Getting paired with players who won't shut up!

Started by : PDADoc |

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PDADoc


As a lone wolf without a pack, I'm frequently going to play as a single.  I prefer to play very early in the mornings, as this affords me a greater chance at getting to go out alone, which is just the way I prefer it!  In the Northeast, however (more than anywhere else I've ever played), they like to send out foursomes only, which is really annoying to me a lot of the time.

The worst is when the starter puts you with people who want to chat and talk the whole round, even when I've already told them that I don't like to talk, just play my game in silence.  I had such an experience today.  This guy would talk while I was trying to go through my pre-shot routine, when I was trying to get a read on a putt, and especially when I was using my rangefinder.  I really hate people constantly asking me for yardage!!!  For me personally, getting the yardage and gathering my thoughts before a shot is an integral component of my pre-shot routine.  I'm not trying to be rude, just want to keep to myself and do my thing.

Is this wrong?  If so, why is it wrong?  I'm putting this out there because some of my friends seem to think I'm being a hard case.

What do you think, has this happened to you?  I'd like to hear people's take on this.

PDADoc


Lou, thanks for replying.  I didn't think I was being harsh, but some people can't help being too nice.

I just want to play and keep to myself, that's all.

Carl T


I consider my self a talkative kind of player so I will give you a view from the other side. I do like to play sometimes by myself especially when a part of my game has gone south. If there are not groups behind me I will play a couple of balls when I get closer to the green working on my short game. I belong to a private country club and also a private group of golf courses inside a gated community. The country club OK's you to play by your self during the week and after 11 AM on the weekends. We also have a third nine where you do not even need a tee time. The Gated Community always wants to pair you up due to the high volume of players. So if you prefer to play alone the majority of time I suggest you join a private club that allows this. When I do get paired up with a total stranger I usually can feel him (or her) out if they are the kind that likes to converse or not. If I find they like to talk I will talk and if not I will not. It is common courtesy to zip it when someone is about to hit and they are trying to concentrate and gather their thoughts. If someone tells me to zip it, they only have to tell me once. I don't take it personally or wear my feeling on my sleeve. I will say the vast majority of golfer I have met for the first time and played with are great people but every once and a while you will run into some you would never care to play with again. Most of the golfers I play with are friendly and do talk between shots and carry on conversations that are not golf related. The golfers that are the "Ben Hogan" types I refer to them as mutes and if I have a choice I do not enjoy playing with them and would rather play by myself if given a choice. So, if you are playing with someone who is bothering you with their chatter just give them the zip sign of pulling a zipper across your mouth. If they can't take that hint then tell them to be quiet. That should do it.

Lou G


PDADoc

Lou, thanks for replying.  I didn't think I was being harsh, but some people can't help being too nice.

I just want to play and keep to myself, that's all.

One of the reasons I quit playing at Balboa Park Exec was because the course was too crowded and they made you play in foursomes.  

Another reason I try to get on the course early is I occasionally take the wife out or a couple friends that are beginners (and the purpose is instructional) and I sometimes experiment with golf shots.  

Robert J


I cannot understand why someone would play alone, I have done it in the past when I had to, very boring.  Golf, unless its your job is a hobby, a social hobby.  As far as someone "talking during my pre shot routine", do you realize how arrogant and ridiculous that sounds?  I follow etiquette, but if someone i have been matched up with likes to talk fine, as long as he/she doesnt talk while I am hitting.

I see daily golfers all the time with a "pre shot routine", its a game, get up and hit the ball, we are not playing the Open.

Lou G


Robert J

I cannot understand why someone would play alone, I have done it in the past when I had to, very boring.  Golf, unless its your job is a hobby, a social hobby.  As far as someone "talking during my pre shot routine", do you realize how arrogant and ridiculous that sounds?  I follow etiquette, but if someone i have been matched up with likes to talk fine, as long as he/she doesnt talk while I am hitting.

I see daily golfers all the time with a "pre shot routine", its a game, get up and hit the ball, we are not playing the Open.

If anyone is talkative during a round of golf I am; however, I observe certain rules of etiquette such as keeping quiet while someone is hitting or standing such that my shadow isn't on someone's putting line while tending the pin.

I generally play with one or two of my friends.  Occasionally may get a single join us.  Usually when I want to play alone it is primarily for practicing an occasional shot or two or working a bug out.

When you go as a single on a crowded golf course, you never know who  you might end up with.  You may end up with a 3 some that is playing some sort of skins game, a couple anal retentives (that are also hackers), slow pokes who stink at golf and take 20 practice shots egomaniacs, or maybe a nice elderly couple.  

Daniel C


Nothing personal PDADoc but I wouldn't want to play with you...sounds like your wound up pretty tightly on the golf course.

Josh G


I enjoy playing alone and do it often.  I also live in the New England and apparently singles money isn't green up here.  So many places won't make a tee time for a single.  I understand you don't want to give up prime time space for one guy, but stick me with a twosome or a threesome, or at least give me a ball park 30-40min window of when I can get out.  I never ever had this problem  when I lived in CO or even when I travel all over Carolina, and New York... As for playing alone:

I wouldn't say I prefer being a one man wolf pack, but there's definitely times I've been pared up with people who just flap gums all the time.  I'll carry on a conversation waiting on a tee box, or walking down a fairway, but for the most part I play my own game.  I'll help someone look for a ball as long as they're not losing one on every hole.  I'll toss out a yardage too, but once I'm over the ball please zip it.  I walk 99% of my rounds, so I use my pace to escape the annoying talking type.  Sometimes I'll stop to tie a shoe, or just walk on the other side of the fairway if I need a break.  The only thing I can't stand is getting pared up with the "self loathing" type.  The ones who are preparing to play bad before every swing.  You know the type.  They make those comments "I never make those" or "I can't wait to shank this into the drink."  They swear at themselves, and act surprised when they hit good shots.  If you hate golfing, don't play.  The complainers can go home too. (I realized the contradiction).  I don't want to hear about your problems on the course.  That's why I golf, to escape and not think about problems.  If you want to have a friendly chat, or play silently and politely I'm all for it.  If you wine and moan I'll walk ahead or suddenly have to fix my shoe or find something out of my bag.

