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Trying to get friend back into golf


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Took my buddy out for his first round in easily a decade. He had some bad experiences with golfers in general. For some reason he was feeling the game was turning more into a stuffy rich man’s sport. And felt like he just never could fit in with the golfing crowd. So fast forward to a week ago. And I convinced him it will be just fine. The game is more open to every diversity of individuals now 

We head to the first tee and they match us with two businessman with the biggest egos on this side of the planet. Both were immediately saying how well to do they are. They asked my friend what he does for a living and he told him he is a carpenter. They immediately treat him like an outcast. Sadly , he took his clubs off the cart after the 5 th hole and left. How do I get him out again ? This golf snooty stigma holds strong with him and golf. It really bothers him 

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Try taking him to a muni where it's highly unlikely you'll run into "snooty businessmen". 

Second, tell him to grow a thicker skin. Seriously. If he wants to get out there and enjoy the game with his friends, he can ignore bozos and hang out with you and enjoy being out on the course. Although I do have to admit, in 10 years of being paired up with folks, I have yet to play with someone who brags about how well off they are. Really interesting that your buddy gets that in his very first round in over a decade....

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5 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

Try taking him to a muni where it's highly unlikely you'll run into "snooty businessmen". 

Second, tell him to grow a thicker skin. Seriously. If he wants to get out there and enjoy the game with his friends, he can ignore bozos and hang out with you and enjoy being out on the course. Although I do have to admit, in 10 years of being paired up with folks, I have yet to play with someone who brags about how well off they are. Really interesting that your buddy gets that in his very first round in over a decade....

It was such bad luck. And if all could go wrong it did on this day. The course was packed, if I could I would’ve had the other two some go ahead.

it was a medium scale public course. And my next attempt will be a small executive course we have in the area. He so so stigmatized by his ideology of golfers in general. It’s hard to explain to him times have changed 

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16 minutes ago, Riverboat said:

Wow, unlucky. I have rarely run into that situation, and really feel like golf is a place where people from all walks of life can mingle. Where did you take him? Is there a scruffy muni somewhere nearby? Take him there. You'd be far less likely to run into the snob set, and those courses are usually a blast to play as long as you don't expect country club conditions.

Just bad luck. He actually started getting the big again last year. And was going to the range regularly and hitting it pretty decent. I tried… he is somehow so stigmatized by his perceptions of how golfers used to be. Or how they are perceived by him. He is more a nascar, fishing type of guy. If that sums up his demeanor. For some reason he doesn’t feel like he fits in with the sport 

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That is a shame. I only play public courses, and whenever I’m paired with other golfers, it seems always that work is the last thing anyone wants to talk about. 

I do remember one time, a guy in my carpool had become interested in the game, so I invited him out to play a round. He decided to invite a couple guys from his work to join us to make it a foursome. That’s fine. But when they showed up, they had invited a third guy. I remember feeling pretty angry about it, scrambling for another tee time behind the original group, at the same time realizing that I became the fifth man out of a round I invited people to.

I was pretty pissed, but it wasn’t all bad. His co-workers were bioengineering snobs anyway—and I channeled all that anger into my game. I broke 100 with a resounding 93.

And that taught me a great lesson: If I don’t like the people I’m playing with, put it all in my game. In the right mood, I can get pretty competitive.

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Is your friend 7 years old getting intimidated by big bad businessmen and storming off after 5 holes?

 

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3 minutes ago, PBH3 said:

Is your friend 7 years old getting intimidated by big bad businessmen and storming off after 5 holes?

People of all ages have anxiety and find situations like that very stressful.   I was playing in my companies golf league and had to switch tee times with someone because they were paired with companies VP and felt too much pressure.    Some people can just dismiss those attitudes and others can't.

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15 minutes ago, PBH3 said:

Is your friend 7 years old getting intimidated by big bad businessmen and storming off after 5 holes?

I can understand leaving the game before its complete. I left after nine holes because I just couldn’t stand playing with a messy drunk. I’m usually conflict avoidant, and I’ve never had a good experience confronting a drunk about his behavior. If that makes me 7, so be it.

