Getting paired with players who won't shut up!

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). 

 

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. :)

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.

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 ............

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!

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). 

 

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.

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. :-)

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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