So to answer, all in all you're not a jerk to a hard case.  You pay a fee to do something you enjoy.  If someone takes away from that enjoyment you have every right to feel the way you do.  I've played rounds where I've had drinks and turned strangers into friends after 18, and I've played some rounds where I didn't say much the whole time.  Both are enjoyable.  If you can sneak out early or late by yourself, do it.

Cody D


I too like to play very early on in the mornings. I personally feel it to be kind of awkward to not to talk to the people you are playing with. I mean you are going to be with each other for the next 4 hours. How uncomfortbale is it to stand on the putting green or tee box that close to each other and not talk or say more than three words to somebody? I'm not agreeing with you but definitely not disagreeing either. I'm not a big talker either but I will chat if we find a common topic. Look, everyone out there is out to play recreationally and really should tone it back on the pre-shot routines. Rounds of golf are bad enough as it is with the length of time to play. I've  been getting unlucky lately with my pairings lately and I think thats where it begins for me. I think every golfer sizes up their group before they tee off on 1. I have played my last 3 rounds with people that have no business being on the course and it has greatly taken away from my enjoyment. Why pay your earned money for frustration? Use it on lessons or the range. Love to play but really wish clubhouses would ask ahead of time what your handicap is and base you off of a generalization of your skill level and make pairings that way. It would be hard to accomplish for a number of reasons but people without a handicap should be asked to be truly honest with themselves when answering the question. I think it would atleast be easier to make pairings and golf more enjoyable for all who play.

Mark L


Yikes!  You've got some deeper issues.  

Lighten up...golf involves social interaction.  It's always been that way and it will always be that way.  Unless you've got deep pockets to build your own private course, learn to deal with it or give up the game.

Dallas S


Robert J

I cannot understand why someone would play alone, I have done it in the past when I had to, very boring.  Golf, unless its your job is a hobby, a social hobby.  As far as someone "talking during my pre shot routine", do you realize how arrogant and ridiculous that sounds?  I follow etiquette, but if someone i have been matched up with likes to talk fine, as long as he/she doesnt talk while I am hitting.

I see daily golfers all the time with a "pre shot routine", its a game, get up and hit the ball, we are not playing the Open.

I personally do not agree with this at all. You don't have to be making money at something to want to do your best. If you want to just "SWING AWAY" go buy a Wii and play in your living room. I play golf to get better and play my best and if someone tells me that they play better when it is quiet then I think it would be perfectly normal to take that into consideration. 

Shawn M


Because it is not in the spirit of golf to ignore your playing group.Every golfer deserves the right to a pre-shot routine with silence, but pro golfers should be used to sounds when playing their shots. 

JPHB


It all depends on the specific circumstance you find yourself in.  I would only suggest that you engage in some light chatter between shots if the situation calls for it - as rude as it is to talk too much, I feel it is equally rude to be unsociable.

I play public courses in the Northeast and often get paired with "strangers" - I must say that 99% of the time they are very nice people who just love golf.  In 20-25 years of playing I have only had one guy really annoy me.  He commented on every shot, good or bad, like a CBS commentator, and with an authoritative tone as if he were a scratch player or a pro (he was neither).  I finally asked him if wouldn't mind putting a lid on it, and he did for a couple of holes, and then started up again, so I laughed it off and played my best - what can you do - I am not in the habit of telling other grown-ups to be quiet.  But imagine that, one person out of the many that I've been paired up with.

My regular group chats away every weekend, but when someone is in the "playing box", i.e. in their pre-shot routine, we all shut up.  If someone doesn't shut up we remind them to.  Very simple with friends, maybe not so simple with folks you just met.

Anyway - happy playing to you.

Matt T


I dont think it is wrong at all. I do enjoy playing by myself as well, for the same reason (the quiet). although I dont mind if I get paired with someone as long as they are curtious, but at the same time I dislike it when people feel the need to talk just because they dont like it to be quiet.

Lou G


I agree that one should at least carry on a light hearted conversation with those you play golf with.   You can't be quiet on the golf course but yet you don't want to be a chatter box.  

I kind of make a little bit of satire on the golf course.   Like "good up, BABY!" when I leave a one putt (followed by something to the effect of "gotta lay some of that 'golfer' stuff on you".   Or "good putt, Howie!" when sinking a long putt.  You know, some of the "golfspeak" I picked up in my caddie days in the 1970s.  Caddying war stories are a good source of entertainment also. 

My bottom line in playing with a group is that I generally do better when I feel comfortable with a group. 

Like I mentioned before, there are times when you want to get out very early and play alone or maybe with one other person.  Or play late.  The instances are when you want to squeeze a quick round in or want to practice to hone some of your skills or work a bug out  (can't do that in a group). 

 

PDADoc


Robert J

I cannot understand why someone would play alone, I have done it in the past when I had to, very boring.  Golf, unless its your job is a hobby, a social hobby.  As far as someone "talking during my pre shot routine", do you realize how arrogant and ridiculous that sounds?  I follow etiquette, but if someone i have been matched up with likes to talk fine, as long as he/she doesnt talk while I am hitting.

I see daily golfers all the time with a "pre shot routine", its a game, get up and hit the ball, we are not playing the Open.

