April 14, 2010


I have just received perhaps the biggest and most ominous sign that I am both a full-fledged adult and have a full-fledged adult job. Next month I'm supposed to attend a business-meeting-slash-golf-game. This terrifies me. Because this is what I know about golf:

1. The point of the game is to hit a little white ball across what looks like a gigantic well-manicured lawn in a mad attempt to get said ball into a tiny hole within a certain predetermined number of attempts.
2. Par is the number of attempts you get.
3. Hooks and sandtraps are as bad as they intuitively sound. One must avoid these.
4. Grown men seem to lose all sense of fashion when dressing for golf games.
5. Driving around in golf carts is kinda fun.
6. The only thing more boring than watching golf is watching someone watch golf.
7. Tiger Woods banged a lot of women, most of whom were hookers or strippers or porn stars.

And that is the extent of my golf knowledge. You see why I might be in trouble.

I need help and opinions.

1. Your opinion: golf - silly game or 18 holes of outdoor party?
2. Do I need to run out and buy a pair of silly pants?
3. What the hell do I need to know about golf?
4. The fact that I am about to attend a golf-focused business function makes me irreparably uncool, doesn't it?
5. I'm fucked aren't I?

Posted by Chris at April 14, 2010 7:00 AM

I'll just answer question #5: yes, yes you are. And I dare you to go to the meeting dressed like Payne Stewart.

Posted by: Jen at April 14, 2010 7:13 AM

1. Your opinion: golf - silly game or 18 holes of outdoor party? SILLY! But it has its perks for those who do enjoy it, such as my boss... he's ALWAYS in a good mood after. Its like his sex.
2. Do I need to run out and buy a pair of silly pants? No! Wear khakis :)
3. What the hell do I need to know about golf? No idea, I know I'm not much help.
4. The fact that I am about to attend a golf-focused business function makes me irreparably uncool, doesn't it? Don't look at it that way. You can get the 'in' with the big wigs playing golf.
5. I'm fucked aren't I? yes :)

Posted by: Leanne at April 14, 2010 8:03 AM

So I played golf for 15 years before 'retiring'. I stopped because my best score from 15 years ago is still my best score.

But, it's a fun game if you play with fun people. And to clarrify: par is what you TRY to get, double-par is typically the number of attempts you get (but a lot of times folks will give you as many as 10 strokes, unless there's money on the line, then you hole that sucker out if it takes all day).

You seem to have the rest of it down. Just don't talk when others are hitting, don't let you shadow fall across someone's putting line, if a goose takes your ball, walks off and then drops it, you gotta play it where is falls. Never played golf with my boss, but I'd imagine he's allowed to laugh at your bad shots while you are not at his. Enjoy! Sounds fun!

Posted by: David at April 14, 2010 8:20 AM

I think the best businessmen are the ones that decided to not follow the golf crowd. Look around, you will find them. they will wow you with their intelligence not their putter.

Posted by: linda at April 14, 2010 8:21 AM

Golf is an excuse to spend a day outside smoking cigars and drinking, without your wife present.

I played a lot early in my professional career. I sold my clubs on Ebay back in 2002/2003 and haven't missed them. I prefer disc golf these days.

Posted by: COD at April 14, 2010 8:40 AM

I always found Golf to be silly. Then I actually got out there one day and I had a blast. I suck, but that is ok.

My main goal was keeping the ball out of the trees, out of the sand traps, and away from other peoples heads. It was a hoot and I couldn't wait to do it again! I eventually got a wee bit better. I can at least whack it in a straight line now. LOL. And my putt has improved a ton. I don't care if people think I am a geek. It is an excuse to drink beer, drive around in a cart, get some sunshine, and screw off with my friends.

I say don't sweat it. Have fun with it. If you are REALLY concerned, hit a driving range and give it a go.

And I triple dog dare you to show up dressed like Payne Stewart. HAHA!!

