Don’t let grumpy golfers get you down

How many times have you played a round of golf with someone you hope you never lay eyes on again?  Not very often I’m sure.  99% of the golfers I meet on the first tee are wonderful people – friendly, supportive and fun. 

So imagine my dismay when I drove up to the first tee last weekend to discover a man (his wife was riding shotgun – not playing) and one other gent sitting there looking thoroughly disappointed that they would be playing with a woman golfer. Sigh…

The husband gave me that “look” and insisted there must be some mistake – he and his golf buddy were just a twosome. 

His wife knew better, however; we had spoken back on the range during warm up where she told me they had the same tee time as we did.

I had asked her if she golfed and she said she loved to play, but that she wasn’t very good (How often do we hear that?) and so she was letting the boys play by themselves.  I’m not sure if it was really her decision or her husband’s (green fees were quite pricey), but it was a shame to see her having to sit out a round in paradise.  Oh well…she seemed okay and smiled a lot throughout the day.

Anyway, back to the grumpy old man…I wasn’t going to let anyone ruin my day.  So I was friendly and shouted “Good shot” as often as I could.  And I was very careful to not antagonize him in any way,  so I made sure I was always ready to hit when it was my turn.  I was playing from the forward tees and I carefully planned to have our cart ahead of the boys so when they finished teeing off, I could quickly get to my tee before their carts scooted by me to their shots.

My golfguy is always supportive of me in these awkward situations.  Throughout the day, he jumped into our cart with club still in hand after he hit his drive so we were not holding up anyone. 

And I fell in love with him all over again when he said to me, “Get revenge Golfgal!  Play better than they do.” –  Which we both did. 🙂 

By the end of the round, the husband was so frustrated with his own game, he went back and forth between two greenside bunkers at least 5 times on the 17th hole.  Seriously, I’m not exaggerating.  I lost count of his score at 8 (on a par 3!).  He would not pick up even though the rest of us had finished the hole long before (and there was a group standing on the tee box with jaws dropping wondering what the heck this idiot was doing).

Oh well…you can’t change people, but you can change how you react to them.  I am pretty proud of the fact that I didn’t let this jerk ruin my day. My golfguy and I both played well and took time to enjoy the beauty around us and my shot of the day.



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  1. James Ross (author)

    I learned long ago to not pre-judge gender on the tee box. Some women can flat play the game along with proper etiquette and speed of play. A nice ice-breaker is a mention of the handicap early to establish some credibility and even suggest a skins game for a soda at the turn. All guys will compete. Good for you!

  2. Thanks James… Good advice! And age is also something we shouldn’t pre-judge. I just played with a woman here who must be in her 70’s. She came out as a single at Ka’anapali and she could really play!


  3. I’ve seen similar and like to part with a sincere… “You did really well for your first time.”

  4. haha..that’s a brilliant closing comment AG! 🙂 Thanks for putting a big smile on my face!


  5. Glad you did well. It happened to us today.They stuck 1 guy that was such a stick in the mud. The other guy was great. He was 68 and he had a serious game. Stick in the Mud not so much. Anyway after a lot of self imposed abuse he quit at the turn. Hooray ! the 3 of us went on and had a great time.

  6. Thanks William for sharing that. Hooray is right! Golf takes too long to play to be with a Stick in the Mud. 🙂


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