old and I play golf occasionally with my old college roommate who is a member at a very nice course. He brings his speaker to play music in the cart. I can’t stand it. What a distraction. The music would be fine in any other setting. Not on the golf course, please.

  15. Radim Pavlicek

    Mar 3, 2017 at 3:54 am

    I have yet to met someone on the golf course who has speakers. It seems to me that this trend hasn’t come to Europe yet.

    • Mg

      Jun 30, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Consider yourself lucky. Lately I regularly encounter groups playing music loud enough to be heard at 50 yards or more.

  16. Tim

    Mar 3, 2017 at 1:04 am

    What is the difference, here in California the lower end public courses are dying off daily…music coming out of carts is getting to be way beyond common…and with no marshals at most courses you have everyone driving carts right up (yes in the fringe a lot) to the greens…..and these are men in their 20’s and 30’s…half the time. But by far the worst is the over 60 crowed that think they have the right to drive and park their cart any where they please…yes maybe 1 out of 30 or so is handicapped and should be allowed the better access to his or her ball but when you see 12 out of every 15 carts carrying a blue flag for access it is just plan lazy….

  17. dog

    Mar 2, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    if you can hear it on more than one occasion, youre not in my group, and it bothering you politely ask me to turn it down and i will happily oblige

  18. Adam

    Mar 2, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Unless your name is AL Czervik I don’t want to hear any music on the course. Go to the bar after to hear it.
    Thankfully I have not heard anything on my home course, but if I did I would be more than happy to buy you a replacement speaker after the round.

    I there to relax and focus on golf, not somebody clowns boom box.

    • RonB

      Mar 3, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      And you’d need a replacement eye socket if you think you’re coming over and smashing my speaker. We’ll see how tough you are, tough guy.

      • The dude

        Mar 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        My dad can beat up your dad..ha…loser..

      • Adam

        Mar 4, 2017 at 10:30 pm

        Your a real keyboard warrior. I’m sure boom boxes are fine on the pasture you hack around on..

  19. Jamie

    Mar 2, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    It’s fine if you play it only at a volume your group can hear and if it’s not nickelback.

  20. Brian

    Mar 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm


  21. KillerPenguin

    Mar 2, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Bluetooth headset in one ear. Problem solved (and no I don’t care what you think about how it looks).

  22. Buford T Justice

    Mar 2, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Want good music at the course, check out UE Boom or UE Roll.

    UE = Ultimate Ears

    In my opinion, they are the best bluetooth speakers for golf.

    The Boom fits perfectly in the cart cupholder, and the Roll straps on to just about anything.

    Thank me later.

  23. Mark

    Mar 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Music has no place on the course.

  24. acemandrake

    Mar 2, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Is the genie out of the bottle & there is no turning back?

    If music is allowed & someone doesn’t like it then they just suffer?

    If music in not allowed & someone wants to have it, then what…They’re bored? Might want to rethink why they’re out there.

  25. Tommy

    Mar 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    If you like TV in restaurants, you’re going to love music on the golf course. I consider it the height of boorish and rude behavior. As if, everybody’s got to endure your taste in music for five hours when they’ve paid the same rate as you. What’s going to happen when everyone wants to bore the world with their own playlist and you’ve got four soundtracks competing for earspace on every hole? It’s a ridiculously selfish endeavor but not surprising in our current society. Re the hi/lo division…same reason there’s TV for every table at Buffalo Wild Wings and none at the French Laundry. It seems inevitable, but very sad that this incredibly douche-y behavior is even being argued here. More rude millennial garbage being shoved down our throats and then shouting down any blowback. Rude, at every level. Why should I have to listen to your music? How bout I bring my speakers to your wedding, or to the movies, or to a restaurant, and play what makes me happy there? How bout everybody brings their own music to your favorite restaurant? There is no level at which this isn’t rude and annoying. Ban it, for everyone’s sake.

    • Joshuaplaysgolf

      Mar 2, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      To be fair, I’m a millennial and HATE music on the golf course…I’ve seen (or heard rather) plenty of guys my grandfather’s age with way too loud music coming out of the cart. You can’t just blame the younger generations, although that’s most likely where this awful trend started.