Posted by: Jen at April 14, 2010 9:14 AM

Who was it that said golf was a lovely walk ruined? Anyway, that's about it. I've played golf a handful of times. Liked being outdoors and the company far more than the game... for me it was just an excuse to get outside. As such, my advice revolves around that presumption.
1. Both.
2. No.
3. Read your own above list. That is all you need to know about golf.
4. Nope. Just enjoy the walk. It makes you a lucky man to be outdoors on the green while others are working or (worse) living in a war zone.
5. Not in the least.

Posted by: martin at April 14, 2010 9:15 AM

Yes, golf is a bit silly but it is important in business. To ensure you don't make an idiot of yourself visit Top Golf (there's one just off of 495 just past the mixing bowl). It is a glorified driving range but has electronic sensors on the ball so you can see on a computer screen where you hit it. I learned enough going there to not completely embarrass myself on a golf course. And they serve beer which is also good.

Posted by: goodsnake at April 14, 2010 9:18 AM

1. Neither silly nor a party, but more enjoyable than, say, tennis.
2. No silly pants needed. Think business casual. Khakis, but not cargo pants, maybe a polo shirt.
3. What do you need to know? All of your above assumptions are reasonably correct, except that par is what Tiger Woods should get, not the allowed number of attempts. Very, very, very few casual golfers get par (3-5 strokes, depending on the length and difficulty of the hole). They might get par on one or two holes, and then they will beat your ear off about those holes in the clubhouse afterwards, while you throw back a beer or two.
4. Uncool?! Absolutely not! You.have.arrived.
5. Fucked? Probably no. But, since you have a month's warning--I fully agree with previous posters that you should hit up a driving range a couple of times and make sure you can at least hit the ball when you swing at it. It's okay if it doesn't go exactly straight, but it should go up in the air, and forward. I tend to hit a line drive perpendicular to where I'm aiming, which puts my neighbors at the driving range in real danger, so I choose not to golf on real courses. However, my husband golfs and I have gone along before, and it really is a perfectly fine game. And I somewhat agree with the previous poster who said it's a day of cigars and booze without the wife. But you also get the smell of freshly cut grass, sunshine, and, you know, guy talk. You might be surprised to find that you like it.

But, again, I would try it out until you can at least get the ball moving in the right direction. It is perfectly acceptable to be not-very-good at golf, but it would be slightly humiliating, even emasculating, to not be able to get the ball in the air. Not to frighten you. Oh, and let the kids come along to the driving range. There are probably places that have mini-golf (or putt-putt) courses along with the driving range, and they might think that was fun, and they will like seeing the people golf. Don't plan to have them there forever, but if you find a family friendly golf place, there will be a mini-golf course you can all play together, an ice cream booth, and an arcade that they can putz around in while you spend 30 minutes hitting a "small bucket" (DON'T get a large. You will be very sore the next day.) Good luck!

Posted by: Sabrina at April 14, 2010 9:48 AM

Golf is a weirdly addicting game when you play. I took a golf class in college and really enjoyed it.

I also recommend going to a driving range to practice hitting a bucket of balls. Maybe ask for help with your swing and which clubs to use when. You can probably get away with using only the same 2-3 clubs and your putter all day long - I did anyway.

Don't forget the slice - this is also bad.

Posted by: jen at April 14, 2010 10:04 AM

Um...your above-listed knowledge is not exactly on point! Par is not the number of attempts you get.

Hopefully, you'll be playing with people who are not super-serious about golfing (b/c it puts people in REALLY bad moods when they have a bad day) AND that you're playing "best ball" so if you have a lousy shot, it won't slow down play.

If all else fails, there's beer (usually), sunshine and golf carts. Sounds like a good time to me!

Posted by: Robyn at April 14, 2010 10:04 AM

I used to think golf was a big waste, and then started playing and find that it is a very spiritual / zen sort of game. The perfect golf swing is allowing your body to become a pendulum; to let go in the moment and just be while the physics take over. Plus it is nice to get out.