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19 minutes ago, cnosil said:

People of all ages have anxiety and find situations like that very stressful.   I was playing in my companies golf league and had to switch tee times with someone because they were paired with companies VP and felt too much pressure.    Some people can just dismiss those attitudes and others can't.

I’ll be honest playing with guys in the Ohio group from the forum has helped me the anxiety you referenced. Everyone deals with it differently. Hopefully the OP can find a laid back course with guys who just love golf. Sugar loaf social style. Doesn’t matter the clubs you play with, or your “status” just go out and enjoy the game!

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1 minute ago, Riverboat said:

And people with depression, social anxiety, OCD, etc, should just suck it up and get over it, right? You are a thoroughly modern, well informed man, aren't you?

No, they should seek treatment for their conditions and avoid triggers.  If being asked what he does for a living is such a trigger he should avoid situations where that is a pretty common conversation starter.

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28 minutes ago, PBH3 said:

No, they should seek treatment for their conditions and avoid triggers.  If being asked what he does for a living is such a trigger he should avoid situations where that is a pretty common conversation starter.

Question being asked with tone A and tone B are two different things. 
I know these type and it’s not as black and grey as you’re portraying. 
also not everyone has the ability to seek treatment from a therapist.

@Goober it never hurts to have folks move up to or ask the course if ya can and explain the situation. If they don’t understand then they can afford to lose the business.
Have you tried weekday early? Always the best time for me anyway can get out as a single or double majority of the time.

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6 minutes ago, Lacassem said:

not everyone has the ability to seek treatment from a therapist.

There are lots of free and low cost resources for mental health care.  https://www.healthline.com/health/therapy-for-every-budget.  I would suggest that he check some of them out instead of spending money on golf.

 

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1 minute ago, PBH3 said:

There are lots of free and low cost resources for mental health care.  https://www.healthline.com/health/therapy-for-every-budget.  I would suggest that he check some of them out instead of spending money on golf.

From experience quality is not as simple as this article portrays. Support group might not be efficient enough and who knows what his health care is. 
I think you simply saying this person (and generalizing what you are insinuating) has mental health issues and should seek therapy  instead of spending money on golf is a little absurd. Maybe the guy can’t stand douche bags and going the course shouldn’t force you to deal with those people. 

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Just want to add. My buddy has a heart of gold. He is just a blue collar, quiet, hard working family man. He was a weekend golf warrior for many years. He told me so many times how he would never felt like he fit into the true die hard  golf community. Mostly comments about his old pickup truck he still drives. Too outdated clubs and golf attire. And just the looks from people can offset many in this game and make a 4-5 hour round absolutely miserable for him and others. Personally I think this is still the great divide that keeps many away from this great game. When the above poster said seek therapy ? I would say you are most likely the arrogant one who would belittle others of the blue collar groups who feel like they don’t fit in. Or don’t belong at your club and should only play the goat ranch munis. Your comment is a prime example of this divide that i thought was diminishing but truly still exists. Some think they actually own the course. Being a member at a country club or high end public course doesn’t entirely mean “you” own the course all to yourself.

It was just an unfortunate day. For some it is hard to block things like this out. The group in question may have felt like they did nothing wrong. Sadly this is normal behavior for so many. I guess he does need thicker skin. Really depressing one needs that just to hit a damn white ball around an open field. I’m going to try this one more time at a 18 hole executive course we have that has little to no play. It hurt me as much as it did him 

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6 minutes ago, Goober said:

Just want to add. My buddy has a heart of gold. He is just a blue collar, quiet, hard working family man. He was a weekend golf warrior for many years. He told me so many times how he would never felt like he fit into the true die hard  golf community. Mostly comments about his old pickup truck he still drives. Too outdated clubs and golf attire. And just the looks from people can offset many in this game and make a 4-5 hour round absolutely miserable for him and others. Personally I think this is still the great divide that keeps many away from this great game. When the above poster said seek therapy ? I would say you are most likely the arrogant one who would belittle others of the blue collar groups who feel like they don’t fit in. Or don’t belong at your club and should only play the goat ranch munis. Your comment is a prime example of this divide that i thought was diminishing but truly still exists. Some think they actually own the course. Being a member at a country club or high end public course doesn’t entirely mean “you” own the course all to yourself.