  26. Bruce Ferguson

    Mar 2, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    For me, golf is like fishing. The last thing I want to hear is somebody’s boom box. I like hearing birds, the breeze through the trees, etc. It’s fine having music at a venue like Top Golf. But I’m over 60, before the age of movies on demand and instant/constant entertainment. Guess I’m a grumpy old man . . .

    • Ron

      Mar 3, 2017 at 9:08 am

      Makes sense, and anyone playing with you who wants to put on music should ask you first and respect your decision if you say no. And if someone is playing music who is not in your group, it should be at a volume where you can’t hear it. Personally I listen to music every once in a while on the course but always ask permission first within my group and make sure the volume is low enough so other groups won’t hear it. Imagine that, if everyone has some common courtesy, everybody wins! What a crazy concept.

      • Art

        Mar 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm

        The funny thing, is that all the people who say “no one does it at my course” blah blah blah, probably don’t realize that there have been people, playing concurrently, that did have music.
        I can hear mine on the tee box, in the fairway, and only on the green if it’s close enough to the path. I also pause if I’m driving by any other group.
        If you don’t hear it, then, like magic, it’s not there!
        “I want to hear nature ” doesn’t fly if you’re flying down the path listening to the engine whine and your clubs clatter at every bump.

  27. ph00ny

    Mar 2, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    What about music being heard across the hole? If i can hear the previous/next group’s music from tee box/green, there is seriously something wrong. It’s as obnoxious as being able to hear what everyone shot and how well they putted and what their kids are doing from a different group on the course while putting or teeing off.

    • Steve

      Mar 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Worry about getting on the Tour first. Then you can have everyone be quiet when you’re putting and teeing off.

      • larrybud

        Mar 3, 2017 at 11:59 am

        What about being respectful and courteous to others? Obviously that concept is foreign to you.

  28. Mike Honcho

    Mar 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Parsing the words of the great Shoot McGavin, “Damn you music playing people! Go back to your shanties.”

  29. DBJ

    Mar 2, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Wow, some of these comments are ridiculous. None of you are good enough at Golf to say if music is good or bad on the golf course. To those of you that constantly reference the rules of golf, and blah blah blah. Only a handful of golfers actually abide by the rules and almost everyone really even know the rules. All these comments from one post to another are the exact reason why golf continues to fade away. Music and loud noise is a part of most other professional sports, and it’s what makes them fun to play and watch. Get your heads out of asses and stop taking this game so seriously. I bet you all talk about your handicaps as well. Well, that is also one of the things that is ruining the game. You are either better than someone or not, no one deserves strokes when playing another person. That is cheating! Take some lessons and invest in your game. I am sure I will have wonderful responses. I hope you enjoy the time trying to correct me. My opinion won’t be changed by what you say, most likely will support it.

    • TR1PTIK

      Mar 2, 2017 at 12:50 pm


      If golf is an individual sport then the individual should be able to play however they want. Playing with a group? Ask prior to the round if everyone is okay with your music. It’s pretty simple really, just be respectful with it. I’ve had more distractions from obnoxious beer-guzzling foursomes than I’ve ever had from music. Those of you arguing that we should just enjoy nature and not bring music to the course probably have no idea how much the RIGHT music can add to the experience and enjoyment of being outside. I personally find the music genres I’d normally listen to in my car distracting on the course. I typically play by myself and walk. My preferred choice of music is some form of acoustic and relatively mellow. If I think other players are within earshot, I’ll turn it down a bit more to make sure I don’t disturb anyone. There will always be someone that’s disrespectful and abusive, but that’s no reason to ban music on the course. Otherwise, you guys can just stop putting beer in your carts and smoking on the course. All have the potential to create distractions for someone else.

      • larrybud

        Mar 3, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Great, as an individual, I wish to play without music.

    • MMM

      Mar 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      You do realize that giving someone strokes is more just a gambling thing, right? As a 3.6 index, playing with a buddy who is a 19.2, I’m going to beat him most times we play if we’re just playing straight up……but giving him strokes makes the match more even and, quite frankly, more competitive for me.