Agree on the advice of getting out to the range; also, spend some time playing a golf video game. Seriously. It will teach you about how long each club will hit for ( that is what the different numbers are about; lower the number, greater the distance ) and which clubs are right for which environment.

Also, there are a few accessories that if you have them will not betray your golf-noobiness. Specifically:
1. Get a comfortable pair of golf shoes.
2. Get a glove; one with a detachable ball marker ( like a reverse button )
3. For the day, get a nice set of golf balls. I highly recommend getting the yellow ones, as these will stand out and make it easier for you to track. Assume that you will lose them. By the way, it is appropriate to pick up a ball or two when searching for your lost ball. It is said that bad golfers never have to buy balls, and there is some truth to it!
4. Golf towel - you will be kicking up some dirt, and a nice towel is handy to clean your club ( and self ) off. Also, remember to replace any clumps of grass you kick up.
5. This is optional but nice: there are golf shirts that are perforated to allow wind to keep sweat off you; it's a nice touch and helps keep you comfortable. There is actually a whole fashion of sports wear around golf designed to have that "business casual" look while engineered to keep you from sweating like a pig.
6. Bring some energy bar / water bottle type of snacks for quick recharge.

Also, spend some time studying golf etiquette. There are a lot of little points ( don't walk across where someone will putt, because you could change the angle of the ball, etc. ) but a bunch of really good websites that will give you the overview to avoid any major faux pas!

Final piece of advice is to get a hybrid wedge; my wife uses one and it is great for driving the ball.

Posted by: metawizard2 at April 14, 2010 10:17 AM

You've told them you don't know how to play, right? Maybe you can just drive the cart and fetch beers.

Posted by: k8 at April 14, 2010 10:19 AM

The driving range suggested is a great idea. Also, take the kids miniature golfing...they'll have fun and you can practice your putting.

Golf is frustrating as hell, but I love it. I haven't played in years, but refuse to sell my clubs because I hope to play again someday.

Just have fun and talk business...

Silly pants are not required!

Posted by: Krush at April 14, 2010 10:36 AM

I love golf. It's a great game, and a lifelong challenge.

1. Your opinion: golf - silly game or 18 holes of outdoor party? Something inbetween.
2. Do I need to run out and buy a pair of silly pants? No. I wear Khaki shorts and a polo shirt.
3. What the hell do I need to know about golf? Don't try and hit it so hard.
4. The fact that I am about to attend a golf-focused business function makes me irreparably uncool, doesn't it? No, I'm jealous.
5. I'm fucked aren't I? Totally fucked. I would highly recommend either practicing every day until the event or being the ride-along beer man/caddy.

Posted by: Brad at April 14, 2010 11:14 AM

Golf is an excellent excuse to drink. It is lots of fun, but intolerable without drinking. And a cart. I'm not walking that motherfucking distance.

You don't need silly pants, but you do need to dress for the weather. It's a hell of a long time to be out there freezing your ass off or sweltering in a blazing sun with lined khakis.

Of course you're fucked, but remember, sometimes getting fucked has a positive connotation!

Posted by: harmzie at April 14, 2010 11:25 AM

I would like to point out that my wife (Sabrina) posted earlier and she had not the faintest idea of what golf was before she married me.

To answer your questions, firstly.
1. Not silly in anyway, could be an outdoor party or could be serious
2. No silly pants required because it is better to not be that guy. Note, if you did and so did your boss and yours were cooler, than it would be a negative impression. Second note, if you boss does wear them, do make comments about his or any others that you see, might be obvious, but a little reminder.
3. Rule#1: Never talk when someone else is about to swing or in the process of swinging, whether the person is in your 4-some, 3-some or 2-some or some other "some"
Rule#2: Hole #1 tee, make sure to give your boss "honors", honors=right to hit the ball first
Rule#3: The person furthest from the "cup" goes first, this starts after the tee shots until the last ball is dropped into the cup
Rule#4: After the first hole until the 18th, the person who wins the hole gets "honors" on the next tee, until someone either beats that persons score on the next hole. If the person with honors either ties or beats the other players on the remaining holes, then that person will always have honors.
Rule#5 (last rule): Let you boss win the round no matter what and if you can to save face in front of your boss, win a couple holes yourself.
4. Not cool, but "in", if you can take advantage of it. Deals and promotions are made constantly on a golf course, it is unquestionably for the good and bad golfing execs out there, the business office not in the office.
5. Yes, If you can't figure out a way to hit a golf ball generally in the forward direction and not in the air, it could be a long frustrating day on the office!

