One of the adventures of playing public golf without a regular foursome is that you can be paired on the first tee with anyone. Daily-fee golf can bring together partners of varying age, gender, race, political view, profession, income, skill level and temperament for a sometimes intense, emotional four-hour roller coaster ride that comprises 18 holes of golf.
A standard golf line is that the game reveals character; what other sport requires the integrity to call a penalty on yourself? While that is a truism, the highs and lows of golf can also expose individual quirks and idiosyncrasies.
Golf on municipal courses, in particular, has provided the perfect setting for sociological field study. It has led to the categorizing of some unique personality traits that many golfers have come across at one time or another. Following are a couple of non-fictional characters pulled from the research notebook and close encounters of the unusual kind.
Digital Dan: Many golfers take to the course to become unplugged from their busy lives for a few hours. Not Digital Dan. He ramps it up. He posts on Facebook prior to the round to make sure his legion of followers (his mom) know of his recreational whereabouts. He tweets on every hole – usually #AnotherTripleBogey. Digital Dan pushes through Alibaba day trades on his iPhone app between putts. With his Bluetooth headset, it’s difficult to distinguish if he is talking to you, doing a business deal or muttering to himself over his last shank into the woods. During the handshakes on the final hole, Digital Dan says he’ll send you a LinkedIn invitation and a text with a link to his post-round blog. He apologizes for forgetting his GoPro camera or he would have posted the round on YouTube. Digital Dan then points his range finder to his car in the parking lot so he knows exactly how many yards he has to walk.
Clubber Carl: Clubber’s prolonged pre-shot routine includes indecisiveness on which club to pull on every shot. After walking to his ball, he agonizes over the combined effects of wind speed and direction, slope degree of the terrain, humidity level, turf grass type and overall Feng Shui vibes. Clubber then walks bag to his bag, carefully checks the sun angle and reminds himself of his daily horoscope. He then assures himself that, yes, the putter was the correct club for that remaining 4-footer. A playing partner once had to be restrained from attempting hari-kari with a divot tool when paired with Clubber Carl on a blustery day with cart-path only play.
One of the beauties of golf is that it reveals character, as well as reveals its characters.