In New Jersey, where I used to live, we all “know a guy.” Unfortunately, golf course superintendents all know similar guys, the ones who come play your courses and make your lives much more, uh, interesting. See if you know these guys, too.
Green Speed Guy. This guy carries a 16-plus handicap yet the greens are never fast enough for him … not to four-putt. Not surprisingly, he also carries a knockoff Stimpmeter and pulls it out at a moment’s notice, usually rolling balls both up and downhill on your most undulating putting greens.
Wannabe Architect Guy. You’ve seen him out there, standing in the woods, waving his arms trying to get you to understand how much better this hole would be if only you built a tee here, moved the bunkers there and lowered the green surface for his bladed 3-metal rocket approach shots from 150 yards. He regularly participates and comments “intelligently” in design and architecture chat rooms.
“At My Other Club” Guy. When they see this guy, superintendents up the throttle on their carts to get away. He’s constantly trying to chase you down to explain what “HIS” other superintendent is doing at “HIS” other club. Of course, his other club is in Florida and you are in Montana.
Wrong Hole Guy. There is no reasoning with this knucklehead, who feels he can start wherever he wants and swears he won’t bother any of your workers. He is closely related to Course Closed Guy, who feels because it’s after quitting time he can go out and play the closed course, saying, “Really, I won’t bother anyone!”
What I Saw on TV Guy. This guy always has that faraway look in his eyes — usually from watching too many Masters reruns. He searches you out to tell you what he saw, and wouldn’t it be great to do it on your course. His rants often begin with, “Did you know at Augusta National they do … ” and end with, “Why can’t we do that here?”
Financial Guy. Because he runs his company’s finance department, this chucklehead knows how you should spend, or even save, money in your department. Doesn’t help any that his foursome usually includes friends who think maintenance costs are the same today as when they joined the club … in 1974!
Apples to Oranges Guy. This guy is a regular at the club where I belong. He surfaces when two clubs with different operating budgets (among other differences) are neighbors. He has friends at the other club, where he regularly mooches for play. He then appears on the hottest day of the summer to tell you how much better turf conditions are over there.
Internet Agronomy Guy. A keen hunter. He comes across as calm and kind, seeking friendship so you won’t be offended by his vast “agronomic knowledge.” His opening salvo usually begins, “I was surfing the net for a new set of clubs when I stumbled across this Poa annua stuff.” Followed “innocently” by, “Have you ever tried … ?” Hopefully, Big Tech will cancel his account. Soon.
Member-Guest Guy. An easily agitated guy who seeks you out after playing in the member-guest at the elite club down the street where the billionaire owner chooses the members, only 5,000 annual rounds are played and everything is done for the member except (ahem) washing their balls. He’ll accost you like an angry White House reporter, demanding to know why your course can’t be in similar condition because “We’re only two miles away! It’s the same grass, water and climate!”
Thinks He’s Better Than He Is Guy. Maybe my favorite member, this guy is in complete denial of how bad he really is. And he’s bad. He annoys the GHIN System by posting a vanity handicap while blaming the course, turf conditions and your maintenance for his inability to hit a good shot. Among his regular mutterings: “No way these greens are 11 feet! If they were, I wouldn’t have missed so many footers!” and, “There’s no damn sand in this bunker. No wonder I skulled my shot!”
Tree Hugger Guy, regular partner of Granola Guy. They’re out there wearing sandals with golf spikes and cargo shorts, carrying an old leather golf bag stuffed with a sack of homemade granola and distilled water. They can be seen traipsing in your freshly-planted native areas communing with the butterflies and bees. They wrap themselves around that dead oak next to the fourth green trying to preserve the habitat for the Rump Spotted Humming Thrush.
NASCAR Guy. Last but not least, my favorite. He uses the COVID-19 single-cart rule as an excuse to turn your course into the Daytona 500. He and his buddies line up like Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson and come flying out of turn two like a freight train, boldly going where no carts have gone before.