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Squills

Is Golf a Social Sport?

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I went to play Sunday as a single. Got sent out to catch up to the twosome already on the course and caught up by the second tee. Lovely guys, and even though the front 9 took us like 3 hours, it was an enjoyable experience. The two guys I played with decided to bail after the turn because the pace was brutal so I caught up with the threesome on 10th tee and asked to join. I immediately got a vibe from two guys that I wasn't welcome even though they said "of course." The third guy was very nice. I went out of my way to be genial and social but they really didn't make any effort to talk to me or even respond sometimes. It was really awkward and unpleasant. I then played another 9 holes after the round by myself and had a great time (though I was exhausted). So the point is golf doesn't have to be a social game, but it's better when it isn't actively anti-social.

When it comes to strangers you're going to get mixed reactions to having a single "join" their group.  It could be they are all friends and like to yuck it up and tell stories or discuss their personal lives and aren't comfortable with a stranger overhearing.  Could also be they aren't great golfers or are self conscious and don't like to suck at golf in front of strangers.

If I'm playing as a single (which is not that often) I'll usually wait for the group in front to wave me up to play through or to join them.

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When it comes to strangers you're going to get mixed reactions to having a single "join" their group.  It could be they are all friends and like to yuck it up and tell stories or discuss their personal lives and aren't comfortable with a stranger overhearing.  Could also be they aren't great golfers or are self conscious and don't like to suck at golf in front of strangers.

If I'm playing as a single (which is not that often) I'll usually wait for the group in front to wave me up to play through or to join them.

Yeah, I dunno, this is really a hindsight thing. I went from saying goodbye on the 9th green to saying hello on the 10th tee. It would've been weird to just sit there on the bench waiting for them to finish teeing off and leave. I think I went about it the right way. And being a single behind a 3some just struck me as dumb for everyone involved.

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Yeah, I dunno, this is really a hindsight thing. I went from saying goodbye on the 9th green to saying hello on the 10th tee. It would've been weird to just sit there on the bench waiting for them to finish teeing off and leave. I think I went about it the right way. And being a single behind a 3some just struck me as dumb for everyone involved.

I don't think you did anything wrong.  I think it's just a flip of a coin whether the group in front will make you feel welcome or uncomfortable.

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I don't think you did anything wrong.  I think it's just a flip of a coin whether the group in front will make you feel welcome or uncomfortable.

Yeah, fair enough. Part of why I play as often as I do with strangers is that I've been fortunate to meet a lot of nice people on golf courses. If it really were a 50/50 proposition, I wouldn't play without someone I knew. And that's what makes it so striking when you do find people who aren't very pleasant to play with. So, like I was getting at earlier, I don't think you need other people to make golfing great, but having people you don't click with really kills the game for me. And I shot the exact same 46 in as I did going out, so it's really just showing up in my head, not on the scorecard.

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As seen by the responses, it is not a matter of golf being a social sport, because to some degree golf is social, but the question should be:

When you decide to play a round of golf, on average, what percentage of the time is spent in socialization, and what percentage are you concentrating on your golf game.

My wife likes 9 holes of golf and then dinner. She is 50% social and 50% spent of the fundamentals of her game.

As for me, my average would be 25% social and 75% on my golf game.

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As seen by the responses, it is not a matter of golf being a social sport, because to some degree golf is social, but the question should be:

When you decide to play a round of golf, on average, what percentage of the time is spent in socialization, and what percentage are you concentrating on your golf game.

My wife likes 9 holes of golf and then dinner. She is 50% social and 50% spent of the fundamentals of her game.

As for me, my average would be 25% social and 75% on my golf game.

This is a good point. I get yelled at when I walk ahead to my ball when I'm playing with my lovely lady. She doesn't accept that that's just what you do on the golf course. She's actually an excellent golfer, but we have divergent agendas when we play, haha.

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I don't think you did anything wrong.  I think it's just a flip of a coin whether the group in front will make you feel welcome or uncomfortable.

I agree. I love playing with strangers just for that reason. I think you learn a lot about yourself in those types of interactions.

On Sunday I was part of a threesome. After a few holes a single golfer caught our group and we offered to let him play through on the par 3, or if he liked, he could join us.

The gentleman, named Tom, decided to join us. He was walking, as was I, and Jerry & Jack were on a cart. I had nice conversations with Tom as we walked the fairways after hitting our drives. It turned out that he was a physicist who was currently working on nuclear reactors. Originally Tom was going to play 9 holes, but since we were moving pretty quickly and having a nice time, he played the back nine as well.

