The protests are spreading nationwide and the two sides differ dramatically. There are those who are protesting the loss of liberty and those who believe that it has to be done to improve the game for all to enjoy.
This doesn't involve a huge rule change in NASCAR or baseball but rather, the requirement by a growing number of public golf courses for the use of golfcarts when playing. The vocal protesters include a man in Florida who has published a book and filed lawsuits, a Long Island woman who is now boycotting her local course and a former golf executive and past NCAA golf champion who feels the change should mean a change to the name of the game as well.
A growing number of cities and counties are now requiring the use of electric or gas-powered cart stating that they are needed to speed up play and allow more golfers to use the courses. In July 2007, Eisenhower Red, Nassau County NY's preimere municipal 18-hole course announced that they would be required there as well. They claimed that the course is so popular that they are needed to speed up play and that residents who want to walk, can do so on the two other adjacent public courses. Of course, for a county that had been close to bankrupcy a few years ago, the additional $29 per cart will certainly help the bottom line.
Adrienne Danzig of Westbury NY, isn't buying the reasons stated by the county. She, like many others have walked the course for years and either just enjoy walking during their game or seriously question whether a cart does speed up play. There are those as well who cite the physical benefits of walking the game of golf, especially theses days when the news is full of reports on the growing obesity in America.
There has always been the option of renting a cart, if someone is of the school of disliking dragging their clubs along for the walk or just enjoyed moving through a course a bit quicker. The debate now is whether cities and counties can or should be requiring them on public courses. Sandy Tatum, a past president of the U S Golf Association and NCAA golf champion, doesn't agree with the explanations and contends that charging extra for carts prevents people from playing. The game of golf is struggling at times to draw in new players and he feels that it shouldn't be preventing people economically from playing.
Dan Zurla, a retiree from Port Orange FL, wrote a self published book called "A Civil Right: The Freedom to Walk a Public Golf Course" and has filed lawsuits against the municipalities of Daytona Beach, Port Orange and Ormond Beach about their cart policies with little success. He wrote an opinion piece in Sport Illustrated last year supporting the rights of those who want to walk the courses and believes that requiring carts on public courses is an infrigment on personal liberties and the government is making it illegal to walk on public land for no good reason.
I believe the premise of their argument is solid....... there are plenty of privately run golf courses that are in the business of making a profit. A course on public land is just that, public.... for those who can't afford the cost of a private club and since it is on public land, it should be available for anyone. Requiring that golfers pay an additional amount to rent a cart only is leaving out a segment of the population, a part that funds those public lands.