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Friday, December 14, 2007

My Playing Peeves

I'll be straightforward with you. As a magazine editor, let alone one that specializes in instruction and equipment, I can safely say that it's likely I play more golf than most people. I slip out of the office every so often and tee it up, either with colleagues, instructors or folks from the equipment realm. There are some of you out there who seem to play a lot more often that people like I do and still manage to make a good enough living to be members at private clubs or can afford the high prices for green fees (Where do you work and where do I apply?), but generally I play more than the occasional weekend warrior. That said, I have little to gripe about in that department.

(ENTER SNOOTYNESS HERE): However, since I play so much, I've managed to acquire a few pet peeves that generally turn my otherwise pleasant round of golf into one that's riddled with annoyances. Not that I get that upset (I never take my golf blessings for granted), but there are times I wish these kinds of irritations were avoided. I'll try and leave out the obvious ones (such as SLOW PLAY, which happens to be the granddaddy of all golf course aggravations) and stick with some that are lesser talked about, but equaling annoying.

So, without further ado, in no particular order, here's my Top 10 Things I Hope The Players in My Foursome Never Do:

10. Playing from the wrong tee box: My theory on this is, don't play the back tees unless you average somewhere around par from the one-forward box. Or, stick to courses that play somewhere between 6500-6800 yards. You'll have more fun, I'll have more fun and we'll all shoot lower scores. Also, if you are playing the forward tees, make an effort to hit first when applicable. We'd rather wait for you to walk back to us than have all of us huddle over your tee shot after we hit ours.

9. Fear of better players: Unless you're playing for moolah, feeling intimidated by better players is nonsense. So long as you adhere to #10 and keep pace, better players generally don't care what you shoot. One of the reasons better players are better players is because they pay attention to their own game, not every else's. Keep pace, and odds are the better players in your group will hardly notice you just double bogeyed the last three holes.

8. Green etiquette: Replacing divots, honors on the tee box, that's all well said. But lack of green etiquette can get old fast. First, don't stand behind the hole while someone is putting, the first person to hole out is always the first to replace the pin, and lastly, please don't mark that one-footer to save bogey. Pick it up. And please, don't mark your ball with anything plastic. Plastic is for bottles only, and for buying drinks for the winner at the 19th hole.

7. Lost ball disorder: if loosing golf balls is a problem, please stop buying balls that cost $50 a dozen. Buy some cheaper ones that ease the pain of loosing a couple balls a round. Stop whining about it. "I hear there's a sale on X-Outs in the golf shop." That's one of my favorite lines and I'm not afraid to use it.

6. Beverage cart from the fairway: I don't care how thirsty you are, I can't stand when people flag down the beverage cart while playing a hole. Also, the beverage cart gal should know better (even though I know she doesn't care. Time is money to her). Seriously folks, there are two times to re-stock: after you finish a hole and before you start the next one. Nothing is worse than waiting in the group behind because you're jonesin' for another Coors Light.

5. Betting on a curve: I don't care what your handicap is, playing Nassau's, skins, whatever should always be played straight up. If the variance in skill is too much to be competitive, then don't bet. Nothing is more unjust and frankly, more unholy, than making a miracle birdie from a fairway bunker, only to tie the hole with a 17-handicapper who took three shots to get to the green and 2-putted for a net birdie...That's not golf, that's highway robbery. Bet against players at your skill level, or toughen up and learn to compete with better players.

4. "Golfers, traps, pin...what'd you shoot?" First of all, I know golfer is technically a word, but for my sake it's not. You aren't a baseballer. Or a basketballer or footballer. You are a player. Same holds true for golf. You play it, not golf it. (hush, hush you bowlers.) It's a bunker not a "trap" and its a flagstick not a "pin." Finally, you don't shoot anything on a golf course (unless you're lucky enough to play some of the dangerous courses we have to choose from here in LA). You score. So, the correct question is, "what was your score? Not, "What'd you shoot?" Come on folks...make Peter Oosterhuis proud.

3. Cell phones talking: I know, this counts as an obvious one, but I had to include it. Worse case scenario, put it on silent and use a text message. We don't care that you're having fried chicken for dinner tonight.

2.Brake pedal vigilantes: You know who you are. Listen, you don't need to lock in the parking brake every time you stop, and you definitely don't need to come to such an abrupt stop every time you reach the ball/teebox. I've almost broke my nose on the windshield enough times already. Conversely, please wait until I sit down before you pop the parking brake that you felt was so important to lock in. I really don't the wind knocked out of me. Thanks.

1. Club droppers: It's happened to everyone. (Even me.) But when you do drop something and turn the cart around to find what you lost, wait until the right time to interrupt the group behind you. Don't do it while we're putting or teeing off. You've already made us carry your club, so please move your cart and we'll give you your club back. Also, if you're the lucky one who found a club, do the right thing and pick it up. Don't just leave it on the last tee box. That'll only slow down the group in front of you even more. Also, don't ask "What brand is it?" or some other obnoxious question to the person who's looking for his/her club. Just hand it over and be on your way.

-Got any pet peeves of your own? I want to hear about it!

1 comment:

Jim said...

Right on man, I'm with you on all the peeves. Keep it up.