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The Types of Golfer You DON'T Want to Play With

By: | Fri 21 Jan 2022

GOLF is a social sport and that means one of the advantages of playing this great game is that, more often than not, you get to stride the fairways alongside regular playing partners. They say you can’t choose your family but, by and large, you can choose your golfing buddies.

However, there are occasions when you might want to play in a competition at either your own club or at a course where you haven’t played before and on those occasions you will end up playing with individuals you don’t know. Here, we take a light-hearted look at the type of golfers you don’t want to be drawn with, as well as the ones whose company you might enjoy.



I don’t know about you but one of the reasons that I play golf is because I enjoy the company of those I play with. I enjoy the banter and getting to know people. But every so often you will have to introduce yourself to somebody you don’t know. “Hello, my name’s Derek. What a beautiful day. I am looking forward to this.” The response. “Humph. I’m Dave.” And that is as much conversation as you get from him for 18 holes. And the harder you try to engage him in conversation the more aloof he becomes. You then walk off the 18th green, head to the clubhouse and discover that he has either climbed straight into his car and driven off or that he is engaged in deep conversation with his “mates” in the bar.


This individual is exactly the opposite sort of character to the Strong Silent Type. He doesn’t stop talking from the moment you take your first practice swing until you hole your final putt. He talks incessantly for 18 holes, seemingly oblivious to the fact that you are standing over the ball and trying to hit a shot. Surprisingly, you usually struggle to break 90 when you play with this type of character. 

Cheating Golfer


Every golf club has one. His reputation goes before him but nobody challenges him. You know who he is and you have tried to avoid playing with him at all costs but one day you find yourself drawn to play with him. You walk off a par five and ask him for his score. “Five,” he replies. And you just know that he has taken six blows. This is also the person who never loses a golf ball. He hits his drive into a bush and you suggest he hits a provisional but he tells you he got a good line on it. You both head towards said bush and you hear him say: “Got it.” Miraculously, he has found the ball 12 feet away from the bush. And every time he hits it into the rough he is the one who finds it.


You are playing a course you have never set foot on before and find yourself drawn with a member of that club. You are relieved because it means you can consult him. You stand on a par four. There is a bunker in the middle of the fairway and you ask him: “Can I carry that trap.” Without hesitation he replies: “Yes, no problem.” You smash a perfect drive, bang on line with the bunker and bend down to pick up your tee. “Bad luck,” he says. Eh? And yes, of course your ball has bounced a couple of times and rolled into the sand. A couple of holes later you face a shot over water. “Can I clear that lake?” you ask. “Yup,” comes the reply. You already guessed it. You hit a perfectly struck three wood that fails to clear the water by about 20 yards. By the time you finish your round you are just about ready to kill him. And do you know what? No jury in the land would convict!


This is somebody who usually has a handicap that falls in the 20-28 range. You have both holed out and you ask him what he has scored. And on just about every green he turns back towards the tee and starts counting the number of strokes he has taken. And on almost every single occasion he manages to miss out at least one bad shot.


Seve Ballesteros was known as the master of gamesmanship but he had nothing on the coin jangler. This is the golfer who steps onto the course with a pocketful of coins and then proceeds to jangle them in his pocket while you are trying to focus. The worst thing is that he doesn’t do it on every shot. But you end up playing 18 holes just waiting for it to start. And, of course, you play like a drain.

Bad Loser Golfer


There is nothing worse than the bad loser, the individual who storms off in a huff after you have beaten him fair and square. They are all smiles after going ahead early on but the minute you get ahead of them that all changes. You hit a great drive, or an approach to six feet, or hole a huge birdie putt. And you are greeted with stony silence. When you hole the winning putt you hold out your hand and they can barely make eye contact before walking off the course.


Golf is a leisurely pursuit. Don’t get me wrong - I believe that it should be possible to play any 18-hole layout in a maximum of four hours. Not everybody agrees. The Sprinter is somebody who races down the fairway between shots, who starts walking while you are still trying to play a shot and endlessly complains about the pace of play of just about everybody on the course. You stagger off the 18th green feeling like you have been competing against Usain Bolt.


For every Sprinter, you are going to come across far more Dawdlers, an individual who has all the time in the world and isn’t going to increase his pace of play for anybody. He takes five or six practice swings, he lines up putts from all angles, endlessly changes clubs, take five hours to complete 18 holes. And has no friends!


Friendly Golfers


Every so often you end up playing with a stranger and you just click. You have lots in common, you chatter away to each other between shots, encourage each other and share a few laughs. When you get back to the clubhouse he insists on getting the first round and then goes out of his way to introduce you to some of his friends. Before you leave the course you have exchanged phone numbers and know that you have found a friend for life.


For reasons that I fail to understand, many low handicappers simply hate the idea of being drawn to play with relative beginners. I don’t get it. There is nothing more rewarding than playing alongside somebody who loves the game, is keen to improve and actively seeks advice - and takes it on board.


This is the polar opposite of Mr Misinformation. He will go out of his way to tell you about the hazards you need to avoid. And when you ask him if you can clear that bunker or water hazard he will answer you honestly. He also understands the subtle breaks on the greens and shares that information with you.


It can be quite intimidating to find yourself drawn alongside the best golfer in the club, but not if he is somebody who understands who difficult and frustrating this game can be. The best low-handicappers are the men and women who encourage you and offer you a few tips and then thank you for your company.


If you have ever seen The Great Escape (and who hasn’t?), you will recall the character played by James Garner. He was The Fixer and although he was in a prisoner-of-war camp he was able to lay his hands on anything. In golf, The Fixer is the guy who can provide you with anything you need during your round of golf with him. It’s winter - he has a huge flask of hot coffee he is happy to share with you. It’s summer and you forgot to pick up a bottle of water - it doesn’t matter, because The Fixer has more than enough to go around. Tees, spare golf balls, pitchfork repairs, ball markers - he has an endless supply of them all. And he is happy to share.

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