Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Golf Outings for Dummies

Charles Barkley is #5 and #8, and maybe #12. Where do you fit in?

Summertime is, of course, a great time for golf. There are casual rounds with friends, company outings, group outings, etc. Often, these outings use the scramble format. Sometimes you know the people you're playing with, and sometimes you get stuck with some interesting characters. We have a fraternity golf outing coming up, and I got to thinking how many different types of guys you could have in your scramble foursome. Do you have an outing coming up? If so, you might find some of these people in your group.

1. The Ultra Serious Golfer
This guy is always talking strategy for the foursome. He may or may not be a good golfer, but he thinks he's smarter than everyone by suggesting that "on this hole, we should try to bomb one out there." Thanks for the advice, Gary McCord. He's obsessed with winning. Even when the team is two over after 16 holes, he insists that we still stick to "our strategy," which is actually "his strategy." Usually an insufferable prick.

2. The Guy Who Thinks He's Good, But He's Not
This guy is always insisting that he go last because he's an "A player." His handicap card, which he takes out of his wallet and shows you three times during the round, says that he's an 8, but his scattershot drives tell you otherwise. He routinely turns in bogus scores so he can brag about his handicap. He's got the best equipment and latest technology (laser range finder, training aids, practice putting rig).

3. Drunk Guy
This guy is most likely not a good golfer. His main goal is to find the beer cart girl, and he will buy a dozen beers at a time when she does eventually show up. He might be useful for the front nine, but by the back nine he's a drooling, slurring mess who can't even manage to tell if he's using a 6 iron or a 9 iron. Usually a fun guy to have on your team unless he's a depressing or violent drunk. Usually buys beer for everyone, but drinks most of it himself. Also, most likely to dive into the lake on the 18th hole to retrieve a club thrown in frustration.

4. The Guy Who Plays Once a Year
This guy only gets out to play when there is an occasion - a supplier freebie, a round with the in-laws, charity scramble. He's just happy to hit a good shot every once in a while, and is usually one of the more interesting guy to play with because he doesn't spend all his time playing golf. Usually plays in tennis shoes and either inappropriately long cargo shorts with lots of pockets, or blue jeans. Sometimes plays with rental clubs, or clubs that were manufactured in the 70s (such as "Golden Bear" or "MacGregor" or "Wilson" clubs). Uses predominantly x-out balls or range balls during his round, unless he finds some in the woods.

5. The Guy Who Looks Good, But Is Not
This guy belongs to a country club. He plays at least twice a week. He goes to the range every weekend. But he can't seem to get the handicap below a 25. He's taken lessons, but he always reverts back to that ungainly loopy swing with the hitch in it that he slices like a banana off the tee every other hole. He dresses impeccably, with his club logo golf shirt tucked into his Nike golf shorts, and wearing shoes that appear to have been polished at the club about an hour ago. He can shoot anything from 88 to 115.

6. The Guy Who Analyzes His Swing After He Gets In The Cart
This guy, after hitting a duck hook into the water for the third time on the front nine, gets in the cart and proceeds to analyze his swing for you. "I think I got caught behind that one and used too much hands. I think my club face was too open at the top and I over-rotated my hips. Maybe next time I'll try to come around quicker so my hands can catch up and I don't come over the top and turn it over." Or something like that. He read all the buzzwords in Golf Digest and has no idea what they mean. But he'll claim that he's been tinkering with his swing all day - and he'll explain that that's why he's been spraying shots into the woods. His swing looks exactly the same to you every time.

7. The Guy Who's Always Quoting Caddyshack
This guy, like most red blooded American men of a certain age, has seen Caddyshack approximately 500 times and knows every line. But this guy insists on using a Caddyshack quote at every opportunity: Cinderella Story, Right in The Lumber Yard, Billy Baroo, On your Deathbed You will Receive Total Consciousness, Big Hitter The Lama, It's a Hybrid, Free Bowl of Soup, License to Kill Gophers, Be The Ball, etc. There is nothing inherently wrong with Caddyshack quotes - in fact, everyone should use at least one per round. But using them constantly throughout a 5 hour round gets a little tiresome. So what? So let's dance...

