Welcome to my Christmas series highlighting characterisations of golfers I’ve played with over the years. A wide variety of people with a vast array of personalities enjoy this game. I’ve distilled them down into 12 types to entertain you over Christmas.
I obviously pre-wrote these so I didn’t have to write my daily blog over the holidays. No flies on me. In other words, I’m currently incommunicado enjoying time with my family, eating and drinking too much and taking Izzy for long walks. So, in true BBC style, please do not respond to these blogs; they’ve been pre-recorded.
6. The Bore
A club professional acquaintance has a neat ruse for when he spots the club bore walking towards his shop. The club pro places his phone underneath his counter, ready to take decisive action.
When the club bore launches into a diatribe about his round of golf, the club pro deftly reaches under the counter and speed dials the telephone in the pro shop. As soon as it rings, the club pro excuses himself to take the phone call.
If only we could all do that when we get stuck with the club bore.
Every club has one. The club bore can make you wish for a bad case of the shanks rather than get cornered in the clubhouse, or even have to spend 18 holes in his or her company. You'll have to stifle a few yawns.
I once went out for drinks on a trip to Canada with a group of guys I’d played football with. We recounted stories of games we’d played, people we’d played with and against. One guy in the group seemed to remember every minute of every game we’d ever played.
He’d say "remember that game against Saltfleet? We won 3-2. I got one of the goals and you got the other two."
I struggled to remember a team called Saltfleet never mind playing a game against them. Yet this guy seemed to remember every game we’d played over two seasons and who scored the goals.
I found his memory entertaining on that occasion. As for the golf club bore who wants to go hole by hole in the monthly medal. Oh. My. God!
Worse are the bores who remember competitions from two, three, five 10 years ago. There’s nothing worse than someone who tells you he and Player A had a great match against Player C and D last week. Then proceeds to tell you how they came back from three down after three to win on the last hole, explaining every single hole in minute detail.
My first encounter with Danny Willett came at the 2007 Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham. Willett beat tournament favourite Rory McIlroy. We invited him into the media tent for his reaction. All we wanted were the highlights, but Willett was so pumped he went over every hole. He not only described his own shots, but Rory’s too!
He was on such a high we didn’t want to bring him down by telling him to shut up.
I’d love to tell the bores to shut up.
I’m constantly amazed at how tour pros can rhyme off every shot, every club, ever yardage, putt length in a round of golf. Worse, they can sometimes do so for rounds they played years ago.
I’ve got many tour pro friends. I sometimes have to bit my tongue when congratulating them on their play in certain events. It can lead to a hole by hole description of the round, the misses, the makes, the bad bounces, etc.
Golf club bores are capable of the same. George Peper gave a speech at the 2010 Association of Golf Writer’s dinner at St Andrews in which he lamented that his wife didn’t seem to share the same passion for his golf as he did. She once interrupted him in mid flow with the words:
“Darling, you seem to think I actually give a damn.”
I feel like saying that to the club bores, albeit without the darling moniker.
#JustSaying: “You don’t have to talk, Tony, just listen.” Lee Trevion to Tony Jacklin after Jacklin said he didn’t want to talk during the final round of the 1972 Open Championship.