Robert,

You are entirely entitled to your viewpoint, and I do indeed respect that, really, I do.  But I think your characterization of my reaction to someone's behavior as arrogant and ridiculous is somewhat harsh and lacks context.  I'll paint you a more vivid picture of what I've endured from time to time and you can make up your own mind:

What I was talking about was my actually standing on the tee box, looking down the fairway and trying to pick a target line based on the weather conditions at the time.  And someone actually walking up next to me and asking me where I think I might hit it, or, on a par 3, walking up to me and asking me what the yardage is just as I'm preparing to hit.  THAT'S what I'm talking about.  If that seems arrogant to you, then so be it, I can accept that; I still think it rude.

And, with all due respect, I lose patience with the same statement that we're not playing the Open.  Not playing the Open isn't enough of an excuse to forget one's manners.  If you don't have a pre-shot routine, that's okay, for YOU, but to obliquely criticize someone else who does have one hardly seems fair.

I say these things not out of anger or malice, BTW, just as a clear and firm reaffirmation of my point regarding the rules of etiquette.

In the end, however, my choosing not to engage in conversation, save for the initial introductions before a round, should not be construed as rudeness or hauteur on my part. :)

PDADoc


Daniel C

Nothing personal PDADoc but I wouldn't want to play with you...sounds like your wound up pretty tightly on the golf course.

I can see that somehow this is following the law of unintended consequences.  Again, I don't see how my choosing to remain silent during my round is bothersome to anyone.  I should point out that I'm not rude at all, quite the opposite.  But characterizing some as too uptight seems somewhat unfair without understanding the big picture or the context of the situation in general.

Perhaps I didn't do a good job of describing the entire situation.

Still, I respect your opinion.

James B


I don't mind talking during a round. I use a SkyCaddie and I don't mind helping the others with yardage.

 

What I do hate is when someone picks up your ball on the green and says "thats Good". I cant stand it, I will play my nall from tee to green and you better keep your hands off ............

PDADoc


I thought it important to point a few things out, now that I've read through all of the posts, and since it would be pointless to address each post I disagree or take issue with:

What kind of interaction one has with one's playing partners is the choice of one person and one person only: me!  At no point did I read anywhere that playing golf is a compulsory social event, and as I mentioned earlier, I do not keep completely silent, I just say as little as possible.

I'm actually surprised to find that so many people are quick to say "lighten up!", either overtly or tacitly, as though I've done something wrong by choosing to play in relative silence.

Lastly, there is nothing wrong with a pre-shot routine; my before I started training for tournament play and had a swing instructor, I didn't have one.  Once I got one in place, I went from a 15 to my current 3.1 or so in less than a year; my routine isn't going anywhere.  And for what it's worth, my routine from practice swing, choosing a target line, to actually hitting the drive is all of 10-12 seconds.  I think that's pretty quick; I've seen much much longer routines.

Still, this topic has elicited quite a wide range of interesting responses, so thank you!  It just goes to show that there's something for everyone!

Lou G


This is a good thread.

What I've noticed in CA is that people do keep a little bit to themselves on the golf course.  For instance, if a single and a twosome or threesome group together, they keep their own score (if at all) and they generally play their own game.   I'm a talkative person by nature but I size up who I play with before doing my talking.  When I play with friends, it is more like an adventure with Rodney Dangerfield. 

IL is a different story.  Usually one person in the group keeps score and there is a lot more interaction (remember that it is perfectly OK in IL to tell your life story to a total stranger).  

I do agree with Doc when someone walks up to you just as you are about to hit....  that is a bit on the rude side.   I learned a lot of golf etiquette in my caddy days because most of the country club players were real stinkers about it.

A pre shot routine is good with maybe one or two practice swings.  The annoying thing is when someone takes 5 or 6 practice swings only to hit a bad shot.  I do that more lately - like checking alignment and so on.

Like I mentioned before, there are times when one doesn't want to pair up.  When I play with the wife, I'd rather it be the two of us alone since I have time to do some on course coaching.  My main purpose of playing solo is for practice and to try new things (when you are in a group you have to hit your shot and move on; at least when you are solo you can try a shot again and find out where you messed up). 

 

eagle3


There are those days when you are paired with that one person who is talkative. It happens and sometimes a little word to that person goes a long way to making that day a better experience. It has happened to me and when I was less tolerant of those who did talk a lot, it was upsetting. Now, I have found that by saying something to that individual about his constant stream of words and how it does affect, not only me but others, that it does help the offender realize what he is doing and how distracting it may be. Tolerance and mind control is a great asset on the course and you'll find that your game will be the better for it and playing alone will become a thing of the past.

PDADoc


eagle3

There are those days when you are paired with that one person who is talkative. It happens and sometimes a little word to that person goes a long way to making that day a better experience. It has happened to me and when I was less tolerant of those who did talk a lot, it was upsetting. Now, I have found that by saying something to that individual about his constant stream of words and how it does affect, not only me but others, that it does help the offender realize what he is doing and how distracting it may be. Tolerance and mind control is a great asset on the course and you'll find that your game will be the better for it and playing alone will become a thing of the past.

That's a good point, and it has worked when I've mentioned it to some people.  Still, I've had my share of people for whom such input is meaningless.  These individuals are of such a mindset that they simply can't understand why someone wouldn't want to talk to them.  I even had one guy say as much, after I politely told him that I don't say much and that I preferred to concentrate on my game in relative silence.  He complained about it for nearly 30 minutes afterward, saying I ruined his round.  His poor friends felt compelled to apologize for him (why they felt they had to do that is beyond me), and that they didn't think I was being rude.

Again, I think some of the responses to this thread were made under the assumption that I played a round as a deaf mute, saying nothing at all, and that isn't the case.  I just say very little.

Maybe my game will be better for your suggestion and maybe it won't, it's impossible for anyone to say one way or the other.  And I play alone because I prefer to, not out some aversion to human company, so playing alone will not ever be a thing of the past for me. :-)

Josh G


JPHB

It all depends on the specific circumstance you find yourself in.  I would only suggest that you engage in some light chatter between shots if the situation calls for it - as rude as it is to talk too much, I feel it is equally rude to be unsociable.

