This is a guest post by David Bryce. David is an online publisher for Thousand Hills Golf Resort in Branson, MO. He blogs on the topics of golf, travel, and vacations.
Golfing is already a frustrating sport that mocks your inability to control a silly white ball, and playing with certain types can make my favorite game that much more aggravating. Over the years I’ve come to believe I’ll never be free of the “T-Offs,” as I’ve come to dub them. They are often my coworkers or friends who I get along with just fine off of the links, but when we go to tee off I get ticked off by their golfing traits. If you have golfers who make you want to wrap your nine iron around a tree, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Probably one of the most prevalent and least annoying of the T-Offs, this guy just lacks basic golf etiquette. It’s probably not his fault, he’s just hasn’t golfed all that often and no one has told him otherwise, but he manages to drive me up a wall. Maybe I need to work on my mental fortitude, but when I take my backswing on a buried bunker shot the last thing I want to hear about is your wife’s overcooked meatloaf.
Now I love friendly competition as much as the next guy, but there is a limit that I quickly reach when I just want to relax and swing a club. The Gambler is that guy who always has to “make it more interesting,” either with skins golf or any variation where money is on the line. He’ll often refuse to play any other way and will only be satisfied when some sort of monetary value is on the line. When I want to relax, playing for money is one of the fastest ways to make that impossible.
Possibly the most aggravating T-Off, in my opinion. This is the guy who, after watching you crush a drive or sink a tough putt, proclaims “Nice shot, but this one time I…” and proceeds to let you know that your great shot isn’t anything to write home about. I don’t even think the one uppers know what they’re doing, which makes it that much more frustrating to hear about their exploits.
The Loud Mouth
You hooked your drive, again. The Loud Mouth sliced his. You’re easily 100 yards away from each other for your second shots when he lets his five wood rip. “WHOOOOO-EEEEEE! DID YOU SEE THAT?!” he shouts, and even though you’re in the middle of the back nine the single teeing up to start his round shanks a ball in surprise. Embarrassing? You betcha. Annoying? Ohhhh yeah.
You’re just out to enjoy the game and while you’re keeping score, you’re not feeling particularly competitive. You’ve got the pencil nub and are in charge of keeping score for the group and the worst that The Cheater has done (according to him) is bogey even though he lost a ball out of bounds and got buried in a bunker on the last hole. You know that he’s fudging his score, but don’t want to make a big deal out of it. Of course, this can quickly turn sour if you’re playing in the group with The Cheater and The Gambler.
The Tech Guru
Like The Talker, this guy probably isn’t even aware that what he is doing makes him a T-Off. Now for me, my “technology” goes about as far as using the distance markers. But The TG has so much more up his sleeve including a range finder, a GPS enhanced wrist-watch with 1,000 golf courses he’ll never play, the newest clubs, every kind of technology breaking accessory (including his belt somehow), and he’s constantly checking his phone for weather updates and emails. Every shot he takes has a ritual that would impress most meteorologists and is using enough bytes that he probably has an external hard drive in his oversized bag, right by his barometer. Golfing is a slow and arduous process that makes you want to scream “Just hit the ball already!”
This T-Off seems to know every golf pro in the area and doesn’t seem to read anything but Golf Digest and “Fix Your Slice” type articles. He is constantly changing his stance, grip, swing, club choice — every part of his game — based on the last article he read. He is constantly giving you advice on how to improve your game even though you post better or similar scores. Now I’m all about learning new tips and tricks for lowering my score, but I’m not going to change my game over something he read while sitting on the jon.
The Handicap Snob
I’m no scratch golfer, but I manage to do alright. That being said, I’ve never taken the time to figure out my handicap. I know what a good score for me is, and I’m happy if I’m close to it, mad if I’m high above it. Simple. But for The Handicap Snob, the number is everything. It’s like he lives in an alternate reality where the Indian caste system and golf handicaps are one and the same. He scoffs at anyone who doesn’t know their handicap, and talks down to people with a higher handicap than him. For those golfers who have a lower handicap, he questions and doubts their honesty and says things like, “Yeah he might say he has an 8, but I played with him and he’s more like a 12 – trust me.” I personally don’t care, but nothing gives me more satisfaction than posting a lower score than The Handicap Snob.
There is unquestionably more T-Offs, some of which I can’t write about without taking extra high blood pressure medication. I hope that you only meet a few of these while chasing the white ball, and if any of these descriptions struck too close to home… well please don’t call me asking to round out a foursome.