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Biggest surprise you've gotten from looks to play?


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I thought this would be an interesting topic to read some replies.

Last night went to a nice public course in my area b/c there was a tournament at my usual course.  Hooked up with two other singles in the pro shop and went to the first tee.  I was paired with a guy wearing jean shorts and nike sneakers, probably 5'10" and 150 pounds, who had a Star Wars golf bag and all Star Wars headcovers.  Guy was maybe 19, 20.  Obviously kinda wrote him off (As we all do sometimes).  Turns out there is some Comic convention in my area this weekend and he brought his clubs.

On the first tee his drive went about 290, right up the gut with a slight slice into a left-right dogleg.  Turns out hes a +1 and the best golfer, by far, I've ever played with.  He shot a 69 on the par 72 and it could have been lower.  Kid was probably 160 pounds soaking wet and wearing jean shorts and sneakers and using a star wars bag.  The bag was pretty sweet it had a TIE fighter on it.

Whats the biggest surprise you've gotten from looking at someone to how they actually play?

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HAHA, can you ask him were he found that stuff at? I seriously need to get hooked up with that. Nerds rule :p

I guess the shocking one was, this one guy, is about 5'8" tall, thin as a rail, takes a swing and the golf club almost hits the back of his neck. He has this whipping type swing, very flexible wrist. And he just cocks his wrist a ton, and whips the club through the ball. Hits it about 250 yards. Pound for pound the longest hitter i have ever seen, it was really cool. He's pretty good, 8-13 handicap.

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I've never played with anybody that good - probably the best would be like 6-8.  I've seen a lot of guys who wear nice clothes and have great clubs but actually stink . .so that's not really surprising.  Great story.  I hope I someday get paired with a +1 . .it would be cool to see somebody play that well up close.

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Star Wars bag = awesome! I wish I could get paired up with guys like that. Usually the dude that says he's 2 ends up shooting 95 and claims it's a bad day. Most of the time me and my step-dad are the best players in our group. He points out guys at his club that he's played with that are good but they usually have a regular group they play with. At my home course I'd say the average player is in the 16-25 range. I played 9 with two of the rangers that are in the men's club last night. They claimed to shoot 41 and 42. Which was funny because I owned the box 7 of 9 holes on the way to a 44.

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That Star Wars story is pretty funny. I probably would have been shaking my head walking up to the first tee thinking it was going to be a long round.

As for my own experience, I had the honor of taking the new Assistant Pro out for his first round on the course. Young, well dressed, athletic looking guy. He told me he played college golf for a major university. Few holes in, I began to realize he was consistently striking the ball poorly. So I started up small chat between shots trying to figure out where he was from, how he got started with the PGA, etc. The more we talked, the more I learned about his game. Turns out, he started the PGA apprenticeship program through a clause that allows those who fail the PAT a certain number of times within a certain number of strokes to start other programs. His college golf? Yeah, no. By that he meant he played on a club golf team for a branch of a major university, not THE university. He shot 90. I went home scratching my head.

My own personal goal is also to enter the PGA program, but I will only do it if I can pass the PAT.

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If I was Star Wars guy I'd hustle people all day long.  No way anyone would expect him to be any good. Easy money.

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I once played a round at the now closed Bay Tree Golf Course in N. Myrtle Beach. There were only 2 of us, and they paired us up with another twosome. It was a man in his early 30's and a woman who was 82 years old. I was immediately frustrated thinking this small elderly woman was going to hold us up all day. Turns out, she was a national amateur champion in the 1950's and she shot 80 that day from the ladies' tees. Not only did she shoot 2 strokes under her age, but she beat me by at least 10 shots that day. Turns out the 30 something guy was writing a golf article for a local paper, and the 82 year old woman was the subject of the article. Taught me to not judge anyone on the course until I see them play. I was humbled that day.
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I have a friend that has a 15 year old beat up Titleist Staff 9.5 bag. In the bag is mismatched woods with no head covers, some old looking blade type irons, a couple of wedges and a 2 ball putter. He wears a long sleeve shirt (dryfit style because of skin cancer), a floppy hat, and white streaks of sun block on his face. By watching him walk up you don't think much unless you notice the ball wear marks on his short irons. Then he busts out his former mini-tour game and properly schools you with his better than scratch ability, even when he hasn't played in months.

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I'm normally that guy that noone expects to be any good and then at the end after a string of maybe 10-12 pars in a row during the heart of the round I have beaten them. But I guess for me it would have to be when I got it handed to me by a guy 50yrs my senior and I shot high 70's. I was 22 and he was somewhere in his late 70's and he shot right around par.
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  • 2 years later...

That's a great story :-) I'm sure I don't have anything that good. The only thing I've noticed when getting paired up is that I'm seeing a trend where the better players have the older looking equipment. You know, the 20-year old bag, irons are looking a bit rough, and the driver has none of the new tech and is probably at least 15 years old. Then they shoot 80 or something, which is far better than me. Then I get paired with the guys that have all of the amazing equipment and shoot 100. This is the case more often than not.

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I'm never really judgmental in terms of appearance but can kinda just tell an athlete from a hack by they way they walk. I'll add that when I started working at my first golf job at age 17 I played with a Marshall who was in his sixties and shot about 2 over everytime great player I never really expected him to be so good at first. 

 

 

Edited by Mike Boatright
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Interesting thread.   I play as a single and get pair with many different people and it is always interesting to me to hear their stories about how they are having a bad day.   It's enlightening to hear the opposite.  

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I used to play fairly often at a lower end course around here. It's a course close to my heart because I learned how to play there, even though it's not particularly nice. Met a lot of characters playing there. The one that fits this thread best is a guy who had a mullet and wore sweatpants on the course. He shot in the 70s that day. Really nice guy, too. But he looked out of place on a golf course.

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5 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

 

 

Not usually a fan of this group, but this one was pretty good. "You sit on a throne of lies you scumbag" - LOL.

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