This article first appeared on Golfshake.com in July 2019
From time to time, we play golf with people and find ourselves doing a double-take at some of their habits and the foibles and antics they get up to while on the golf course. Here we take a look at some of the things that have stopped us dead in our tracks on the golf course. We are sure you will have experienced some of these, and maybe have others of your own to add. They are the sort of individuals who leave you asking: “Did he REALLY just do that?”
The golfer who will never, ever lose a tee
He or she goes into his pocket and produces three tees, all different sizes, all of those castle variety so many of us use these days. There’s a pink one, an orange one and a blue one. Unbelievably, they are all tied together with a piece of string. You laugh out loud and ask him or her if it is for real. He looks you in the eye and says, with a totally straight face, says: “I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought a golf tee. What about you?”
The indestructible golf ball
You step up to the first tee and produce a shiny new Titleist Pro V1. You promptly knock it out of bounds to the right, go back to your bag and dig out another new ball. Your opponent goes into his bag and hauls out something that used to be a golf ball. Perhaps it was even white once upon a time. It is scuffed, it is battered and you wonder if it is even actually still round. He puts the ball on the tee and proceeds to send it 250 yards, straight down the middle of the fairway. And then you realize why it is so battered. He never, ever loses a ball and this is the 50th round he has played with it.
The ancient putter
You have just spent $150 on a brand new putter because you keep three-putting. You have even had a proper fitting and the pro has guaranteed that this club will transform your putting: Spoiler, it doesn’t. You then realize that the guy who is pounding you into the dust is brandishing some ancient weapon with a wooden shaft – and is holing everything in sight.
You have hit a splendid drive, missed the green with your second and taken three more to get down. You are giving you opponent a shot. You ask him how many he is down for. He looks back down the fairway and does that counting thing where he points this way and that. “I had a six. That’s a half.” You know he took seven.
The ball finder
This one spends most of his life in the rough: He hooks it, he slices it. You all head into the thick stuff to look for his ball. This happens regularly. What also happens regularly is that you suddenly hear him say: “Got it!” Even though you have just stood on a golf ball with his personal marking on it, and you know it’s the one you are looking for. “Isn’t this your ball, Bill?” “No, definitely not. I have got it here. That must be one I lost last week.”
The Seve imitator
You will remember that Seve Ballesteros found himself at the center of several rows with playing partners and opponents who accused him of developing a cough at the most inopportune of moments – usually when they were standing over their ball, about to begin their backswing: This is a golfer who does the same sort of thing. If he is not sneezing or coughing, he is jangling change in his pocket as you prepare to hit the ball. And when you glare at him he stops instantly. He knows exactly what he’s doing!
The lie improver
As you walk down the fairway to your ball, you note that your opponent has a dreadful lie, his ball sitting in a divot. You walk on to your golf ball, aware that he has bent down to remove some imaginary loose impediments. And lo and behold, you look again and his ball is sitting up like a peach. But he’s not stupid – he has improved his lie when you weren’t looking, so you can’t actually say a word. He puts his ball six feet from the hole. You are fuming, and scuff your approach into the bunker, plugged in the face.
The glove man
You head to the pro’s shop and buy a new leather glove. It looks good, and it feels great as your club grip snuggles into your hands. Your partner pulls out something that you’ve seen hundreds of times prior; it has holes in every finger tip, as well as on the palm and it is so shiny that you can see your face in it. He beats you 5&4!
The dated trolley
If you pull your golf bag and clubs round on a trolley, the chances are you want it to remain in one piece. You don’t want the wheels falling off, you don’t want your bag tumbling off and ending up on the ground. So most of us are prepared to spend a few pounds on a decent trolley, knowing that it will last for years. And then there is the golfer who has spent a whopping £15 buying one from a discount store. There’s a very good reason it only cost £15 – it isn’t fit for purpose. This guy, however, hauls it out the boot of his car and then proceeds to attach bits of it together with rope and string. By the third hole, his bag has already been on the ground five times. By the time he reaches the 15th one of the wheels has fallen off. Fear not, he heads straight into his golf bag producing a spanner, screwdriver, some garden twine and miraculously forces the wheel back on. By the 18th, he is carrying trolley and bag!
The wonky umbrella
Like all your friends, you have spent some decent money on a proper golf umbrella. After all, it rains on the golf course. A lot. So you need something that is going to keep you dry. And when it rains, the wind also tends to blow. So you need something that isn’t going to withstand the punishment it is likely to receive. You set off in glorious weather, but the forecast is for wind and rain. You are prepared. Sure enough, it starts to rain relentlessly and on go your waterproofs – up goes your umbrella as well. Then you look on in utter astonishment as one of your group reaches into his bag and produces his wife’s umbrella. Yes, his wife’s umbrella. He spends the rest of the round wrestling with it as it constantly blows inside out. And, of course, he doesn’t have waterproofs. But here’s the strangest thing – when he gets back to the clubhouse he is bone dry! You remove your waterproofs and your trousers are soaked from ankle to knee. How does that happen?