      • Steve

        Mar 2, 2017 at 8:41 pm

        If you’re not gambling, then who cares if it’s “more competitive”? Why does it matter if you win by 1 or 16 when nothing is on the line?

    • R0B

      Mar 2, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      F’n A, bro!

    • alan

      Mar 2, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      awesome comment/post

    • marmooskapaul

      Mar 3, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Ha…spoken like the man talking loud on his cell phone..while in line at Walmart to pay for his face paint and nascar shirt!

    • larrybud

      Mar 3, 2017 at 11:56 am

      I have no idea what kind of nonsense it is to equate ability of play to being a disrespectful asshat on the course by blaring your music, but whatever!

    • KK

      Mar 4, 2017 at 5:56 am

      What does ability have to do with being forced to hear someone else’s music? I’m sure you wouldn’t want someone to blast music from his phone as you’re shopping in a store or eating in a restaurant.

  30. marmooskapaul

    Mar 2, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Don’t like music on the course…and most likely, I hate your choice of music…what could go wrong??

  31. Jamie

    Mar 2, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I played at TPC myrtle beach a few years back, had the pleasure of playing behind the new number 1 player in the world. I think all 18 holes could hear Biggie Smalls, and Snoop for 4 hours. i personally loved it, but can see why others hate it

  32. Progolfer

    Mar 2, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I’m regaining faith in GolfWrx commenters. It seems like we all agree that playing music on the course should be banned. Being at peace and surrounded in nature is a lost art these days…

  33. SlapHappy

    Mar 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Ban it ban it ban it

  34. Double Mocha Man

    Mar 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Music on the golf course is already there. Brooks gurggling, birds chirping, wind blowing (hopefully softly).

    • Progolfer

      Mar 2, 2017 at 11:48 am


    • Bob

      Mar 3, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Exactly Mocha Man. That’s one of the reasons I love golf, being out in nature. I don’t play golf at a Rave. so please don’t bring the Rave to the course.

  35. Chris

    Mar 2, 2017 at 10:57 am

    I loathe music on the course. Ran into it a couple times. First group didnt give a crap how loud it was or who they were bothering. 2nd group was more mindful (turning it way down around greens and nearby t boxes). Both times it was equally as distracting. Drive around town with your crap blaring if you wanna listen to music, dont play golf.

    • BigKid

      Mar 2, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Sounds like you’re a headcase. What do you do when a house on the course is having a party and have music blaring? I agree with others that music should be done respectfully (turning the volume down when others are around). But it sounds like you need to clear the mechanism and stop blaming rhythm and harmony for your poor play.

  36. Brian

    Mar 2, 2017 at 10:48 am

    This is my BIGGEST pet peeve in golf right now, I absolutely hate this trend. I’ve literally gotten into multiple arguments with clowns playing music on the course. I dont get it, never will, I HATE music on the golf course. Call me old fashioned but if I wanted to hear your music I wouldnt be on a golf course.

    • J

      Mar 2, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Make sure to tell them to get off your lawn too

    • Steve

      Mar 2, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      You’re old fashioned.

    • alan

      Mar 2, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      poor baby. unless a course prohibits music, im not sure what your argument could be, hopefully the “clowns” youre arguing with continue to be more mature than yourself or youre likely to walk off with a black eye one of these days. ciao

      • Mg

        Jun 30, 2019 at 3:31 pm

        @Alan Do you make a habit of doing unnecessary things on golf courses that distract and annoy people who have paid hard-earned money to play?

  37. Scott

    Mar 2, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Nick, I 100% disagree with the no head phones comment. Not everyone wants to hear your taste in music. Even at low volumes, music tends to carry at a number of courses, especially courses in subdivisions. It is sometimes hard to ignore. I can be too much of a mental midget, I get distracted and want to know what music is being played. If you want to listen to music, just use your headphones and make everyone happy.