8. The Gambling Guy
This guy, despite the fact that you are playing on the same scramble team, insists on trying to incorporate some sort of a gambling format so that he can have some "action." He's got his bookie on speed dial, and places several bets during the course of the round - partially because he's trying to impress his team members, and partially because he's simply a degenerate douchebag. Talks incessantly about sports and sporting events he has either won big on, or barely lost because of a last minute backdoor cover. NOTE: Speaking of The Gambling Guy, I would absolutely love to play golf with Charles Barkley. He would want to bet on everything, and he would lose just about every time. His swing is horrifying. You could walk away from a round with Charles with some serious spending money for the evening. And the best thing is, he'd take you out for a steak, and to the best strip joint in town after the round. And he'd probably still pay for everything.

9. The Humble Guy
This guy usually has a handicap of 5 or less. He doesn't brag about how good he is or point out how bad you are. He just hits his typically great shots and even helps out the lesser players with their deficiencies, but only if asked. He helps read putts. He usually is on the winning team because not only is he a good player, but he helps make the other players better.

10. The Cocky Guy
This guy also has a handicap of 5 or less, but he is constantly giving the other players unsolicited advice on their shots, thereby ruining their confidence. Has seven sets of golf clubs and a club assembly jig in his garage. Tells you several times throughout the round that your clubs are a half inch too short for you and that the loft and lie of your pitching wedge need to be adjusted. Also, tells you that he can make you some clubs that would better suit a high-handicapper like yourself. Because of his constant badgering, by the back nine you become "Drunk Guy." It's all you can do to keep from wrapping your 9-iron around his neck.

11. The Guy Who Can't Putt
No matter how much practice this guy gets in before the round, it takes him about 14 holes to figure out the speed of the greens. Every putt is either left four feet short or sails ten feet past the hole. When he does get the right speed, it's offline by 20 degrees. On the 17th hole, he'll drain a 30-footer for birdie. This guy is usually also The Guy Who Plays Once a Year.

12. The Guy With The Bad Temper
This guy gets very upset at missing any shot. Usually, after topping his fifth consecutive drive into the pond in front of the tee and using several curse words, he'll slam his club back into his bag and insist that he "was hitting everything perfect at the range" and that he can't fucking believe how fucking bad he's fucking playing. Shit. Then he'll get behind the wheel of the cart and stomp on the gas and give you whiplash.

13. The Bad Etiquette Guy
This guy does everything wrong. He'll drive the cart onto the tees and the greens. He'll walk right through the line of your putt. He'll leave the cart right in front of the green. He'll constantly talk on his phone throughout the round. He will fart in the middle of your backswing. He'll yell across three fairways to get the attention of the beer cart girl. He doesn't mean to do it. He just is oblivious. Might also be Guy Who Plays Once a Year or Drunk Guy.

14. The Fart Guy
This guy will fart audibly at least twice per hole. I don't think much more needs to be said about this guy. He could be, and has been, just about everyone who has ever played a round of golf after a night of drinking. If you don't know the guy you are playing with, and he's the Fart Guy, something very strange is afoot. This behavior is generally only accepted if the players in the foursome know each other. Fart Guy is differentiated from Bad Etiquette Guy in that he farts at appropriate times and not in the middle of your backswing. He'll fart in the middle of his own backswing, but not yours.

15. The Hungover Guy
This guy will spend the front nine barely able to speak and downing Gatorade like he's just spent a month in the desert. He'll puke in the bushes while you're waiting on the third tee. At the turn, he'll get a sandwich and take a crap - and he might turn out to be your best player on the back nine. Hungover Guy might also be Fart Guy.

