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Letting go of a golf buddy

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

I am in a bit of a predicament. I have a golf buddy that I just do not feel comfortable playing with anymore. The problem is, he is more than a golf buddy, he is my good friend of 17 years. We went through middle school, high school, and even college together, where we were roommates. I was even his best man and coordinator of the great bachelor party. Unfortunately, he sucks at golf.

 

I took a long hiatus from golf when my father passed away at 16. I was classified as "good potential" and offered free lessons from professionals while growing up, but I just was not interested. Now as an adult, I have caught the bug. Three months back my friend and I started playing casually, first time picking up a club in 11 years I shot a 94. He didn't do so well but that didn't bother me then. I quickly hit the range. Spending about 15 hours a week practicing. Now I am shooting in the low-mid 70's.... and he is still shooting 110 + (and by his own rules). It is not so much his high score that bothers me, but the way he goes about it. He doesn't listen to advice. He won't get lessons, and he won't practice. Most of all, he doesn't follow the rules. Taking my time, I play a round by myself in 2:15 hrs, just with him 4:30 hrs minimum. We play 1 or 2 times a week and I pretty much would like to cut it off to about 1 every 3 months. I found a group of great guys that are scratch golfers and I think playing with them will really improve my game. How do I go about letting him down without ruining a friendship? 

post #2 of 68

Well, golf is not all about how good you can shoot. It's mostly about having fun especially with friends. I'm a 10 handicap and have a few long time friends and family members that shoot in the 100's. Around where I live 4.5 hours is standard for most rounds. 2:15 would be a dream come true. I play with my friends that shoot in the 100's every couple months and then my lower handicap buddies a few times a month. It's a pretty good balance. You might suggest he get some lessons and also start teaching him the rules. He will get better with time if he puts his mind to it. Also you might try taking him to par 3 or easier courses. Good Luck.

post #3 of 68

I would just be honest. Clearly, you take the game seriously, and you would like to play with others who do as well. Since you have such a history with this guy, would you still play with him if he dedicated himself to improving? If so, I would cite your desire to improve and mention that the two of you could potentially play more frequently in the future.

post #4 of 68

Why does he have to get better if hes having fun?  Maybe he doesnt find the same satisfaction in spending his valuable time practicing such a frivolous activity, like most of us here.

post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjsuicide View Post

Why does he have to get better if hes having fun?  Maybe he doesnt find the same satisfaction in spending his valuable time practicing such a frivolous activity, like most of us here.


I'm sorry but if you feel that way about golf then why even play?

 

post #6 of 68
Originally Posted by gjsuicide View Post

Why does he have to get better if hes having fun?  Maybe he doesnt find the same satisfaction in spending his valuable time practicing such a frivolous activity, like most of us here.

 

Originally Posted by tmf9 View Post

I'm sorry but if you feel that way about golf then why even play?

 

 

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. Like the OP, I take the time to try and get better. One of my buddies in my regular foursome shoots around 110 and seems to enjoy himself, and I enjoy playing with him. I just think the OP is justified in wanting to play with strong players who abide by the rules.
 

 

post #7 of 68

I would rather spend time with good friends rather then strangers at all times..... no matter what their golfing ability may be. Is this issue really important enough to risk ruining a good friendship?

post #8 of 68

I can see both sides, your buddy is working and married and golf isn't the priority in his life that it is in yours.  You are focused on improving and want to play with better players that will push you and help you get better which is something your friend can't help you do.  Talk to him and explain your reasons.  You might be surprised to find out that he's not having a great time getting crushed every round but has been going to suppport your efforts to improve or to not leave you hanging now that he's married.  You both might be relieved after the conversation that you'll be playing less golf together. 

post #9 of 68


This. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I can see both sides, your buddy is working and married and golf isn't the priority in his life that it is in yours.  You are focused on improving and want to play with better players that will push you and help you get better which is something your friend can't help you do.  Talk to him and explain your reasons.  You might be surprised to find out that he's not having a great time getting crushed every round but has been going to suppport your efforts to improve or to not leave you hanging now that he's married.  You both might be relieved after the conversation that you'll be playing less golf together. 


Just explain that some other people asked you to play with them and you want to take them up on the offer.  And that you guys can still play every once in awhile.

