Life's Little Irritants
By bkuehn1952 on 7/25/11
Brian "bkuehn1952" Kuehn's latest guest column was inspired by something legitimatebeef wrote in his GoW profile. The man is not afraid to share his golfing opinions and we thank him for it. Enjoy!

Legitimatebeef's Golfer of the Week profile got me thinking about some of the little things my playing partners and other assorted golfers do that get under my skin. He wrote:
“I hate the early call, especially on the green. "Awww great putt!" -- right before the ball rolls 6 feet past the hole. I really hate the early call that's overly specific, like when people yell out "YES!!!!!" or "IT’S IN THE HOLE" a moment before the ball lips out hard. I'm telling you the universe does not seem to like the early call. Whenever these things happen there is always a pall in the air, just an ugly, sad, shameful feeling. I wish people would control themselves.”
I recognize I probably have thinner skin than the average golfer and many of you may not understand why some or all of these activities grate on my nerves. However, I suspect a few of you will shake your head and say, “Yeah, that bugs me too.”

Anywho, here are my top 10 irritants on the golf course.
  1. Practice Swinging While I’m on the Tee: If you are on the other side of the fairway, practice away. However, when I am getting ready to hit a tee shot, I really do not want to hear your “swishes” in the background. You had your turn, now it is mine, so knock it off!

  2. Putter Head Ball Removal: Yea, go ahead and cram your putter’s head into the cup to flip out your ball. We all appreciate the damage you do to the edge of the hole. Besides, you have finished so what do you care about the condition of the hole?

  3. The Whisperer: He knows talking during your swing is impolite. However, he can’t wait to impart some piece of knowledge so he whispers. Of course if he whispers so low you can’t hear him then his hard-of-hearing buddy can’t hear either. So “The Whisperer” whisperers just loud enough that you can clearly hear every word he says.

  4. Excessive Profanity: Hey, I know all the words and use them on occasion. I just don’t insist on regularly using them while on the course. To be sure, a timely expletive is rather cathartic and the occasional “F-bomb” or “S—t” is acceptable to me as long as it does not intrude too much on the experience. I still recall a fellow competitor missing a 4-footer on the first hole and screaming at the top of his lungs, “C-nt!!!!!!” That was a real fun 5 hours. Another time I played with a friend’s acquaintance who talked a lot and every other word was a variation of “f—k”. I never realized that “f—k” was a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun and gerund.

  5. The Poor Shot Compliment: A compliment should be gracefully accepted under almost any circumstance. However, when I play with a group of strangers and hack it around poorly, I really don’t want someone to give me a “nice shot” or “best of the day” when my weak pop-up finally finds the fairway 155 yards from the tee. I understand they want to say something nice. However, telling me “nice shot” after a popped-up drive pretty much confirms that they think I suck big time. Maybe I do suck but do you really have to tell me?

  6. The Stealth Competitor: This typically involves playing with people you do not know. Invariably “Bob” mentally decides he is competing against you. Never mind that you play the ball down and “Bob” rolls it. Ignore the multiple mulligans he takes or the 4 foot gimmee’s. Eventually on the 15th hole “Bob” will announce, “I got you on that hole” or “You are now down one” and you realize that, unknown to you, you are in a match with “Bob”.

  7. Standing Behind (on my line): Yes, I am supposed to be focused on the object at my feet. Still, having someone walk into that particular spot while I am setting up almost guarantees a poor shot. Throw in a little extraneous movement and I really get rattled.

  8. The Quitter: When the going gets tough, the quitter stops trying. However, he won’t have the decency to just leave the course. No, instead he will casually hit the ball all over the place without regard to the results. He will force you to watch him 4-putt one-handed rather than pick-up. All this is of course accompanied by sighs and complaints about the course, the weather, pace of play, etc...

  9. “Take Your Time”: I know the phrase is intended to help. However, it really grates on me when someone tells me to take my time over a putt or shot. Of course I am going to take my time. Telling me to “take my time” is just the other golfer’s way of reminding me that: I have made a hash out of the hole, this is my 8th stroke, we have two groups waiting on us and why the “!@#!%&” am I carefully lining up my putt!!