I play public courses in the Northeast and often get paired with "strangers" - I must say that 99% of the time they are very nice people who just love golf.  In 20-25 years of playing I have only had one guy really annoy me.  He commented on every shot, good or bad, like a CBS commentator, and with an authoritative tone as if he were a scratch player or a pro (he was neither).  I finally asked him if wouldn't mind putting a lid on it, and he did for a couple of holes, and then started up again, so I laughed it off and played my best - what can you do - I am not in the habit of telling other grown-ups to be quiet.  But imagine that, one person out of the many that I've been paired up with.

My regular group chats away every weekend, but when someone is in the "playing box", i.e. in their pre-shot routine, we all shut up.  If someone doesn't shut up we remind them to.  Very simple with friends, maybe not so simple with folks you just met.

Anyway - happy playing to you.

Here here.  One of the guys I play \has candor coming out of his ears.  We got paired up with a commentator, and he said "Jeez take it easy Jim Nantz.".  I don't think the guy said another word.

greg p


The time to talk it up is between holes or while waiting on the group ahead.  Trying to eliminate talk entirely is going to make you come across as a jerk.  Don't do it.  Can't say I have ever had the problem with an overly chatty partner ruining my concentration though.  Most never cross any boundaries. But if they do, walking allows me to veer away from distractions, if I so choose, and focus as needed.

I look at golf as a social game.   You can't expect people to go 4 hours without some interaction. If you get someone that bothers you, use it as an opportunity to work on your mental game.  Try to overcome the distraction through mental focus without being rude.  It will make you even better.

greg p


On the other hand, get yourself some earphones and stick them into your ears for the round.  Pretend you're  listening to inspirational music or a podcast. People will get the hint...

If they don't, be honest, tell them you would prefer to be left alone.  Most people will.

Dan W


Hello Doc,

Yes, you are wrong and your friends are right. You have no expectation that the world should change to suit you. Most people are social animals and most golfers are casual golfers. They do not faithfully follow the rules of golf or golf etiquette or even know them for that matter. They have no pre-shot routines. They're just out to play a little golf. Put on your big boy pants and deal with it. If you especially hate people asking you for ranges, stop using the thing. Do you really need to know that it's 161.7 yards to the flag versus finding the 150 marker and eyeballing it 10 yards?

If you want to keep to yourself and do your own thing, get rid of your clubs and take up running.

Carl T


Dan W

Hello Doc,

Yes, you are wrong and your friends are right. You have no expectation that the world should change to suit you. Most people are social animals and most golfers are casual golfers. They do not faithfully follow the rules of golf or golf etiquette or even know them for that matter. They have no pre-shot routines. They're just out to play a little golf. Put on your big boy pants and deal with it. If you especially hate people asking you for ranges, stop using the thing. Do you really need to know that it's 161.7 yards to the flag versus finding the 150 marker and eyeballing it 10 yards?

If you want to keep to yourself and do your own thing, get rid of your clubs and take up running.

Dan W, I think you are being too hard on the Doc. I consider my self a serious golfer (although I only carry a 10 INDEX) and I do feel that golf etiquette is extremely important if you are going to play with other golfers you have never played with before. You can be a casual golfer but you should know the basics of what to do and what not to do if you play the game. Some things you should do no matter what your skill level is to rake your foot prints in a bunker, fix your ball mark on the green (two more that are not yours), don't walk in the putting line of other players, tend the pin if your ball is closest to the hole, play ready golf to name a few. Talking when a person is doing their routine is a big no no. If you are serious about the game like the Doc is, knowing the correct yardage is important to keep the speed of the game up and to know what club to use for the given distance and situation. I want to know if the yardage is 161.7 vs a guess of 160 something yards. Determine pin locations with a range finder vs using yardage markers on the course and guessing the pin location from the center of the green can mean the difference of a stroke at best if the guess is wrong. I know the average distance I can hit a ball with every one of the clubs in my bag. Can I execute every time ? No, but I have given myself the best chance by knowing the yardage plus or minus a yard to my target and I don't have to second guess myself if I am using the right club for a given shot. Do I enjoy playing with a golfer who does not converse while playing a round ? No problem. I can sense when a player wants to be left alone from one who likes to talk. I have played with both kinds and really it does not effect my game either way. I do not enjoy playing with golfers who have no clue what golf etiquette is. You really don't even have to play with them for their bad or clueless etiquette to effect your game like finding your ball in someones foot print in a bunker, putting through a bunch of sunflower seed hulls that have been spit out, hearing a bunch of yelling and screaming coming from an adjacent green or loud cussing when you are about to strike the ball, divots not filled in through the fairway, trash thrown out carts, cigarette butts laying around your ball, etc. Not trying to be a hard case but just think that the Doc has got some points that I understand where he is coming from an like it or not, golf is a sport that one can play alone as we all know it boils down to you and you alone against the course. So lighten up and let the Doc play by himself where he enjoys the game his best.

Eric R


PDADoc,

If someone is interrupting you during your pre-shot routine or anytime during your shot, that is wrong. Full stop. Let that person know what proper golf etiquette and just common sense is and tell him/her to be quiet. However, outside of your pre-shot and actual swing, if you're walking down the fairway for example, or you're riding in the cart with someone, and that someone engages you in conversation, there is nothing wrong with that. Humans are social creatures and by playing in a group or with someone, there's no expectation that there won't be some casual banter/chatter. Of course you can come off looking like a jerk by telling all of your playing partners to leave you alone, that's certainly your right, but like I said, you'll come off looking like a jerk.

