Letters to the Editor

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CHAMBERS BAY: Let golfers ride

Letter by Richard M. Lawson, Sumner on Jan. 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm with 16 Comments »
January 5, 2011 2:13 pm

Re: “Chambers Bay still in red figures” (TNT, 1-2).

I am a 74-year-old avid golfer. I have never played Chambers Bay, and I never will.

Why? It appears that Pierce County has chosen to continue to lose money while only allowing walkers to use the course. I have to assume the golfers that walk did not foot the total bill for the course construction.

I have talked to many, many golfers who have played the course, and they say that it is a tough course to have to walk – and these were the young ones.

The county has virtually eliminated half the golfers who can’t or won’t walk the course. I think the county has forgotten this is a public course. So let the public play it by either walking or riding.

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    The ADA is being flaunted, and the Gubment is guilty of it?

  2. Publico says:

    BCG you are wrong. There are carts available for the rare golfer with a disability. The rest are just too lazy to put in the effort and they do not deserve a ride around the course. It is designed for real athletes.

  3. ronniew says:

    It is a sorry time when half of all golfers can’t walk 6 to 7 miles in 4 hours. Sure, there are hills that will wind you, but there is a whole lot of standing around time to rest as well. I know an 81 yr old who plays the course twice a week. If you can’t walk 6 to 7 miles of hilly terrain over 4 hours maybe you should get off the couch.

  4. dallasow says:

    I played the course once and upon completion I advised one of the club staff that there would be a lot of one time players, as myself. I consider myself to be in pretty good physical condition for a 69 year old former football and basketball player and football/basketball official but the course is too physically demanding because it’s hilly and built on sand. To attract repeat players (this is where the money is) they have to make the playing pleasant, and until they change the rule and allow riding carts there won’t be a lot of repeat customers.

  5. beerBoy says:

    Golf is a sport……….yah sure, yabetcha!

  6. Those who compare a lazy game of golf to physical exercise, those who feel the need to ride in golf cart to reduce the fatigue of actually walking from hole to hole, will get no sympathy around here.

    I’ve walked around that course many times, not on the course but on the trail that surrounds that course. Try two or three laps around that trail, in one hour, then you’ll get my attention.

  7. ronniew says:

    dallasow — Perhaps the NBA could lower the hoops a couple of feet to make it easier, and therefore more fair, for everyone?

    One of the unique draws to Chambers Bay is that it is a TOUGH course. There are plenty of easy public courses around and I know of at least one country club currently allowing the public to play for cheap green fees. (You can play Oakbook for something like $35 and the course is beautiful.) They are trying to build Chambers into a destination golf course, worthy enough that top-notch golfers will travel to play it. Dumbing it down to cater to locals who tire easily defeats the entire vision.

  8. ronniew says:

    Polago — Thank you. Riding in a golf cart for four hours and getting out once in a while to swing at a little ball is not exercise. If people don’t want to get any exercise while they golf they can go play at any one of the several public courses in the area that allow carts.

  9. dallasow says:

    ronniew as I stated in my previous post, I don’t intend to play it again unless they change the “no carts” policy. That’s my choice. I do play the other public courses in the state and I enjoy myself. Obviously there are plenty of other golfers that are not repeat players at Chambers Bay, otherwise the course would not be losing money. The object of any business is to be profitable. When you’re not profitable, you change strategies

    You are also assuming that golf is my only form of exercise and you’re judging my preferences for playing golf against your preferences. Sort of like if you drink beer, you have to drink what I like, not what you like.

    Palago- Try walking 18 holes on the course carrying a bag or pulling the bag on a cart and you’ll get my attention.

  10. ronniew says:

    dallasow — I didn’t intend to judge your preferences against mine when it comes to golf. What I intended to do was point out that since we do have different preferences it is nice that there are different types of courses to accomodate both of us. As it stands, Chambers caters to lower handicap golfers, both in the golf skills necessary to play a decent round and the physical fitness necessary to play a decent round. If they allowed carts on the course it would be more inviting to less skilled golfers, but then there would be a big uproar that the course itself was too difficult. It goes to follow that the public would insist they dumb it down to serve that new demographic and we would end up with yet another mediocre course. We have enough of those already. We need to keep Chambers unique while the clientele builds up.

  11. beerBoy says:

    Remember that on the Pro golf tour they expect the athletes to walk.

  12. ronniew says:

    Yes, the pros have to walk. It was a big deal several years ago when a disabled pro golfer (Casey Martin) sued the PGA for the right to ride in a golf cart during competition. He won the suit and got to ride between shots, but it never sat right with anyone because he wasn’t playing the same game as everyone else. The fatigue factor does play an important part in competitive golf. If you take away the carts you change the game. It’s not a bad game, but it’s a different game.

  13. beerBoy says:

    Exactly rv – pandering to least common denominator may bring in more hobbled locals but that really wasn’t the vision for the course in the first place.

    You can’t have a world-class, destination golf course for athletes AND have it easy enough for the casual game aficionados. You have to make a choice and stick with it.

  14. beerBoy says:

    Lawson concludes his letter by inferring that Public course means that there can be no restrictions upon use. Rather absurd inference.

  15. whitecap says:

    Some of you are missing the point. Mr. Lawson’s point is that the course would generate more revenue if power carts were allowed. How can you argue with that? On New Year’s Eve I talked with a guy who I would estimate at about 70 yrs. old, a slim, healthy man. He also has the financial ability to play Chambers Bay whenever he was wants to, but he said he wouldn’t go back. Why? Too tired near the end of the round to play well. All you buff guys can fault him for that, but he would go back if he could ride and that would generate revenue and he’s not alone. Get it?

  16. ronniew says:

    Oh, we get it, all right. Dumbing it down would attract more players.

    But then it would lose it’s prestige as a course difficult enough to attract the top professionals in the world. If you think it was a waste to spend $20 million on a golf course only a fraction of our citizens can play, it would be downright criminal to waste that money on yet another mediocre course.

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