The Golf Roundhouse Roundtable

photo Walter Iooss

A full kick of insights

Pop quiz, hotshot. There’s an entire issue of Whalebone Magazine dedicated to the love and lifestyle of a sport that even leaders of the free world have obsessed over for decades. You run into a series of golf related questions that could ultimately change the course of humanity forever. What do you do? Well, if you’re anything like us you gather a group of well-rounded individuals who have a passion, knowledge, and love for the game that supersedes any preconceived notion that we think we know what we’re talking about and have them answer the questions. At least, that’s what we would do.

The following feature is a gathering of solid individuals and their take on the current status of the sport, what areas could maybe use some love, and a few things you’ll need to know before you pick up a club next time. Dear Whalebone Magazine Golf Roundtable Participants, please make your way to the tee box. You’re up next.

If you ever want to get to know someone, play 18 holes together.

ROUND ONE: How is golf good for America?

James Blake: >(Pro Tennis Player) Golf easily brings people together of all backgrounds and skill levels.  Everyone enjoys hitting a good shot and sharing that with friends. That’s American as it can be.

Shep Gordon: (Legendary Talent Manager) One of the great things about golf in America is that even in the highest population where concrete rules the day, the golf course in the town is always green, birds chirping, wildlife in bloom, a moment of sanity in the crazy concrete jungle.

Micah Pueschel: (Iration) It creates a sense of community and comradery. The places that do golf right in the US, like Goat Hill (Calif.), Winter Park (Fla.), or Bandon Dunes (Ore.), they make it accessible and create an atmosphere that makes everyone in the community want to be around the course, even if they’re not playing. That’s what it’s all about!

Katie Kearney: (Model) Golf is a sport that truly brings people together. If you ever want to get to know someone, play 18 holes together. There’s something about being outdoors, exercising, and playing golf that allows people to completely open up. Hence why a lot of business is done on the course. It’s a great hobby that forces people to step away from technology and clear their head for four hours without any distraction.

Benji Weatherly: (Pro Surfer) Golf is good for America because it gives youth an outlet to put their energy into and brings communities and generations together. It also provides an open and green space that is constantly manicured and maintained for other outdoor activities, including weddings, conferences, hiking, etc.

Vegas needs to add this to the strip.

ROUND TWO: One thing golf has taught you in life?

JB: Golf has definitely taught me humility.  Every time I think I’m improving, there is that one bad round that brings you back down to earth.

SG: Patience and humility…oops that’s two

MP: Accountability. There’s no one to blame but yourself if you hit a bad shot. You can blame the wind, blame this or that, but it’s really on you. For me, that was a big lesson growing up, knowing how to persevere, collect myself and move on.

KK: Patience. You’ll have good days and bad days but the important thing is too not let the bad shots get in your head. Similarly to life, it’s all about your mindset. If you have a negative mindset, you’ll never have a good day. Golf has also taught me there is always room for self-improvement. It’s a very humbling sport, to say the least.

BW: Golf has taught me patience, resilience, focus, and balance. Golf has created athletic challenges that mimic for me what I used to experience in surfing.

ROUND THREE: What is missing from the sport?

JB: The only thing I see that’s missing from the sport is accessibility.  There needs to be so much land for a course and it’s still cost prohibitive for most people.

SG: Air conditioning on the really hot days.

MP: We have to create more ways to get everyone involved, start getting kids from inner cities around the game in any capacity. There are organizations who are doing this now and it’s great. But it’s still a big issue…golf needs to be more accessible and affordable in more communities.

KK: Women have come a long way in growing the game of golf but I still believe there’s room for improvement, not so much on the professional but rather recreational level. There are still many courses in my city that are men’s only. A lot of courses added on the forward tees without any forethought or purpose.

BW: Golf is lacking the availability to play at night under the lights in the evening. Vegas needs to add this to the strip.


ROUND FOUR: Favorite golfer of all-time?

JB: Sergio Garcia

SG: My father, he was a passionate golfer

MP: Freddie Couples. I just loved his swing, his demeanor, style. He was always such a cool cat.

KK: Tiger Woods. When I was young, my mom brought me to a day golf camp sponsored by Tiger. I was the only girl at the clinic and he was so humble and really took the time to help each and every one of us kids. It’s refreshing when you meet a hero and they live up to your expectations in the real world.

BW: Freddy Couples because he is the Tom Curren of golf.

I think the true jewel of golf is that it teaches you to be humble.

ROUND FIVE: The hardest part of golf?

JB: The hardest part of golf is the mental side. Focusing on every single shot and having nothing reactionary.

SG: I think the true jewel of golf is that it teaches you to be humble. It’s a game you can’t be perfect in.

MP: Being disciplined on the course. It’s key to develop a consistent pre-shot routine and create a pattern with your entire approach. I’m not much of a Type A person so this has always been a bit difficult for me. The best players are the ones who have rhythm and consistency in their setup.

KK: The hardest part is not getting to play enough. It’s a game of consistency and muscle memory. It’s not like riding a bike, you must practice in order to improve. Also, putting, no reason needed.

BW: The hardest thing about golf is being consistent and not letting a bad shot detour you.

To be honest, most golfers are only focused on their own score.

ROUND SIX: One thing you would tell someone who is looking to take up the sport?

JB: I would tell anyone taking up the sport to make sure they have patience and to have fun playing it.  If you start off having fun, you will want to keep playing and that will make you a better golfer.

SG: Go for it!!!! It is something you can do into your later years. I recently golfed with a gentleman who is 90—he probably doesn’t play a lot of football these days.

MP: I would tell them to shell out the money for three golf lessons. It’s worth the small investment. I didn’t do this and it probably cost me a couple of years worth of progress. Learn the grip, learn the setup…all the fundamentals. It’s crucial to get started on the right path. Once you get the basics down, it’s all about having fun.

KK: Getting started in golf can be intimidating, especially for women as it still is a male dominant sport. The important thing to remember is everyone, even scratch golfers, began somewhere. And to be honest, most golfers are only focused on their own score, so do not stress about trying to compete with anyone but yourself.

BW: You can’t fail if you have Pandora on your phone. Cold drinks and good friends.

From the Golf Issue

in collaboration with Callaway