  10. Manhole Cover Ball Marks: Some of them are sort of cool, like the real silver dollar someone I know uses. Still, it gets my blood up a bit when some goof places down a poker chip or 10,000 Peso coin three feet from the hole and then asks me if it is in my line. Ever heard of a penny or dime?
Fortunately for my mental health, the vast majority of golfers I encounter are courteous and pretty much leave me to play my own game without interference. If that weren’t the case, I would probably be serving 10-15 for manslaughter.

* * *

So what sort of things set you off on the golf course? Or are you able to let golf’s irritants roll off your back? Let’s hear from you!

This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

photo by Zach Klein

[ comments ]
Envythepea says:
LOL on some of these! Great list! #7 is definitely one of my pet peeves. I don't think people realize how distracting it is even if they're standing perfectly still, it'll be in my thoughts as I'm taking the club back and guaranteed to be a crappy drive! I have to admit to being guilty of #5, though. Hopefull not with strangers but for sure with my playing buddies. I'm Dutch and it's our nature to want to make other people feel at ease and comfortable! I'll have to start biting my tongue!
dartboss04 says:
luckily i don't think i fall into any of those...i try to only say good shot/good ball if it actually is a good shot or good ball in my opinion...if i'm playing with "luke donald" and he's pissed i said nice out on a bunker shot he put to 7 feet, i guess i might have a problem...

i do find myself talking to other players balls, which is not a good habit...always positive...telling it to sit on hard chips...kick left or right towards the green...etc...i know that probably irks some so i try to keep myself in check...

you need to add the "on course teaching professional"...i don't want to hear advice from some dude because he watches a lot of the golf fix and reads golf digest...even if his handicap is better than mine...i will seek help if i want it...just let me struggle...
homermania says:
#2 is the worst. I hate watching guys scoop the ball out with their putterhead. In highschool, we called it the "lazy country club move".
bobhooe says:
Ever had the leave the ball in the hole guy. This is the dude that lags a putt close taps it in and leaves it for you to retrieve for him after you sink your 3 footer. Or what about the guy that will step right behind his ball while it's in the fairway to raise it that extra half mm up off the turf. I combat this behavior with strategically times Velcro head cover removals and downwind crop dustings.
srogers13 says:
I really hate receiving the poor shot compliment, which usually happens when I am cursing myself out, or at least referring to myself as a clueless putz. As far as the guy using the putter head to get the ball out of the hole, I rarely see that, but when I do, most times it is an older person who might have back issues.
mjaber says:
What about the "self-teaching pro"? Had a guy muff almost every shot, but after every shot he was able to tell you exactly what he did wrong. He was added to our 3some, and after the round me and my 2 friends were having a beer, discussing the round. One of them said, about this guy, "if you know what you're doing wrong, stop doing it that way and do it right!!!" We all had a good chuckle at his expense. Oddly, he was also "excessive profanity" guy.
birdieXris says:
OUtstanding article. With you 100%!!! also, i might add, "take your time" is an offense punishable by a stroke penalty. It's considered advice. Drop that one on them next time.
dartboss04 says:
for #2, they just need one of those suction cup ball removers that attach to the putter grip...
Duke of Hazards says:
good article. LOL on #4 and #10. realize I might actually be guilty of #7, but only because I try to track my partner's ball. i'll make sure to stand out of peripheral vision.
jpjeffery says:
#8 - Could have been written for my usual playing partner. I've know him to kick the ball petulantly up the fairway when his round isn't going well...

Bless him.
ToddRobb says:
Excellent list,, TOP NOTCH! TOP NOTCH!
RJT says:
I agree with @bobhooe leaving the ball in the hole guy kills me. Its a complete jinx. There is no way you will sink your putt, all you can think about is why isn't he getting his ball. It almost bothers me as much as the "I get so mad at my drive I need to throw my driver guy". You also don't need to tell me you have anger issues, I already know.
mmontisano says:
@mjaber. the excessive profanity pro duffer, i think i know that guy. did you meet him at LB Houston muni in Dallas?


