Race to the Tee and the Story of Common Score

Filed in Uncategorized by on February 7, 2015 0 Comments

By Mary Ollie

One day Bogie Gates and Arnie Duffer were bored. To pass the time they played a round of golf and  made small talk. Soon the talk turned to ensuring a steady stream of income. Although both were  financially secure the thought of losing even a penny or encountering a tough competitor was unsettling.

In fact, by the seventh hole, Bogie found himself struggling to make a two-foot putt and Arnie was digging in the rough for the third hole in a row.

Just as the discouraged duo trudged to the ninth hole, a switch flipped in Bogie’s brain. The plan revealed itself. It was so simple! Convince people that you are helping them and you can have all the money and all the control. It will be given up freely because – you are helping them.
But how to “help”, wondered Bogie? His musing was interrupted by Arnie grumbling about taking lessons and new irons.

“That’s it!” cried Bogie, causing Arnie to muff yet another shot.

Before Arnie could let fly with a string of expletives, Bogie shouted “Race to the Tee”! “Common Score!”  Arnie looked at Bogie with a mixture of anger, surprise, and confusion and placed his clubs in his bag. “I think I need a drink.” He said, walking toward the clubhouse. Bogie followed.

“What’s this Race to the Tee and Common Score?”, Arnie demanded.

“It’s the answer to our prayers.” Bogie replied. “If we can convince people that by 2016 all golfers will break 100, we can sell an unlimited amount of equipment and training packages. Heck, pros will be lining up for our golf clinics.”

And so the plan began to take shape…

First of all a public relations campaign was begun. It was a challenge as there were two groups of golfers to target. The group that concentrated on a score was the easy one. However the group of golfers who played against the course, for a good walk, or just plain enjoyment was not so easy. They didn’t think a score was that important. But little by little, the public was won over and everyone became score conscious.

Pretty soon golfers were buying new clubs and signing up for lessons. “Break one hundred“ became the new mantra. Everywhere on every course, players were asking each other. “Are you over or under?”  Even golf pros found themselves coming under pressure as some players despite the lessons could not break one hundred. The pressure increased as the new public relations campaign featured Arnie who now had the title of Golf Czar, proclaiming, “If you have a good coach, you can do it!”

Bogie, managed to find time (after counting all the money earned from selling equipment, lessons, and training) to come up with a rating system for the pros. After all, there is nothing like a bit of public humiliation to motivate people! Within days, the pros found the scores of all golfers under their tutelage were published. The pros themselves were rated and assigned to rungs of a pro ladder. The lowest rung was reserved for hackers.

Reaction was swift. Pros became selective about choosing golfers. Any golfer seeking lessons had to undergo a pre-test to make certain they had the “right stuff”. Those who didn’t have the “right stuff” were left to beg and bribe for lessons.

Bogie wasn’t worried. The public relations campaign was still working. Golfers were proud of their  scores. At least those who had good scores were. The others didn’t talk much. In fact, they didn’t play as often as all the enjoyment was gone. Golf was no longer about playing against the course or a good walk. It was all about the score.

But Bogie charged on. Breaking one hundred wasn’t good enough. Scores would have to improve every year. In 2017 all players would break 95. In 2018 the target score would be 90.

Arnie chimed in and added his approval to the growth model. “But that isn’t enough”, he said. “What we really need to do is make everyone play from the same tees. Only then will we have a real Common Score.”

The plan went on for a few years. Scores did improve a bit. However the number of golfers dropped precipitously over the years and Bogie and Arnie found the money hose slowing to a dribble.

Then it happened….Scores flat-lined!

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