Uneven tee boxes and lack of yardage markers.
People I play with know those things are my primary gripes on a golf course.
There are other concerns, of course, but I’ll step aside and let some area pros take their swings in our latest edition of the pros roundtable.
Our threesome includes Steve Nelke from Hangman Valley, Dave Hobson from Coeur d’Alene Golf Club and Doug Tyler from the University of Idaho Golf Course.
What are your pet peeves on a golf course?
Nelke: One word: RESPECT!! Respect for 1. The golf course (unrepaired ball marks, unfilled divots, unraked bunkers, etc.). 2. Other players (hitting into people, not playing at a reasonable pace of play, no concern for others playing the course, etc.) 3. Golf cars and other course equipment (people do not believe how dangerous a cart can be when it is not driven safely).
Hobson: My biggest pet peeves on a golf course are the consistency of greens. With the technology we have today there should be no reason that greens should be inconsistent on a golf course.
Tyler: Slow play is probably a universal pet peeve and mine as well. As professionals, if we can encourage players to tee it forward, we can speed up play and enhance the players’ golf experience.
Best greens in the area
Which course (other than your own) has the best greens in the Inland Northwest?
Hobson: I would say The Links greens are the best greens in the area, besides ours, of course.
Tyler: Probably the best greens are going to be found at Black Rock or Gozzer Ranch but that won’t do most of us any good because they are difficult courses to access.
Nelke: Country club-wise, Manito is usually really good. Public course-wise, Deer Park and Creek at Qualchan are very good.
Practice, more practice
What ratio would you recommend amateurs practice drivers/woods/long game vs. chipping/putting/short game?
Tyler: Half the game of golf is played with one club, the putter, the other half of the game is using all of the other clubs in your bag. So it would make sense to spend about equal time on the short game, with an emphasis on putting, as you would with the long game. However, there is a lot more ego on the line with the long game so amateurs with limited practice schedules spend a much larger percentage of their time on the long game.
Nelke: If you are working on a specific move, practice your swing to improve your technique. If you are really serious about enjoying the game and improving your score, spend AT LEAST 60 percent of your time on the short game. Besides, it is a relatively cheap form of entertainment!
Hobson: I would like to see them practice 80 percent on the short game and 20 percent on the long game. The short game is probably 70 percent of the game.
Pros don’t play enough
How much golf does a pro really get to play?
Nelke: Not enough! Thank goodness for the pro-ams! If you are extremely organized, you can play or practice quite a bit.
I enjoy playing with all skill levels of golfers!
That is how you keep fresh and observe ideas to improve your ability to teach.
Remember the quote: “I hate this game, what time do we play tomorrow?”
Hobson: I get to play about 22 rounds a year, most of them pro-ams.
I would like to play more but time at work doesn’t allow a lot of time with family.
Tyler: Never enough! As my administrative responsibilities have grown at the course the free time to play has dwindled. I probably get out a couple times a month.