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how to politely tell somebody they are BAD at golf?

post #1 of 111
Thread Starter 

today I went to play at my favorite 9 hole course.  The course has a special before 7AM for the early birds, and for $10 it's a great 2 hour walk in the park.  This morning, I arrived around 6:25 with no tee time, and noticed the first tee had a 2 some teeing off, and a single behind them.  I arrived and the single asked if I wanted to join him, to which I politely declined.  The 2 some in front of them appeared to be decent golfers that knew there way around the course. 

 

So my friend the single proceeds to tee up his ball on the back tee. His first tee shot is a push slice OB, his second is a sky ball that barely makes it to the front of the fairway.  His second shot skitters on the ground leaving him around 230 out from the green.  He proceeds to wait for the group in front of him to clear the green.  The shot that followed wasn't terrible, I was too far away to see how far it went, but I am reasonably certain that it didn't come anywhere near the green. 

 

The next hole, he hits 2 shots to the dog leg, which is 225 from the green, and he waits again. 

 

On the 4th hole, he joined up with the group in front of him, and when I saw them from the green, he had moved up to the middle tee box.  So my question is, how do you tell somebody not in your group that they have don't need to wait for the green to clear outside of 200 yards.  Or how do you tell them that they have no business playing the back tee boxes.  When we play amoungst friends, I have this same arguement.  I know that it is a macho thing, but I believe that if you can't break bogey golf (90 on a par 72) you should play the closer tee box.  The golf courses are designed to be playable by everybody on the course. 

 

 

What did the other group say to him for him to move forward?  This course is a muni, so it isn't well "rangered" and as a result, I feel that the people who play it regularly should help to maintain pace of play.  I am not afraid to say something to somebody, but I want to do it in such a way without sounding rude or inconsiderate, but at the same time, when I can walk the course when nobody is in front of me in an hour 20, to have to play a 2 hour + round means that something should be said to keep this person moving along. 

post #2 of 111

My answer to this question would be you don't say anything to him at all.  If he isn't in your circle of friends it isn't for you to tell him.  I most likely would not react well if a person I didn't know came up and told me I was bad.

 

I would report it to the club house if he is slowing down the pace.  Other than that I would leave it alone.  That is just me of course.

post #3 of 111

IMHO, as long as the person is not holding up anyone, I couldn't careless which tee he/she plays from.  There are days, when my game goes south for no apparent reason and I look like I shouldn't be playing from the blue tees (further back from "normal men's white tee").

 

Also, now days, you gotta be careful confronting someone.  Never know what mental state that person is in.

post #4 of 111

I'd never tell a stranger that they basically sucked at golf.

 

I have, however, told a friend (whom I had not seen for some time, but advised me that he had taken up golf and had been taking lessons, and then arranged a game with me), that it was time to pick up and get the heck of the golf course and head back to the practice ground and the range - (10 fresh air shots over each shot, followed by a topped ball that advanced maybe 15 feet wasn't going to make anyone very happy on a very busy June Saturday afternoon on a public golf course). After letting three or four groups behind us through, I was more than happy to go in search of the clubhouse bar.

post #5 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny View Post

I'd never tell a stranger that they basically sucked at golf.

 

I have, however, told a friend (whom I had not seen for some time, but advised me that he had taken up golf and had been taking lessons, and then arranged a game with me), that it was time to pick up and get the heck of the golf course and head back to the practice ground and the range - (10 fresh air shots over each shot, followed by a topped ball that advanced maybe 15 feet wasn't going to make anyone very happy on a very busy June Saturday afternoon on a public golf course). After letting three or four groups behind us through, I was more than happy to go in search of the clubhouse bar.

 

I don't mean to tell people they suck at the game.  I mean to tell them that they need not wait for the green to clear at 230+ yards away when the longest they have hit the ball is 120 yards.  I mean to tell people that as a single, there should be little reason you can't keep up with a 2 some in front of you.  I mean to tell people that on a crowded public course to play ready golf, that it is not a social outing that involves everybody zig zagging back and forth across the fairway so they can watch the other player hit his/her shot. 

post #6 of 111

Can't argue with any of that! Sounds like good advice to me.


Whether or not I'd be courageous enough to tell it a complete stranger...I don't know. But I do agree with you. Especially about waiting for a green to clear 300 yards up the fairway.
 

post #7 of 111

People, specifically new golfers, tend to be overly polite on the golf course due to ignorance. They don't know they're not supposed to wait. It's usually not due to a lack of judgment. They emulate what they see others doing. The reality is that person isn't much slower than someone who has good reason to wait if they are keeping the ball in play. You end up waiting either way.

post #8 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

People, specifically new golfers, tend to be overly polite on the golf course due to ignorance. They don't know they're not supposed to wait. It's usually not due to a lack of judgment. They emulate what they see others doing. The reality is that person isn't much slower than someone who has good reason to wait if they are keeping the ball in play. You end up waiting either way.

 

On Monday, I played 18 holes early in the morning.  I played the front 9 by myself in an hour and 25 minutes.  I played the first 6 holes of the back nine in an hour and that included a 5 some that let me play through.  On the 6th green, I caught a 3 some, these guys were just plain inconsiderate.  On the 7th tee box, I watched them take 2 carts, look for a lost ball (all 3 players) for a full 3 minutes, then give up.  The player that couldn't find his ball got out of the cart, dropped a ball, and the other rider in the cart grabbed a club and walked backwards towards the tee box probably 50 yards to go hit his shot that was in the fairway.  Then he had to walk back to the cart.  The 3rd player in the pace of looking for the other players ball, then couldn't find his which was on the other side of the fairway. 

 

The last 3 holes took almost an hour by themselves.  nobody in front of them, and nobody behind me - I never got the chance to catch up to them to ask if I could play through, but every time I would hit my approach shot near the green, they would see me as they were just teeing off, i was having a pretty good round, and striking the ball fairly decent (except off the tee box).  They could have let me tee off on that 7th hole while they were looking for that lost ball. I was riding, by the time they found that ball, I would have likely been putting and most likely off the green with at MOST 2 minutes of inconvenience to them.  instead, they added an honest 30-40 minutes to my round.  Now, I can't complain, since I still played in a touch over 3 hours, but I could have likely played in 2.5 give or take had it not been for them. 

 

Now I had started on 10 that round, they had clearly started on 1.  I made a point to say something to somebody in the pro shop as I returned my cart key, but the only person I could find was the cook in the kitchen and his response was not very much that he didn't care. 

post #9 of 111

I'm more irritated by people calling tees "tee boxes" than bad golfers.

post #10 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post

I'm more irritated by people calling tees "tee boxes" than bad golfers.

Really?  So you'd be OK with me saying things like:

 

"So I walk up to the bad golfer of number 6 and decide to use an extra club, but just as I go to swing the wind dies down and I overshoot the green by 20 yards.  Good day for me though, because I had a perfect lie on the bad golfer of number 7."

 

That seems a little bit more confusing to me. ;)

post #11 of 111

Dad, you should listen to our coach. a1_smile.gif).

post #12 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloverUT View Post

My answer to this question would be you don't say anything to him at all.  If he isn't in your circle of friends it isn't for you to tell him.  I most likely would not react well if a person I didn't know came up and told me I was bad.

 

I would report it to the club house if he is slowing down the pace.  Other than that I would leave it alone.  That is just me of course.

This. Either don't say anything or ask to play through. If playing through is not an option, then that's life and golf and it won't be the last time you witness it or have to wait behind it.

Similarly, there is no polite way to tell a girl: 'Yes, that dress does in fact make you look fat.'

post #13 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloverUT View Post

My answer to this question would be you don't say anything to him at all.  If he isn't in your circle of friends it isn't for you to tell him.  I most likely would not react well if a person I didn't know came up and told me I was bad.