BTW, I play a lot as a single and get paired up with all kinds of random people and while I take my game seriously, a big part of the enjoyment of the game is the people you get to meet and play with, and to hear their stories, and to have someone witness some of your greater on course triumphs (hole out from the fairway, chip in for birdie, 30 foot putt, etc.), and to be witness to some of theirs. Unless you're a professional golfer, you're not competing against your playing partners, it's really only you versus the course, so embrace the social aspects of the game, you might surprisingly find some enjoyment in it.

jim t


I know where your coming from...  Just tell them you want to just play and I don't talk alot....  We are just to  PC in this country, and sometimes you just have to tell them like it is period.. and if they don't like it, that's there problem.....  JT3PUTT

Eric R


jim t

I know where your coming from...  Just tell them you want to just play and I don't talk alot....  We are just to  PC in this country, and sometimes you just have to tell them like it is period.. and if they don't like it, that's there problem.....  JT3PUTT

No, you've got it wrong, if they don't like it, they'll continue talking and then it's really "your" problem so the best thing you can do is just lighten up and enjoy being out of the office.

Lou G


It is a bit of a balancing game.  

We all should have at least a basic knowledge of golf etiquette (such as not walking in someone's line while they are taking a shot, raking the bunker when done, fixing divots and ball marks, zipping the lip while someone is taking a shot, not casting a shadow over the hole or someone's putting line, or walking in someone's line).  

Also the golf course is the place where prim and proper is supposed to go out the window (even women burp and pass gas on the course and smoke cigars while playing).  Being a bit sarcastic and stereotypical, though.

In California, generally people play their own game (and keep their own score).  Maybe a little talk on the tee box or the green. 

Quite frankly, I quit taking the game seriously and, as a result, play much better.   Still maintain proper golf etiquette (got that pounded in by the stuffed shirts at the Country Club in my caddy days).

 

PDADoc


Lou G

It is a bit of a balancing game.  

We all should have at least a basic knowledge of golf etiquette (such as not walking in someone's line while they are taking a shot, raking the bunker when done, fixing divots and ball marks, zipping the lip while someone is taking a shot, not casting a shadow over the hole or someone's putting line, or walking in someone's line).  

Also the golf course is the place where prim and proper is supposed to go out the window (even women burp and pass gas on the course and smoke cigars while playing).  Being a bit sarcastic and stereotypical, though.

In California, generally people play their own game (and keep their own score).  Maybe a little talk on the tee box or the green. 

Quite frankly, I quit taking the game seriously and, as a result, play much better.   Still maintain proper golf etiquette (got that pounded in by the stuffed shirts at the Country Club in my caddy days). 

Lou, I always respect and enjoy your insightful remarks on these forums, but here I will have to respectfully disagree.  I have a huge problem whenever people adopt the stance that (to coin your phrase) "prim and proper" has no place on the course, or that you have to be sociable when playing with other people you don't know.  My take is this: it's my personal choice as to whether I want to talk to people or not, and the others in that group shouldn't be offended.

I've played in many a foursome where the other three talked amongst themselves and I kept to myself and that was fine.  My gripe comes from (as I've mentioned earlier) someone coming up to me on the tee box just before I'm about to hit, or talking to me when I'm lining up a shot to ask for yardage.  I don't care if others talk amongst themselves, I just care that they try and engage me after I've [politely] made it clear that I won't be doing much talking.

The view that I (and others who may also take my view) need to "lighten up" is insulting.  If I can accept that other members of the group want to socialize with one another, why can't my choice not to do that be accepted?

Like I said, I have yet to see anything in The Rules of Golf that my social participation is compulsory, and I've read it cover-to-cover, LOL!

It's just like life, one size definitely does not fit all.  If some players don't wish to take their round that seriously, more power to them. Exercising my right to do this doesn't make me a snob or uptight, it just means we all have different goals.  Period.

Lou G


Doc:

In regard to the "prim and proper supposed to go out the window"...  I was merely poking fun at observations during my caddie days in 1972.  Realize I was being sarcastic about things mentioned before, calling each other "Howie", talking golfspeak and caddie jargon, smoking cigars and so on.  A lot of this wouldn't fly in this so-called "politically correct" era. Country club golfers are a weird lot anyway.

Generally when I play as a single, my intent is try to play by myself if possible (that way I can do occasional practice shots).  I prefer to play with people I know if in a group. 

In regards to seriousness.... what I mean is that I don't get all ticked off if I hit a bad shot.  I concentrate pretty well (but still remain relaxed), check my setup and so on.  

Lou G


To expound on the post I just wrote....  I share a lot of your sentiments.

To reiterate earlier posts, people in CA tend to keep to themselves when playing (and I even noticed it on the military courses also). 

IL, on the other hand, is totally opposite.  It is perfectly alright to tell your life story and personal problems to a total stranger. 

To further expound on "taking it seriously" (and I may be repeating myself).....  in my youth I would do things like pound the club into the ground after a bad shot and it often would ruin an entire round.   I sometimes got uptight if playing with total strangers and often had to smoke a cigarette while playing (the effect is that I used to rush my swing).  These days I have learned to relax while playing (if I hit a bad shot I shrug it off but also at the same time analyze what went haywire).  I also quiit smoking 25 years ago.  I also play a lot better golf mainly because I don't try to kill it anymore and practice my short game quite a bit.  I take more time to check my setup before hitting the ball.  Maybe my definition of "taking it serious" is different but I still focus when I play.

 

Carl T


I guess I have a bad habit of talking to myself when I make a bad shot. This can be distracting to other players. Example is when I hit a fat shot, "I hit it fat." I was politely told the other day I did not have to make that commit because anyone could see I hit the shot fat. Golfers come in all shapes and forms as for as personality and I enjoy playing with golfers who have a sense of humor and who like to talk between shots as we play around the course. I respect the mutes but really enjoy hearing the commits of players while they play. I play with all kinds of personality's and I try to adjust so as not to be offensive.

