BOWLING GREEN, Fla. — If golf has a superpower, it’s the flexibility to fill the cracks in your thoughts and feast in your anxieties. First-tee jitters. Overthinking a putt. New gamers worriedly making an attempt to determine the place to face, the place to go, what to do. Experienced gamers exasperated by each mistake, seeing the rating they hoped to put up slip away. All the fretting over taking part in too sluggish or ready too lengthy.
Then there’s the scoring. An arbitrary quantity determined by somebody you by no means met. You thought you performed that gap properly, however this little card says you took a bogey. The phrase is born from a Scottish time period for a satan. So now your horrible play is an incarnation of a fallen angel, expelled from heaven, abusing free will with its evil. Beelzebul is taking part in via.
But now think about being handed a scorecard with no criterion. Some tees at 50 and 56 yards. Others at 101 and 111. And 164. And 218. And way back to 293. One gap that may be performed from 89 or 187. And on this card, a evident omission. No par. Just play. Have a match in opposition to a pal. Grab a few golf equipment, a number of drinks, and go. Winner of every gap decides the place to tee off on the subsequent gap. You can play a six-hole loop that circles a stunning grove of oak timber. Or play a 13-hole loop. Or play all 19. Who cares?
“You know,” Ben Crenshaw, the legendary golfer-turned-course architect, lately mentioned, “this game is allowed to be played differently.”
So why don’t we extra usually?
A brand new course opening in central Florida makes the query once more exhausting to disregard. The Chain, a “short course” created by Crenshaw and long-time design companion Bill Coore, is opening this month at Streamsong Golf Resort. Guests can at the moment play 13 holes complete for preview play. The hope is to open the course’s full 19 by December 1, so long as the land permits. Markers, which have roots to the property’s former days as a phosphate mine, give golfers a information of the place to tee off on each gap at The Chain.