Originally Posted by villafranca
I assume that when I hit a bad shot the people behind me are thinking “Ooh great this guy stinks we're are going to be here all day!” I want to know if this is really what’s happening, if not then what does “grind your gears”?
Most golfers don't pay that much attention to other players. I always describe golf as a "selfish game." We really only care about our shots and scores. As long as you aren't holding us up, we barely notice you.
To answer your question, yes, that thought probably enters a lot of players minds, mine included. However, it only is an issue after several very poor attempts. A single poor shot at the beginning of a round happens to everyone. If a player hits a poor shot but makes reasonable contact and quickly moves to the ball and hits it again, etc... few will have an issue with that. If you play quickly and stay close to the group ahead of you the entire time, don't worry about what everyone else thinks because we will be thinking about OUR game, not yours.
What really gets everyone agitated is when several novices are playing together and there are numerous whiffs, practice swings and shots that travel 4 feet. No matter how quickly one plays, when the ball is missed completely or only goes a few feet, it is almost impossible to play at a proper pace. If that describes your game, spend some more time at the range or taking lessons before venturing out on the course.