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  • Alistair Tait

The 12 Golfers of Christmas – The Commentator

Welcome to another Christmas series highlighting characterisations of golfers we’ve all played with over the years. The series proved so popular last year I’ve decided to repeat the exercise this Christmas, too.

Once again, I obviously pre-wrote these so I don’t have to write my daily blog over the holidays. Still no flies on me. In other words, I’m currently incommunicado enjoying time with my family; eating and drinking too much; and taking long walks, sadly without Izzy in tow.

Oh, Izzy. Merry Christmas my big lassie. Still miss you big time.

10. The Commentator

My ball is screaming towards the out-of-bounds fence down the left-hand side of first hole of Woburn’s Dukes course and my playing companion is shouting:

“Cut, cut!”

I’ve hit the biggest pull hook you've ever seen; it has as much chance of cutting back onto the fairway as I have of winning The Open, but it doesn’t stop my playing companion from talking to my ball anyway.

And we’re only on the first hole. And, as the doyen of golf writing reveals in the #justsaying quote at the bottom of this blog, there's no rule about what you can say to another golfer.

On the 2nd hole I hit a fairly decent drive and a good 8-iron to the green, and my playing companion starts up again:

“Down. Down!”

He’s obviously afraid the ball is going to fly over the back of the green and down the steep slope even though I know there’s no danger of that. Sure enough, the ball comes up 20 feet short of the flag.

On the fourth holes The Commentator is egging the ball to:

“Get up, get up.”

I always love it when commentators say this and then change their minds halfway through the ball’s flight, switching to:

“Stop. Stop!”

Make your mind up, mate!

I’m stuck with this individual for the rest of the day, who seems to be auditioning for a role with Sky Sports Golf to replace Butch Harmon as an analyst.

What is it about golf that certain individuals seem to have to tell you about every shot played during the round? This individual not only expounded on my shots, but his too.

“Oh, I was trying to hit a draw but it just wouldn’t turn over.”
“I was sure that putt was going to break left. I must’ve misread it.”
“I hit that chip really nicely but I needed to land it on that little downslope and it would have run out to the hole.”
“I’ve always felt this is the classic risk and reward hole….”

After about six holes I wanted to scream:

“STOP!” Or “Shut the you-know-what up!”

Often the would-be Butch Harmon comes with all the clichés, and golf has plenty of those for a commentator’s repertoire:

“Never up never in,” as you leave a putt short.
“Drive for show putt for dough,” as you fluke a 20-footer.
“That par you made at the last is what will bring you back next time.”

Of course, after the round The Commentator can’t help but go over the round, hole-by-bloody hole in the bar afterwards! Never ask commentators how they played: you might have to listen to every shot.

I now usually try to steer The Commentator away from a blow-by-blow accounts with the words:

“You’re not REALLY going to go hole by hole, are you?”

The Commentator is very close to Bomb Scare, with the difference that Bomb Scare can bore you with any topic whereas The Commentator only wants to talk golf ad nauseum.

Earplugs are a good option when paired with The Commentator.

#JustSaying: “There is no rule of golf laying down what one may or may not say to one’s opponent.” Bernard Darwin

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