  38. Philip

    Mar 2, 2017 at 10:10 am

    So your saying as far as one listening to music that they should be respectful to those around them and use some common sense … didn’t realize that these concepts are so foreign that the obvious needs to be said … since it did need to be said it is clear what will happen – people will be self centered and totally ignore others, starting a rash of iron sword fights across the fairways and greens and the rise of battle golf – better dig out that hockey/football gear before heading to the links – just in case :o)

  39. Steve

    Mar 2, 2017 at 9:58 am

    You’re outdoors surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. What more do you need.

  40. Barry

    Mar 2, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Clear violation of USGA rules here…

  41. birdie

    Mar 2, 2017 at 8:58 am

    the only issue i have with this is the pretense that the more expensive the round the more likely your music will be frowned upon. as if music on the course is reserved to the low class goat track hackers….If anything, i’ve seen many of the private club members be perfectly ok with and encourage music as long as you’re respectful and following the other rules mentioned.

    Music should be heard in the cart while you’re driving from shot to shot. you don’t need to be rocking out to anything while standing on the tee bed and your cart is 20-30 yds away.

    • M

      Mar 2, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Agree with this. Out on the west coast most people at high end clubs that have their own golf carts have speakers and a head unit installed in their cart. No one cares and everyone enjoys it. Usually a variety of music (I agree with more calm beat) works great.

      • Steve

        Mar 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm

        “No one cares and everyone enjoys it.”

        Two questions:

        1. If no one cares how can everyone enjoy it?
        2. Do you really speak for everyone?

  42. carl spackler

    Mar 2, 2017 at 8:44 am

    or you could just play golf in silence and enjoy being outdoors, you dont have to be constantly entertained and stimulated.

  43. Jack

    Mar 2, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Yeah but music in a foursome? That’s not in good taste. You can wear earbuds but just in one ear. Don’t use speakers. Someone will hear it.

  44. LaBraeGolfer

    Mar 2, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Played some music for the first time on the golf course a couple days ago. I was playing by myself and made sure the music wasn’t a distraction to others around me. I listened to country which is what I love, but I think it helped me maintain some tempo. Often times when I play by myself I tend to play incredibly fast like I have played 18 in 1:15 fast with no one stopping me. What can I say I just can’t wait to hit the next shot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Opinion & Analysis

2023 PGA Championship: Interview with Jeff Corcoran, MGCG



As ticket-holders exit their shuttles and enter the main gate to Oak Hill Country Club this May, their eyes will be attracted to so many sights. The 100-year old, Tudor-style clubhouse, designed by Thompson, Holmes, and Converse (of New Tammany Hall fame in New York City) catches and holds many glances. The market boardwalk will feature emporia of food, drink, and memories, all featuring the designs and flair of marketing teams. It’s a lot to take in.

Most attendees won’t enter the clubhouse, and their time along the merchandise promenade will be restricted to acquisition of souvenirs and sustenance. The majority of their time will be spent in the rough, adjacent to tees, greens, and fairways. Their eyes will roll across the hills of Pittsford’s jewel, but they might be forgiven if they don’t consider exactly how the course and surrounds came to reach this pinnacle of preparation.

Fortunately for them, we’ve tracked down the gentleman who knows more about Oak Hill’s preparation than any other. Mr. Jeff Corcoran is the Manager of Golf Courses and Grounds at the venerated New York state club.

