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Gator Hazard

Golfing With Strangers-The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

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I got out as a single or with my son as a twosome all the time, so I've played with many strangers.  99.9 percent of the time, it's fine to great.  

I once got paired up with Bob Beckel, political pundit from Fox News.  He wore a back brace, and every swing looked so painful.  He was a decent enough golfer, but boy did it look like it hurt.

The one bad experience I recall, was last year a middle aged guy caught up with me and another random guy.  He was a pretty bad golfer, but that's no big deal to me.  But he was swearing and yelling at himself at every bad shot.  He'd slam his putter, or bang his fists on the steering wheel of his cart.  He had to let everyone know he wasn't normally this bad a golfer, I guess.  He had a big, ole reverse pivot and was falling backwards with every swing, so there was no way he was a good golfer.  But I guess he wanted to convince us he was just having a bad day.  I just kept my head down and my thoughts to myself.  Made for a quiet, awkward round.

But other than that one time, I've always enjoyed meeting and playing with random folks out on the course.

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On 2/29/2016 at 7:00 PM, SavvySwede said:

I don't see it as that big of a deal. I was never a fan of the "nice shot" comment, too many people say it far too early during the flight of the ball anyway. That's the real nuisance IMO.

Believe me, I wasn't wanting them to heap praises on me. I was just baffled how two people could pretend that you didn't exist for 4 hours. I play by myself all of the time and happy doing it. I keep telling myself that I must be participating in a psychological test. 

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Was pair with this middle age guy who wore golfing gloves that were so old and tattled that I could see more skin from his hand than leather.

Then just before he setup to address the ball, he would spit into his glove and take his grip. It was the most disgusting I seen on the tee box . Still makes feel gross typing about it.

Later he tells me he's a pharmacist and I cringe cause I figure someone like that would be more hygienic

 

other than that mostly everyone I played with has be pleasant , the intense altercation usually involve other groups, slow play, hitting ball to close to our group etc that irate me. 

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2 hours ago, dchoye said:

Was pair with this middle age guy who wore golfing gloves that were so old and tattled that I could see more skin from his hand than leather.

Then just before he setup to address the ball, he would spit into his glove and take his grip. It was the most disgusting I seen on the tee box . Still makes feel gross typing about it.

Later he tells me he's a pharmacist and I cringe cause I figure someone like that would be more hygienic

 

other than that mostly everyone I played with has be pleasant , the intense altercation usually involve other groups, slow play, hitting ball to close to our group etc that irate me. 

Did you shake his hand at the end of the round? :-D

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Although I play 95% of my rounds alone, I rarely join other people.  Usually if I get to a tee with another single or a twosome, I will suggest something but more often than not, people either don't see me or don't want the company.  I went to one track and was maybe a minute (literally) behind another single teeing off on the first hole.  He teed his ball, took his swing and was gone without a glance at me.  

I've posted about the slow-as-death twosome before, but here's a recap:

  1. Talked when I was taking my stance.
  2. Checked cell phone for football scores every time he had.
  3. She could not walk and talk at the same time, and talking was the priority.

After two holes, I politely said, "I want to play the full 18 so I'm going to play on ahead. Nice to meet you."  That was two years ago.  Last season, I was playing 18 by myself.  I teed off on 3 when I heard that same twosome over on 12.  (The woman not only talked incessantly, she talked loudly.)  I figured I'd miss them... nope.  I caught up to them on 16!

It's because of these two that I'm very reluctant to join-up with strangers.

Edited by krupa

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On 2/27/2016 at 1:26 PM, gregsandiego said:

Dude, after that ridiculously long boring post - who cares?

Mean but funny.

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Had an opportunity to play with three Japanese golfers at my local muni.  None spoke much English and I speak no Japanese.  As we played they were polite and could say "good shot" so I did the same when appropriate.  On the 8th tee, one player hit a terrible drive.  He picked up his tee.  The next player must have asked him for a tee since he handed the tee to the next player after a short conversation.  Player #2 also hit a terrible tee shot.  At that point I said, "Must have been a bad tee."  All three Japanese players paused and I could see them slowly mentally translating what I had said.  Suddenly the "light went on" and they all started laughing.

I should have taken my comedy act to Japan ... not!

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24 minutes ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Had an opportunity to play with three Japanese golfers at my local muni.  None spoke much English and I speak no Japanese.  As we played they were polite and could say "good shot" so I did the same when appropriate.  On the 8th tee, one player hit a terrible drive.  He picked up his tee.  The next player must have asked him for a tee since he handed the tee to the next player after a short conversation.  Player #2 also hit a terrible tee shot.  At that point I said, "Must have been a bad tee."  All three Japanese players paused and I could see them slowly mentally translating what I had said.  Suddenly the "light went on" and they all started laughing.

I should have taken my comedy act to Japan ... not!

Literally lol'd at this because I've been there. I work in a Japanese company and have played with a few Japanese guys here. 

As for the partnering up with folks, I rarely do. I play through if they'll let me or I'll just wait it out. We've got a few sets of college kids, two and threesomes that I guess are friends or something and they will play as if they're on the tour. It's absurdly slow. I waited 15 minutes yesterday for the 3-some to finish... on the green. I had 180y approach in and waited to hit it for 15 minutes. I literally watched them from the crest of a hill I was on and watched them mark every single one of their 3 and 4-putts from each of them. Lining each one up. The weirdest part was that after they missed a putt... they would get completely out of the way for the next player... some 20-30 feet away from their ball. So strange. As soon as they walked off I hit to within 30 ft of the pin on off the edge of the green and putted from the fringe to within a few inches of the hole, and tapped in the par. They were going to tee off and then decided to let me play through after I got done so quickly finishing up that hole haha.

