This is a piece for my fellow weak-minded golfers out there.
Noise doesn't bother me on a golf course, be it music, the grounds crew doing their thing, a cart that comes to an abrupt stop during my backswing -- all good.
I also don't like to blame anyone but myself for poor play or a poor shot.
That said, there are certain lines I've heard from playing partners on the course that irk me. There's nothing I love more than busting chops with friends while chopping my ball around the golf course.
But there are some things that I think need to be off limits and I'm not even including the wishing of "good luck" my buddy Jeff has been giving me a split second before starting my downswing since we were 14 years old.
Again, this is for my fellow weak-minded golfers out there. A lot of you reading this are going to proclaim: "You're a wuss! Get over it! Block it out!"
I totally get it and that's more than fair. But, please, for me and golfers like me, hear me out.
Here's a list of 11 things we really, really don't want to hear on the golf course.
1. "Look out for the water hazard on the left."
Thank you, playing partner, for bringing a hazard to the forefront of my brain that I hadn't even considered until you mentioned it. You've seen me hit my tee shots right all day long. Now it's going to look like there's a magnetic force pulling my ball to the complete opposite side of the course into that hazard.
2. "Put me down for a 6 there."
Why do I have to "put you down" for a specific number? Can't I just put you down for the score you actually totaled on the hole?
3. "I can't believe I just shanked that shot! When's the last time you hit a shank?"
Well, I'm not sure about the "last time" I hit one, but I'm pretty sure the "next time" is right around the corner since you mentioned the word.
4. "I've never seen anything better than a three-putt from the part of the green you're on."
Fantastic. I'm sure I'll have no problem bucking that trend now that you put that out there.
5. "I haven't seen you hit a bad shot yet."
Thanks for noticing. I'm going to dial one up for you right now.
6. "Have you been playing this entire round with just one ball? I'm impressed."
The only way you -- and me -- will be more impressed is if I don't lose the ball on this next shot.
7. "All you need to do is bogey this hole to shoot your career-best score."
At around the 12th hole I realized how well I was playing today and have been doing everything in my power to not think about the score and take it all one shot at a time just like the pros... Until now. Sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I'm going to make worse than bogey on this hole.
8. "Wait until you see the lie you have in this bunker. Nasty."
I'm sure I'll be able to make that discovery myself once I get there. Thanks, Feherty.
9. "Great try for birdie giving it a run like that. But man, you have a knee-knocker left for par."
Yes, yes. I can see with my own two eyes that I pretty much hosed myself on an easy two-putt par. No need to poor salt on the wound. Now, let me try to pull it together and stroke this 4-footer with all that positive reassurance dancing around in my head.
10. “Don't leave this putt short."
I appreciate you pointing that out. I didn't notice the downhill severity of this putt until you were kind enough to verbalize it. So, if I leave this one short you mean to tell me I'll be faced with a second severely downhill putt and that wouldn't be a good thing?
11. "Take your time."
This is one of my favorites. My dad -- the man I have probably played more golf with in my life than anyone else -- has been notorious for this since I started playing at age 5. I'll be playing great (by my standards). Suddenly, I'll hit a shot or putt that has me running a little hot. Just as I address the next shot, without fail, he'll pipe up with, "Take your time, T."
Boom. Kiss of death. Back away, restart the routine and inevitably screw up the next shot as I'm wondering as I play it whether or not I'm taking my time.
This happens most often when I elect to finish out rather than mark my ball. And, most often again, means I still have two putts left to hit.
For fun, here's a video featuring 10 of the best golf rants and tantrums: