Sunny, 65 degrees, and a light breeze on a Saturday afternoon. I got work to do, but the golf course is calling. So two friends and I head to the course to get nine holes in. Obviously, given the weather, the place is packed. Everyone is trying to golf – and I mean everyone. Even those who love the game so much that they’ll play even when they don’t have anyone to play with them.
Golf Course Etiquette 101 – when there is a threesome that shows up to play, the goal of the course is to always fill that group with a fourth. I get it. And I am a gambling man myself, but there are very few bets riskier than trying to guess what kind of character you will end up getting as the fourth guy in your group. It is risky, and usually not ideal. It throws off your social chi – we had a good thing going as a group of three. Now someone is stepping into our little world. Ah, the (sometimes) dreaded single golfer. Frankly, it’s your own damn fault for showing up to play at 3:00pm on a Saturday with only three people. Send out just one more text. Find some more friends, loser.
Anyways, there are a variety of single golfers you are bound to come across in your golf career and they all have pros and cons. Depending on your mood, they are typically mostly cons. Got to be tough being a single golfer knowing you aren’t wanted by the other three guys. Sort of how I used to feel on my freshman year dorm room floor on a Friday evening. “Oh, you guys are going to Euclid Ave tonight? That’s cool we should all go!” Notice in this conversation that I never got an invite and I just threw out the “we.” Fake it ‘till you make it.
Anyways, here are the single golfers you’re bound to play with. Be on the lookout for these guys, and learn how to deal with them accordingly:
This is who we played with last week. Rob. Rob was a good guy. And the Escapee is a great match-up usually because he is typically extremely friendly and outgoing. The reason being – he is doing anything to avoid being at home at that point in time. Too nice out to be doing house chores all day. Rob told us this as well. Mrs. Rob was just nagging, and the weather was too nice for all that noise. The golf course was his only escape. He was saving the chores for Sunday when the rain came. God bless Rob’s soul.
The Escapee also typically doesn’t drink. We offered Rob a beer and he politely declined. He already knows that he’ll be in the dog house when he gets home. If he comes home with a hint of booze on his breath, he will be under the dog house. That’s for damn sure. So the Escapee stays sober and that’s perfectly fine. He is usually great to play with because he’s not trying to go low with his score and he’s not trying to hustle anyone by gambling his face off. He’s literally there to escape reality for a while. Here’s to you, Rob. That was a great chip on Hole 7 to set you up for birdie.
Dude, this guy can get LOST. The worst. I am not a good golfer. I hit good shots here and there, but I can’t put together a whole round. And because I don’t play too often, my swing is fundamentally inconsistent. Well here is where the Coach comes in.
He just met you, he knows nothing about how you and your friends play the game, and he’s already on your case. Second hole, I take driver out of the bag, and I spray it out to the left and into the trees. Then…
“Hey, uh, that swing seemed a little quick, huh? Maybe slow down a bit in that backswing.”
And there we have our first popped blood vessel in my eye. Fuming. Hey guy, I’m aware that my swing is not good. Maybe let’s not point it out. Perhaps we just politely make some small talk, I ask you if you live around here, you tell me about your daughter that just came back from studying abroad, and we enjoy the weather. I didn’t pay you to follow me around and critique my game – it’s already way too much of a train wreck and you aren’t going to be the one to save it.
Then come the empty compliments later on in the round. Knock a 10-foot putt for double bogey right by the hole – “Ahh, you had the line the whole way!” Nope, no I didn’t. Please make this stop.
The Tour Pro
Okay, so let me get this straight. You got matched up with the three of us in an attempt to make a complete foursome because the course is packed, and you think it is okay to just play two balls from the fairway and get some extra swings in? Who the hell do you think you are?
This guy is the least social by far. He’s not here to make friends. He’s here to shave a couple strokes off his game so he can tell his work friends that he’s “this close to breaking 80” at the water cooler on Monday. They honestly don’t care, really. If they did, they would invite him to play and he wouldn’t be here ruining my round.
Here are a couple other traits to look out for to see if you have a Tour Pro on your hands: he’s playing from the Blues while you are all teeing off from the Whites; he takes his next shot even though you’re away because he’s got to get those swings in; and lastly here is a bonus, and this has actually happened to me before – after the second hole when you’re out of sight from the clubhouse, he immediately tees up on the third hole (oh, by the way he has the honors because, well he wants it) and as soon as he hits, he picks up his bag and walks down the fairway. The Tour Pro ain’t waiting for no one anymore. He’s too good to play with you, and he thought it was a good idea to try and play by himself during peak golf course hours.
But at least you and your buds don’t have to deal with him after he plays through you. Then you catch up to him on the next tee as we sits behind the foursome ahead of you. Awkwarrrrrd.
One of the Guys
This dude takes on the friendly personality of The Escapee, and then takes it WAY too far. He thinks because he got matched up with you three, that by the grace of God he just found his new best friends. I’m waiting to tee off and I’m listening to my friend tell a story about his latest drunken tomfoolery and Best Friend Bob decides to chime in with his thoughts on the story. That’s fine, I guess. Maybe just stop there though. No need for personal questions.
But no, he’s not stopping there. By the end of the round he has asked every question. He knows your girlfriend’s name, the bars you like to frequent, and he knows where you’re grabbing food after you finish playing. He may have even asked you for one of those cigars you tried to stealthily pull out of your bag. You thought you were so sneaky about it too. Son of a . . . He has officially infiltrated your very existence on this planet.
I don’t think I will ever top this: got matched up with a single one time, and it so happened the guy had a mutual friend with the three of us. Following the round, our overly-eager pal decided that it would be a good idea TO EXCHANGE CELL PHONE NUMBERS. After one round of golf. I kid you not, to this day he sits in my Contacts as “Joe Upholstery” because he said he worked for a furniture company during our round. Joe has yet to receive a text message.FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD