This article first appeared on Golfshake.com in Jan 2017
Golf can be a frustrating game at the best of times; it will test your patience and mental strength, and will do all it can to break you. When things go wrong, they tend to go terribly wrong, but for some reason we keep coming back. Here are 10 things golfers hate on and off the golf course.
Playing golf in the rain is not fun. No matter whether you have the latest waterproofs, the hassle of sorting your umbrella and swinging in several layers is a pain. Waking up on the morning of a competition that you’ve looked forward to all week and seeing it is raining is an awful feeling. This is made even worse when you ring up to see if the course is open…and it is!
What is even worse than this, is heavy showers. Many golfers will risk it on the course and not take any waterproofs out with them. Big mistake. There’s nothing much worse than being caught in a heavy shower with nothing to protect you or your clubs.
People saying it isn’t a sport or an old man’s sport
This one is very frustrating as a young golfer. Having played golf for over 10 years now, I can honestly say the game is moving far away from being an “old man’s sport” and most definitely is sport. Just look at the top players on tour: the likes of Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler blow this “myth” out of the water.
When it comes to competitions around your home course, it can often be frustrating because of the amount of players who think they are tour professionals and take what seems like an eternity eyeing up their shot. In my eyes, no one should be on the course for more than four hours, and even then, that is still far too long.
Those who play during the week after work can get round 18 holes in three hours, in a fourball, from my experience any way. Then, when it comes to competition day, it can be hard for these faster players to keep rhythm as they are waiting over every shot. Now, I’m not saying everyone should run around the course, but the fact golf takes so long to play is currently damaging the sport and alternatives need to be found.
Missing your buffer
This one hurts to just think about it. You’re on the 18th tee and you know a par will save you getting that crucial .1 back on your handicap. Having nailed a drive, played your approach into the green and lagged your putt 3-foot from the hole, you then go and miss the par putt and your dreams of not getting .1 back are crushed, just like that.
Putting is the key to scoring. As the saying goes: “Drives for show, putts for dough.” This saying couldn’t be more true. Countless times golfers, including myself, have come off the course and said, “I’d have scored well if I could putt.” If you look at the top pros on tour, they very rarely three putt, hence why they are right at the top of the professional game.
Worse than three putting for bogey in my eyes, is three putting for par on a par-5. You’ve done the hard part reaching the par-5 in two, and then you go and three putt. Although you haven’t dropped a shot, it sure feels like you have.
Losing a brand new ball
Having cracked open a new sleeve of balls and ripped your driver all week in the build up to competition day, you proceed to carve your first tee shot out of bounds, never to be seen again. It hurts, trust me.
After battling the testing conditions and pushing yourself to the limit mentally, you post your best medal round of the year and think there is no way anybody is beating that. That is until Dave, who “hasn’t picked up a club in a fortnight” comes in with a net 59. They are the talk of the club as they finish in the prizes for the next few weeks until they reach a suitable handicap.
I always try to avoid competitions when the greens have been scarified because for me, it doesn’t always give a fair reflection of your putting. If you play at a course where they don’t always scarify the greens at an appropriate time, you will understand the struggle. Just when you think you’ve sorted your putting out, you walk onto the course and the greens have holes and lines all over them. The term “hit and hope” comes to mind on these greens.
There’s always one of your golfing group that gets every single good bounce. They can miss the green by a good 10 yards, but still somehow get a lucky bounce and see their ball end up just a few feet from the hole.
This is even more frustrating when you seem to get every single bad bounce on the course. How many times have you played a career shot, all over the pin, only for it to somehow take a sharp kick right on what looks a perfectly flat putting surface? All I can say is try and laugh it off; you will most likely lose your mind otherwise.
Ending up behind the only tree
This one really does make you wonder if you really are the unluckiest golfer in the world. The chances of hitting your ball behind the one tree that stands alongside the green if you tried, must be well over 100/1, but somehow you will manage it.
This is also a similar situation to when you somehow hit the one and only branch when playing out of the trees. It is no thicker than your little finger but because you are deadly accurate, you will hit it nine times out of 10.