It was just an unfortunate day. For some it is hard to block things like this out. The group in question may have felt like they did nothing wrong. Sadly this is normal behavior for so many. I guess he does need thicker skin. Really depressing one needs that just to hit a damn white ball around an open field. I’m going to try this one more time at a 18 hole executive course we have that has little to no play. It hurt me as much as it did him 

@BIG STUcan easily tell him no set is too old. If I had an old truck I would still bring it right to the course. Park in the VIP spot too and chuck 🦅 to anyone that says otherwise 😂

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Just now, Lacassem said:

@BIG STUcan easily tell him no set is too old. If I had an old truck I would still bring it right to the course. Park in the VIP spot too and chuck 🦅 to anyone that says otherwise 😂

They don’t realize when things break down. My buddy is the guy you call to fix it. And then they have to tolerate him for hours or days in their homes. Like he has to tolerate them on “ their” golf courses. 
 

If any doesn’t think a big divide doesn’t exist. Than we are more blind (me included) than we think for sure 

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5 hours ago, Goober said:

They don’t realize when things break down. My buddy is the guy you call to fix it. And then they have to tolerate him for hours or days in their homes. Like he has to tolerate them on “ their” golf courses. 
 

If any doesn’t think a big divide doesn’t exist. Than we are more blind (me included) than we think for sure 

I hate that your friend was in this situation. Heck, when I started playing golf 44 yrs ago, I was young and somewhat a country redneck. I just fell in love with the game and learned the proper etiquette over time. Just didn't let these type people bother me. It's a shame, but he's probably going to run into these type people all during his life.

Not sure where you live, but maybe you could find a remote golf course to get him back out to.

Good Luck to him.

Edited by GaDawg
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I think everyone is on the right track with finding a local muni to get out on.

I've  been playing for over 30 years and that only happend to me one time. The jerk was the same type bragging about his job, cars, and formula speed boat. After the 4th or 5th hole I had enough and said "well with all your money I think  you could afford some golf lessons too". He was quiet the rest of the round! In your case I would have said something similar like "with all your money I would have thought you could have afforded to be a member at a private club"   

I'm a member at a private club. I'm not a silver spooner. I'm from a blue collar upbringing. My dad was a carpenter, I was a machinist for a good portion of my career. I played golf as a blue collar and nobody had an issue. Guess what, the course doesn't care either. They just want your money and for you to have a good time and come back.

But it was unfortunate that you and your friend wound up with these guys. The perception of golf being for white collar groups is outdated. This is exactly why there are so many options. Public courses, town run muni's, executive courses, resort courses and private clubs. 

Another suggestion is to find two others that you know to make it a foursome. This way you have controlled the experience to the fullest. That will make him feel at ease.

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6 minutes ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

Another suggestion is to find two others that you know to make it a foursome. This way you have controlled the experience to the fullest. That will make him feel at ease.

I think there has been a lot of sound advice given in this thread, but I especially love this. I know it may not be possible to find two other friends free to play often, but I think the positive experience from this would lay a good foundation for getting your friend playing more often. 

As someone who plays a lot of solo rounds, I can tell you that anxiety creeps in thinking about getting paired up with someone else because you never know what they'll be like. Most of the time I've really enjoyed it, but I think the prospect of an abrasive personality scares me. I'm a talker here on the forum, but am usually reserved in real life so keeping a conversation going with a stranger. My social anxiety is real.

I'm very sorry your friend had a bad experience on the course and I hope it doesn't affect him going forward. 

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@Goober tell your mate that some people are just arseholes, but he already knows that. I don't know where you guys are, but if you're near Ohio, give us a yell and we'll play and have a great time.

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