Sometimes, golf really gets my goat!
Complaining, long ago replaced baseball as our national pastime.
Seriously, if I hear one more person moan about the new Facebook setup, I’m moving to Canada.
Just kidding. I love the USA, of course, and I must admit to an occasional bout of whining myself. Ironically, I’m especially prone to fits of bellyaching when doing the thing I most enjoy – playing golf.
I figure my best bet is to get these grievances off my chest before hitting the course again.
Hopefully, I’ll feel better when they’re all out in the open.
In no particular order, golf-related nuisances that drive me up the flagstick:
- Guys who hit on beverage-cart girls. Dude. Seriously. Give the poor girl a break, and a nice tip for putting up with an old perv like you.
- People who hunt… and hunt… and hunt for lost balls. If you’ll give up the ghost and drop one, I’ll forget I saw you double-hit that chip on the last hole.
- Golfers who drive to their partner’s ball, wait for him/her to hit, then go to their own ball. Carts should make the game faster, but they don’t. This is why. Is it that difficult to leave the cart with your partner and walk to your ball, or drop them off and drive? Get a move on, people!
- Clichés in website course descriptions. For example: “Nestled amongst (notable geographic or topographical feature), our championship course is a challenging yet fair test that’s enjoyable for golfers of all skill levels.” Hmmm, sounds like every other course on the planet.
- Golfers who don’t rake bunkers, either out of ignorance or negligence. A ball in a footprint leaves two crummy options: play it as it lies and suffer the consequences, or break the rules and take a free drop. There are enough dilemmas in a round of golf without some big-footed putz creating another one.
- Temporary greens. I know they’re sometimes a necessary evil. They’re still evil.
- Trees overhanging green entrances. Golf has enough ground-based hazards without limbs knocking down a pin-seeking shot.
- People who say “expresso” instead of “espresso.” Granted, this one’s not golf related. But it does make me want to throw a club.
- Perfectly walkable courses that require you to take a cart. It’s like reading the Cliff’s Notes for The Great Gatsby instead of savoring the real thing. By taking the easy route, you miss all the art.
- Cart paths too close to fairways. They’re hideous eyesores, they cause havoc on half-decent tee shots, and they put ugly scuff marks on golf balls. Strikes 1, 2 and 3.
- Courses that use irrigation after – and sometimes during – a rain storm. I’m no superintendent, but even I know how to shut off an automatic timer.
- The idea that golf is an elitist game. The trappings of private clubs can be snooty, for sure. The game itself is egalitarian to the core.
- Rory Sabbatini’s swing. Looks like he’s hurling a sledgehammer. It figures he’d have the personality to match.
- Black golf gloves. That siren you hear is the fashion police.
- Golfers who hit mulligans throughout the round. I’m a big fan of the breakfast ball. Heck, I don’t mind if you take one mully per side. But dropping a second ball after every lousy shot? That’s what the range is for.
- TV interviews with corporate execs during tour events. I know they pay for the privilege and give tons of money to charities, but do they really expect us to believe an 8-shot win by Billy Mayfair was the sponsor’s dream scenario?
Got any golf pet peeves of your own? Sure you do. Feel free to share ’em in the comments.
And stop whining already.
Daniel Mitchell is a golf writer who lives in Jupiter, Fla., a few miles from Tiger Woods as the crow flies but worlds away in every other respect. An avid golfer since age 12, Mitchell carries a (shaky) single-digit handicap, investing far more time in his dogs than his swing.