DARE TO ASK: Get outta my way on golf course, ladies
By PHILLIP MILANO, The Times-Union
Do women really play golf slower than men?
R.M., male, Jacksonville
I think women tend to see a round of golf as a social occasion. . . . But
that doesn't mean they're slower when it comes to actually getting to their ball
and hitting the shots.
J.L., male, Ponte Vedra Beach
Here on the private courses, women do not play golf slower than men. On
public courses, they are more likely to play slower than men because of their
lower skill levels and the fact that many hit a shorter ball.
N.M., 85, male, Florida
Although women don't hit the ball as far, they also don't hit as far off the
They're slower because they have a lot of conversation while they're playing.
Luke, male, Los Angeles
Women don't play any slower than the men here. I think there are just a lot
of grumpy old men who just have it in their heads that it is a man's game and
that women don't belong on the golf course.
Gordon, 72, Sun City West, Ariz.
My wife doesn't watch where her ball is hit, can't remember what shot she's
hitting and can't understand how to square herself to the target. The three guys
I used to golf with died. My wife says she will spend less time in purgatory for
time spent on the golf course. But I still love her!
Pat, male, Racine, Wis.
Do women mistake tee time for tea time? (WHOA, hey! Who just hit into us? Get
The "hit and giggle" golf myth about women really is just that, says
handicapping swami Dean Knuth, who wrote the U.S. Golf Association's "Pace
Rating System" manual.
"The average women's handicap is about 14 shots higher than men in the U.S. .
. . but women are more conscious of golf rules," he said. Since about 75 percent
of U.S. golfers are men, "odds-wise there are more slower men's groups."
Cathy Harbin, general manager of The Slammer & Squire at the World Golf
Village in St. Johns County, agrees women really do pay attention to the rules
and pace of play.
"The universal fear is that women golfers, because they don't hit as far,
will play slower. But in my experience that's proven not to be true."
Some men, however . . .
"They watch golf on TV. They watch guys study a shot, back off it, study
again . . . they get in that mind-set."
She gave an example of a recent members tourney:
"I put the women out front. . . . the guys were like 'I can't believe it.'
But they [stayed] at least a hole and a half ahead the entire day.
"There's a stigma, and [women] don't want to live up to it. So they say
'We'll be the opposite. We'll leave them in our dust.' "
The biggest cause of slow play?
"Overloading the course," said Knuth. "That's a management issue."
Phillip Milano, author of I Can't Believe You Asked That! (Perigee),
moderates cross-cultural dialogue at Y? The National Forum on People's
Differences. Visit www.yforum.com to submit questions and answers. Send general
column comments to phillip. firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also hear his