Low-handicappers reveal 4 annoying things golfers of all levels do

It doesn't matter if you're 175 yards away or 177. Hit your ball.


Last week, we asked members of our How To Hit Every Shot Facebook group to share the thing they find most annoying that their playing partners do on the golf course. The responses came pouring in, which you can read here. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to reveal their most annoying on-course bad habits.


A 3-pack of masks designed for golfers. Proceeds go to the Golf Emergency Relief Fund, providing short-term financial assistance to those facing hardship due to COVID-19.

1. No self-awareness

Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): Lack self-awareness. That covers a lot of bases, but it’s probably the root of so much of what we’re talking about. To be a good playing partner you should always try your hardest, keep up with the group and do your honest best to have a good time. That’ll get you most of the way there.

2. Talking about their own games

Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.2 handicap): Players talking about their own shots too much, both good or bad, is by far the most annoying thing I encounter on the course. A simple “I hit that one really good” is fine, obviously, but I’m sorry: I really, really don’t care your thought process, your swing, what you thought when the ball was in the air, whether you could carry that bunker, or how you felt lingering on the tee box with your elongated holding of the follow through. If I’m playing golf with you, it’s because I think you’re good company, not because of the quality — good or bad — of your golf game.

3. Too much fiddling

Josh Sens (2.5 handicap): Tough competition for that one. Providing play-by-play for one’s own performance is annoying. So is fiddling with cell phone scoring and stat-tracking apps. And pacing off yardage to the millimeter. And reading putts from all sides. And pausing before hitting to tell a long story on the tee box. And (if using a cart) walking to the ball without a club in hand, then walking back to the cart to get said club. And . . and . . and. Most annoying behaviors fall under the umbrella of slow play, which is the death of golf and the enemy of enjoyment. Unless you’re dealing with a physical impairment–in which case you deserve whatever latitude you need—3:45 for 18 is plenty. And no, it does not matter what your handicap is. It’s about learning to move around a course, something everyone can do. As you can tell, patience is not one of my virtues.

4. Slow Play

Joe Summa (4.9 handicap): Where to begin?! Your average golfer could probably list hundreds of things they’ve seen on the golf course they shouldn’t have. But to avoid the little tedious (but sometimes just as impactful or annoying) annoyances, I’ll try to tackle the most common annoyance, and that is slow play! Slow play is not only annoying, but disrespectful! To your playing partners, and every single person on the course behind you. Having the self-awareness of your pace of play within your group and the group ahead of you, will make everyone’s day more enjoyable. No one likes the person fishing for golf balls in the fairway creek for 20 minutes! Don’t be that person!


Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.