• Alistair Tait

The 12 golfers of Christmas - The Moaner


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.


5. The Moaner


You don’t want to play with moaners. They can bring you down faster than a quadruple bogey. You’ll be glad you don’t have razor blades in your bag.


Moaners love to wallow in their own misery. Worse, they seem to expect you to wallow in it too. Doesn’t matter if you’re playing well. They couldn’t care less. Woe is me is all that matters.


The moaners actually believe the course conspires against them. It’s never their fault. The wind was wrong. There was a bump in the green that threw the ball wide of the hole. The gods of golf hate them.


They’re the glass half empty ones. Compliment a moaner on a great drive on a par 4 and he or she just might respond with:

“I can easily make a five from here.”

If they knock a ball close to a flag they might say:

“Miracles do happen.”

It doesn’t take much for moaners to lose the plot. They can start with five straight pars, hit a bad shot on the 6th hole and the moaning starts. It might not end for four or five holes, by which time the round is ruined. That’s when they usually utter something like:

“I never could play this game. I really don’t know why I bother.”

I admit to being an occasional moaner. There have been periods in my golf when I just couldn’t hit the golf course, never mind the fairway. I’d like to apologise unreservedly to everyone I’ve dragged down with my attitude.


I’m going to be a better person going forward. Honestly.


Moaners never seem to be happy with the condition of the golf course. The greens are too fast. They’re too slow. There’s too much sand in the bunkers. There isn’t enough sand. They’re the ones most likely to take the head green keeper’s name in vain. As in, ‘Joe Bloggs hasn’t a bloody clue,’ even though the moaner has absolutely zero knowledge of agronomy, and the only thing they’ve ever grown successfully is a hatred of this royal and ancient game.


I played with a guy years ago who spent the entire round complaining about every aspect of Woburn’s Duchess Course. The condition was a disgrace, he said. It was February, we’d just endured six weeks of heavy rain and most nearby courses were closed. As far as I was concerned, the club and the greens staff were doing a fantastic job just to get us out playing.


Thankfully that moaner is no longer a member. He’s probably moaning at some other club right now.


The moaners are the ones seem to spend their time emailing the club with a litany of complaints. You can imagine the reaction of the secretary or club captain or managing director when the moaner’s email pops into their in box. In this digital age, some even attach photos to back up their spurious claims. Honestly.


And some claims are ridiculously spurious. When I first joined Woburn, I played with an old guy who moaned the whole way around. I can’t remember every beef but one stuck with me. He said the thing he disliked most about the club was it didn’t serve a decent bottle of Burgundy in the restaurant. I thought he was joking at first.


I don’t think he appreciated my response:

“I joined to play golf, not drink wine,” I said.

We never played together again.


Beware the moaners. If you do get drawn with them then your most important piece of equipment just might be a pair of ear plugs.


#JustSaying: “Golf is the cruellest of sports. Like life, it’s unfair. It’s a harlot, a trollop. It leads you on. It never lives up to its promises. It’s not a sport, it’s bondage. An obsession. A boulevard of broken dreams.” Jim Murray

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