Christian J


Wow I can not believe all of the responses to this post.  You just have to know how what the person your playing with is like.  Obviously if your playing with someone who is say like TW, you aren't going to talk as much.  However if your going to play with someone like Lefty your going to talk quite a bit.  You just have to learn what your group is like from the start.  Be courteous to them because each player is different.  I personally take golf pretty serious.  I hate when people are talking when I'm lining up a shot, reading putts, and hitting my shot it just annoys me.  However, I love having conversations between each shot.  Plain and simple is you just have to learn what your group is like and adjust to their styles, and to be courteous to whomever you are playing with!

Lou G


PDADoc

Lou G

It is a bit of a balancing game.  

We all should have at least a basic knowledge of golf etiquette (such as not walking in someone's line while they are taking a shot, raking the bunker when done, fixing divots and ball marks, zipping the lip while someone is taking a shot, not casting a shadow over the hole or someone's putting line, or walking in someone's line).  

Also the golf course is the place where prim and proper is supposed to go out the window (even women burp and pass gas on the course and smoke cigars while playing).  Being a bit sarcastic and stereotypical, though.

In California, generally people play their own game (and keep their own score).  Maybe a little talk on the tee box or the green. 

Quite frankly, I quit taking the game seriously and, as a result, play much better.   Still maintain proper golf etiquette (got that pounded in by the stuffed shirts at the Country Club in my caddy days). 

Lou, I always respect and enjoy your insightful remarks on these forums, but here I will have to respectfully disagree.  I have a huge problem whenever people adopt the stance that (to coin your phrase) "prim and proper" has no place on the course, or that you have to be sociable when playing with other people you don't know.  My take is this: it's my personal choice as to whether I want to talk to people or not, and the others in that group shouldn't be offended.

I've played in many a foursome where the other three talked amongst themselves and I kept to myself and that was fine.  My gripe comes from (as I've mentioned earlier) someone coming up to me on the tee box just before I'm about to hit, or talking to me when I'm lining up a shot to ask for yardage.  I don't care if others talk amongst themselves, I just care that they try and engage me after I've [politely] made it clear that I won't be doing much talking.

The view that I (and others who may also take my view) need to "lighten up" is insulting.  If I can accept that other members of the group want to socialize with one another, why can't my choice not to do that be accepted?

Like I said, I have yet to see anything in The Rules of Golf that my social participation is compulsory, and I've read it cover-to-cover, LOL!

It's just like life, one size definitely does not fit all.  If some players don't wish to take their round that seriously, more power to them. Exercising my right to do this doesn't make me a snob or uptight, it just means we all have different goals.  Period.

Doc - I was being a bit sarcastic about "prim and proper" supposed to go out the window.   That is a stereotype of IL Country Club golfers (and also a half arsed semi-true portrayal on Caddyshack because the movie was based on caddying experiences at a Winnetka IL country club in 1972; what a coincidence - I caddied at a country club an hour's drive from there).  My observation was that a lot of the golfers at the CC become complete boors on the course (and that even included the women).  We used to abhor caddying for a few of them.

Lou G


Christian J

Wow I can not believe all of the responses to this post.  You just have to know how what the person your playing with is like.  Obviously if your playing with someone who is say like TW, you aren't going to talk as much.  However if your going to play with someone like Lefty your going to talk quite a bit.  You just have to learn what your group is like from the start.  Be courteous to them because each player is different.  I persona

lly take golf pretty serious.  I hate when people are talking when I'm lining up a shot, reading putts, and hitting my shot it just annoys me.  However, I love having conversations between each shot.  Plain and simple is you just have to learn what your group is like and adjust to their styles, and to be courteous to whomever you are playing with!

You definitely have to size up the group you play with.   If I am with a group that is a bit loose I poke fun of the game - such as exclaiming "good up, BABY!" after a rather exceptional approach followed by "just thought I would lay some of that golfer stuff on you."  I also do other crazy things like applauding after a good drive or fairway shot or maybe even exclaim "dang, I'm good!" after holing out or nearly holing out.   I may tell a couple caddie "sea stories" during the round (and there are some real doozies).  

I've had a lot of things ingrained from my caddie days such as keeping quiet when someone is lining a shot up, reading the putt or hitting.   Extend this to not casting a shadow over the hole when tending the pin, raking bunkers, fixing divots. 

These days I go with friends (when I play with one particular friend it is more of an instructional round on my part).  Generally if I play as a single I try to play very early or very late because there are some times when I want to have a nice quiet game of golf and also hit an occasional practice shot to see what works better. If somebody wants to join I don't refuse them, though (I actually invited someone to join because the person in front of me was such a slow poke playing as a single).   If I take the wife on the golf course I try to find a time when it is pretty wide open.

PDADoc


Lou G

PDADoc

Lou G

It is a bit of a balancing game.  

We all should have at least a basic knowledge of golf etiquette (such as not walking in someone's line while they are taking a shot, raking the bunker when done, fixing divots and ball marks, zipping the lip while someone is taking a shot, not casting a shadow over the hole or someone's putting line, or walking in someone's line).  

Also the golf course is the place where prim and proper is supposed to go out the window (even women burp and pass gas on the course and smoke cigars while playing).  Being a bit sarcastic and stereotypical, though.

In California, generally people play their own game (and keep their own score).  Maybe a little talk on the tee box or the green. 

Quite frankly, I quit taking the game seriously and, as a result, play much better.   Still maintain proper golf etiquette (got that pounded in by the stuffed shirts at the Country Club in my caddy days). 

