Zoomer Boomer: In it together
September 12, 2017
While this topic was previously referenced in an earlier column, some readers have requested some additional insight. Clearly it is an unknown to many non-participants, this existence of a magic world, one populated by kind souls all prepared at the drop of a hat to lend assistance whenever needed. Whether requested or not, this assistance is seen as an obligation, a rite of passage, a requirement for occupying this hallowed space. Mechanics, alignment, equipment, attitude, opinion, and certainly personal instruction are just some of the topics covered on a regular basis. For many Zoomer Boomers this gathering is as much social as it is self-improvement. I am, of course, referring to the area of the golf world known as the practice tee.
For openers, consider the purpose of the practice tee. Everyone is there to get better and everyone knows it. What better atmosphere for improvement than having all attendees know that it is their obligation to approach a total stranger and proffer direct advice in support of assisting the getting better intent? Equally welcoming is the general willingness of most practice tee participants to accept the unsolicited advice and immediately try to implement it. Clearly it would be bad form to just cast aside advice given in such an atmosphere of benevolence, and besides, who among us golfers is truly satisfied with his or her swing?
The atmosphere of unknown conviviality also goes the opposite direction. Total strangers have been known to request of other total strangers to please stand behind them and tell them what they see. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so goes the judgment of the particular swing and its mechanics. Again, rapid analysis followed by rapid suggestion for improvement is followed by rapid implementation. Seldom, however, is this followed by actual rapid improvement. So the wonderful cycle continues!
For a most pleasant diversion and to give a break to aging muscle memory that often oscillates between amnesia and dementia, there is always the pleasant patter concerning the latest and greatest in equipment. Drivers almost universally constitute the lion's share of these comparisons and for good reasons. Any club nicknamed the "big dog" as in "let it eat" merits its own focus. Aesthetics aside, the key question is always one of distance. Whichever driver hits the ball the farthest must be the best. The value proposition is always in calculating the dollars spent per extra yard. Fortunately for the major club manufacturers, the Zoomer Boomer generation has an awfully lot of disposable income and forty to fifty dollars per yard for increased distance is not unknown. Equally fortunate, no lie detector tests are required for testimonials of such improvement.
So next time you are feeling a little less than positive about your game, head over to your nearest practice tee. There a group of fellow travelers through the mystic world of golf stands ready to shore up your shortcomings and reestablish your faith in humanity. And if you have a new driver, for gosh sakes, make sure you bring it along.
Following a successful international business career, John Riddell turned his attention to small business/entrepreneurial pursuits that included corporate turn-arounds, start-ups, teaching as an adjunct business school professor, authoring noted business and sports columns, and serving as VP for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce directing its Center for Entrepreneurial Growth. He can be contacted at email@example.com.