It’s time! The wife gave you the okay to get out of the house and squeeze in a few holes. You call your best golfing buddy and head to the course. Squeeze in a small bucket, roll some putts, and head to the first tee. Nothing can ruin this beautiful Saturday afternoon. But there it is… waiting for you on the first tee… your nightmare pairing. This might have just turned into a 5 hour nightmare…
So who is it? Who is your pairing nightmare? Maybe its the plays bad music guy. Or the plays the wrong tees guy. For an introduction to golf stereotypes and a dose of comedy, check out Dude Perfect’s Golf Stereotypes. Everybody plays golf for different reasons, whether its to be competitive, to enjoy the outdoors, or to punish yourself in ways only golf can. Because of this variety in motive, everyone is looking for different things in an ideal playing partner and at any given time we can all be that nightmare pairing for someone. Here are some nightmare pairings…
1) Rage monster – Almost nobody likes this guy. This is the guy whose expectations are entirely out of line with reality. The slightest misstep could send him spiraling out of control into an expletive laden rant. The round becomes an exhibition in waiting for a club to snap or slam into some innocent part of the course, leaving those behind him to have to putt through the putter divot he just left in the green after another missed 3 footer. The worst part is sharing a cart with this guy. Having to listen to every four letter word he knows as you drive towards the woods that have claimed his latest tee shot. Let’s just hope he is not a…
2) Club hurler – This is the guy whose clubs seem to be more useful as helicopters, twirling high overhead down the fairway. Often times traveling further than the ball he just laid sod over. If he could find that kind of acceleration in his golf swing, he likely wouldn’t be chunking clubs. This is a guy you gotta watch out for. Often times he forgets to clear the landing area before letting one slip and you certainly don’t want to become collateral damage. Lets be honest, there are plenty of times when we all want to be this guy (ahem, Rory!) But nobody wants to play with this guy.
3) Tips Only – Otherwise known as Plays the Wrong Tees Guy. This is the guy that “wants to get his money’s worth” regardless of whether or not it makes sense. He probably hasn’t hit a drive over 220 in the last year, yet he wants to go see the course from 7400 yards. I guess we have a different definition of “getting our money’s worth”. For me, I want to enjoy a light hearted game and have some birdie chances. This guy prefers playing PGA distances and struggling to break 90 on a 8 handicap. Swallow your pride and make the game more fun.
4) Quiet on the Tee! – This guy is easily distracted. You can go the extra mile to be respectful of this guy, but it won’t make a difference. He can hear the change in your pocket, he can hear the birds half a mile away, he can hear you breathing, and he will make sure you know it. “Gosh, did you hear that mower go off in my back swing? Unbelievable! Gonna cost me a bogey!” You hold your breath when this guy swings. Afraid to have a conversation. Golf has turned into a funeral for fear of another chastising.
5) Mr. Excuses – This guy never takes responsibility for his own shot. It’s always some outside agency hell-bent on destroying his round of golf. The wind, that spike mark, poorly maintained sand. It’s always something and it is never his hack of a golf swing. The guy has never hit a bad shot in his life that wasn’t the cause of some external force.
6) Drunk – You came here to golf. He came here to drink. Now there is nothing wrong with enjoying an adult beverage while you play. Some people prefer to wait until after the round, for some its a social event and drinking is a part of that, but for this guy golf is not why he is here. By the time you make the turn his cart is littered with beer cans. He is starting to get chatty. He is starting to become less aware of his surroundings and could care less if it is your turn as you try to hit a shot. By the 18th tee he is Happy Gilmore’ing tee shots into the lake 10 yards in front of him. He is falling over trying to pick his ball up out of the hole after another stellar snowman. You pray he has a ride home.
7) Serious guy – You came out here for a fun escape from the chores of the day, but this guy thinks he is in a PGA Tour event. He is meticulously planning every shot. Checking a yardage book for the fourth time and throwing up yet another clump of grass in case the wind has changed. He has a two footer for par on 17 that he needs to stay at even for the day. He has been staring at it for 5 minutes while the rest of you putted out. You’ve tried to give him the putt several times, but not this guy. He needs to make it. Even if you could have kicked it in already.
8) Mr Rulebook – This guy typically isn’t even a great player, but he would fit right in on tour… as a rules official. He has already corrected you several times on illegal drops you have taken. “You need to get it to shoulder height.” He tells you all the obscure rules. He counted how many clubs you had in your bag and told you when the number was 15. He nearly choked on his hot dog when you moved your ball out of a divot in the fairway. I know I’m supposed to re-tee after bouncing that Top Flight off the neighbors roof, but today I’m playing it as a lateral. This isn’t a tournament and I don’t know this guy. I didn’t come here for a lesson on the rules.
9) Snail – The slowest player of all time. This guy has a pre-shot routine that could be measured with a sun-dial. You have to turn away or distract yourself when it is his turn to hit. You fear you might fall asleep and start snoring before he makes contact. He checks his grip, he checks his posture. He takes 5 practice swings. He takes several waggles checking the position of the club. He checks the target over and over again. Finally. Deep breath. Settles in… Wait for it… Wait for it…. Wait for it… WHAT THE HELL IS HE THINKING ABOUT FOR THIS LONG?!?! Geez. This is unhealthy. Nothing good can come of standing over the ball this long. Is he doing complex calculus? Is he saying a prayer for where this shot is going to be? Is he trying to remember every lesson he has ever heard/read? What is he doing?!?! Finally, the club goes back and whack! He chunks it 20 yards down the fairway and you gotta go through the whole routine again. This guy has watched too much Kevin Na (though kudos to Na for doing his best to improve over the past couple years).
10) Bookie – This guy probably has a gambling problem. He has a laundry list of betting games he wants you to buy into… Wolf, Sandies, Polies, Greenies, skins, etc. Anything to get you to pull out the wallet. If there isn’t money on the line, this guy isn’t interested. He wants you to give him 5 to 1 odds that he chips in this 15 footer from the fringe. When he misses he wants 2 to 1 odds that he makes the 6 footer. You can’t even keep track of all the bets you have on the table, but its gonna take a math degree to figure out who owes what at the end of the round. Wouldn’t a $5 Nassau have sufficed?
11) Bad Music Guy – Music is tricky subject on the golf course. Players either love it or hate it. Good form involves at least checking your playlist with your playing partners before forcing them to listen to your jams. Nothing is worse than standing over a ball and hearing another crooner come on to sing about love lost. This playlist is almost as depressing as his golf game.
12) FIGJAM – Stands for F*** I’m Good, Just Ask Me. This guy is holier than thou. He refuses to acknowledge your existence. “Nice shot” falls on deaf ears. He expected better. He is annoyed that he has to stoop to the your level, regardless of what he shoots. Just being out there with you is like pulling teeth to this guy. He certainly isn’t there to enjoy your company, but rather to get you to marvel at his brilliance.
Any given day, one of these could be your nightmare. Of course we’ve all also been several of these guys. Personally, I’m a bit of a chameleon. I tend to go with the flow and try to blend in with whoever I’m playing with. Except for rage monster. I want nothing to do with him.
What is your nightmare pairing?