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Golf Gazette: He’ll take a pass on high-tech gadgets

09/20/2015 6:00 AM |

I am not a gadget person. Never have been. The techiest pieces of equipment I own are my flip cellphone, which only sees action when I’m on the road and want to order takeout, and my Garmin GPS; both are over five years old. No digital gizmos for this boy. I don’t text, tweet, twit or whatever. And no Facebook or other social media clutter for your golf guy.

If you leave a message on my home answering machine, I will get back to you in a day … or two … or three, maybe. I give new meaning to the term “technological dinosaur.”

A good friend of mine always has the latest golf gadgets certain to improve his game or make his round of golf more pleasurable. His gadgets have gadgets.

There are many golf do-dads on the market today, with the most popular probably being the GPS devices. These puppies are amazing. Most are programmed with information for over 30,000 courses, can tell you distances to the greens and hazards, measure the distance of your shots, and act as a scorecard.

There are also a number of golf apps that you can use with your fancy phones and tablets that tell you just about everything except what you ate for breakfast.

They offer all that the other golf GPS devices provide, and in addition can keep track of each shot you take, the distance you hit every shot, and can tell you how far you are hitting each club in your bag. When on the course you can view a satellite photo of where you are and zoom in to see the green and the pin placements. Amazing and scary stuff.

Note to my family and dear friends: If you are thinking of surprising me with a golf GPS thingamajig, thanks, but no thanks. I have a difficult enough time setting the timer on our microwave.

PICK UP THE PACE, FOLKS

A huge problem facing the game of golf today is pace of play, which I have written about in the past. Twice this summer my wife, Jean, and I were playing behind a certain group of four gentlemen. These not extremely swift-of-foot, seasoned seniors extended the usual four-hour round into a five-hour-plus torture trek. They were in carts; we walk. We had to wait on every shot. They had to know we were behind them waiting and you would think they might let us, as a twosome, play through. No chance.

Their eyesight was questionable because they constantly had trouble finding their shots, which by the way never traveled very far. They were riding around the course, back and forth, up and down, here and there, like two squirrels running into traffic. When they eventually did locate their shot they would, ever so slowly, get out of the cart, identify the ball, go back to the cart, choose a club, go back to the ball, hover over it and then decide to change clubs.

Our potty-mouth control was definitely tested, and then some.

I think one player in the group scored in double figures on most of the par 4s and 5s. Playing from the white tees when they should have been playing forward, another topic I have written about more than once, I’m sure you have probably guessed that it took them quite a few strokes just to get to the 150-yard marker. They also putted everything out. No gimmes for this group.

Watching these guys leaving the green was another test of our “I will be nice, I will be nice” patience. They collected any extra clubs they had left green side, stood around counting how many shots they had taken and chatted away, having a grand old time. Then, as if in slow motion, they retreated to their carts and moseyed over to the next tee.

If I ever get like this, I hope someone takes away the keys to my clubs and points me in the direction of a bingo hall.

Come on folks, please, let’s keep things moving along out there — for the good of the game.

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