16. The Complicated Scoring Guy
This guy wants to implement a scoring system so needlessly complex that none of the participants have any idea while they are playing whether they are scoring well or not. System usually involves much more math than is necessary. Person implementing this scoring system is typically a control freak who can't understand why no one can understand his "simple" system. "So you got a par there, but because it an even numbered hole, you get to take one off your score. But then you add one back to the total because you three putted. So it's still a par." What?

17. The Obnoxious Guy
This guy is obnoxious in every way. He rolls golf carts on steep inclines. He drops his pants in front of the beer cart girls. He hides the golf balls of groups following behind him. He hits into groups in front of him, just for fun. He jams the flagstick into the ground twenty yards off the green. He'll fart on purpose in the middle of your backswing. Obnoxious Guy is differentiated from Bad Etiquette Guy in that he knows the rules and chooses not to follow them.

I have either been or played with every single one of these people at one time or another. You could say that each of these Guys is based on a specific person but, in actuality, most people are probably a combination of two or more of these, depending on mood, alcohol consumption, playing partners, etc. I can say for sure that I have been at various times These Guys: 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, and 15. Add your suggestions in the comments, and/or lay claim to these identities yourself. Specific stories are welcome as well. If good ideas are submitted, I'll even add to the list.


lawman said...

Man- sounds like you play golf with a great bunch of guys. Sheeeesh!!
Glad I'm just a (9).

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who I play with who is the definition of the obnoxious guy. However, this, as well as the drunk guy, can make for a very entertaining round.

Anonymous said...

I'd add:

"The Guy Who is Just Happy to be Out of the House" away from the wife and kids, doesn't particularly care about the golf, will drink with the drunk guy, make fun of the serious guy, and just be generally happy to be goofing off for four hours.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lawman. The very fact that you proclaim yourself a (9) probably indicates that you are really a (10).

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. I've played in a neighborhood outing for many years and I've met (and sadly been)all of these guys except the ones that dress or play well. You forgot the guy who can't (or more likely won't) count all his strokes. Gee, you lost your tee shot and three putted and still got a par? Good thing you're on our team. This is often the guy who plays once a year or the drunk guy but it can be almost any except the humble guy.

Russianator said...

Drunk guy is usually the one doing donuts in the golf cart too.

In scrambles there's also the "cheating guy" who even though all 4 guys missed the putt, puts you down for a 3. These guys are always in the group that comes in with a 59.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the guy who has the worst swing in the group and scores the worst, yet cannot help himself from giving you "pointers" on your swing.

Anonymous said...

What about the guy who is decent but improves his score by at least 5-7 strokes a round by giving himself 2 - 3 foot putts even when there are breaks on the green.

Assman said...

Great suggestions everyone. Thanks for the input. Sounds like we've all played with guys like these. I like the "Happy to Be Out of The House Guy." That's me, most of the time. And I should have thought of "The Cheating Guy" too. Great comments. Keem 'em coming...

J├╝rgen Kalwa said...

There is also the born again christian guy out there who likes to remind you who really invented the game (and the world). You can put him into the obnoxiuos catgory, if you like. But he probabably would feel offended.

Anonymous said...

I love the 'I know I teed off with a Titleist and holed out with a Pinnacle' guy...who just made a par. And he usually mentions how lucky he was to find his ball in the woods...

Anonymous said...

How about "The Slow Guy" reading every putt from four different angles. Taking four practice swings before every shot. Constantly throwing pieces of dried grass to gauge wind direction. Frequently changes clubs after which he takes an additional four practice swings.

Can be a (1), (2), (5), (6), (10), or (16).

Also maybe "The Raconteur" who always has a story or a joke to tell. Can be a non-play-related "Slow Guy" when he waits until it's his turn to hit to tell the story.

Anonymous said...

One more..."The Woman New to Golf" who hacks up the course, frequently whiffing on the ball. The WNTG operates under the misguided notion that "business" is done on the golf course. Rather than making a comment on someone's nice shot or putt, she's constantly bringing up the Gallagher account or synergistic paradigms.

Faithful said...

I think everyone have good thinking about him or herself but others know better about him or her. i mostly get saving by used golf balls deals that's why i often search.

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