Golf is a crazy game that often brings out the craziness in people. They fiddle, they obsess, they experiment, and even pray to a higher power for help over a three foot putt. Spending 20 years in the golf business, from driving range attendant to assistant professional to head professional and now golf instructor and coach, I’ve seen the crazy behavior that comes out of golfers. They all mean well, but their obsession with the game gets the best of them and they simply can’t help themselves. So it’s time to have an intervention (and good fun) and understand what type of personality you are and admit you have a problem – a golf problem.
This golf nut actually thinks that his clubs are to blame in some way for every shot. Sure, club fitting is important as I have mentioned many times, but The Tinkerer makes sure to bend, prod, and weigh every possible aspect of his clubs in hopes of pointing the finger. Could those bad shots be a product of the “Indian” and not the “arrow”? Not according to The Tinkerer. The shaft must be wrong, the lie angle on the clubs too upright, the putter grip a millimeter off. So if you are The Tinkerer, please get a good club fitting and leave well enough alone. You can’t buy a good game with the next great club or shaft, you have to earn it with good practice, properly fit golf clubs, and some lessons. Put the scale and magnifying glass down and hit the ball!
The Range Pro
Ah yes, the ever present range pro. If you have ever been to the range and set your bag and bucket down for a nice afternoon of practice and then realized that you are being watched, you know exactly what I am talking about. The Range Pro has no credentials, in fact he may not be able to beat you on the golf course, but he will do his best to offer unsolicited advice by the bushel. Did you just top the ball along the ground? “Keep your head down”, the Range Pro says. Never mind this is the WORST advice you could give anyone for their game, he read it in a magazine or saw it on TV and it surely can help you! The Range Pro can take a nice afternoon at the range and turn it into a nightmare for any unsuspecting customer. So if you are a Range Pro, keep your wrong advice to yourself and don’t quit your day job. Leave the coaching and teaching to people who are qualified, and leave that poor guy at the end of the range alone. Oh, and stop staring at him.
The Machine is a golf range owner’s dream. She can take a large bucket of balls and set a land speed record for hitting them into the range without taking her hands off of the club. Stop the madness – this isn’t a race! The Machine will set up shop on the range with all of the best intentions. A good practice session, a relaxing day, just her and her clubs. Then in a matter of seconds, The Machine is off and running, as one bad shot leads to another one and the balls begin flying out of the tray, onto the mat, and into the air. It’s quite possible that The Machine can have 2 balls in the air at once, that’s how fast they are moving. At the end of a large bucket, she may need a crowbar to dislodge her hands from the grip after hitting 96 balls without removing her hands from the club once the entire time. So do us all a favor and slow down if this is how you practice. Quality practice is the way to go, so leave those balls in the bucket and reach over and pick one out one at a time. Golf isn’t meant to be high intensity interval training!
What is that he sees? A demo day is coming up – perfect! DemoMan is the club fitting specialist’s worst nightmare. If there are 15 demo days, DemoMan is at all of them, whacking away at the latest and greatest from all of the manufacturers. He asks questions, often in bunches. He tries different shafts and heads, often many times over. But in the end the DemoMan succeeds in only one thing: wearing out the demo clubs without ever buying anything. Come on man – throw the fitter a bone once and awhile by buying a club! DemoMan is in a constant state of flux; he is going through swing changes, but he wants new clubs. He doesn’t think he hits the new driver any longer than his 20 year old steel shafted driver, but hey, why not test every possible one anyway? Don’t be a DemoMan. Take advantage of club demo opportunities and talk to a good fitting specialist like our man Josh Gumlia at Night Hawk. But for the love of golf give the guy a break and make a decision on a club and make a purchase so that you can shed the title of DemoMan. Because make no mistake, they know who you are…
Remember, friends, that the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. You’re addicted to golf and you know it. There are millions like you who love the game and think about playing every chance they get. But the game can take a weird hold on you and make you behave in funny ways. Please take my professional advice and seek help…or lessons.