A Couple Of Musings From A Disgruntled Golfer
By birdieXris on 4/30/13
Chris "birdieXris" Embardino is back at the writing thing with his latest guest column. He originally posted this in the forums, however, we thought it deserved to be featured on the oobgolf home page! Enjoy!

Those of us who are usually singles heading to the golf course know all-to-well what kind of people it's possible to meet on the golf course. I've met all sorts of people from loudmouths with no game, to guys pushing 100 that would whip the heck out of a scratch golfer and are just glad to be outside. For every way there is to play a hole, there's a type of golfer who plays the game. Having been or encountered just about every type of guy out there, I thought it would be fun to put together a few ground rules of how to be a good partner or '€œplaying competitor'€ on your normal rounds of golf.
  • Rule 1: This is not a test —€“ you don't need to show your work. I'm sure we've all been with the golfer who skulls 6 then hits a miraculous shot onto the green and says 'Finally that's what I was TRYING to do!'€. No kidding? The only thing that makes it better is the 10 minute dissertation on how they did it and pointing out the tee/ball/sky mark on their club. This is a no-no in my groups. If I want a play-by-play I'll listen to Johnny Miller spout some semi-coherent, senile drivel while I watch the next PGA event. Keep your slightly open, weak right hand grip to a hold-off finish to yourself... I know it was luck that the ball made it through 70 yards of tree branches, you're not fooling anyone.

  • Rule 2: 'It's early in the season'€ is applicable maybe the first week of the official season. After that, it's not to be uttered in relation to a bad shot. Most times, early or late doesn't even matter. Some people have a hard time getting out once a month. Last three times I was out, I heard 'It's still early in the season'€ over a dozen times. That's four times per round —€“ I wasn't in a foursome any of the rounds.

  • Rule 3: As a matter of fact, just try not to say anything. Unless it's '€œgood shot' if the ball stays on the green, it's probably best not to annoy a stranger with 14 weapons in their bag. I know when I hit a bad shot, but yea I feel better since you 'thought that would totally clear the bunker'€.

  • Rule 4: Don't be afraid to drive the cart and leave/be left at the ball. I played a round of golf with a dude that either wouldn't get close enough, or wouldn't leave me at my ball to go find his. This resulted in a very, very long round. Faster play is always appreciated, and I don't know many players that would take offense to someone saying '€œGot what you need? I'm going to find my ball'€.

  • Rule 5: Don't talk to my ball. My ball knows what to do and I'm confident it will do it. It's bad enough I just hit it with a piece of metal travelling in excess of 90mph, but now some random stranger is telling it to do things it has no control over. Now, should it scream right past the green you are welcome to say '€œsit down'€ or a variation thereof if you feel the need, but yelling things at my ball the instant it gets into in the air when you're 50 yards away swinging away underneath a tree branch just doesn't seem like it would be sound advice.

  • Rule 6: Don't offer me lessons. Unless you're the club pro and it's free, it means nothing. Likewise, don't ask me €œwhat you're doing wrong€ if the last birdie you saw on a golf course was landing on a tree branch. Pace of play is only four hours —€“ you don't have the time.

  • Rule 7: Either play by the rules, or don't. Don't decide which rules you're going to follow when the situation does arise. There's nothing worse than someone who takes a mulligan on the first tee and gimmes on the subsequent 4 holes, then wastes 15 minutes looking for his lost ball and walking back to the tee because they '€œwant to play by the rules'€ because they have a decent round going. If it's not a tournament, I don't think anyone cares anyway.

  • Rule 8: Put the cell phone away. One call is my limit —€“ if it's an emergency (wife, kids, boss, health, Publisher's Clearing House). Anything more than that, and it's officially annoying — especially if you didn't turn your ringer off. Same goes with text messaging. I don't feel like waiting for you to finish your communication before you play your next shot. If your job is calling you constantly, you need to get your ass back to work because they obviously can't run it without you.

  • Rule 9: 'Dressing in the 70s' does not allow you to play slowly. It's nice that you've spent more on your wardrobe than I spent on all my golf rounds last year, but I WILL say something the next time you look at a putt from eight different angles.

  • Rule 10: Don't keep score for me. If I'm not keeping score or don't ask you to do so, then there's probably a reason for it. I don't need you to ask 'Was that an 8 or a 9?'€ and I'm courteous enough not to ask you if you still have room on your scorecard with all those double digits on there.

This was written by Chris Embardino, 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.

Have an idea for a guest column? Send it here

Image via Flickr, treelevino

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
I have an issue with Rule 2. My season doesn't start until I have all of the yardwork/clean-up under control from the previous winter. This could be anywhere from mid-April to mid-June. If it's my first round of the season, it's early (for me). While I would never actually utter the phrase, I just wanted to point out that not everyone's season starts when the golf season starts.
MJKern44 says:
If I wanted to play with my wife and all her rules, I would. Geezzz...Here's hoping to never get paired with someone so uptight....
legitimatebeef says:
MJkern, they are not literal rules, it's just a mode of expressing annoyance.

Xris I understand where you are coming from. I think I've gotten so disgruntled that I hardly play anymore. Never been to your neck of the woods but I would guess that PA like NY has a higher concentration of golf jerks than most other places. It's a shame because this area is like the cradle of golf in the Americas. Where's the pride, where's the tradition?
Tim Horan says:
Hell! Common decency would tell you to keep yer mouth shut unless asked for either advice, tuition, score, dress sense, or inside leg measurement. I have met them all. Be cool, you will know them next time and will most likely decide to go water skiing or anything else for that matter.
mustang6560 says:
I played with a guy last weekend and he was the most self-centered golfer I've ever played with (and I know him). 90% of the comments he made were about his last shot, his last putt, etc. If he was talking, it was about "his" game. I found it to be very annoying. As an example, at the turn we were in the clubhouse grabbing a drink and he mumbled something to the effect of "played pretty well". I tried to anticipate his comment and since I had the low score on the front, I guessed his comment was "You played pretty well" because what golfer starts a conversation about their game? As I started to answer, I realized he was talking about his game. Maybe it's just me, but you shouldn't start a conversation with another golfer by leading "Yea, I'm playing pretty well."
onedollarwed says:
#1: I have a saying: "That's why they don't have do-overs in golf!" ...to be uttered either after a good shot following a horror, or a horror following a good shot.
#2: "It's only March!" is acceptable in this hemisphere, no?
#3: Even worse when you just made a sociable wager with a stranger.
#4: How about the guy that's always touching your ball, and not letting you hit tap-ins!
#5: "Bite!" ...yelled as your ball sails over the green into a pond. Is this a fishing reference?
#6: Gave somebody basic, sound advice upon request. They sucked worse. Awkward...
#7: Some people... wherever their ball ends up is some huge injustice from the grounds crew or course designer...
onedollarwed says:
#8: Yeah, you're some bigshot broker... at the $16 Muni?
#9: And these Brooks Brothers manikins somehow are never hitting it the way "they usually do," right?
#10: Oh yeah, score-keeper guy... what's that eraser for? At least if you're going to skip penalty strokes, you could at least count the number of times you actually hit the ball, or a ball.
#11: Sucky player swearing after every shot? Really?
onedollarwed says:
#12 Big tough guy, eh.... riding in a cart? Go back to your Wii
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