GolfWRX: We’ve introduced you already in your current role. Please tell us how you met golf and golf course maintenance, and what the a-ha moment was that this would be your career.
Corcoran: I started playing golf when I was about 9 years old, a friend and his father took me golfing, and I was hooked. I started playing every chance that I could get and that eventually lead me to a job when I was 13 years working on a public golf course in my hometown of Groton, NY called Stonehedges Golf Course. Working on the golf course was an end to a means, as it allowed me the opportunity to play a significant amount of free golf. I enjoyed working at the golf course so much, that I eventually figured out that I could go to college to study Turfgrass Management. I pursued that endeavor and eventually my way to SUNY Cobleskill and then Penn State University.
GolfWRX: Please trace your career path, from your first job in the industry to your current one.
Corcoran: As stated above my first job in the industry was working at Stonehedges Golf Course as a teenager. While I was in college I worked at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University, and eventually made my way to Oak Hill Country Club as an intern in 1994. I graduated from Penn State in ’95 and I came back to Oak Hill to work the ’95 Ryder Cup and soon after was made a 2nd assistant. While I was at Oak Hill I was fortunate enough to meet my mentor, Paul B. Latshaw, and I became his first assistant until I left to take my first superintendent position in 2000. My first superintendent position was at The Weston Golf Club which is located just outside of Boston. I was there until 2003, when I was asked to interview for my current position at Oak Hill, as Paul Latshaw had moved on to Muirfield Village. I have been at Oak Hill ever since, and in way or another have been a part of every championship held at Oak Hill since that ’95 Ryder Cup.
GolfWRX: The 2023 PGA Championship will be the 4th at Oak Hill’s East course, but it will be unlike the previous three. How did the course play, from your acquired knowledge, for those first three championships?
Corcoran: I can’t really speak to the 1980 Championship; however, I have a considerable knowledge of how the East Course played for the ’03 and ’13 PGA Championships. In ’03 the East Course went through a renovation performed by Tom Fazio/Tom Marzolf, where all of the bunkers were renovated and relocated to areas where they would affect playability of the professional golfer. Additionally, a considerable amount of length was added to the East Course prior to the ’03 Championship. The Fazio/Marzolf renovation had a significant impact on the playability of the East Course, and it proved difficult to the tour professional of the time. Ten years later in ’13 we held the championship again, and the course was essentially the same as it was in ’03. We didn’t really add any length or adjust any bunkers, however the tour professionals’ game had adjusted and improved significantly in that same 10-year period. In 2013, we had significant rainfall during the week, which softened the golf course, and the scoring for the event reflected the softer, easier conditions.
GolfWRX: Andrew Green’s 2019 restoration returned much of the course to its architectural roots. What will stand out most for those who have attended or competed in prior championships?
Corcoran: If I were to venture a guess that the most noticeable aspect for many individuals will be the reduction in the amount of trees on the East Course. We have been reducing the amount of trees on the East Course for 20+ years, however during the renovation we hit a point where the value of the tree removal hit a critical point where the vistas and views throughout the East Course were impacted in a way that allowed much more enjoyment of the property and its features. For the competitors, I believe they will also notice the severity of the Andrew’s bunker style combined with the ability to take the pin position out to the extremities of the greens. There will be many more pin locations in 2023 that will have a very close proximity to the hazards.
GolfWRX: Speaking of restorations, how was the Oak Hill grounds crew involved in the East Course’s return to its legacy?
Corcoran: The grounds crew was involved in every aspect of the renovation and worked directly with Andrew Green and LaBar Golf Renovations to ensure the product that was produced on the East Course was representative of Oak Hill and the legacy of the East Course.

GolfWRX: Tell us a bit about the re-invention of the fifth hole. What sort of hole did it replace, and how does it join itself to the course’s Donald Ross roots?

Corcoran: Andrew always indicated that he wasn’t designing anything on the East Course, that we was just taking what Donald Ross had designed and was tweaking it. With regard to our current 5th hole, Andrew drew inspiration from the original 6th hole, which was a classic Donald Ross heavily bunkered par-3. We fortunately had a considerable amount of pictures of this hole, and Andrew utilized them during his design phase. Additionally, Andrew made more than one visit over to our West Course and looked at our 4th hole, which is also a classic heavy bunkered par-3. The difference between our original 6th hole and the new 5th hole that Andrew produced is the location, and this is where the brilliance of Andrew Green came into play. Andrew tucked the new 5th green into the northwest corner of the property and it looks as though it has been there since day #1. To be able to achieve that immediate impact and value, really demonstrated his true genius.
GolfWRX: What will the final two months of preparation (April-May) demand from you and your staff?
Corcoran: I think that Mother Nature will hold the answers to the last 2 month of preparation, however it will be demanding and difficult. I anticipate that the my staff will work a considerable amount of hours, and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the playing conditions for the PGA Championship are exemplary.
GolfWRX: The weather for the championship week is anyone’s guess. A cold front came arrived in Tulsa last year, for the 2022 playing at Southern Hills. Ironically, Rochester’s temperatures that weekend were the warmer ones! How does your game plan change for unseasonable (both colder and warmer) weather and temperatures?