Lou, I always respect and enjoy your insightful remarks on these forums, but here I will have to respectfully disagree.  I have a huge problem whenever people adopt the stance that (to coin your phrase) "prim and proper" has no place on the course, or that you have to be sociable when playing with other people you don't know.  My take is this: it's my personal choice as to whether I want to talk to people or not, and the others in that group shouldn't be offended.

I've played in many a foursome where the other three talked amongst themselves and I kept to myself and that was fine.  My gripe comes from (as I've mentioned earlier) someone coming up to me on the tee box just before I'm about to hit, or talking to me when I'm lining up a shot to ask for yardage.  I don't care if others talk amongst themselves, I just care that they try and engage me after I've [politely] made it clear that I won't be doing much talking.

The view that I (and others who may also take my view) need to "lighten up" is insulting.  If I can accept that other members of the group want to socialize with one another, why can't my choice not to do that be accepted?

Like I said, I have yet to see anything in The Rules of Golf that my social participation is compulsory, and I've read it cover-to-cover, LOL!

It's just like life, one size definitely does not fit all.  If some players don't wish to take their round that seriously, more power to them. Exercising my right to do this doesn't make me a snob or uptight, it just means we all have different goals.  Period.

Doc - I was being a bit sarcastic about "prim and proper" supposed to go out the window.   That is a stereotype of IL Country Club golfers (and also a half arsed semi-true portrayal on Caddyshack because the movie was based on caddying experiences at a Winnetka IL country club in 1972; what a coincidence - I caddied at a country club an hour's drive from there).  My observation was that a lot of the golfers at the CC become complete boors on the course (and that even included the women).  We used to abhor caddying for a few of them.

Lou, my apologies for misunderstanding your remarks.  I didn't take itt nearly as personally as it must have seemed.  Never having seen Caddyshack, I missed the reference.

I guess from the disparate comments that this is just one of those issues where people [in general] aren't ever going to see eye-to-eye.  That's what's great about the game: there's something for everyone. I'm still always surprised by just how many people are apt to say lighten up, however.

It's all good, though.

Lou G


Although I state "that I don't take it seriously" (in my definition, not getting ticked off with a bad shot), I focus when I play.   I used to have a habit of rushing my swing when out with others or being nervous.  Nowadays, I block everything out, check my setup and balance, take a couple practice swings and execute.  

 

acmcgaha


I'm not going to comment on personal opinions.  Obviously I have one, but there is no place for that here.  Because, if there is one thing that I know to be true..."those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still".  Personally, up until the last month, I have abhorred playing alone - to the extent that I have sat in my hotel room and stared at my golf clubs, wanting to play, but paralyzed at the thought of having to play by myself.  Over the last month, in an attempt to raise my level of play, I have stuck to practicing, playing my lone round (alone) of the 4 week period this last Sunday; which happened to be a career round (at my current home course) by 10 shots.

I will comment on the simple fact that there are stronger forces at play here that haven't been discussed, and the fact is that golf is a business.  It is why we, in many cases, aren't allowed to walk, and why you often aren't able to play as a single.  If you are trying to walk onto a busy course and play as a single, you can forget it.  Your choices, pretty much, are to play during the week, or very, very early/late.  And believe it or not, if you were to play as a single when it is busy, you will disrupt the enjoyment of the groups to your front and rear - even if only perception, the foursome to your front may feel rushed, and the foursome to your rear will wonder why they have to wait on a singe.

It just makes sense for the course to pair players up, and unless you have chosen your playing partners, you will "get what you get".  So, I guess the adage should be, "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your friends, or playing partners if you are a single."

IMHO

Lou G


acmcgaha

I'm not going to comment on personal opinions.  Obviously I have one, but there is no place for that here.  Because, if there is one thing that I know to be true..."those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still".  Personally, up until the last month, I have abhorred playing alone - to the extent that I have sat in my hotel room and stared at my golf clubs, wanting to play, but paralyzed at the thought of having to play by myself.  Over the last month, in an attempt to raise my level of play, I have stuck to practicing, playing my lone round (alone) of the 4 week period this last Sunday; which happened to be a career round (at my current home course) by 10 shots.

I will comment on the simple fact that there are stronger forces at play here that haven't been discussed, and the fact is that golf is a business.  It is why we, in many cases, aren't allowed to walk, and why you often aren't able to play as a single.  If you are trying to walk onto a busy course and play as a single, you can forget it.  Your choices, pretty much, are to play during the week, or very, very early/late.  And believe it or not, if you were to play as a single when it is busy, you will disrupt the enjoyment of the groups to your front and rear - even if only perception, the foursome to your front may feel rushed, and the foursome to your rear will wonder why they have to wait on a singe.

It just makes sense for the course to pair players up, and unless you have chosen your playing partners, you will "get what you get".  So, I guess the adage should be, "you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your friends, or playing partners if you are a single."

IMHO

Which is precisely why I play on an early Friday morning (I am off work every other Friday) - my weekends are busy to begin with and it is nice to have a quiet single or twosome with no one behind or ahead of you so you can take your time.  In regards to being forced to walk - I remember protesting it at a golf tournament in 1999; the purpose of the Game is to get exercise.  I don't like to be forced to pay for a cart (but have no choice on the Earlybird Special and riding takes 1 hr 20 min on a 3100 yard 9 hole course when it is wide open).  I used to play after 3:30 on Sunday but my schedule has been so whacked - I could walk 18 holes at Miramar in 3.5 hours and burn about 1700 calories. 

Another benefit of playing very early or very late is you can take someone out to the course (i.e. your wife or girlfriend) and have a teaching round with no pressure to rush. 

 

kbsmith


Dallas S

Robert J

I cannot understand why someone would play alone, I have done it in the past when I had to, very boring.  Golf, unless its your job is a hobby, a social hobby.  As far as someone "talking during my pre shot routine", do you realize how arrogant and ridiculous that sounds?  I follow etiquette, but if someone i have been matched up with likes to talk fine, as long as he/she doesnt talk while I am hitting.

