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Boom Box's on the Course

Carl T

Just finished reading an article on music and boom boxes on the golf course in GD. I will say right up front I find the loud booming music obnoxious and unsettling and breaks up the tranquil atmosphere and serenity that one expects to find on the course. A year ago it was unheard of to hear loud music blaring from someone's golf cart but after our club waived a no initiation fee to induce new members to join, now it is a common occurrence. The local college golf team uses our club to practice and the kids use ear buds which I think is great as their music does not intrude on fellow golfers at the range. More than once have I had the club pro go out and tell the offending players to turn down their music. I don't want to come off as an old fuddy duddy but I guess I am. What do others think about this new phenomena that has encroached on the game ?

18 Replies

  1. Andrew A

    I had the same sentiment as you when it came to music on the course, but after a few rounds, I find it much more inviting.  I don't find myself without my headphones or jambox when on the range or the course.  I found that when music is playing it's a constant reminder that we are just playing a game and to be relaxed.  The more relaxed I am the better I end up playing.  I agree that the music should be at a volume where it offends or bothers other groups, but if your foresome is in agreement, let the tunes rain down.  

    We actually have a number of A and B inter-club matches play music now.  It  makes for an interesting side bet.  The winner of the last hole gets to control the songs until they lose a hole later on.  


  2. andy r

    I think having the boom box on the course is a little inconsiderate. if you want music just use ear buds. I like music as much as anyone but, IMO, like everything else it has a time and a place.

    A golf course is not the time and the place.

  3. Jesse P

    Hi Carl,

    I would also be opposed to a loud boombox on the course IF you could hear it from more than 20 yards away.  If I am on the tee and I can hear the music from the group on the fairway it is too loud.  However a lot of my friends who are fairly good golfers and who have been golfing for many years have started to bring along bluetooth speakers to place in their cart during thier rounds.  I typically play with them and don't mind it as long as the sound stays constrained within the cart and not much further.  Which it always does.  I think the game is changing in a way that brings more diverse golfers and fans to it, which is a good thing.  And I think with that the way it is played will long as the change is within reason I think it is ok. 

  4. fred k

    couldn't be any worse than someone having an oversized staff bag with a stereo and a tv monitor built into it...

  5. Trevor A

    I play mostly municipal courses and have come across this situation only a handful of times and I agree it is annoying and disrupts the peacefulness that most of us are looking for on the golf course.

    However I could accept a group of 4 buddies playing together and one of them having music quietly playing so they can hear it but not loud enough to be forced upon other golfer’s 1-2 holes away or all across the range.

    It really is commons sense and respect for other people, so you’re not being old or a fuddy-duddy for not wanting others music forced down your ears your being reasonable.

  6. Don O

    I work in a youth-oriented setting and I fly a lot for work. Ear buds are about the greatest invention. Because their music doesn't intrude on me. Both for running and for golf, I enjoy the sounds of nature - and for golf, the sound of contact with the ball. Even ran away from Swoosh and Cbra drivers because of the unnatural sound. If I'm amped up on sound on the course, then I never get the break to unwind. I hope golf courses remain an option for tranquility. I'd hate to see them become like a circus in Caddyshack II. Hopefully, we can attract new golfers without sounding like a NASCAR track.

  7. Hotsauce

    fred k

    couldn't be any worse than someone having an oversized staff bag with a stereo and a tv monitor built into it...

    On some of these 6 hour rounds, a TV might be nice...

    I recently played with a group who played music.  It wasn't "booming" out of a boom box, but they did have a small bluetooth speaker that played some good classic rock.  I prefer the sounds of the course, but I didn't mind the music this time around.  If they're in their own group, and not pulling up to each tee pumping bass, I think it's a non issue.  I find music less annoying than people who talk on cell phones while they're out there.

  8. tdogg21

    I have yet to come across someone playing music, but as long as I can't hear it on the next hole or away from their group, I think it's fine.  I enjoy the quiet of a golf course, but at the same time, I do enjoy allowing music to relax me.  I always have music when I run, but honestly, a couple of miles in, and I barely notice what song is playing.  As long as everyone is considerate of others, I think it's a non-issue.

  9. Carl T

    I'm all for attracting new and young golfers to the game but as in any sport there are tradition and player etiquette. In golf it is considered rude and offensive to talk while one is addressing the ball. The only thing you should hear when addressing the ball is the back ground noises of birds chirping, leaves rustling and other sounds of nature. A boom box blaring from across the fairway while you are on the tee box is unacceptable behavior IMHO. As already well stated, there is a place for everything but blaring music on the golf course is not one of them. To me the booming sound of music falls into the same category of the car driving by a golf course honking it's horn and it's passenger screaming fore.
  10. Dr. Kovatchian

    Hey Y'all!!!

    I have had several experiences living here in Austin TX with Golfers playing their favorite tunes loud and clear from the cart on good quality portable speakers.

