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  1. I know we have plenty of stories that find their ways to the forum about being paired or electing to pair up with strangers on a golf course but no thread seems to be dedicated to it. Throw some stories in here where you were paired up or took it upon yourself to pair up. I will get it started but let's hear them all: My golf partner is going to be unable to play for a few weeks and that means I am either going to have to play by myself or Golf With Strangers. Last weekend he was out of town and I went out as a single in the afternoon. The course was wide open for the first 9 holes and I breezed through them, posting a decent score for myself and really enjoying playing by myself and focusing on not doing anything stupid to try and save strokes, just take my medicine and play smart golf choices (was working out okay). On the back nine I ran into a traffic jam on the second hole (11th total but they started me on back nine so it was really #2). Four guys were waiting to tee off when I pulled up and there was a foursome on the green and a twosome in the fairway. They explained and then ultimately teed off, no biggie I understand, and apparently it was backlogged so couldn't just skip a few. As they are out in the fairway doing their thing a twosome pulls up, I will call them Sgt. Murtaugh and Riggs Napoleon's Foul Mouth. I greet them and explain the scenario as the guys in front of me had, and then mentioned that if they wanted too we could play together as it would probably help pace of play. I explain how miserable of a golfer I am, and prepare them for the hideousness of my game. They are probably early fifties fellas, and they say "hey, we are just here having some fun and hitting some balls, lets do it (paraphrasing)". So, walking up to the tee to tee off, Napoleon's Foul Mouth (NFM) decides to break the ice by asking if I have ever played golf with a black guy. Because, nothing breaks the ice better than asking another white guy in his 40s basically if he has ever seen or hung out with someone of another race. I play along and say of course so, once, back in Chicago. NFM tees off decently, says some stuff and walks away. Riggs tees off and puts it into a tree and into the water. I do the same play a provisional and put it on other side. We are off and rolling..... NFM is on the green in three and begins to drop f bombs for missing a putt. No biggie, I like a guy who isn't too much of a tightwad. Riggs and I are doing our thing. Next tee is a par three with water on LHS, Riggs dribbles one out about 15 yards not once but twice (I like this guy, he makes me feel good, no, really) he makes it on with next shot from where he landed one of the two tee shots. NFM fades a little too much and is RHS and past green. I put mine left hand side and short of green. NFM three putts and drops an f bomb and more self deprecating insults. On and on it goes, and he is in general a good dude but takes his game way too seriously. He has many stories about awesomeness but you never really see it; you definitely hear a cornucopia of swearing, and you would think he was a high school football coach trying to motivate some crappy players, complete with spittle and dip spit flying, all that good stuff. On the last few holes (they actually started on 1 so they have a lot of golf ahead of them), NFM starts to make some snark comments. Says he hasn't been hitting the ball well (we know that) and all that. He puts his drive out on 8 and makes some foul languaged assertions about it being a good one. I think, ya know, I can hit it farther than that, so I try and hit it farther, and do, by about 10 yards, I really just wanted to play it longer than him as a way to poke fun at him as I had said I am a horrible player, and he thinks he is a good player. The green is a big slope from back to front, and NFM as per usual once we get to the green is full of his best language. Whatever, last hole and am out of here, has not been a good back nine for me but still enjoyable. #9 at Northdale, although I am sure not the hardest in the land is no gimme par 5. You walk accross a bridge over a spring that winds out and around onto the right hand side of fairway. It is 497 yards from the white tees, but there is a moat in front of the green where the spring wraps back around, its ten yards to carry the moat and you need to land it not too long. You have to choose to go for it on your second shot if you clobbered your drive and can play a great 3 wood and find a way to keep it from rolling off the back into a wooded area where you will never see your ball again. Most people lay up and try to get on in 3. NFM says that he has birdied this hole many times and had an eagle opportunity once. You tee off over that spring running through a 15-20 foot ravine and basically blind on a fairway that bends to the right. Its a blind tee shot unless you put it straight out and far left hand side which leaves you far away, the idea is to bend the ball right but not too far (otherwise your next shot is from behind this gigantic tree that sits in the middle of fairway on right hand side-punishment for too good a shot). Riggs smacks two into the sand in the side wall of the ravine for creek, finally gets one over. NFM tees up, whaps it out there and starts gesticulating like a big man, saying "that's how it's done" like a boss. I figure, this would be a fun time to outdrive him again if I can. I tee it up, and surprisingly smacked another screamer, you can't see it land because its in the blind area but you know its a goodie. NFM of course has to take credit for my good drive saying he must be rubbing off on me or something. We pull up and see that I not only outdrove him by about 25-30 yards but am in a better position. I know I can't even dream of making it in two, so I decide to play my clutch club, the 5 Hybrid and get it up there to where I have a good shot with an 8 iron or less. I don't know what happened, but I totally sliced it into the water all the way on right hand side. Very frustrated and NFM says "well you had a good drive". So, I drop a ball where I stand, relax, and smack it to about 140 yards from the middle of green. Riggs is doing his usual hack job just like I usually do and NFM pulls an iron(odd, I thought this is a guy who has had eagle opportunities at this hole) to lay up. He fats it about 30 yards. Swears a storm, walks up, and fats it again, yes, you guessed it, more gratuitous swearing. Finally he gets a hold of it and we are not sure but it looks like it went into the moat. We drive up to my ball and I am 140 out on what for me is an intimidating hole and I say I just want to put it on the green in this guy's face, I pull 8 iron, line up, steady myself, and let her rip, ball takes off, its high and tracking and I am just hoping it has enough oomph. Pop it right onto the middle of the green! Couldn't be happier with that shot, if only I didn't have to take a drop I would be putting for birdie. NFM finally gets over and we putt out. I put it in with three puts unfortunately but was still happy with the way I played that last hole. We shake hands and I wish them well on their back nine. Golfing partners are like a box of chocolates, you never know who you are going to get. Riggs was a lot of fun, NFM was okay all in all, and made the back nine somewhat interesting. This weekend again I will have no one to play with but still plan on playing. I will either be playing as a single or back next week with another golfing with strangers story.... Gator
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