I see daily golfers all the time with a "pre shot routine", its a game, get up and hit the ball, we are not playing the Open.

I personally do not agree with this at all. You don't have to be making money at something to want to do your best. If you want to just "SWING AWAY" go buy a Wii and play in your living room. I play golf to get better and play my best and if someone tells me that they play better when it is quiet then I think it would be perfectly normal to take that into consideration. 

It's like going out to eat alone, and the restaurant asking if they can seat you with another single. If you agree to the request - you can eat sooner... oh yah.. and you'll also need to be a part of society that has respect for other people. Just because you don't think it is important to chew with your mouth closed and wipe your face doesn't mean the other people in your party feel the same. I would hope the person who is being disruptive to the norm would be considerate of the person who is taking the opportunity more seriously. To the person who wants to sit (play) by themselves - to them I say go sit at the bar, and let me mind my manners. 

Lou G


I meant "forced to ride" on my last post.  There is also one nice thing about not playing in a group - you can take a practice shot every now and then while on the course (for instance to see which club you fare better with); it helps you dial your golf game in.

SD_Golfer


I understand what you are saying PDADoc, I usually play alone in the early morning just as the course opens.  I can get in a round in 3 hours or less and continue on with my day afterwards ... that doesn't mean I don't enjoy playing with others.  I have met a lot of interesting people, in fact, one morning I met a man who was travelling through 3 States in our area.  He is trying to play golf in every State, at the time he played with me, he had only 9 States to go.  While it was interesting to talk with him through the round, we were both quiet when it was the other persons time to hit ... our pre-shot routine was basically a practice swing, then hit.

There are a few golfers at our course who feel the social aspect is more important than the golf .... personally I feel that while someone is hitting, or getting ready to putt, you should observe silence.  I asked our Pro if ear plugs were legally accepted, he said as long as you weren't getting advice via an MP3 player etc, ear plugs are fine.  Now when I golf with these "social golfers" I explain to them I have a hard time concentrating so I need to put the ear plugs in while I'm hitting ... they seem to be fine with that (they get to keep talking) and after I hit I can remove the plugs and socialize until my next shot :)

I keep the ear plugs in my golf bag, you can get like 25 pair of disposable plugs for $7.

Etiquette is important, but sometimes you need to show as much (or more) as expect it :)

Todd T


I hate people asking for yardages, uuuummmmmmmmm, go o store and buy your own!  I'm trying to concentrate!

Jacob B


I was paired up with someone like that in a tournament once, and I would agree that its very obnoxious. One thing that you can do is when you want them to shut up, just say something like "Yeah, just hang on one sec," and they will usually let you hit your shot. The only problem is once the ball leaves your clubface they just start chattering again. Its a subtle way to stop them from talking during your shot, but to get them to shut up completely you're going to have to be a little bit more sharp. 

Fred C


We golfers tend to be a rather courteous. Even if someone is talkative, they should have the good sense to shut up and let you focus on your shot. Even then, if you tell someone that your not in a conversational mood, they should respect that. Otherwise, you just have to learn to deal with all types when you take "pot luck" at a course. Having said allof that, learning to play with distractions is good for your game, in the long run. Learn to focus better on what you are doing and block out the rest.

Carl T


I played yesterday with an old friend who I have known since Jr. High School. We were playing in a scramble with two other players and we are both talkers. They key is when to not to talk. Golf is a social game and if you think you can play without any social communication you are in a lot of trouble. You should join the Doc in just playing by your self and imagine you are "The Hawk" or some other golfer that feels that complete silence is the key to better golf. Anyway, we had a great time and we played good golf and laughed and talked through out the round. I cannot remember since I had a more enjoyable round. I think most golfers can sense when to shut up and when it's OK to talk. Just don't pair me with three mutes or three players who were raised in a mausoleum.

Allen L


I don't think you're wrong on any count PDA.  You take your game serious and others should respect your playing style.  I enjoy playing golf solo as well.  I play a 9 holer that's a good practice track and most of the golfers use the course for practice and play alone.  I like the quiet and being able to spend time on a shot, its enjoyable, I'll play 9 and not even take down scores, then play another 9 or even 18 sometimes for score.  When I play competitive you would have a hard time getting me to chat much.  You might consider looking for a partner with similar playing style.  I found one who plays a serious game, we are both running about the same scores so we get together a couple times a week just for a practice game.  I couldn't tell you anything about the guy other than he has a solid technical swing, plays center cut, misses a lot of greens but can scramble a par like a pro after a miss, putts above average.  Now, once I put the bag away, I'll yak it up with anyone.

Paul D


This stinks I agree.  The only thing worse than Chatty Kathys is players who dip (chew tobacco) while golfing.  If you think talking is bad, try listening to guys spit every 4 seconds while your setting up to the ball.  

Regarding the rangefinder situation, I agree this stinks also.  I'm frugal with yardages on par 3 tees, but if it's anywhere else I don't help out those who don't understand the value in having one.... females being an exception, as most of them are often learning their distances where as a male with years of playing experience should know by now.

Carl T


Paul D

This stinks I agree.  The only thing worse than Chatty Kathys is players who dip (chew tobacco) while golfing.  If you think talking is bad, try listening to guys spit every 4 seconds while your setting up to the ball.  

Regarding the rangefinder situation, I agree this stinks also.  I'm frugal with yardages on par 3 tees, but if it's anywhere else I don't help out those who don't understand the value in having one.... females being an exception, as most of them are often learning their distances where as a male with years of playing experience should know by now.

You make a good point. I find that golfers who chew sunflower seeds and then spit them out on the green is one of the most disgusting repulsive things I encounter while playing golf. This and not raking bunkers are the two worst things I see from slob golfers.