By not picking up golfing until later in life, I think that I have been able to view the sport from a perspective that many life long golfers can not.
I'm fifty years old and have been golfing for just over a couple of years. For now, and the foreseeable future, I am passionate about playing golf. I try to play at least once a week, walk the course, play by the rules, dress appropriately, don't drink alcohol on the course, am courteous, only report legitimate scores, play fast (or not so much anymore, let others play through), care for the course, keep my cool, don't give advice, try to find something good in every shot, will play in any weather (if the course is open), and always try to have fun, learn more about the game and improve my skills by practice (I would much rather play) and seeking professional instruction.
I feel that these attributes are things that I would look for in any golfing partner and should carry as much weight as one's handicap. I would classify myself as a double bogey golfer, although I have broke 100 once, have half-a-dozen birdies, but I still manage a double digit score on occasion (lying five off the tee after the first two went OB on a long par five will do it to ya). Yes, my handicap is greater than 30 (I was at the maximum of 36.4 for quite a while), but it is legit.
Recently moving to Oregon from Colorado, I no longer have a set of golfing buddies and am trying to form a new set. I'll sometimes get grouped with a stranger or two. For the most part, the people are good. If I had to characterize the folks that are not-so-good, I would say that they were the experienced, more serious about golfing golfers. I'm not trolling, but I suspect that many of the members of this forum might be in this category.
I guess that what I'm trying to say is give the "new guy" a chance. Although his scores may not be anything close to what USGA-average-handicap-index-of-15 might score, he might be better to golf with than someone who (and I have witnessed all of these, thankfully not all in the same round):
- blows his stack due to an errant shot
- brags about his score afterwards after teeing up another ball and not taking the penalty for doing so, or not holing out every hole
- doesn't repair his ball marks on the green or rake the bunker after taking a shot from it
- becomes PGA-certified instructor who provides his/her services free of charge during the round -- after all, its the charitable thing to do
- becomes intoxicated - better get two from the cart girl, it might be a while 'til she comes around again
- makes and takes phone calls, especially when its your turn to take a shot
- is impolite or even is condescending about your game, seems put out that he has to play with you
- gets miffed about you not being able to keep up when he's riding in a cart and you're walking - (if he was walking, then *he* wouldn't be able to keep up)
- decides that the golf course is his public restroom, even though there a facilities every few holes (I guess that has something to do with doubling up on those beers)
- screams at the group ahead of us to hurry up, even when its obvious that they really don't have anywhere to go on the already crowed course
- drives ahead to his ball in the middle of the fairway before you've taken your shot
- won't pick up and then replace flagstick if he's holed out first - "oh I'm the better golfer, so you need to do the caddy's duties"
- picks your ball and it up and tosses it to you saying "that's a gimme" (even when it's still a three foot putt)
Anyway, I'm new to the forum. I'll try to pick up things where I can, participate in conversations for which I may have meaning input, try not to ask questions that have already been asked and answered.