do friends play golf with friends? Misery loves company.
If a friend asks you out
to play golf is he really your friend?
One friend asks another “Do you play golf?”
The second friend responds, “No, I’m married, I have enough misery in my life.”
As exasperating as we find the game we still love to play golf. And no matter how well we play
there is always this sense that we could have done better. Even the best professionals being interviewed
after a spectacular round will say, “Yeah, I hit the ball really well today, I putted well too. But
that drive on 15 got away from me a little and my approach on 7 didn’t come off the club like I wanted.
It was a pretty good day overall.”
Pressman: “Pretty good?
Joe, you just shot 62. That’s a course record. What on earth do you mean
Joe the Pro: “Like I said that shot on 7…….”
So, just why do we play this game that always leaves us with some little irritation? We
play for a variety of reasons, but most of all we play to be with our friends. I say most of all for a
simple reason. You never invite someone you don’t like to play golf. Even if it
is someone you have just met, if there is some chemistry (or biology for that matter) going to play golf becomes an option.
And a very good option at that. An opportunity to spend several hours with someone whose company
Should one of our friends decide to take up the game, how quick we are to invite him
or her to join us on the course. They will often however react rather reluctantly. Why?
Think what might be going on in their mind. Mostly they are concerned with embarrassing themselves.
It is the experienced golfers obligation to make this first day on the golf course as enjoyable as possible
for the new golfer and to help him understand things are not going to go his way. That is not a function
of him being a new golfer, but a simple truth about the game.
The first thing a new
golfer must understand is that he wasn’t invited to play because he is expected to perform feats of great golfing prowess.
Quite the contrary. Having experienced the humility of playing the game the experienced golfer knows
quite well the new golfer is in for a long day. He is in for a day of virtually nothing going as he has
planned. It is therefore a good thing for him to be among friends. The obligation of
the veteran is to help the novice become comfortable with this. If not he has two choices; be miserable
or do something else.
new golfer on arriving at the golf course for the first time has no idea what to do. Again, it is the veteran
who has to step up. So many things we take for granted when we go to play golf. Going
from the car to the first tee is a process we have done so many times we don’t think of all the steps it takes to get
there. Watch for the deer in the headlights look on your new golfing friend. He is telling
you he doesn’t know what to do or where to go next.
Once on the course the new golfer
is not quite sure of the procedure. Whose turn is it? They need to learn something very
simple. Carry on as if it is always your turn. Unless you can hit the group in front
of you or if someone else in your group is hitting, it is your turn. Help them understand this and help
them to get in the habit of constantly preparing to hit their next shot. They are going to be hitting a
lot of shots so they better be ready when it is time for them to hit. Even some experienced golfers need
to learn this little trick to help to improve the pace of the game and even their own game as well.
One thing that can make playing with a new golfer most irritating is constantly apologizing for his shortcomings.
He needs to learn we were rather expecting that he wasn’t going to be very good. He’s
a new golfer. New golfers are not very good. It’s OK. You don’t
have to remind us by apologizing after every shot. The blanket apology on the first tee is enough for the
New golfers must be taught the rules and etiquette of the game. This
does not mean he has to play by the rules, but to simply begin to learn them. A new golfer playing by the
rules would most likely cause mayhem on the golf course. Imagine what would happen if they had to replay
the shot every time they lost a ball. Etiquette is another matter. They should be taught
and encouraged to adhere by the simple rules of behavior on the golf course. The blanket rules of etiquette
you want to teach them are to keep quiet, keep still, and keep moving. Yes, still and moving are contradictions,
they just apply to the circumstance. That is keep still when someone else is playing and keep moving when
no one is playing.
In all, be sure to make your new golfing friend understands he is your friend first
and a golfer second. You didn’t invite him to play golf due to his golfing abilities, but for his
companionship. Golf is a vehicle for friends to spend time together. Tell a joke.
Share your experience. Talk about the stuff you would talk about if you were just out for a beer.
Fresh air, sunshine, a little exercise and good companionship are why we enjoy golf. Make sure your
new golfing friend learns these most important things right from the start.