The great thing about golf is that you can play with people of different abilities, unlike tennis, say, where your opponent has to be close to your ability for it to be enjoyable. But there are certain traits that every golfer should adhere to regardless of his or her handicap. The worst playing partners…
1) Stand in the fairway and shout, “Have you found it yet?” as you look for your ball in the trees. You politely mutter, “Not yet,” but what you really want to say is, “Yeah, I found it. I’m just admiring the root structure of these trees. Thanks for your help.”
2) Don’t mark their ball on the green or put it back down before it’s their turn to putt. One question: do you see Rory leaving his ball on the green when his fellow pros are putting?
3) Stand behind you when you tee off and putt. The pros have a saying, “Out of sight and out of line.” Besides, it’s not only bad form, it’s a breach of Rule 8-2 resulting in the loss of the hole in match play and a two-stroke penalty in stroke play.
4) Quick-step you on the tee. Invariably just as you’re at the top of your backswing, someone will start walking toward you to save that precious half-second in getting his peg in the ground.
5) Are always checking their smartphones and are not present. Unless you’re a CIA station chief, no one is that important.
6) Don’t show interest in their partners’ game. Find something, anything, to say after another player hits if you’re in the vicinity. This is a gentleman’s game; act like one.
7) Call themselves names after they miss a shot. It’s said that when people do that they’re subconsciously channeling their parents’ criticism of them when they were children. Perhaps. But you just sound stupid.
8) Take off without settling their bets. This never happens in Jersey for good reasons.
9) Don’t play quickly. No shot is so important that it should take more than a few seconds to hit. Get your yardage, pick out your target and do your pendant rubbing (or whatever your lucky habit is) before it’s your turn. Then right after the person before you hits, you’re good to go.
10) Don’t play the ball down. Golf is about playing the ball as you find it. Badly conditioned courses can be unfair, but if it’s unfair for everybody, then it’s fair.
What type of partner do you find most annoying?