My friend Bill and I were paired with two strangers on The Red Course at Bethpage. The round was excruciatingly slow. When we got to the 8th green, we could see the group on the 11th tee box had 4 – yes, you read that right, 4 – holes open in front of them. And the group behind them wasn’t pushing them, so we knew they were just as slow.
Joe, one of the strangers we were paired with, said, “It’s the Koreans that make golf so slow.” I asked, “What Koreans?” He said, “It’s always the Koreans”. I said, pointing to the group on the 11th tee box, “But those are 4 white guys”. Then I added, pointing to the second slow group “And those are 4 white guys.”
But he wouldn’t give up. In fact, he got testy and shot back, “I play a lot of golf and I should know…it’s the Koreans!” I didn’t tell him how much I played; in fact, that’s when I stopped engaging with him. But he got me to thinking about how prejudice works. He was so committed to his opinion that Koreans are the problem with slow play, that in the face of us watching 8 white guys hold up the course, he couldn’t stop blaming Koreans.
So here’s my take on ethnicity and pace of play: Yes, it’s the Koreans, but it’s also white men, white women, black men, black women, Japanese men, Japanese women, and if they played golf, MARTIANS!! Every nationality, skin color and gender is fully represented when it comes to slow play. It can’t possibly be just one ethnic group… it’s too darn slow!