Outside of this, good luck and I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Posted by: Mike at April 14, 2010 12:08 PM

Khakis sound good, though someone suggested shorts and I wouldn't recommend doing that without checking with the course...most places have dress codes and some don't allow shorts.
Do you know where you're playing? Maybe you could even call ahead and get a quick lesson.

Posted by: Heather at April 14, 2010 12:14 PM

They say the golf course is the best place to close a business deal, but despite that, I still have never played because I can't justify chasing that little white ball around ALL DAY LONG!!

Posted by: Rose @Dozenroses13 at April 14, 2010 12:58 PM

You know more about it than I do. However, in answer to #5 - yes, I do believe you are!

Good Luck! ;-)

Posted by: cyndy at April 14, 2010 1:05 PM

Golf is retarded. However, these golf pants actually make it worth playing. You must buy a pair.

Posted by: Elise at April 14, 2010 1:42 PM

Only a guy would give you the 411 on what to do to get ready to learn the game.
A woman , or most women would ask, "Do you really have time away from your kids right now?"

Posted by: Maribeth at April 14, 2010 1:53 PM

I have golfed once. Two guys from work when I was in Germany tried to teach the two gals in the office. I love to watch, but haven't gotten the guts up to try lessons. It is expensive and in the end, I wonder who the heck would I golf with.

Driving range is a good idea and maybe, a lesson or two to see what your in for so that you can get used too hitting the ball. Best of luck.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at April 14, 2010 1:56 PM

The person that suggested getting a bucket of balls to hit is smart.

Do you have clubs? I think it would be really expensive to purchase clubs for one game.

I had a friend in University who wanted to learn to play golf because rich businessmen play golf. 10 years later, she is happily married to a rich businessman.

Posted by: Heather at April 14, 2010 2:04 PM

Just offer your service as the designated driver. Seriously! Cite an imaginary injury (oh I threw my back out picking up Owen the other day...) You can still go out there and be involved without actually having to golf. ;-)

Posted by: oakley at April 14, 2010 2:08 PM

I just realized that I'm the only comment that advising you to NOT golf at all. And even lie to get out of it. LOL.

But hey, I don't golf, unless it's frisbee golf. Last time at one of these, I played only the first hole, took us forever to get there, and the party was more than happy to have me just drive the cart. Hahah!

Posted by: oakley at April 14, 2010 2:12 PM

1. Silly game.
2. Might as well wear silly pants if you're going to play a silly game.
3. That it's a silly game best played drunk.
4. You're saved because it's a work function (assuming that you can't get out of it).
5. Yes!

I've never understood the allure of golf, and I've worked with many golf-obsessed people. Dad's company had a golf tournament every year, and I got to drive the beer cart around the course....talk about being the most popular person out there, and it was super easy to steal some beer for ourselves (what can I say, I was 16).

Posted by: sherri at April 14, 2010 2:13 PM

1) Yes.
2) I kinda want this to happen and you must provide visual proof.
3) Uh...stuff?
4) Hell no. Ok, maybe because it's business related you lose a little "street cred"! But, I'll have you know I have a group of friends who play golf and they are COVERED in tattoos. I would pay good money to see the reaction to those boys when they show up on the course.
5) I'm thinking your score is going to royally suck! Better you than me.

Posted by: js at April 14, 2010 2:15 PM

I think anything that could potentially involve argyle, beer, and golf carts is a win-win situation! Although I do agree that hitting up a driving range might not hurt... ;D

Posted by: Michelle at April 14, 2010 2:40 PM

In my old job, I bought a set of golf clubs so I could learn to golf and kiss my boss's ass. I ended up never using them and he promoted someone else instead. Think about that.

