For a golfer, it’s tough to beat life in Palm Beach County, Fla. Its boundaries contain more than 100 courses, and the glorious weather allows year-round play (provided you can survive the 92-degree, 70-percent humidity summer days and know to get your arse indoors when the air’s crackling with killer bolts).
There’s a reason tour pros – like Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Luke Donald – rival New Yorkers as the area’s chief import.
The Palm Beach golfing life has its downsides, though. For one, a high percentage of the courses are private, so choices are more limited than first meets the eye. And when I say private, I mean You-Ain’t-Getting-Through-These-Gates-Without-an-Eight-Figure-Net-Worth private.
Bear’s Club private. Jupiter Hills private. Seminole private.
You want to keep my kind out, fine. There are plenty of places that allow flip-flops in the clubhouse.
No, what really irks me, what makes me madder than a shanked wedge, is the no-walking policy employed by most public courses in these parts. I understand that courses derive much of their revenue from cart fees. And I get that the terrain of some layouts makes them virtually unwalkable.
But not in South Florida. Heck, the courses here are flatter than the beer I left open last weekend. In Palm Beach, there’s simply no good reason to force golfers into carts.
So I walked 18 yesterday at an excellent, county-run facility, Okeeheelee Golf Course, and enjoyed every step. (The swings were another matter.) While constantly waiting for the friendly but clueless twosome in front of me – they were in a cart, of course – I got to thinking how much better the game is when played on foot.
My next post will spell out all the ways walking beats the hubcaps off riding, and offer suggestions for making the stroll as comfortable and rewarding as possible.
Until then, I’ll be scouring the couch cushions for pocket change to put in my piggy bank. I’m on my way, Seminole!
And I’m bringing my flip-flops.