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Brandon138

What to say in the awkward silences after a bad shot?

41 posts in this topic

So, for me, there's usually always a guy in the group that is not so great. So it seems like there is at least 1 shot per hole where he hits a terrible shot and gets mad. And there is usually an awkward silence after that and it can weird. What do you guys say or do to kind of break the tension without making it too obvious that your just saying something because they hit a bad shot?

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Best response is nothing at all.

Think about it. If you hit a shit shot do you really want to hear 'hey man don't worry about it', or a wise crack, you just want people to shut up and get on with it.

That is unless you're playing with people that you're really comfortable with and you're just giving each other shit the whole time; then anything goes! But from the sounds of it with the awkward silence, the former is the better choice.

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It totally depends on the person. Some guys can take a joke once in a while and it can break the tension if you can find something funny to say. Some guys don't want to hear anything.
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Originally Posted by Brandon138

So, for me, there's usually always a guy in the group that is not so great. So it seems like there is at least 1 shot per hole where he hits a terrible shot and gets mad. And there is usually an awkward silence after that and it can weird. What do you guys say or do to kind of break the tension without making it too obvious that your just saying something because they hit a bad shot?

Well in my case I have hit just about every bad shot in the book and recovered from the shot so I can usually truthfully say "That's alright, I've gotten up and down from there before".

In the rare case where I haven't I just say something like "That's alright, don't worry about it" or just "It'll be alright" or "Don't worry about it".

To just walk off without saying anything at all just doesn't seem like the thing to do. It just sort of leaves the person hanging and wondering if you think he's an idiot or a terrible golfer or.....who knows what.

I always feel like I am never out of a hole and feel like I can get up and down from anywhere and I don't really want or need anything said more than just something like that. I don't want to be told that I just hit an awful shot. I'm already well aware of that. I just want to move on and make what I can out of the situation.

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Best to say nothing, especially if the player utters an expletive or otherwise demonstrates severe displeasure.  But if the player laughs and says something self-derogatory it is appropriate to laugh with him or her.  Not to share in this might even seem rude.

These things can be difficult to judge.  If you don't know the victim, always err on the cautious side and practice your poker face.

The worst thing you can do is give unsolicited advice as to why that terrible shot just happened, not unless you're Butch Harmon.

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If you cant handle getting trash talked after a bad shot you wouldnt be able to play with our group. I look at it as we all suck around 6-10 HC's and its fun getting at someone when they hit a bad shot and it cost them or there partner some cash.
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Good thread.  I like to keep a positive attitude in my comments to someone who has hit a bad shot "it opens up over there" "I still can see it" "I've hit it over there my share of times, don't feel bad" "wow, you had a crappy lie there" "where did that wind come up from?" etc etc etc.  But after several holes of bad shots, I just stop commenting all-together and make comments on the straight shots down the middle.

I'm sure my partners think I'm a pain in the ass.

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Last year I played in a best ball company tourney and one of my playing partners was pretty bad. He topped a shot that went about 18". We wanted everyone to have a good time so I said, " go ahead and give it another whack". He topped it another 18" and once more for another 18". Needless to say there was an awkward silence that wasn't broken till my buddy said to him, "maybe you're a lefty" He took it well and we had a blast all day, he even hit some decent shots once he was more comfortable. He had no technique whatsoever but it was really the tension that was hurting him the most.
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If hes not talking to me and looking for a response, I won't say anything.
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Unless you know the guy really well, say nothing.  I'd prefer someone making a joke rather than giving me advice, even though I know their intentions are good.  I have enough swing thoughts in my head, so the last thing I need is to add another one,

I have one guy we golf with regularly that is about a -18 (has a wild hook) and has been taking lessons so he now thinks he's Hank Haney any time someone hits a bad shot.

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I never say something like "hey, don't worry about it" ... If the guy is mad, I say nothing at all.  In our regular group, though, I usually make a smart-alecky remark.  Like, if he hits a flop shot way over the green, I say "wow .. that was a brave swing" . .or if he skulls one on the ground I'll say "smart move taking the wind out of play" . .etc.

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Funny thread. Obviously the answer is totally dependent on the player:

One of my playing buddies - Anything from "What the @#$% was that?!" or "Have you ever played golf before?", to "That's alright, you can get u&d; from there".

My son - He's so freaking moody these days I have to gauge his emotional state and reply with anything from dead silence to some coaching to berating him to get him going.

A stranger - If he (she) is easy going and chatty, I'll treat them like one of my buddies. If not, silence is the best reply.

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I just want to tell a story about a guy who was pissed and eventually laughed with me.

On a par 5, we're hitting our 2nd shots.  He's hitting a 3w from the right rough, slightly uphill lie.  About 15 yards ahead of him is a cart path with a family of deer lounging. He shanks his 3w and clips a tree that is to the right of the cart path, just in front of the deer.  Ball ricochets off the tree backwards, then off one of the deer and softly lands on the cartpath with the momentum going down the hill, back towards the player.

