The Golf Family
By bkuehn1952 on 3/18/11
Many of us have a regular group of golfers with whom we play. The size may vary but the unit often times resembles a family, albeit a sometimes highly dysfunctional one. Families rarely are constructed exactly alike. However, many do share some common characters.
Most groups have an acknowledged "Dad". "Dad" is the one responsible for setting the tee times and informing all the other members of the "family" of the plans. For many years I was the "Dad" to our little group of 4 to 8 golfers. I would check to make sure everyone was available, pick a course, set the tee time, inform the "family" of the details and then accept the inevitable abuse ("There again!", "That’s too early!", "Their food sucks!", "It is too expensive!").
As "Dad", I would arrive early and check-in to hold our "family's" spot. This duty was then followed by an anxious wait for the other "family" members to arrive. One group member did a good job of playing the part of the irresponsible youngest child, often arriving while we were in the process of teeing off. "Dad" eventually resorted to telling "Junior" that the tee time was 30 minutes earlier that the actual slot. Unfortunately, "Junior" had the ability to add and subtract and would invariably adjust his schedule so as to arrive at the last minute.
"Mom" was the member who originally knew everyone and brought our disparate collection of golfers together. He had something in common with each player (co-worker, neighbor, church member, etc...) while for the rest of us, our contact was pretty much limited to the weekly game. "Mom" could invariably smooth out the minor spats that often arose and prevent the breakup of the "family."
The "Cool Uncle" part was well played by our sole single-digit handicapper. While the rest of us hacked it around, our "Cool Uncle" typically striped it down the middle. He had a lot of clever little sayings ("I see your problem, you are standing too close to the ball … after you hit it!") and usually had the latest hot driver or breakthrough putter. Everyone in the "family" wanted to be in his group.
"Gramps" was naturally played by our oldest member, although age is not always required for this role. No, what is needed for the "Gramps" part is someone who hates change with a passion ("Golf has been going to hell since the introduction of [fill in the blank]." "I remember when we always [fill in the blank]."). In the movies, "Gramps” has a well-hidden heart of gold; not so in this little family. Nope, "Gramps" was pretty much just a crabby complainer. The rest of the "family" secretly wished "Mom" would metaphorically place a pillow over "Gramps" face some night and solve the problem. No such luck.
As with any "family", we had to contend with the infrequent but gut wrenching death (i.e. “Brother” took a job transfer out of state). "Mom" would then audition potential new boyfriends until enough of the "family" got tired of all the new faces and finally accepted a new "family" member.
Eventually the pressure got to me and I abandoned the "family". Those were some heady days, enjoying my newly reclaimed golfing bachelorhood. Early tee times, new courses, I had it all. But after a time I began to miss the "family" and all of the many routines associated with that former long-term relationship. Fortunately, "Mom" is understanding and recently allowed me visitation rights. Even "Gramps" smiled when he saw me. You know, I just might consider getting hitched again.
. . .
So tell us about your golf "family". What part do you play? Any other common roles we would recognize? Share your stories!
This was written by Brian Kuehn, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not necessarily reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.
[ comments ]
Love it! So true. Everyone thinks that they are the cool uncle, myself included.
I am "Mr. Jones - the friendly neighbor". I'm normally the guy in the group that everyone is gunning to beat. I receive a good amount of flak and trash talk on my poor shots, yet i'm the guy who is asked all the questions and the person the "family" looks to to "tell them what's wrong with their yard". Very much like the friendly neighbor, i try to explain what's wrong but their yard ends up burnt and dying anyway.
My group has the above (some play dual roles) plus a "brat." The "brat" is normally a solid golfer, but when he doesn't have his "A" he throws temper tantrums. The tantrums can be quite funny, especially after he misses an important short putt!
Kurt the Knife says:
I am the cool uncle
except for the golf part
Torleif Sorenson says:
1000 points for you, Brian - nice piece!
nitpickin... up top it says:
The Golf Family
By DougE on 3/18/11
should read: your soon to be new boss who writes the best posts on the site Brian Kuehn.
now that i read article i would be the Dad/Mr Jones as Xris put it. I call everyone up, set tee times, pick the course, get there early. And then they are all trying to beat me and give me crap when my play is off.
Not sure what this would be called but my fatherinlaw 24hcp braggs on every decent shot but gets so pissed when he takes ten shots to the green will sit out a hole then come back make one ten foot putt and he is the best golfer in the group again. how about the Bi-polar.?
i would probably be the dad figure and depending on the guys i'm playing with the cool uncle...i'm always trying to plan outings and bring different folks together...booking the tee times...confirming directions...etc...
not quite a single digit, but trying to get there...definitely have some of the latest gear too...my coworkers get on my case because i'll have clubs shipped to work to avoid the scathing looks from the wife...surprisingly she notices new clubs in my bag anyway which pisses me off...
Kurt the Knife says:
"scathing looks from the wife...surprisingly she notices new clubs in my bag anyway which pisses me off..."
Throw some diamonds at her occsionally, see if that helps.
BTW how do you turn your dishwasher into a snowblower?
Buy her a snowblower.
@KTK..."throw some diamonds"...i actually just used that line a few weeks ago when i bought my new G15 fairway woods...i told her that clubs were my jewelry and to back off...i didn't actually say the back off part, but i thought it...
Kurt the Knife says:
Like, how do husbands say, "Fu** off"?
I sometimes tell my wife I'm just slipping out for a few hours to pray to St. Patrick.
He's the Patron Saint of Golf you know...
I am the Dad and the Mom. I make the tee times, and find the courses. I also lately have been the one trying to get the foursome together so usually I know everyone but they may only know each other by name recognition. Now all you BAU wannabees profile this guy and give him a role. Usually he is at the course almost right at tee time. He recently bought a new set of clubs, but right now is only using the odd numbers "mastering them" before moving on to the evens. He is a slow player who knows it and doesn't care because "he paid his money" Will drive the cart past the exit here sign and think nothing of it, but people who leave trash on the course "should be shot in the head." He will spend an hour after the round on the putting green just because. Some days you really don't want to invite him but... he is your best best friend. I think I will call him Little Brother. You know he annoys the crap out of you but you love him anyway.
Sorry I forgot this. He also brings most of the laughs, and for every time he does something to get under your skin on the course, he is doing something that makes the round more enjoyable.
I'm the Dad to a group of over 30 that usually has 8-16 people playing in a given outing. You forgot the "crazy uncle". The crazy uncle doesn't care that much about golf but loves the family time. Without lots of encouragement, the crazy uncle will complete a round in 6-8 hours. He takes 20 muligans a round and still can break 130. He is the reason the guy at the front desk yells at Dad (Me) because one group took 4 hours to finish the front nine.
Great Post! Best one yet Brian!
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