my biggest pet peeve is the club tosser. i get giddy inside when the club they've just thrown scrapes along the cart path.
Paolo says:
What a funny and timely post... It was only this Saturday I ended up saying to my other group who I play with that I don't enjoy around with them... however a beer with them is always a good laugh.
We have... Walk in front of you while lining up a fairway shot guy... Terrier Boy (one who scampers to a better vantage point 50yds away from the tee box to sight your pushed shot guy), oh and then either shouts "Got my eye on that one!" or "oh no, we'll never see that again"… Two guys playing fairway shots at the same time… 90secs in position per shot guy… Then the slow play of not even having your club decided for the next tee shot, let alone actually having the club ready… oh and “I’ll drop down there” (rather than play a provisional) guy while you play properly and lose the hole by that elusive provisional one shot penalty.
Paolo says:
... oh! and hack up the tee box (between the markers) with 5 practice swings guy !!!
tartantoml says:
Couple more:
Drag your feet on the green guy.
Leave your cigar butt on the edge of the green.
Throw your putter after every miss (really watched that last week).
Great article.

And a plus: When someone in the group needs a little encouragement:
Just before his practice swing open a can of beer. Swooosh!
Excellent swing thought, finest sound in nature.
Matt F says:
How about the spit your sunflower seed husks on the green grub.
shaffer1969 says:
Good list. I would add something that I have been guilty of from time to time: the "Play by Play" guy.

Also a variation of #8: the "I hit a bad shot so I won't finish the hole" guy.
bobhooe says:
how about the "it's all up hill so don't leave it short guy" followed by the "90% of short putts dont go in guy". I will pull a club out of your bag and leave it on the path as we pull away you dirty bastard.
jwilder78 says:
I can live with all of these, but like @dartboss04 said, please save me from the "on course teaching professional". There is nothing more painful on the golf course than unwelcome advice. Nothing. As if some random tip from another hacker is going to magically cure your golf game.

And once the advice is out there, you're in a no-win situation:
a) If you refuse the tip, you're a jerk
b) If you accept the tip and actually hit a good shot, now you're in double jeopardy; you've reinforced the ego of the advice-giver and can expect more
c) If you accept the tip and hit a bad shot, now you're REALLY pissed
ToddRobb says:
How about the "silencer", the guy that no matter how good a shot you hit refuses to give you a compliment. He's either so self involved that he didn't notice, or he is feeling resentment that you are capable of hitting such a shot.
meatball413 says:
my biggest annoyance on the course is when you are clearly away but one of the other guys is taking practice swings right over his ball. i wind up waiting thinking he is just going to hit and skip you until he takes 5 practice swings to look up and see if I have hit yet. total waste of time for everyone on the course. if you want to take a practice swing, step away from your ball so we know you're not ready to hit...
wrhall02 says:
My pet peeve is the "see the break from all angles" guy...but waiting for his turn to start his walk around the green completely disrupting the flow of play. The boot in the ass...they will likely miss the line anyhow...then start their routine after you have reminded them, "you're still away."
DaRupp13 says:
As a few of the comments have mentioned, the big one missing is the "on course teaching professional." I developed this bad habit when I introduced a few friends to the game, so at their request I actually was their on course teaching professional. A while later, I had the horrific realization that I started doing that to fellow golfers whom I didn't know. Lucky for the golf world, I am now practiced in the art of biting my tongue.
wdelnero says:
One of my biggest pet peeves is the golfer who compliments your shot before it has even reached its intended target. Sure enough as soon as they say nice shot it takes a bad bounce or draws a bit more than intended and you are in a bunker, hazard, etc.
falcon50driver says:
One of my biggest pet peeves is use of the phrase "One of my biggest pet peeves". The PET peeve is the ONE thing that peeves you the most. It's the top thing, it's the PET, the most peeving, the biggest peever. It's either the pet peeve, or one of the biggest peeves, it can't be both.
TeT says:
falcon50driver says:
You all know it's a joke. As the title to the article says "Life's Little Irritants" well, that's my job, Oob's Chief Irritant.
aaronw409 says:
I hate the "doesn't watch his ball when he hits a bad drive" guy. Then we have to search for 10 minutes for his ball because he has no idea where it is.
ToddRobb says:
@aaronw409 YES!!! That is at the top of my list.
jeremyheslop says:
I agree @aaronw40 and @ToddRobb. I also don't like it when people get mad when you don't watch their drive (which I always do) but then never help look or find one of my errant shots!
Art Ciolkowski says:
2 and 10 are the most irrtating
[ post comment ]
    Cigar Lounge
Most Popular: