Originally Posted by RonTheSavage
I used to be the same way. I hated being paired up with strangers because I felt I wasnt good enough and would slow them down. Like a poster above stated just keep playing with strangers and you'll eventually get over it.
Originally Posted by MPtheKid
When I first stated playing golf seriously I was really uncomfortable playing with anyone and tried to avoid it by playing during non-peak times. It will start to get easier to pair up as you play more and continue to improve. I actually don't mind getting paired up at all now and frequently do as I play a lot as a single.
I agree with a combo of these. When I took golf up a couple of years ago - I was super shy to play with people. Totally didn't want to look like a dipshit for neatly laying a divot over the ball or blowing a putt 20 feet by. HATED to be paired with strangers. I could feel their eyes during my backswing. But inevitably it happens. Then, about the time I got obsessed with golf, 2 of my golfing buddies became parents, one moved, and the other became intolerable to play with and ended up joining a Country Club.
At this point I realized I would be on my own a good bit of the time if I wanted to play. After just a couple months I quickly saw that weekend warriors
-are terrible at golf
- they make all the crappy shots I was afraid I'd make
- they make 9's
- and they don't give a rodent's hind quarter weather or not I hit a bad shot.
I now feel completely silly for being so tentative! I now play with strangers more often than I play with my friends. And it never even crosses my mind to worry about them when I'm concentrating on a shot. If I am playing with a buddy and he expresses hope that we don't get paired up - I have to remember back feeling that way. I actually like getting paired up now. It turns out that basically everyone is fighting the same problems and enjoying the heck out of being out there - just like me.
If you are a 20 cap, you're fine. If you want to become more comfortable playing with others, you have got to go get reps with strangers. A lot. Maybe start with the non-peak times as stated above. But this is just to make you feel more comfortable in the beginning. Nothing wrong with jumping in with both feet either. But to feel more comfortable with others, you need (or at least I needed) to play with others often, get some reps doing it, watch others play bad and melt down, etc.
As far as playing with someone really good - I'm sure they have seen it all. There is always someone better. But as a 20 cap, you aren't an embarrassment to the course. You are probably an above average player. If such a person is pissed they have to play with you - tough. There are a lot more players out there at your level than his.