Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


What Gets On Your Nerves at The Golf Course

By: | Thu 14 Mar 2024

I am not going to lie - as I have grown older I have become more grumpy and less tolerant. And I take comfort from the fact that most of the senior golfers I play with are also Grumpy Old Golfing Gits (or GOGGS, as I prefer to call them).

Back in the day, when I finished a round I would head into the clubhouse and the conversation would revolve around girlfriends, new cars, football, work and holidays. 


“Sid, when are you going in for your hip replacement?”

“Richard, how is your new knee?”

“My back is killing me.”

“Have you seen the price of a pint of beer in the city? Do they know how much the state pension is?”

As I have told you, I have recently returned to the game and have realised that although I still love golf, there are many things that now drive me stark raving bonkers. Perhaps they always have. Maybe it’s all to do with the ageing process. 

Am I now a GOGG? Judge for yourselves...

Slow Play

I need to hold my hands up here and now and tell you that I have always walked at a fairly brisk pace. On the golf course, playing partners will often ask me: “Derek, where’s the fire?” And I still do walk faster than most - and certainly quicker than every other senior golfer I have ever played with. I accept that expecting to be able to play 18 holes in three hours might be asking too much but…..FIVE HOURS is intolerable. I would rather stick hot pokers in my eyes. I have played Carnoustie, one of the most difficult courses on the planet, in under four hours, for goodness sake. Just get a move on!

Lack of Etiquette

This is actually linked to the above. I have always had problems understanding why a four-ball would not automatically wave through a following two-ball. For me at least, etiquette is a huge part of the game of golf. If I am playing in a slow game I make a point of keeping an eye on what is happening behind us and the moment I become aware of those golfers having to wait for us I will always tell my group that we are waving them through. Unless, of course, our slow play is being caused by the group in front of us.

But if you are playing behind my group please do not ever hit a drive while we remain within range. It is ignorant and it is just plain dangerous. And it will make me very grumpy.


(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Unraked Bunkers

I accept that bunkers are there to penalise poor shots, and I have worked hard to learn how to get out of the sand. So please, DO NOT make my life more difficult by failing to rake the bunker after you have taken three shots to escape because I am telling you now that I am going to be very, very grumpy when I hit my approach into a greenside bunker and then discover that my ball is sitting in the footprint that you didn’t rake. It takes seconds to rake a bunker.


The world’s best professional golfers take huge divots when they hit an iron shot. And then they walk off. Don’t worry though - his or her caddie will replace that divot. You are NOT a professional golfer and you DO NOT have a caddie. Do not walk off until you have retrieved and replaced that divot. If my perfectly-struck drive ends up in the divot hole you have created yes, you are right, I am going to be grumpy. Very grumpy.

Unrepaired Pitchmarks

This is a strange one. I actually quite enjoy repairing pitchmarks, my own and the countless others I always find in wet weather. But my playing partners would never know it because I moan incessantly about having to do so. It takes next to no time to fix a pitchmark. If you don’t have a repairer you can use a key or a tee although I have to ask why on earth you would not have what should be an essential part of every golfer’s kit.

Boring Playing Partners

Oh dear! I know they cannot help it but every golf club has a number of members that everybody hopes to avoid being paired with because they are the sort of person who make your eyes glaze over. I was drawn with one of them very recently and I don’t mind admitting that when we finished our round and he suggested going for a drink, I found myself making my excuses and leaving the property - and then stopping at the nearest pub for a pint to help me unwind because this guy had turned me into a proper GOGG! 


The know-it-all is even worse than the bore. And a combination of the two is simply intolerable. What I didn’t tell you about the bore above is that he tried to tell me what I was doing wrong - he had a handicap of 25. I play off nine! We will call the third member of our group John Smith, and The Know-it-all also tried to tell John Smith what he was doing wrong. Rest easy guys - I had actually identified what Mr Smith was doing wrong when hitting his iron shots so had a quiet word in his ear, gave him a tip to help and told him to ignore Mr Know-it-all. Mr Smith applied what I had told him and immediately started striking his iron shots crisply. You know what happened then, don’t you? Know-it-all: “There you go John, I told you that’s what you were doing wrong…” Strangely, at the same moment as laughing inside, I also let out a silent scream.

Full Green Fees in Rotten Weather

Don’t get me started on this one. I said….I fully accept that golf clubs are businesses and have to turn a profit (or at least try to), and I understand that they have to set green fees for visitors at a certain level. I do my research before I visit any course. I know how much I am going to be charged before I get there. That’s fine. What is NOT fine is when I get there and discover there are a couple of temporary greens, ground under repair (don’t get me started on ground under repair - that’s a whole separate rant), standing water etc, - and there is NO reduction in the fee that I am charged. If you bought a suit and discovered some buttons were missing, you would either take it back or ask for a discount. Golf clubs please note - if your course is not as advertised please tell visitors before they tee off and reduce their green fee.

Over-The-Top Green Fees

This is a thorny subject for all golfers, not just GOGGS! I know what to expect when I turn up at a pay and play course, and I know that when I play the best courses in the UK that they are going to charge me a lot of money to play. 

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that many championship golf courses charge far too much. They exploit the fact that we want to test ourselves on courses where we have watched the world’s best golfers. It’s one of the things about golf that makes our sport so special. If you are a football fan you cannot play at Wembley, Anfield, the Etihad; if you are a tennis player you can’t test yourself on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Club cricketers can only dream about striding out at Lord’s. But golfers can play courses that host The Open. 

So here is my thing... I get really grumpy when a totally average golf club demands that I fork out in excess of £100 for the privilege of walking their 18 totally average golf holes, and then charges me an arm and a leg for their totally average food afterwards.

Ground Under Repair

I accept that, from time to time, routine maintenance needs to be carried out on all golf courses. But if you have declared part of the course as ‘ground under repair’ why is it that so many golf clubs allow it to remain so for days, weeks, months and even years. A Suffolk golf club which shall remain nameless had a bunker on a par five that was ‘ground under repair’ for years. It may still be. It was in the middle of the fairway, so of course everybody used to aim for it and hope to find it because they knew that they could get a free drop. Bonkers!

Poor Service

I DO NOT want to walk into the clubhouse and have to wait while the barmaid finishes texting her boyfriend. I DO NOT want to walk into the clubhouse and find that there is nobody behind the bar. I DO NOT want to walk into the pro’s shop and have to wait while the assistant pro is texting the barmaid in the clubhouse!

Warm Beer

Nothing more needs to be said. Oh yes it does - warm beer is a real pet hate of mine, especially during the summer. Why is it that in 2024 so many club stewards are still unable to look after their beer stock properly? Rocket science it is not!

Closed Halfway Houses

Aaaarrrggggghhhhhhh! There is nothing to beat a good halfway house. In the winter, it offers a point of refuge where you can shelter from the cold and enjoy a warm coffee, in the summer, you can partake of an ice cold drink. So why oh why do so many golf courses have halfway houses that are permanently closed? Or are closed during the freezing cold winter days when they would attract most use! What is that all about?

Related Content

14 Things That ALL Golfers HATE

What Golfers REALLY Think About Slow Play

The Types of Golfers You Want And Do NOT Want to Play With

Golfers - What Gets Under Your Skin

The 3 Things That Most Annoy Golfers

13 Things That Drive Golfers Insane

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: GOLFERS Golf daily picks

Scroll to top