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I really enjoy playing golf with strangers.  Kind of like a box of chocolates.   Funny story from last summer: after a work appointment I was playing alone at a semi-private course that's one of those hidden gems well away from any larger towns.  Members are mostly farmers.  The area has a very high unemployment rate, and considered a bit "backward".  I joined up with this guy who was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, but wearing golf shoes so I figured it would not be too bad.  He turned out to be a really nice dude and a decent enough player.  Unfortunately for him, he may have had the worst teeth I ever seen (let's just say the singular "tooth" was a better descriptor).  He was playing with a brand new set of top of the line clubs (the irons were Callaway Apex).  After a few holes I commented on how nice a set of clubs they were.  He said a "Yea, my wife gave me the option to fix my teeth or buy a new set of clubs".  I bit awkwardly I said  "Good choice".   He laughed, so at least he wasn't offended.  I can't say I would have made the same choice, but to each his own.  It was a fun round of golf.  

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15 hours ago, LeftRightLeft said:

I really enjoy playing golf with strangers.  Kind of like a box of chocolates.   Funny story from last summer: after a work appointment I was playing alone at a semi-private course that's one of those hidden gems well away from any larger towns.  Members are mostly farmers.  The area has a very high unemployment rate, and considered a bit "backward".  I joined up with this guy who was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, but wearing golf shoes so I figured it would not be too bad.  He turned out to be a really nice dude and a decent enough player.  Unfortunately for him, he may have had the worst teeth I ever seen (let's just say the singular "tooth" was a better descriptor).  He was playing with a brand new set of top of the line clubs (the irons were Callaway Apex).  After a few holes I commented on how nice a set of clubs they were.  He said a "Yea, my wife gave me the option to fix my teeth or buy a new set of clubs".  I bit awkwardly I said  "Good choice".   He laughed, so at least he wasn't offended.  I can't say I would have made the same choice, but to each his own.  It was a fun round of golf.  

That is funny!  Nice post

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I absolutely love playing against strangers, and don't care if they are good or poor golfers. There is always a chance I may pick up a tip, and it's good to get a few more phone numbers, rather than having to play on my own. If I don't like them, and just try and avoid them, but that is incredibly rare.

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I play as a single most of the time because most of my buddies either don't play golf or can't seem to find time to play on weekends. 

It is extremely rare that I get paired up with someone that I can't stand. Most people I found are very courteous and enjoy playing with strangers.

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Actually, in retrospect, I think I was the bad/ugly partner. At this point, my game is okay enough that I enjoy myself playing. I hit long enough that I'm not taking something like 4 shots to reach a green and feel a lot less "hurried". I think I panicked a lot in the past because I didn't want to hold everyone up.

Now, any golf round is a comfortable thing for me even when playing badly, and I think anyone I get paired up with appreciates that. The main thing now is that I give others a lot of leeway when it comes to bad golf. Doesn't bother me.

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I play most of my rounds with my now 17 year old daughter.  Usually its just the two of us but I don't mind if we get paired up.  I actually find in fun because we are usually paired up with men and when they find out they are playing with a teenage girl most of them don't seem to happy.  Then when she steps up to the green tees instead of the reds they usually aren't quite sure what to think until she hits.  

Usually be the third hole, they struggle to keep up with her and I just sit back and smile.  She can keep up with most of the men and I would say beats at least half of them we play with, including me.  I like it because its really helped her with her confidence and helped her to improve her game.  

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On 3/9/2016 at 10:50 AM, Ernest Jones said:

Mean but funny.

I apologized for that snide remark. I had misinterpreted something else. I know owe the OP a beer and a round.

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4 hours ago, gregsandiego said:

I apologized for that snide remark. I had misinterpreted something else. I know owe the OP a beer and a round.

Nah no need. I've said worse things, an understandable reaction to an unfortunate misunderstanding.  That said, If you ever find yourself out in Tampa area we can definitely have a round and drink some beers!

Edited by Gator Hazard

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I've played with lots of strangers and strange people. Adjusting to another's tempo of playing only lasts for a while. I swear in French anyway, so it usually does not offend Anglophones. If I know I'm playing with Francophones, I just hum.  The only bad experience that has lingered in my memory is playing  a gent, who was the type who wanted you to know what he was hitting to obtain his distances. such as hitting a wedge 150 yards, etc. Wonderful. He had a beautiful up to date matched set of Calloways along with a leather tour bag.  It mattered to him little that I never paid attention,  If I was on the other side of the fairway, he said to himself.  Of the thousands of time I have teed it up, over 41 years, it has been mostly a pleasure to play, Never  going to let any one round upset me too bad.

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I always try to play alone 95% of the time I hate playing with people it sucks. However I have worked at many of golf courses and played a ton as well so I have been paired with so many different characters it's hard to remember. Many good players,weazels to whiners it's funny how golf brings out you. My problem is when I play i'm  either out there to hit 3 balls per hole and practice or play a tournament round in my mind. They are there we have small talk they talk with their buddies and it's a slow round! they are playing to  relax and im there to focus. 

Edited by Mike Boatright

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