    Just a few months ago I was paired up with a threesome, both carts were streaming live music...I was a little annoyed but walking I managed to keep away from the blasting Grand Ole Opera...

    Here is the kicker...these guys were complaining to me that my clubs were clanking when I walked...OMG!!!!



  11. Doug E

    To each, his own. However, that doesn't mean you can do anything you want no matter what affect it has on others. Consideration  for others in all aspects of life in general is something we all should have learned during our formative years. In a game heavily weighted around proper etiquette, inconsideration of others in any form should not be tolerated.

    You want to listen to music on the course, that's fine. But just because you do, doesn't mean the whole golf course does. Keep it to a volume that only you or your agreeable playing partners can hear. And while you're at it, stop leaving your divots and pitch marks unrepaired. We all have to play out there on that same course. If we all attempt to be considerate of others and use proper etiquette, then you should too. It's that simple.

  12. Mike C

    This is something you are seeing more and more and it is certainly a somewhat polarizing issue for some.  Personally, as with anything, I think in moderation it can be ok.  When I am playing a round by myself or with close friends, I sometimes play music.  It really tends to keep me in a rhythm.  However, I always keep it at a level that can just be heard in the immediate vicinity of my cart.  Also, if you want to play music, I think it is ok as long as none of your playing partners oppose it.  If anybody would prefer for you not to play the music, you should honor that request.  The idea that you can hear another players music from the next hole or an adjacent fairway is ridiculous.  Keep it down and keep it to yourself so as not to bother others.

    We had our big annual member-guest tournament last week and lots of people were playing music.  There were a number of comments about this by some of the competitors.  Personally, we had playing partners on two of the days that played music.  They were both courteous and asked if we minded (which we didn't) but, to be honest, I don't think it is the most appropriate thing to do in a tournament. 

    In the same tournament, one of the guys who used to be a member at the club but moved away was back as a guest.  He was always one of the guys who tended to play his music quite loudly and there were always more than a few comments about it.  Well, for the member-guest this year, he showed up with a Bluetooth speaker that was the size of a guitar amp.  This thing was so big he had to bungee-cord it into the basket between the seats of his cart.  One of the days he even had a microphone hooked up to the thing and was singing along with the music karaoke style.  To say this was a bit much would be an understatement.  I'm just glad I was not anywhere around them before it was quashed.

    My point on these examples is that there is a way to play music, and a way not to play music.  If you do it in a courteous way that does not bother others, I have no issues with it.  If you are forcing your music upon others and it is bothersome, there is no place for it.  Enjoy your music on the golf course if you like, just keep it to yourself and your playing partners and nobody should have a problem with it.

  13. andy r

    It is a bad idea and here is why ,  what is too loud to some people may not be too loud to others . Who decides what is what on the course, some issues will certainly take place.

    Ear buds are perfect for the golf course for those who wish to listen to tunes while playing.

  14. vurich

    i'm on the fence about this issue.

    I wear earbuds all the time.

    It tunes out a lot of what I don't want to hear.  People yapping all the time.

    There are two types of golf. Social and competitive.

    I find during a social event, fundraisers, ect., I enjoy music from loud speakers.

    But look at all the other professional sports.  You have all types of ambient music and noise.

    Why is golf the only sport where people need to be quiet?

    Maybe if they took the fans off the playing field and put them in the stands like other sports, there would be no restrictions and everyone could relax knowing there will be noise.

    I don't know...

    anyway, great post!


  15. Mike C

    As I thought a little more about this from a tournament perspective, I realized that doing this in a tournament played under the USGA Rules of golf would be in breach of Rule 14-3.  This specific situation was addressed in decision 14-3/17.  See below:

    Decision 14-3/17

    Player Listens to Music or Broadcast During Round

    Q. A player uses a device to listen to music, a radio broadcast or any other type of broadcast during a stipulated round. What is the ruling?

    A. Under Rule 14-3a, a player may not use any artificial device or unusual equipment that "might assist him in making a stroke or in his play." Listening to music or a broadcast while making a stroke or for a prolonged period might assist the player in his play, for example, by eliminating distractions or promoting a good tempo. Therefore, the use of an artificial device to listen to music or a broadcast, whether or not through headphones, while making a stroke or for a prolonged period of time during a stipulated round is a breach of Rule 14-3. However, it would not be a breach of Rule 14-3 for a player to listen to a device briefly, for example, to obtain the results of another sporting event or traffic information, while walking between the putting green of one hole and the teeing ground of the next hole.

    A Committee will have to consider all available facts and circumstances in determining whether a player using an artificial device to listen to music or a broadcast has done so for a prolonged period such that the action might have assisted the player in his play.

    There is no restriction on listening to music or other broadcasts while practicing (whether on the practice ground or on the golf course, and whether by oneself or while playing with others), although club rules and disciplinary codes could apply in such circumstances.

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