If the powers that be really want to speed up play, they should talk with the marshals at the fictional Golden Greens Golf Course. According to The Case of the Missing Servant, by Tarquin Hall, the club is on the eastern outskirts of Delhi.
The Case of the Missing Servant doesn’t center on golf. It’s a mystery, includes a lot of detail about Indian culture, and contains an entertaining array of characters. If you like books similar to Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, you’ll probably like The Case of the Missing Servant. The lead character, Vish Puri, even likes to show off and wrap things up in front of a crowd, a la Poirot.
But back to speed of play. Near the end of book, one of the characters heads out to the course for an after-work round. He’s a golf nut, not a golf pro. His round is described as beginning at 8:30. It includes an eagle on 5 and a birdie on 8. He shoots 7 under par. He has a post-round Diet Coke and leaves the course “shortly after ten o’clock.” Total time for a 7 under par round and drinks: Just over 90 minutes.
As you might expect, this description of golf was a bit disconcerting to me. Maybe the reason I’ve never shot 7 under is that I don’t play in less than 90 minutes. The number of holes played isn’t specified in the book so I suppose you could argue it was a quick 9, but if that’s the case I’d like a little more detail about going 7 under in 9. Doing it in 18 is amazing enough for an after-work round by a tech company employee. I’m also curious as to why one eagle and one birdie were singled out. I’d think those other 4 strokes under par were at least as noteworthy.
The book got good reviews. To be fair, it isn’t a golf book and the round of golf played no significant part in the plot. I thought the book was a fine representative of its species, with the added benefits of a little humor and insight into today’s India. But I can’t help wondering about how that round was presented.
On the other hand, if there’s someone out there who knows how to shoot 7 under in 90 minutes, there’s a grateful world and a lot of fame and fortune waiting for them.