Getting paired with players who won't shut up!

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.

shouldn't common golf etiquette deem one zips the lip or doesn't walk in someone's line when he/she is lining a shot up?  It is nice to carry on a chit chat to pass the time but do have to admit that some can be a bit annoying on the golf course.

I like playing very early on my off Friday because I CAN play alone occasionally (or I may play with one or two friends).  Sometimes you need a little quiet time when you want to do a little practice and playing with a group hampers that. 

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.

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.

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.  

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 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.  

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.