Wanna be the ball? Be our guest. Just please, please, please don’t be that guy or gal. You know, that golfer with the litany of quirks, mannerisms and maddening routines that no one else can stand. (Or — eek! — is that who you are already?) Behold, the 27 most irritating habits that every golfer should avoid, ranked for your displeasure.
27. Scorekeeping on Your Fingers
Come on now. Is that really what it takes for you to tally up your strokes? Standing on the green, counting on your digits like a kindergartener, even as your playing partners have moved to the next tee? It was a 7. Move on.
26. Cliche Spouting
“Never up, never in!” … “Hit a house!” … “Best of the day!” “You couldn’t walk that out there any better” … “That won’t hurt you!” Maybe not. But keep talking as you are, and someone in your group might be tempted to hurt you.
25. Course Name Dropping
As a matter of fact, yes, you HAVE already mentioned, on multiple occasions, that you’ve played all of the World Top 100 Courses. While we’re on the subject, would you mind heading off to play one of them right now?
So, you barely slept, you slipped a disc, and you haven’t swung a club since your college reunion weekend last year? We’re sorry to hear that, just as you’ll be sorry to know that no one cares.
23. Poker-Chip Ball-Marking
If you’re not going to make a change, allow us to make change for you. Here, take a quarter. A dime. A penny. Almost any coin will do. Use it next round. Meantime, though, we’re going to ask you to go one to the left with your manhole cover, or whatever that monstrosity is that’s in our line.
Practice makes perfect, but not in your case. You’ve proved as much by taking nine swings before each shot then laying sod over your ball.
21. Color Commentating
Thank you, Peter Kostis, for that detailed analysis of the wicked slice you just sent into the trees. Your insights are as riveting as slow-mo Minolta footage of bentgrass growing on the greens.
20. Phone Clinginess
Might we suggest phone holsters for your grips? That way you can read your precious texts and emails even while you swing.
19. Insisting on Playing the Tips
Sure. We get it. Even though you can barely break 100, you’re taking on the back tees at 7,600 yards because you want to “see the whole course.” Don’t worry. You will. You just won’t see us. We’ll be seven holes ahead.
18. Cringe-Inducing Cart-Girl Flirting
She made your Bloody Mary, laughed at your lame lines, and never once remarked that she is young enough to be your daughter’s daughter. Now, for everybody’s comfort, and your own self-respect, please leave that girl alone.
17. Putting Everything Out
We respect your adherence to the rules. But we’d admire you even more if you didn’t feel the need to line up that last six-incher for your 11 and just picked up your &$!!#!!-ing ball.
16. Ignoring the Group Pushing Up Behind You
We’re not sure what explains it, this failure of yours to wave faster players through. Is the problem obliviousness or ego? Or are you afraid that giving way to others reflects badly on your manhood? Here’s the thing. Not doing so reflects badly on you.
15. Endless Data Gathering
There you go again, pacing up and down like General Patton, measuring your distance to within a fraction of a yard. You’ve tossed up grass three times, and lasered the flag twice to check the elevation change. If we provided you with the barometric pressure, would you, at long last, be willing to hit?
14. Snapping At a Playing Partner for Talking to Your Ball
It is an undisputed fact that golf balls don’t have ears. But since we do, we can confirm how ridiculous you sound barking at someone who is just trying to root you on.
Nothing wrong with a breakfast ball. But it’s lunchtime now, and we’re on the 15th hole, so, yes, in fact, we do mind if you “just reload.”
12. Rangefinder Usage Around the Green
God forbid you have to flip a wedge in there without knowing if you have 31 yards to the pin. Or 32.
11. Playing Unready Cart Golf
For a guy who chose to ride, you’re doing a lot of walking, back and forth between your cart and the ball. Too often, you are making those trips empty-handed. You’d spare yourself some effort — and us a lot of anguish — if you brought a few clubs with you the first time around.
10. Throwing Temper Tantrums
If club-tossing were a sport, you’d play off scratch. As it is, you’re more like a 19. Translation: You’re not nearly good enough to go all John Daly on us.
9. Purposeless Plumb-bobbing
We’re not exactly sure how plumb-bobbing works. But we’re pretty sure that you don’t have a clue how it works either, and yet you still insist on doing it before every putt.
With all the corporate branding on your body and your golf bag, you remind of us of Lee Westwood, who reminds of us of a NASCAR driver. The difference being that both Westwood and the driver get paid to wear that stuff.
7. Waiting for the Green to Clear on a Par-5
We’re sorry to shatter your delusions of grandeur, but seeing as your three-wood maxes out at 220 and you’re still more than 300 yards out, we’re thinking you can probably go ahead and hit.
6. Emulating Tour Pros
Have you ever noticed that stop-and-start shtick Jim Furyk goes through when he’s putting? Or the way that Jason Day lets his eyelids flutter, trance-like, before he swings? Apparently, you have. Because we’ve noticed, much to our irritation, that you’ve adopted those routines, too.
5. Reliving your Round
That blow-by-blow post-round account you just delivered would have been pretty boring in any context. It was especially dull for all us sitting at the bar because we were out there with you, watching every shot. All 112 of them.
4. Sweeping Up “Gimmes”
No, we did not concede that five-foot, downhill slider, but yes, you took it anyway.
3. Offering Unsolicited Advice, and Lots Of It
Funny, Butch, we don’t remember signing up for a playing lesson. How much are you charging for all these swing tips? Wait. Never mind that. How much do I have to pay you not to say another thing?
2. Endlessly Reciting Lines from Caddyshack
Your Carl Spackler impression ceased being funny the 17,658th time you delivered it. And, sorry, your Judge Smails is no better. In other words, you don’t have that going for you, which is nice.
1. Being Shocked, SHOCKED, by Your Poor Play
Yeah, yeah, we know. You’re struggling today, and we really should have seen you last time out when you hung up an effortless 73. Here’s the thing: We played with you last time out, and, no, you didn’t.