 

post #10 of 68

I would just start cutting down on the golf time with this mate and making it up in other areas. Hang out with him at the ball game or at the bar instead. From what you've said about how he plays, he's probably spending more time out on the course than he actually wants to anyway -- likely in an effort to be a good friend to you! a1_smile.gif

post #11 of 68

My two best friends are atrocious golfers, and they both took it up when I became seriously interested in golf again a couple years ago.  Only thing I've ever insisted they do during a round is pick up the pace.  As far as him not improving and playing by his own rules-you really care about that?  Your lifelong friend?  As for him playing too slowly, you should probably be honest with him.  If you still like playing with him but need him to speed up then tell him so.  Will cutting way back on your golf time ruin your friendship?  It might.  You're certainly entitled to play with other people, but I can't fathom how his ineptitude ruins your good time golfing with him-probably some other friendship issues at play there.

post #12 of 68

I don't mind playing with golfers of all ability as long as they play at a good pace. I think you need to figure out if golf is more important than your friendship. As much as your buddy's bad golf bothers you, he might enjoy watching you play well. My handicap is currently 3, My 83 year old father's has risen to the high 20's. We live about 6 hours away, so we don't see each other often,let alone play golf together. Eventhough our ability is wide apart, I would play with him every day if I could. I know someday I won't be able to play golf, and when that time comes, I sure will want my friends.

post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmf9 View Post




I'm sorry but if you feel that way about golf then why even play?

 



Because you don't have to practice to have fun playing golf. Those of us who don't practice(myself included) are in the major majority of golfers. I am an 11.3 index.  I have only hit on a range a handfull of time in my 25 years of palying. I find much more joy actually playing.

 

post #14 of 68

2 guys, 4 and a half hours minimum!  Wow.  Ultra slow.  That's very slow for 4 guys or 4 women or any combo. 4 guys all under 15 caps should never take more than 3:50-4:00. Assuming the course is open, it should never take that long. 18 holes of golf simply does not take that long to play unless you are slow. And slow for all of the wrong reasons.

 

I think it was Davis Love III who a few year ago played solo all 4 rounds at the Mercedez in Hawaii. He went from 2:25 min rounds to 1:45 by the last round.

 

The only thing that would bother me with your mate is his slow play.  You either have to nicely drop him out of your rotation. Simply by getting in other groups. Or you must talk to him about pace of play. He can't play that slow and expect anything else. If he does he needs a reality check.

 

I know it's not easy. But in reality it seems that golf groups come and go. I used to play with the same group always, then kids came along and certain guys could no longer play at this time or that time and new groups and times were formed. I still play with everybody from all of the groups maybe just at odd times.

 

 

post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by gjsuicide View Post

Why does he have to get better if hes having fun?  Maybe he doesnt find the same satisfaction in spending his valuable time practicing such a frivolous activity, like most of us here.


A bad player still doesn't have to be a slow player.  I've played with plenty of bad golfers who still got around the course in good time.

 

To the OP:  If he is that good a friend he should understand where you are coming from.  Just tell him that his dilly-dallying is spoiling your enjoyment of the game because it just takes too long.  Two players with nobody in front should be able to comfortably play most courses in 3 to 3½ hours (I've played my home course as a twosome in under 2½).   If he's causing you to take more than 4 hours then he needs counseling on pace of play.

 

post #16 of 68

"I'm really excited! I've been invited to join a group of golfers on a regular basis and they're all amazing players. I really feel I'm gonne be learning a lot from them so I can't wait. Don't worry though, you and I will still go out every once in a while for sure. You understand that it's an opportunity I can't pass up right?"

 

Done.

post #17 of 68
It is a tough situation, I would think you would have to confront your friend with the things that ate bohering you. But wether he takes the game as seriously as you can only be determined by him. On the other hand the should be able to follow the rules (play the same game) and do it without slowplay.
post #18 of 68

If he want's to just play golf for fun and you want to play some more competitive golf, which is what it sounds like. Then I would suggest entering competitions and explaining to your friend that you want to try and win some stuff, any good friend would understand...

 

There's nothing wrong with golf for fun it doesn't mean you can never play with the guy but just prioritize the competitive golf ahead of the fun golf if that's what you want to do. 

 

Another tack you could try is making it competitive with him, it sounds like he's a max hcap golfer (so 28 hcap) so play him match play give him 20 shot and play for $10 dollars for the front nine, $10 for the back and $10 for the match. That way the rounds will speed up a lot too because if you are on the green in 2 and he's busy hacking out of some rough he can just loose the hole and move on.

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