Our decision to play golf is quite amusing if you think about it, as we’ve opted against team sports or activities that involve a small amount of space.
If we were part of a group environment, we may be able to direct our stress at a teammate after they have made a mistake.
As a golfer, the only person who is responsible for a mistake is yourself and sometimes, that can be highly frustrating.
We could also be playing on a football pitch, that seldom receives any damage to the turf and thus, we are cleared of all responsibility of looking after our facility.
But we haven’t chosen that direction, we fell in love with the game of golf, we like being self-reliant, but those niggling frustrations still remain – and they can worsen due to the actions of others.
If you decide to play golf, you don’t exclusively get to enjoy those excellent drives, chipping in or holing that outrageously long putt.
You are expected to replace your divots, rake bunkers after usage, repair pitch marks, let quicker groups through and remain silent when your playing partner addresses the ball.
Having first shared The 3 Things That Most Annoy Golfers, off the back of the Golfshake Survey, where respondents were asked to identify what the most frustrating aspects of a game of golf are, we’ve identified 13 further highly annoying habits, as voted for by you.
The number one issue, we’re confident every golfer has complained about slow play at least once in their playing career. It’s highly annoying that slow play can determine if you have an afternoon in paradise or hell. What’s even more frustrating is knowing the group in front are responsible for your suffering.
“Slow play, especially on the tee which seems to be the location for stories and jokes.”
Etiquette may be the most important of them all, as it’s your entire behaviour when on the golf course. Do you stand in the eye-line of your partner as they’re preparing to hit his putt? Perhaps you like to talk just as someone is addressing their drive. Moreover, slow play certainly falls into this category and it’s vitally important you understand the accepted level of behaviour on the course – and conduct yourself within that sphere.
“Shouting and screaming on the course with no consideration for other golfers on the adjacent fairways or greens.”
There’s no better feeling than pulling off a career-shot. You could be 100 yards away but behind two bushes with no evident line to the flag. You may even be 230 yards from the green and your ripped 3-wood has trickled onto the front edge. Whilst there’s no greater feeling than executing such a shot, there’s certainly no larger frustration than realising several pitch marks are on the line of your putt. The repair process takes seconds, please think of others and repair your pitch marks.
“Not repairing pitch marks on the green – if you’re good enough to leave them, surely it is a point of pride to repair them?”
After several minutes searching for your ball, you finally find it nestled against the one tree present on the entire hole. You take a few moments to contemplate your best route into the green but there’s constant chatting in your ear. “I would not like that lie,” you hear. Again, you try to mute the external noise but to no avail. You rush your shot and make double before regretfully trudging to the next tee. As golfers, we all know how vitally important it is to focus when on the golf course, so try to keep the noise to a minimum when it’s your playing partner’s turn.
“Golfers who make a noise or talk when you are addressing the ball.”
Tee Times are quite a contentious and broad issue, as there are several factors that make them frustrating. Firstly, we can discuss tee time allocation, where the club is at fault. It is unreasonable to expect four balls to go out every eight minutes, and they are assisting with the problem by expecting golfers to cause no delay despite being only eight minutes ahead. Another issue, this time at the fault of the golfer, is not sticking to scheduled starts and teeing off whenever the first fairway clears – which also promotes golfers to hurry others along, when it is them who are in the wrong.
“Golf courses that have clearly been overbooked, which results in much longer rounds.”
“Not keeping to tee times, which only adds to the stress and delay you experience on the golf course.”
If you are required to hit from a bunker, it’s unbelievably crucial that you rake the sand so your footprints and strike area is not uneven and thus, can produce a poor lie for the next player in there. It is expected that every golfer would rake bunkers after they have been in there but over the course of the last year, the amount of bunkers that have either been poorly raked or completely ignored is something that the sport of golf needs to eradicate immediately. The problem is, it’s solely down to the golfer to resolve.
“Players who do not rake bunkers, only for my ball to gently roll into the crater that they have left from their bunker shot.”
We’re constantly told, ‘ball first, turf second’. If you want to pure your irons, then the ball needs to be struck before we interact with the ground. If you can continuously achieve this, then you’ll be hitting crisp iron shots that should result in more distance and improved stopping power. However, when this is successfully attained, you’ll take a part of the course up with you, known as the divot. The divot needs to be replaced before you even pick up your golf bag! No-one, and we truly mean no-one, wants to be hitting from your unreplaced divot – it holds the potential of ruining a hole or even a round.
“The most annoying aspect? Golfers who clearly believe that birds are turning over their divots and replacing them!”
If you cast your mind back only a decade ago, you’ll remember that some golf clubs were offering discounted tee times for groups. Coupons were frequently utilised and great savings were being made by all. These came to a rapid end and the two booms that golf has experienced has only revitalised interest in the game. Of course, when demand is higher, pricing typically rises alongside it. We’ve heard reports of golf clubs upping their green fees due to popular demand, and they are pricing many out of their favourite hobby.
“Prices. Golf is expensive – clubs, balls, shoes, accessories, lessons, range, membership – we don’t need green fees to rise exponentially alongside them.”
Advice on the golf course is a general no-no, unless you have specifically requested it, that’s a completely different matter. If you seek advice, then feel free to ask away. However, there are a select group of golfers, who typically belong to the lower handicap category, who are desperate to share their wisdom. In all honesty, their intentions are in the right place, we just don’t need to hear how we could have avoided that slice by positioning our left foot 1.3 mm behind our right.
“People who walk up and down the fairway handing out unsolicited advice.”
Some of the inclusions can lead to frustration, but this one can result in outright danger – even death in the absolute worst case scenario. Bryson DeChambeau was rightfully vilified on social media for refusing to shout fore after a few wayward drives. However, how many of those golfers don’t shout fore at amateur level? I’ve actually been struck by a shank but thankfully, a shout of fore enabled me to turn which resulted in the ball striking my bag and not my chest, where it was destined to end up. Shout fore even if your ball strays narrowly from the fairway or the green and there are people present.
“When other golfers hit their shots too early and don’t shout fore.”
Potentially the most recent annoyance to surface, but the WHS has caused issues and the general feedback has been poor among some circles. However, one important thing to note, is that your handicap is a reflection of your potential, not your current ability. Nevertheless, the influx of competition winners playing off of 28 has caused rage throughout the entire golfing community.
“WHS. Nobody should be getting more than two shots a hole.”
We have now entered the realm of 2022 and the debate for golf’s dress code ramps on steadily. Ultimately, do we want more people playing golf? If the answer to that is yes, then should it really matter how they are dressed? Of course, we can’t allow topless golf to become the norm, but if more people are playing golf then the game is growing. If the game grows, we’ll see enhanced facilities for us all to use. Growth should result in investment, which should produce a greater golfing experience.
“Old fashioned dress codes – what’s wrong with hoodies and jeans?”
Sure, mapping isn’t as frustrating as finding a divot, or even locating your ball in an unraked bunker. It’s not as annoying as someone chatting in your ear or even as confusing as the WHS. It will, however, bug you until you find the right direction to the next tee. I’ve visited one club with overly lazy mapping, which resulted in me leaving the first green only to find myself traversing to the 8th tee!
“Poorly or non-existent marked routes from green to next tee – which also includes no map on the back of a scorecard.”
The sport of golf is filled with irritating frustrations that will take place every single round you ever experience.
However, many of these issues are caused by golfers themselves, and this behaviour can be easily corrected with the right attitude and a willingness to improve on-course etiquette.
Have we missed out any glaring frustrations that spoils your perfectly good walk