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at April 14, 2010 3:06 PM

1: silly game. My husband (who is in the outdoor party camp) and I argue about this all the time :)
2: No, just wear khakis or nice slacks and you'll be fine.
3: Hitting the ball is way harder than it looks.
4: Yeah, kind of.
5: Most definitely. Good luck!

Posted by: Angela at April 14, 2010 3:40 PM

You wanna know what's more boring that watching someone watch golf? A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor just randomly showed up on our doorstep with a VCR tape from the early 90s of his sons playing golf for us to all watch together.

Posted by: NG at April 14, 2010 4:13 PM

I learned how to play when I was four and grew up competing at all sorts of levels, so here's my advice:

Don't try too hard. Embrace the fact that you haven't played the game and enjoy the opportunity to be outside on a beautiful course swatting at a ball with sticks.
Don't take anything seriously, but do use this time to observe your peers: You can truly gauge a person's character by how they act on a golf course.
Don't throw clubs. That's how lawsuits happen.
Do drink beer if the opportunity presents itself. I always played better when tipsy, because I stopped thinking so hard about my swing.
Sure you're fucked, but that's not so bad a thing to be. I mean, there are worse things to be than fucked. Enjoy the fucking. Embrace it. Listen to the birds chirp. Snort in the spring air. Whack a ball toward a flag. It's incredibly relaxing as long as you don't care about how many whacks are required.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at April 14, 2010 4:44 PM

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Relax your arms and bend the knees slightly. Hit that MF-er as hard as possible. :)

Posted by: Mark V at April 14, 2010 5:27 PM

dont forget to address the ball. 'Hello Ball!!' (name that show) hehe :)

Posted by: madmom at April 14, 2010 5:43 PM

Above comments....all very good, I've managed a clubhouse at a golf course....very good times..lol, just be honest and tell your fellow golfers that you have never played before, hopefully they are good guys and gals and will give you some pointers and you will actually enjoy the day. Oh,and being a "golf virgin" you will get ribbed,made fun of, teased, take it all with a grain of salt, they are just trying to hide their own shortcomings. Go, have fun, I had a dude at my course golf in a kilt...sans underwear...don't ask....and beer has never tasted better!!!! :-) Can't wait to hear the details....

Posted by: Roberta at April 14, 2010 6:33 PM

It's hard to become a golfer overnight, so go rogue. Carry a couple of beat up clubs in an old army duffle bag and swing as if you're playing baseball. Or offer to be the designated cart driver.

Posted by: Lojo at April 14, 2010 7:44 PM

Okay, forget the mini van worries- this is what equals you are old.

Posted by: Nic at April 14, 2010 7:48 PM

lol I think you might be in trouble! At least I think I would be in trouble because I think my knowledge and yours are one and the same. Best of luck!

Posted by: Debra at April 14, 2010 11:52 PM

golfing is not that hard to learn. Grab a bucket of balls a couple days a week till the game. Driving ranges can be your friend. Also, take a shot at the putting green too. and by all means please please pretty pretty please, DRESS LIKE PAYNE STEWART. My dad dressed like him when he would go play. I loved it.

Posted by: Marla at April 15, 2010 12:46 AM

outdoor party.
get the silly pants.
let yourself have some damn fun and don't over-analyze the situation :)

Posted by: kati at April 15, 2010 1:11 AM

I am a newlywed golf-widow but I was abandoned for golfing as a girlfriend and fiance, soooo....

1) Golfers take themselves way too seriously sometimes.
2)It actually does get interesting when you start to configure driving distance with topography and wind.
3)It still gets boring as hell by the 13 tee when I am brought along on a golf outing, even when I bring my camera and a book.
4)Having my husband teach me would take a lot longer and be more expensive that just finding the divorce lawyer we would wind up at anyway.

Posted by: Karen at April 17, 2010 10:41 PM