I have to say that whether it has been me as a single, or someone who has joined our group, 99% of the time playing with other golfers who are strangers has been a positive experience.

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One of the greatest things I enjoy about golf is the solitude it can offer.

The few friends or family members I enjoy playing golf with are the same ones I'd enjoy doing almost anything else with. But because I'm such a social misfit, the vast majority of people out there are simply not that fun to hang out with.

Even on this site, there are just so many posts about getting paired with some ******* playing partner or having a run-in with someone else on the course. Why would I ruin a perfectly good morning on the golf course spending it with someone like that?

There are times when I'm lucky enough to play a round with someone who has a decent disposition. On those rare occasions, golf can be more enjoyable than playing alone.

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Nope, while I enjoy the company it's all about the golf, and I think most feel that way, the time to socialize is after the game.

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Golf is a very social sport, whether you concentrate on your game or not, I guess it depends on when you play but more time then not its a group event, even if you go out as a single most times you get paired up or ending up playing up with someone. Now that's just talking about you going and playing golf, but if you think about country clubs, leagues, tournaments these are all group activities and the meaning of social is being in a group not how much you talk. I have played many rounds with strangers or had strangers paired up with me a buddies and as a result have made many friends as a result. For all the people saying their is no time to chat while on the course, I'd say your crazy their is more then enough time on every green and tee box to exchange a few words when someone else is lining up a putt or taking practice swings on a tee box or if your waiting behind people then theirs more then enough time to converse. Plus if your riding in a cart like I do 99% of the time then you and your riding partner have an abundance of time to talk. Maybe that is just me though I enjoy making small talk so i fit it in where ever I can. I have played a 3hr rounds and had plenty of time to engage in discussion, anyone who thinks otherwise is probably anti-social.

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Golf is golf.

Any socializing, though not necessarily unwelcome, is absolutely secondary.

Don't tell that to my wife.

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Nope, while I enjoy the company it's all about the golf, and I think most feel that way, the time to socialize is after the game.

I don't mind differing opinions, but I don't believe that any of us is qualified to speak for "most golfers."

I've never actually thought about the numbers involved, but lets consider an "average avid golfer".  I'm going to assume he takes something like 90 shots to go around (it could be more or less, but the example still works).  It only takes 10 seconds or so to set up, hit a shot, and watch it come to rest, but lets assume he takes a full minute (that's a long time!)  to analyze and then hit each shot.  That's 80 minutes.  He's still got 2-1/2 hours left in a 4-hour round.  There's plenty of time to interact with the other players and still devote the appropriate attention to the golf itself.  I understand that not everyone chooses to socialize, that's fine with me, but I enjoy that part almost as much as the golf.

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IMO the social part of the game isn't standing around talking about the weather but the compliments and friendly jibes that come with hitting good and bad shots. There is fun to be had commiserating with and laughing at your playing partners. It's just part of golf though. I don't want to hear someone's life story out there. Some of the things I've heard people reveal is more than I want to know about someone I will likely never see again.

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Yes it is a social sport, but I have to say the more chat I get involved with the less I concentrate, with predictable results. Some people are good at chatting/distracting when I'm doing well! My fault for responding but it's hard to just blank people in order to focus better. I'm a big fan of beer and salty snacks after the game though, plus all the chat you want!!

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I like a friendly social round. I prefer "fun golf" over playing real serious golf. Chat all you want when walking to your shots. But when you're hitting and when I'm hitting dead silence. This way we can have the best of both worlds.

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For me golf is broken down into:

> the social rounds with friends and maybe a little friendly competition, but the social part is more important then the competition.

> League play where competition is first and foremost, but it's also a very social league with a great bunch of guys who shoot the bull the entire round.

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An individual sport in a social environment... From my post in a previous thread about "chatty partners..." "Golf wasn't developed to be a solo endeavor by the sheep herders or whoever.... It was to beat THE OTHER GUY at flinging that rock into that pile of sheep poop, not see how long it takes for YOU to fling that rock into a pile of sheep poop. Angus and his buddies didn't play by themselves and boast at the pub about "it only took 36 whacks to get me wee RRRock into that wee pie-el off pooop". They played against each other to decide who would pay for their Mead..."

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lets be real.................

For all us AM golfers, golf is a social sport first and foremost.  Except for the extreme anti-social types that only play alone.....................it's a social game for the rest of us. Lets face it...we play golf with others more often than not.  The weekend regular group, pairing-up, etc, etc....it's a social game even during competition whether admittedly or not.  Extensive conversation not required.......  you can do many things as a competitor to affect your playing partner!!

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