Golf is a strange but wonderful game, full of rules both written and unwritten. The ability to navigate those waters determines whether you’re a good playing partner or not, which is arguably an even more desirable status than your ability to play the game itself. If you’re a pleasant person to play with, you’ll find yourself getting all the fancy invites.
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Then there’s the other side. We asked members of our How To Hit Every Shot instruction Facebook group last week (which you can join yourself right here) for the most annoying things that their playing partners do on the golf course. The comments poured in. So the next time you find yourself wondering why you’re not getting asked to play more by your buddies, give this list a good look, and ask yourself: Am I that guy or gal?
1. Making *every* putt
Look, no one is actually going to hate you for making putts. But it is worth noting that if you’re dropping bombs on the green and winning your match because of it, don’t go overboard with the gloating, because then people absolutely will start hating you for making putts.
2. Saying “get left” when the ball is clearly slicing
This is my pet peeve. Understand ball flight, people! If a ball is carving out to the right, there’s no chance of it getting left, so don’t pretend like there is.
3. Not picking up on bad holes
Have some awareness. If it’s taking you eight shots to get to the green, don’t slow the whole group down and make them watch all that. Pick up your ball, sit this one out, and move on.
4. Taking many practice swings … only to top the ball 10 feet
Don’t be that guy. If you’re going to have a long pre-shot routine, you better hit it good.
5. Talking too much
In the words of one of our Facebook members: “If you’re some random I’ve been paired with, take the hint, shut the heck up.”
6. Mood swings
Nobody wants to play with someone who throws a temper tantrum, or someone who jumps for joy two holes later when they make a birdie putt.
7. Hitting on the bev cart attendant
Yeah, don’t be that creepy guy. She doesn’t want any of it and neither do your playing partners.
8. Always on the phone
Again, don’t be that guy. If you need to take a call on the course, it had better be an emergency.
9. Coaching too much
Giving advice on the golf course is an art. If you haven’t mastered it, stay away.
10. Standing over the ball forever
Standing over the ball for a long time is annoying for golfers at every level, so don’t do it.
11. Walking slowly
Walk quickly, play quickly, and people will give you a lot of leeway for other things.
12. Bragging about good rounds during their bad rounds
We’ve all played with the guy who tells you they shot even par last week, even though they’re 10 over through 10 holes on their current round.
13. Providing constant commentary on their game
Dude, we don’t care.
14. Looking at putts from every angle
You’re not a Tour pro, so don’t act like one. Read your putt quickly, and commit. You’ll probably make more that way anyway.
15. Talking when people are getting ready to hit
It all rolls up into one thing: Be considerate of others.
16. Saying “I think that’s OB” after a shot when it’s clearly OB
Ugh, the worst. Though, to be fair, it’s all about tone. You can tell people their ball might be OB, just be nice about it.
17. Not fixing your pitch marks properly
It really is the least you can do.
18. Having someone tell you hit a great shot when you know that it wasn’t
Don’t patronize my golf game!
19. Waiting for the green to clear on a par 4 when they have no chance of driving it
Another golden rule: You’re not a tour pro, so don’t act like one.
20. Looking for your ball 50 yards ahead of where it actually is
Have some awareness. If you hit a drive 280 yards once, it doesn’t mean you hit 280-yard drives all the time.
21. ‘Miraculously’ finding your ball every time
Cheating, in other words. Don’t cheat.
22. Playing music loudly
We’re all for music on the course, as long it’s considerate of those around you. If you’re going to share the same space as people, don’t blare music at them.
23. Stealing the honor
One of my pet peeves. If I made a birdie, I want to tee off first. It’s a small victory that doesn’t come around often, so give me that.
25. Outdriving you on every hole
Like making lots of putts, it only becomes an issue when you start gloating about it.
A bit of smack talk is fine, but don’t go overboard. Don’t play dirty.
27. Talking to other people’s balls
Leave me and my golf ball alone to sort out our own issues.
28. Late for tee times
One of golf’s cardinal rules: Don’t run so late that your playing partners have to start worrying.
29. Not watching your partner’s ball
“Oh, I didn’t see it.”
I’m guilty of this too often, but if your buddy hits his ball in some trouble, at least give him a fighting chance of helping him find it.
30. Teeing up your ball too soon
Wait until your playing partner is off the tee before trying to chase him away.
31. Repairing your partner’s divots
My divots are my own to repair.
32. Fishing for golf balls
We’re playing golf, not hunting for golf balls.
33. Bad temper
It’s just a game. Chill out.
34. Caring too much about yardages
Does it really matter if it’s 174 to the middle or 176? Just hit the ball.