I would report it to the club house if he is slowing down the pace.  Other than that I would leave it alone.  That is just me of course.
This. If that guy isn't one of your buddies than nothing good can come from you saying anything to him. If somebody I didn't know came up and told me I was a bad golfer, I'd tell him to go screw himself and mind his own business.
post #14 of 111

So, how is he slowing up the game? Once you establish a slightly larger gap, what's the difference a minute? It well be the same the whole round, so as long as you keep up with a slightly longer gap you are fine. How do you know, he isn't capable of an occasional good shot? Would you like to assume liability for his ball hitting someone?

post #15 of 111

Its hard to blame someone for waiting to hit their shot, and being safe.  I'd rather see that then everyone hitting into each other.  There was an executive course I played quite a bit when I first started golfing.  I was long, but not anywhere near accurate.  On a short Par 4 (about 285), I said to my buddy... "I'll hit the green maybe 1 out of 100, I always slice into the woods, I'm good to tee off."  Well, I landed the green while other people were still on it putting.  I apologized several times, and they were cool about it.  But ever since, if I know it's something I'm capable of pulling off every once in a while, I wait until the coast is clear.  It's safe and good etiquette.

 

As far as telling something they are bad?  I don't.  Not my friends, not strangers.  I try to give positive suggestions... "I bet if you practiced your putting, you could knock 5 strokes off your score", or, "Man, if you worked on your chipping you could be a bogey golfer."  With strangers, I'll ask to play through, or make suggestions that we should pick up the pace and catch the group in front of us, etc.

 

I do understand your frustration, and I do think a lot of people do have bad etiquette.  But the only thing that can really be done is to set a positive example and hope it rubs off on others... that or join a private club, where everyone has a stake so the etiqette is typically a bit better.

post #16 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouseJohnny View Post


Whether or not I'd be courageous enough to tell it a complete stranger...I don't know. But I do agree with you. Especially about waiting for a green to clear 300 yards up the fairway.
 

 

IME, the stranger usually humiliates himself... last weekend i sliced a shot in front of an adjacent par 5 tee box, and politely waited for the twosome on that tee to hit their shots before i went to my shot.  they were nice, funny guys -- but literally waited until the guy in front of them was past the 200yd marker to tee off, even noted, "i better not tee off yet", et al.  now, this was a 525yd hole -- all due respect, but i've never seen anyone drive 300yds without a very strong wind behind their back.  needless to say, this guy pulled it nowhere near the fairway, and nowhere near 250yds, let alone 300.  it's my hope that these 'offenders' will figure it out someday, but perhaps that's wishful thinking.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clearwaterms View Post

 

The last 3 holes took almost an hour by themselves.  nobody in front of them, and nobody behind me - I never got the chance to catch up to them to ask if I could play through, but every time I would hit my approach shot near the green, they would see me as they were just teeing off, i was having a pretty good round, and striking the ball fairly decent (except off the tee box).  They could have let me tee off on that 7th hole while they were looking for that lost ball. I was riding, by the time they found that ball, I would have likely been putting and most likely off the green with at MOST 2 minutes of inconvenience to them.  instead, they added an honest 30-40 minutes to my round.  Now, I can't complain, since I still played in a touch over 3 hours, but I could have likely played in 2.5 give or take had it not been for them. 

 

been there, as well -- only thing i could do was stand on the tee looking as irritated as possible, still never got the point across.  it's hard to make anything happen on a course without a ranger.  unfortunately some people will never learn.

post #17 of 111

If you see a bad golfer, even if you aren't golfing in his group, you gotta just run up to him and get in his face and start pushing him and stuff.

post #18 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by McMullenCPA View Post

If you see a bad golfer, even if you aren't golfing in his group, you gotta just run up to him and get in his face and start pushing him and stuff.

Do you even PRACTICE bro?? c3_clap.gif

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