Corcoran: Our game plan doesn’t really change at all based upon the temperature. There are inherent agronomic aspects that need to happen to be successful, and some of that depends on the temperature and some of it doesn’t. Our focus is to plan for those aspects that we can control, and have a plan to react to any variables that are throw at us as we prepare.

GolfWRX: What question haven’t I asked, that you would love to answer? Please ask it and answer it. Thank you for your time.

Corcoran: “What is the most important aspect of your job as you prepare for the 2023 PGA Championship?”
The most important aspect of my job is building, taking care of, and facilitating our team that comprises golf course maintenance staff at Oak Hill. Without those individuals the championship doesn’t happen, and they will work a tremendous amount of time to ensure that golf course is ready for a spring championship. I am very proud of our team members, and I am extremely excited that their product will get the opportunity to shine on the world stage.
Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading


The Wedge Guy: What really needs fixing in your game?



I always find it interesting to watch how golfers interact with the practice range, if they do so at all. I certainly can figure out how to understand that some golfers just do not really want to get better — at least not enough to spend time on the practice range trying to improve.

What is most puzzling to me is how many golfers completely ignore the rationale for going to the range to at least warm up before they head to the first tee. Why anyone would set aside 4-6 hours of their day for a round of golf, and then not even give themselves a chance to do their best is beyond me. But today, I’m writing for those of you who really do want to improve your golf scores and your enjoyment of the game.

I’ve seen tons of research for my entire 40 years in this industry that consistently shows the number one goal of all golfers, of any skill level, from 100-shooter to tour professional, is simply to hit better golf shots more often. And while our definition of “better” is certainly different based on our respective skill level, the game is just more fun when your best shots happen more often and your worst shots are always getting better.

Today’s article is triggered by what we saw happen at the Valspar tour event this past Sunday. While Taylor Moore certainly had some big moments in a great final round, both Jordan Spieth and Adam Schenk threw away their chances to win with big misses down the stretch, both of them with driver. Spieth’s wayward drive into the water on the 16th and Schenk’s big miss left on the 18th spelled doom for both of them.

It amazes me how the best players on the planet routinely hit the most God-awful shots with such regularity, given the amazing talents they all have. But those guys are not what I’m talking about this week. In keeping with the path of the past few posts, I’m encouraging each and every one of you to think about your most recent rounds (if you are playing already this year), or recall the rounds you finished the season with last year. What you are looking for are you own “big misses” that kept you from scoring better.

Was it a few wayward drives that put you in trouble or even out of bounds? Or maybe loose approach shots that made birdie impossible and par super challenging? Might your issue have been some missed short putts or bad long putts that led to a three-putt? Most likely for any of you, you can recall a number of times where you just did not give yourself a good chance to save par or bogey from what was a not-too-difficult greenside recovery.

The point is, in order to get consistently better, you need to make an honest assessment of where you are losing strokes and then commit to improving that part of your game. If it isn’t your driving that causes problems, contain that part of practice or pre-round warm-ups to just a half dozen swings or so, for the fun of “the big stick”. If your challenges seem to be centered around greenside recoveries, spend a lot more time practicing both your technique and imagination – seeing the shot in your mind and then trying to execute the exact distance and trajectory of the shot required. Time on the putting green will almost always pay off on the course.

But, if you are genuinely interested in improving your overall ball-striking consistency, you would be well-served to examine your fundamentals, starting with the grip and posture/setup. It is near impossible to build a repeating golf swing if those two fundamentals are not just right. And if those two things are fundamentally sound, the creation of a repeating golf swing is much easier.

More from the Wedge Guy

Your Reaction?
  • 20
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK3

Continue Reading

Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Great debut for Savannah at the WLD opener + Hideki’s driver grip



A great start for Savvy in her second season competing in the World Long Drive Organization! We talk about the whole experience and we also take a look at the Katalyst suit and how our training sessions are going. Plus we speculate why Hideki is experimenting with a putter grip on a driver, thanks to GolfWRX’s Ben and Brian help.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading