The Irritable Golfer
By bkuehn1952 on 2/25/13
As long as oobers like Brian Kuehn submit well written guest columns, we're going to keep publishing them. Enjoy!

I admit it. Behind this veneer of sanity and reasonableness is one irritable golfer. The golf course is supposed to be a sanctuary, a place where time slows down and one is able to escape from the ever accelerating pace of 21st century life. Lately, however, my golf sanctuary has been invaded by a horde of irritating sights and sounds.
  • Flat bills, or as I like to call them, "Ricky Fowler" hats. Don't these clowns know that proper headwear on a golf course is limited to baseball-style caps with curved brims, worn with the bill forward, along with classic items such as the "Ivy cap" or straw hat? No little fedoras straight out of the 1950's "Rat Pack", no cowboy hats and certainly no flat bills.

  • Wrap-a-round sunglasses. I blame David Duval for this trend. He was so tightly wrapped he didn't dare let anyone see his emotions. He used his large shades as a mask. Now we have a whole new generation of professionals like Hunter Mahan leading amateur golfers astray. Hogan didn't wear sunglasses. Arnie & Jack didn't use shades. A little macular degeneration never hurt anyone.

  • Overly decorated golf balls. In civilized times, a properly marked golf ball had a small dot or two discretely located near the number or brand name. Or perhaps a small line underlined a letter or number. Then Duffy Waldorf arrived on the scene and a lot of golfers got the idea it was okay to paint a small mural on the ball. I have news for you budding artists, it is not acceptable to mark up a golf ball like a Picasso or Rembrandt. Repeat after me: small dots or lines … small dots or lines! And don't get me started on those high visibility yellow balls!!

  • GPS/Lasers. The encroachment of technology has turned golf into a video game. Now a player knows he is exactly 172.5 yards from the hole. Where is the fun in that? Back in the day you never knew how far away from the hole you were; you just made a guess and smacked the ball. We had a whole list of excuses for misjudging the distance: poor caddy, flyer lie, bad ball, the wind, the turning of the Earth, etc.

  • Loud drivers. Okay, in a perfect world we would still hear the melodious smack of persimmon on balata. Even I have been corrupted into the use of metal and multi-layers. Still, a properly struck metal 1-Wood should have a muted and pleasing tone, not the loud "CONK" that is emitted from those obnoxious Nike drivers. I hear that grating "CONK" and know without looking that a GPS-using, flat billed, shade-wearing hip hop wannabe just hit a ball that is painted up like a $5.00 harlot.
Okay, I suspect I have trampled on a few feelings here. It can be hard when you learn that the new flat bill cap you are sporting on your noggin makes you look like an idiot. Well get over it. I have written to the USGA with a strong suggestion that they not stop at simply banning anchoring and start adding some other things to their list. I am counting on my boys in blue to bring back some sanity to this great game.

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

Have an idea for a guest column? Send it here!

Image via Flickr, Navaneeth K N

[ comments ]
jasonfish11 says:
I'd like to add to your list.

Anyone who makes a put from 12' and then proceeds to do their best Rick Flare imitation. WOOOO!
Duke of Hazards says:
sweet rant, Brian. snow's making you edgy and I'm diggin it.

+1 for "painted up like a $5.00 harlot" LOL
bobhooe says:
you went to far with the sunglassed sir. Eye protection is not a joke. I agree with everythig else I even went as far as to spray expanding foam in the head of my Adams driver to mute I beam falling on concrete sound it made on off center hits.
metnorm says:
How about the guy in the group ahead of you that feels that anything less then 100 practice swings is not enough then hits it fat, or the group ahead that needs to try to read the green like the pro's for a 40 foot putt that has no chance anyway and then repeats the two steps listed already. Or the twosome that thinks its ok to stand on the green after putting out to chat and/or practice their putting.

Btw the flat brim hat style now days argh I hate that in everyday life not just on the course.
mjaber says:
I'm more bothered by the guy who refuses to wear a belt, or pants that fit properly. You've seen him. He looks like he's pregnant, and every time he moves his pants start to fall down. Put on a belt, or buy pants that fit... and tuck in your shirt, dammit.
jasonfish11 says:
jpjeffery says:
Blimey, BK, if I ever get to the USA to play golf with you I'm going to piss you off!

Flat bills? I've never understood why you'd want anything else...seeing as the point of the bill is to block out the bright sky and the sky ends at the horizon which tends to be...flat. Seems to me that a curved bill is not fit for purpose.

Sunglasses? OK, I don't wear the wrap around style, but I've never been that tolerant of bright light and a baseball injury ( means that's yet more true. It's highly likely that I will wear shades.

Golf ball decorating? I went through a brief phase, but man it's boring! Now I don't even bother marking them at all. I do like the yellow balls though, but since it's unlikely I'll be bringing any of my own anyway I doubt any kind of confrontation will be required.

GPS? I use that, mainly to see how far I've hit my shots so I can build up an understanding of my distances, not so much for how far away I am. Is that OK, man?

Loud drivers? Really?

Shallowface says:
Great point about ball decorating. To those of you who do this sort of thing, remember that you're going to lose that ball, I'm going to find it and I don't want MY ball looking that way! ;-)

Also agree about the yellow balls. My 78 year old dad, who can't see anything anyway, insists on playing these. When the grass gets that sickly shade of yellowish green in August, we have the situation where the ball is the same color as the grass and I have to find them! :-) Just glad he can still play!
bkuehn1952 says:
jp: I would give you special dispensation since clearly you are a confused young man. British people play cricket, not baseball and the world is round (like curved bills on a cap) not flat like those awful things you and Rickie wear. ;)
CeeBee says:
There is nothing more disrespectful than some sorry s.o.b. wearing a flat brimmed NEW YORK YANKEES hat. That also applies to any golf hat. Fowler and Mahan among others look like punks. Hell Fowlers is 3 sizes too big. Makes him look smaller than the buck 20 he is. Hey Shallow, dont you hate to find a near mint ProV with a smiley face drawn around it. DAMN!
cscovil says:
What about stripper heels? True story, she showed up ready to play in stripper heels. They look much better than a flat billed cap.
GBogey says:
Agree with everything except I love my laser. Don't worry I have plenty of excuses even when I know the distance, and I know how far away you are.
legitimatebeef says:
You think you're irritable? For me there's only two types of golfers in the world--the ones that play too slow and the ones that play too fast.
DougE says:
Brian, I know your story was tongue in cheek, but as they say, more truth is spoken in jest. Well, I hear ya buddy, on all levels. My rangefinder, however, is non-negotiable. I'll just pretend you didn't mention those. Oh, and high tech drivers too. Gotta have em. And, wait, I wear 2013 model sunglasses, so those don't count either. My Pro Vs are marked with two stars, but each star a different color. Not a mural, but kinda artsy. Well, I really hate those flat-billed caps.
Bryan K says:
You'll pry my fedora from my dying hands. But keep in mind that there is a difference between a trilby and a fedora. It drives me absolutely nuts that when I go to shop for fedoras, I usually find racks full of trilbies with a fedora mixed in here or there.

Oh, and shades are an absolutely essential part of my outdoor attire. I have learned quickly, playing in Arizona, that protection from the sun is absolutely essential. So I don a fedora and a pair of sunglasses when I go to the course. If it's hot, the fedora will change to a straw hat. But a wool fedora is warmer in the chilly months.
meatball413 says:
I used to mark up my ball but now I found the easiest thing is to buy logo balls on ebay or rockbottomgolf. I always pay less than $15 a dozen and it is easy to identify your ball, even if it does have some ridiculous company logo on it :)
Trip says:
Nothing on that list bothers me, only slow play.
birdieXris says:
I'm with Bogey on this one. I do love my laser as much as i love shooting low and there's nothing like thinking you have the yardage and hitting it perfect only to realize that the guy who marked the sprinkler doesn't know how to do math (or use a laser). I will say the fedora is ok though. I wear one every now and again. I believe snead wore one as well a few times. I don't see the problem with it, but only if it doesn't come with a free bowl of soup.
jpjeffery says:
BK: We do play baseball! I played for 21 out of 22 years. But cricket is far more popular. And rightly so, dear boy.
1hawkeye1 says:
Seems the thing to do at my local muni course now is to pimp out your cart with as much bling as possible. That includes lift kits, knobby tires, chrome spinner wheels, outrageous paint jobs, and the ultimate in annoyance.........yes, stereo equipment.
joe jones says:
You should see the carts at any senior community in the U.S. We have Hummers, Mercedes, Cadillacs, Model T's, Model A's, Jeeps, We even have one Lamborghini Diablo for God's sake. They are lifted , lowered, chopped and channeled and painted every color in the rainbow including camo.Every branch of the service are represented and I believe every major university in the country are in attendance. They have whistles, bells horns, claxons,all kind of flags, stereos, TV's and air conditioners. I have a 2002 Yamaha. All it does is haul my old bones around the course. I feel like a poor relative compared to the other gaudy carts. I do have one thing to brag about. Mine cost about 20% of what the others cost. Boys must have their toys you know even when they play to a 30 handicap and are in their 70's and 80's.
GolferAnt says:
i am with jp
accarson3 says:
Sadly even though I know I have 152.3 yard with mt GPS system, I still have to trot out the excuses...
Tim Horan says:
Great piece of writing Brian! I am guilty on two counts and don't apologise for either. Lasers are the best bit of kit if you travel around a lot. Golf is no fun whet a hole is billed as a 450yd hole, you pull your driver ony to find that what you thought was your fairway is not and your hole is a dogleg and you ran through the corner ito the trees. My Cobra L5V is probably the loudest driver on the planet but boy does it keep it straight. Brian I am with you on several points and probably a whole host more. We have a TV programme over here called Grumpy Old Men mouthing off on all and everything. That is me and I suspect and awful lot of other guys especially around the golf course.
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