Getting Paired… With “That Guy” (Or Girl)

You know, golf really is an amazing game. What other sport can you potentially spend 3 (to dare I say) 5 hours of your day with a family member, a friend or a total and complete stranger? As I sit here and think about the answer to that question I can only think of one answer. There isn’t one.

Golf really is great. It’s social and you get to take in the sights and sounds of nature, deal with sometimes grumpy starters and/or marshals with “holier than thou” attitudes, and who knows, in some cases you might even make a friend or new golf partner. But every now and then, through social media or other golfers, you hear about “that guy” that someone got partnered with.

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Who is “that guy”? Well, “that guy” can be any number of types of people. To sum up, one could say that “that guy” could be any individual who could easily railroad your day on the golf course and make it memorable for you for all of the wrong reasons. Maybe he or she’s just a grouchy individual who had a bad day before arriving at the golf course. To that end, I say leave it in the car back in the parking lot. Or sometimes, that individual just might be a total jerk in all walks of life.

Have you been paired with “that guy”? You know, the sort where you just want to tell them to “Shut up” before you’ve reached the third hole? I ran a poll on Twitter recently asking that very question. To my surprise,  I wasn’t alone and it wasn’t even close. I expected this poll to be closer. Much closer.

If you’ve never met me or played golf with me here’s what you need to know. I am, by nature, a very easy-going individual who likes to have fun and laugh. I am also a very lenient person and very understanding. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking golf or otherwise. When I am playing golf, I love to engage with others (unless I get the impression that they aren’t into it) and I love banter… In general.

So, after the PGA Show was over and I was trying to enjoy some downtime I managed to get some practice sessions in and I hoped to play some golf. So, on Monday right before leaving, I booked my GolfNow round for a golf course in Zephyrhills, Florida called Southport Springs Golf Club (there will be a golf course review). Upon arrival at the Pro Shop, I made small talk with the staff there (GM Earl Hines) and I was informed that I would be paired with two other golfers. Perfect!! I love meeting new people. Again, it’s part of the allure of golf. So I got my cart, proceeded to the parking lot for my clubs, and then made my way to the practice green.

As I’m working my way through my warm-up (testing golf balls for review) all of a sudden I hear someone yelling my name “ALEX!!” in a “twang” from a southernish part of the United States.  It was right next to the 1st tee with people on the tee. This was the first time that I met “Kentucky Dave”. Already I thought to myself “Uh-oh!”. As I turn and look around to find Dave I get my first glimpse. White and red Titleist cap, an older, ugly printed polo, and for the proverbial “piece de resistance” a pair of Loudmouth Golf shorts that caused my brain much undo harm and stress. It was sensory overload. Folks, I love Loudmouth Golf, but if you’re going to wear the bottoms please wear a solid shirt. No prints or patterns. Ugh!

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Point made. Don’t do this.

So, I packed up my stuff and drove the cart to pick Dave up. After exchanging pleasantries we went to his car and retrieved his belongings. We then met the other two guys that I was initially paired with and made our way to the 10th hole to begin our round.

After teeing off and getting instructions from the starter he started right away. He was telling me where to drive, how to drive including when to put the parking brake on and we haven’t even arrived to hit our second shot on the first hole. Which he unceremoniously shanked. He actually had 6 shanks during his round but who’s keeping track? He even told me to use the sand on the carts for divots as it was already out and beside me on the ground. But the hits kept on coming. I mean, I wanted to call him “Siri” because he “knew everything” about golf.

By the second hole, as we approached the green (it’s cart path and always 90* in and out) he was instructing me to not drive in front of the green inside of the “No Carts” posts. I felt myself just take in a large breath of air in a way to just cleanse and relax. Basically, it was all that I could do to tell him not to shut the “blankety-blank” up.

Now the swearing starts on the second green and he can’t figure out what’s wrong. He was whining, moaning, and bitching on the cart and we haven’t hit the third green. Again, he starts offering more advice on how to operate a golf cart and where to drive. But now, it gets worse. He starts to display his extremely “sufficient” golf course etiquette. Or shall I say, the lack thereof?

“Kentucky Dave” not only walked on the lines of putts, but also played out of turn (I’m not talking ready golf) as others were actually mid-swing hitting a shot, stood right behind us playing partners while putting and making full swings. He left the green before any of us putted out which is a bit of nitpicking on my behalf but it is still an etiquette thing. Did I mention him hacking apart the turf after one of his many poor shots? It was so bad that the two gents from Vermont (Charles and Hank) that we were paired with asked me about “my buddy”standing right behind them on the tee as they were making swings. I informed them that he was not in fact “my buddy”. Bear in mind that Charles and Hank were in their 60s-70s and they had already told me to not “Kentucky Dave’s” antics bother me (on the 5th hole). It was so bad that Hank told Dave that when it was his tee it was in fact… “His” tee. They told me that they were going to do it too!

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Finally, by the eighth hole after yet more instruction from “Kentucky Dave” I explained in the nicest way possible that he no longer had to instruct me on golf course operations. I told him that I am a former Director of Golf at a semi-private club, played on Mini-Tours, and essentially told him to cease and desist. I even offered/suggested for him to drive the cart if it would make his day a little more “stress-free”. He declined. I basically told him to “STFU”. After all of this, he insisted on putting on the parking brake every time that I got out of the cart. Perhaps a little OCD?

Things with his complaining and swearing never stopped and it was all that I could do to not excuse myself after 9 holes. He went on about “slow play” in front of us and it was apparent that he had never watched himself play. For the rest of the round he kept on going on about “what’s wrong with me today?” and inwardly I said “Your attitude”. He even asked me what I was saying and I never gave any advice. I couldn’t be bothered. This marked the first time in my life, where if someone asked me for swing advice I never gave insight. All that I said was “off days happen”.

Honestly, the Vermonters saved my day. I loved the banter with them. But then there’s “Kentucky Dave”. The funny thing is this. After the round, he asked me if I was going to go golfing tomorrow. He wanted to play with me again. I must have left a good impression. I casually declined because I had meetings at Innisbrook and Tarpon Woods Golf Club. Maybe next time Dave.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #untilthenexttee #seeuonthenexttee

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