When the ball hit the tree, the guy was spouting off expletives and was clearly pissed.  I started walking forward as I was going to leave him be.  Eventually I notice that the ball ricocheted and eventually landed on the cartpath.  Because the shot was uphill and so was the cartpath, the ball eventually rolled all the way down the cartpath, towards the guy, and ended up coming to rest about 2 feet behind the initial spot he hit from.

It took a total of about 15-20 seconds from the time he swung before the ball came to rest.  The entire time it was getting funnier and funnier to me, until the ball came to rest and I just dead-panned, "I don't think you got all of that one."

He looked at me as if he wanted to be pissed off still, and eventually we both busted up laughing.  Good times.

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Originally Posted by bplewis24

I just want to tell a story about a guy who was pissed and eventually laughed with me.

On a par 5, we're hitting our 2nd shots.  He's hitting a 3w from the right rough, slightly uphill lie.  About 15 yards ahead of him is a cart path with a family of deer lounging.  He shanks his 3w and clips a tree that is to the right of the cart path, just in front of the deer.  Ball ricochets off the tree backwards, then off one of the deer and softly lands on the cartpath with the momentum going down the hill, back towards the player.

When the ball hit the tree, the guy was spouting off expletives and was clearly pissed.  I started walking forward as I was going to leave him be.  Eventually I notice that the ball ricocheted and eventually landed on the cartpath.  Because the shot was uphill and so was the cartpath, the ball eventually rolled all the way down the cartpath, towards the guy, and ended up coming to rest about 2 feet behind the initial spot he hit from.

It took a total of about 15-20 seconds from the time he swung before the ball came to rest.  The entire time it was getting funnier and funnier to me, until the ball came to rest and I just dead-panned, "I don't think you got all of that one."

He looked at me as if he wanted to be pissed off still, and eventually we both busted up laughing.  Good times.

The shot where the ball ends up the same distance or further from the hole is a snot-shooting side-aching milk-out-the-nose goldmine. I can't recall all of those good times and the replies, but I know that for a few I ended up literally falling to the ground laughing.

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Originally Posted by dak4n6

The shot where the ball ends up the same distance or further from the hole is a snot-shooting side-aching milk-out-the-nose goldmine. I can't recall all of those good times and the replies, but I know that for a few I ended up literally falling to the ground laughing.

I may have ended up on the ground at some point.  It was the combination of the ball rolling back....slowly, the ricochet off the tree, and the deer running for their life that made for a gut-busting scene.

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Originally Posted by dak4n6

Funny thread. Obviously the answer is totally dependent on the player:

One of my playing buddies - Anything from "What the @#$% was that?!" or "Have you ever played golf before?", to "That's alright, you can get u&d; from there".

My son - He's so freaking moody these days I have to gauge his emotional state and reply with anything from dead silence to some coaching to berating him to get him going.

A stranger - If he (she) is easy going and chatty, I'll treat them like one of my buddies. If not, silence is the best reply.


Funny thread indeed, but more important than most people think, especially when playing in choose up team games.

In our choose up games the reaction from the other players, and especially the "A" player (or captain), has about as much to do with how much his team wins as how well he plays.

The best player at our course doesn't win the team game nearly as often as he should simply because he is the worst "caddy" ever. He thinks that just because he only hits about 2 bad shots every 10 years that everybody else is supposed to play like that too. His standard quip after a teammate's bad shot is "What the @#$% was that?" His next favorite is just a very disgusted sounding "Awe". His third reaction is simply to walk off of the tee box with a disgusted look on his face and saying absolutely nothing.

None of the above is what that "C" or "D" player needed and they are probably done for the day.

That same "C" or "D" player will shoot 4 or 5 strokes lower when they are on a different team where the captain doesn't make a big deal out of a bad shot but just tells them "It'll come" (and maybe a pat on the back).

The absolute worst reaction to a bad shot (that strangely enough usually comes from players that aren't even any good) is to point out the particular swing flaw that they think caused the bad shot (even though they haven't the slightest clue what they are talking about and don't even understand the mechanics of that person's swing). That's liable to get a response like "I'll tell you what...When you can beat me I might listen to you but until then shut the Hell up."

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if its Beachcomber who duffs it, i will tell him "nice layup"

if its anyone else i will say "these pretzels are making me thirsty"

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I never say something like "hey, don't worry about it" ... If the guy is mad, I say nothing at all.  In our regular group, though, I usually make a smart-alecky remark.  Like, if he hits a flop shot way over the green, I say "wow .. that was a brave swing" . .or if he skulls one on the ground I'll say "smart move taking the wind out of play" . .etc.

That kind of witty remark I can enjoy after having topped the ball off the tee, through the green (par 3) and into a pond. I mean, what else you gonna do but laugh .....

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