Don’t Be That Guy! – Why I Love Golf But Hate Golfers

Posted by Robert on Apr 23

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The other day I was playing golf with “That guy.” If you play golf regularly, you know who “That guy” is. He’s God’s Gift to golf (and it’s just a fluke that he hasn’t already made the PGA Tour, at least in his mind.)

“Seriously, you are going to stand there?” God’s Gift said to me loud enough for everybody on the green to hear (not to mention the guys on the next tee box.)

Uh oh, he’s looking at me. My body tenses and my toes curl up in my FootJoys. What was I doing? I had cautiously went over the – don’t upset the pro – checklist. I was standing still. I had marked my golf ball. I had fixed my ball mark, plus three others. I was being very quiet – holding my breath in fact if I’m being totally honest.

“You are standing in my through-line,” he continued very annoyed as he backed away from his golf ball. Then I heard a loud horse blow and looked around for a neighboring ranch, but it was coming from the direction of GG.

Darn it, I had made the fatal mistake of standing on the line that the putt would continue on had it missed the hole. I was standing quite a distance from the hole, so it was really a line of sight issue more than a concern that the ball would actually reach my inconsiderate feet. I quickly fled to a safe spot off the green, slumped humiliated and then proceeded to three putt when it was my turn to go.

UGG! I really don’t like “That Guy!” He’s the biggest jerk on the golf course and I think a primary reason novices are apprehensive about taking up the game of golf.

Another time “That Guy” and I were playing with a couple of very nice gentlemen that had joined us on the 1st tee, an older man perhaps 65 and a younger guy in his 30s. We all shook hands and exchanged names except for “That Guy” who was too busy being annoyed at the starter because we had to wait an extra 5 minutes to tee off.

On the third tee a group accidentally dribbled their tee shot up to us as we stood in the fairway waiting for the group ahead of us to clear the green. I saw it before “That Guy” and thus had time to brace myself for the inevitable stream of explicative’s that would be spewing from “That Guy’s” mouth; And right on cue profanity spewed like lava shooting out of an angry volcano. I would supply the filth verbatim if I weren’t a gentleman myself, upstanding and one of high morality (that and the fact that my editor has already warned me “to make it PG-Rated.”) Suffice to say there was a reference to somebody being a son of an animal – one incidentally very unlikely to gestate a human.

On the next tee box, I made idle chit chat with our new friends as we waited for the fairway to clear. It’s a nervous habit I have when I’m embarrassed about playing with “That Guy.” Plus I was hoping to calm the tension that I recognized on both of their faces. The old guy looked very discouraged, and the young guy looked like he was trying to come up with an excuse to go back to the clubhouse – like perhaps slipping off into the woods and hitting himself in the shin with his nine iron.

“So how do you guys know each other?” I asked.

“From church,” the younger man replied, “he is my priest.”

My heart sunk as I profusely apologized to them for “That Guy’s” behavior. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I realized we still had 14 more holes to go. Thus as they walked down the fairway, I snuck off into the woods and hit myself as hard as I could with my nine iron.

In closing, I’d like to offer up a few tips for those unfortunate golfers unlucky enough to get paired with “That Guy” in the future. My first inclination is to tell you at the very first sign of “That Guy’s” arrogant, pompous behavior - simply look him in the eye and say “Gee Tiger, had I known we were playing with a PGA Professional today, I would have brought my camera.” However my better judgment tells me that the best advice is to graciously excuse yourself (without giving a snide comment like if you wanted to be condescended to today you wouldn’t have called in sick to work) and simply talk to the starter about getting into another group.

Now, as for you, “That Guy,” I have some words. If while reading this, you just realized you are “That Guy” – LISTEN UP!...

  1. Get over yourself, you are not as good as you think you are.
  2. If you are accomplished enough at golf that you understand the etiquette well enough to point it out to everybody – you have missed the most important meaning of the game of golf.
  3. First and foremost – Golf is a gentleman’s game. You shall conduct yourself as one at all times. I would suggest that you use that passion you have for the game and become an ambassador for the sport. Go out of your way to impress upon us novices that are lucky enough to get paired with you – just why golf is the greatest sport ever.

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