From the Red Tees – Fountain of Youth vs The Club Champion

Admit it, we women of a certain age sometimes wish we were younger. My age adage, “It’s easy to look 19 when you’re 19,” is said wistfully, as my eyes switch from her to my own rounded figure.  And locked in our collective memory is the story of the husband running off with the YOUNGER woman. Okay, in our culture, young women are beauty queens.

Life is unfair. We concedeBut do these young women have the right to be crowned club champion too?

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Golf’s very essence is fairness, with the handicap system to level out opponents’ abilities. It ensures that to win, you have to beat yourself more than your competitor beats herself. Every match is based on handicaps. Life unfair; golf fair.

But is it? Our club championship is complete with bragging rights. No monetary value, but winners get an annual parking space with their name on it. Our club has seven spots, five for men and two for women. (that’s another article.) The two women’s spots are for the 18 and 9 hole club champions.

The flighted tournament is run in April, since we are a Florida club enjoying the blue sky 70 degree winter weather. Traditionally, the club champion- the low gross scorer- has golfed for more than forty years. Her sixty-something years come with earned wrinkles.

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Until  last year, when a member’s daughter signed up to play in the championship flight.  A high school state-ranked player, a college golf scholarship is surely in her future. She entered and, you guessed it, won. She beat the older ladies, who have long since lost any length on their drives and mental energy to win.  Youthful beauty and club champion. Is this fair that she win both?

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The red tee question is: Should there be an age requirement to play in the club championship?

Remember your youth: the ability to twist your waist, to stand on one foot, or to turn your head and look backwards. Remember when you could actually see where the ball landed? She has natural ability; her body is flexible, agile and limber, complete with body torque.

Contrast that to the no-longer-young female golfers who play in spite of all the physical and mental changes nature threw at us, bad backs, hurtful hands, stiff knees. Definitely ageing handicapped.

No, not fair.  Not youthful beauty and club champion! I say she shouldn’t compete in our tournament. She has the unfair youth advantage.

What do you think? Have I sunk the putt, or has the ball landed in the sand trap? What does your club do?

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Published: January 17, 2012

Author: Kristin Bright

Kristin Bright

Kristin Bright

Long ago, Kristin Bright realized women's amateur golf is not for the serious. When you finally recognize there is no prize or college scholarship, you just relax and enjoy the game. Ms. Bright first started playing in her early thirties, when her boss suggested she play in the company’s golf league. The only female player, each weekly opponent posted his worst score of the season. Since then, she has continued to play in leagues, both women's and couples leagues throughout the U.S. Over the years, as her handicap went down, her love of writing went up. Ms. Bright’s weekly newspaper travel feature, "on a Tankful" appeared in the Daytona News Journal. For the last ten years, she has been an adjunct professor at Stetson University, Deland, Florida, where she teaches business writing classes when she isn’t enjoying the game of golf and bringing a sense of humor to those who play with her. Ms. Bright’s love and passion for the game is only superseded by her love to point out to women golfers that the game is about “fun” .

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