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Helpful Things to Say or Do When a Player is having a Bad Round?


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I try to be pleasant and courteous always. I compliment good shots as often as possible, but I don't say anything that might get into another players head - to the good or bad. I am not a trash talker on the course, my groups tend to confine trash talking outside actual rounds of golf (a good idea IMO). But are there things one can say or do when someone in the foursome is really having an unusually bad day that are certain to help or at least do no harm? Had such a round last week with a player who’s putting totally abandoned him (pace and read), I wasn’t counting but he said he had 5-6 3-putts, and he’s usually a decent (or better) putter. I’ve played with other regulars who’s swing abandoned them as well, versus putting. I’d love to know anything that might help, it’s painful to watch a golf buddy struggle.

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Having had lots of bad days - I wouldn't want someone to comment - that would get into my head more. When one of my partners is having a bad day I just let them work it out, figuring that's what I would want. The worst thing for me is if someone tries to offer me advice. 

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2 hours ago, tony@CIC said:

Having had lots of bad days - I wouldn't want someone to comment - that would get into my head more. When one of my partners is having a bad day I just let them work it out, figuring that's what I would want. The worst thing for me is if someone tries to offer me advice. 

I agree 100%. I wasn’t thinking advice, I never give advice even when asked. More along the lines of something to take their mind off it, shake it off, e.g. the next round will be better. I hate to see a buddy suffering.

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In most cases, the less said, the better.

 

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When the game is headed south do not say a word unless they ask.  Best to just stay quiet and let them figure it out.  Maybe chuckle if they have a good club throw or two. 

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As other have said, less is more unless I ask what I’m doing wrong. Frustrating having a bad day and someone telling me how to fix it and not being able to.

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Depends who your playing with.

With USAF friends , don't even think about starting to complain or make excuses as to why your having a bad round. Your going to get bombarded with NSFW insults, THAT sometimes snapped you out of it by not getting any swing thoughts in your head.

Brother in law, about the same, but a little less vulgar.

Paired with strangers, not a word.

Guess you need to know your audience 

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“helpful” advice on the golf course isn’t unlike advice in real life: 

if it can’t be fixed in less than a minute, don’t say anything. 

the only difference is golf course advice should only be given if it’s asked for 

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I dont say anything. Most of the guys I play with dont want to hear it. I might during a round say something if I see a buddies alignment off when that is not the norm. 

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I don't say anything and just keep quiet while looking for there ball unless playing with a certain group of friends, then I'm going to throw so much smack at him and rub as much salt into the wound as possible because I know next time I have a bad day they'll do the same to me. 

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On 12/28/2020 at 8:14 AM, JoshAndersonGolf said:

Maybe chuckle if they have a good club throw or two. 

@Middler I fall into the 😂 laugh category of ridiculousness. 

I make a joke of it to lighten the mood. Or, I might even talk about something totally not golf related at all.

I guess I'm that guy. 

I enjoy the public humiliation of my friend's bad shots by yelling "Fore" with a good little 🤭 chuckle to boot. 

Golf is a game - GAME... It should be fun and it can be fun even when the score card doesn't reflect it. 

If it really is a friend, genuine encouraging words like, "I value our friendship" or "it means a lot to me for my sanity when we get to spend time together on the golf course" because it puts the value on comraderie more than score. 

When a friend is having a temper tantrum then I might even tell them to snap out of it because it isn't fun for me - a little sarcastic selfishness.

Even strangers, "Thanks for letting me join your group (you) because I really don't like golfing alone." 

I am in the camp that golf is a game not meant to be played alone - I don't enjoy playing alone. This is my preference. I do not discount how some might enjoy playing alone, but not me. 

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Fortunately the guy I was feeling bad for (and it lasted a couple weeks), snapped out of it himself, no surprise. When I played 18 with him last week he had 6 birdies, and left a couple more strokes out there. He’s back on his game. And I never said a word - I knew that was best, just wondered if anyone had found a way to help I hadn’t thought of. Don’t speak up, but don’t withdraw either - just act as always and let them figure it out in their own time. IF they ask something answer honestly if you have something constructive or objective but don’t elaborate or offer advice (unless you’re really qualified).

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On 12/27/2020 at 12:20 PM, Middler said:

I try to be pleasant and courteous always. I compliment good shots as often as possible, but I don't say anything that might get into another players head - to the good or bad. I am not a trash talker on the course, my groups tend to confine trash talking outside actual rounds of golf (a good idea IMO). But are there things one can say or do when someone in the foursome is really having an unusually bad day that are certain to help or at least do no harm? Had such a round last week with a player who’s putting totally abandoned him (pace and read), I wasn’t counting but he said he had 5-6 3-putts, and he’s usually a decent (or better) putter. I’ve played with other regulars who’s swing abandoned them as well, versus putting. I’d love to know anything that might help, it’s painful to watch a golf buddy struggle.

Sometimes saying nothing is the best thing that you can say.  You dont want to give them some encouragement and have them feel like you are patronizing them.  Id just try to be supportive when they hit a good one.

Beyond that, just leave them be.

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Say nothing about their game but carry on conversation that has nothing to do with golf. If I am the one having a tough day, this gets me out of my own head and back to having a good time regardless of how I am playing and usually helps my game. 

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I think it really depends on the situation your in. 

Are you in a competition, how well do you know the person, what's their personality like etc.

So many factors to consider. I know when playing with friends and it's not serious and only a couple of pounds on the line for beer that any bad shot by anyone will get multiple comments. 

If it's a competition then I don't say anything and don't expect anything form others other maybe a few words of encouragement, again that depends on the personality and how they will take the comment.  

 

As a general safe rule, less said the better.

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As background, my wife and I golf together a lot. With that said: I'm going to have my wife read this entire thread particularly the comments about her saying NOTHING when I'm having a bad day on the course.  

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3 hours ago, tony@CIC said:

As background, my wife and I golf together a lot. With that said: I'm going to have my wife read this entire thread particularly the comments about her saying NOTHING when I'm having a bad day on the course.  

I golf with my wife also, if I'm having a bad day, she's recording on her phone and sending to all my friends 😒

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3 hours ago, Jedaigeki said:

I golf with my wife also, if I'm having a bad day, she's recording on her phone and sending to all my friends 😒

😱

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Cobra King F-9  5 wood
:ping-small:  410  Hybrids 22*, 26*

Cobra Speed Zone 6-GP/Recoil ESX 460 F3 Shafts 

:titelist-small: SM7 54* Wedge

:ping-small: Glide 3.0  60* Wedge

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2018 Official Tester :wilson-small: C300

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We're fairly honest with each other.  The last guy to struggle during a round was close to losing it...naturally, the worst player in our group started giving him mid-round lessons.  

"Hey Marcus, your grip is just too weak for how strong of a man that your are."

"Hey Marcus, stick your ass out a little further to help supinate your lead forearm into impact."

"Marcus, do you smile or frown during your downswing?"

It helped...we all couldn't stop laughing and quality of his play turned right around.  He was so distracted by the ridiculous tips he couldn't focus on how bad he was playing.

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