Monday, January 30, 2012

Top 5 "Special" Things You See At The Range

Thought we would take a break from golf instruction and delve into some of the things we see at the driving range that well....just get people irked, irritated, angry and just plain mad.  You see some bizarre goings on at the driving range.  For example, take this video below of the gentleman in black going through his ritual pre-shot routine:

Last month Golf Digest produced "The 18 Most Annoying Golf Partners."  Which included men who hit on beverage cart attendants, men who light up those awful cigars where the smoke plumes seem to follow you, and The Mulligan Man who tees up extra shots at will.  So in light of this article, we wanted to put out a top five list of "special" things that happen at the driving range.

1. The Amateur Professional - Out of all the sports I've played, and I've played a ton of them, golf seems to turn everyone into an expert.  At the driving range we work at and across the country, there is undoubtedly a person that walks the range offering little gems of swing advice to unsuspecting golfers.  TheGolfChick actually wrote about a man who took a stalker like approach to give her advice.  The insane part about these guys...and yes they are typically men is they usually struggle to hit the ball themselves.  You expect your teaching pro to be able to get the ball off the ground at the very least.  We have a couple guys who come and bring people to the range (which is against golf course policy) and give impromptu lessons.  Please, please, please if anyone you see who can't hit the ball tries to teach far, far away!

2. The Multi-Stall Conversation - Here's the situation.....there's a golfer to the right of you and then to the left about two stalls down another person hitting balls.  The people you're sandwiched between notice each other, are familiar with each other and strike up a raising their voices and talking over the span of four or five stalls.  One of the first aspects of golf most people...maybe not now are taught is silence during the shot.  Now the driving range is a bit different because you're there to practice and there's some residual noise.  However, these guys decide to carry the conversation over the span of the stalls instead of meeting up behind the stalls or going to have a beer at the lounge.  All the while you feel like you're dealing with multiple personalities while trying to straighten out that slice of yours.

3. The My Kid Is The Next Tiger Guy - Ok...I don't have children, but I know that most parents believe, and rightfully so that their kids are good, wholesome citizens of the world.  In fact, in golf, I haven't met a young person who wasn't polite and respectful.  But....not every child is destined to be the next big thing on tour.  Some of them are going to be captains of industry, doctors, lawyers, maybe even president.  So why is it you inevitably see a parent coaching every little movement of their child's swing.  About a week ago, a parent was with daughter teaching her at the range when I heard (mind you I have a hearing loss so it was loud) "How can you ever expect to get a scholarship to Stanford with that kind of swing?"  Everyone looked over and the poor girl was as red as a stop sign.  I see this more than I can bear.  Golf is losing people by the truckload especially with women and children.   Please, I'm begging you...just let your children go out..hit some balls and make a few mistakes...I'm sure the PGA, LPGA and member schools of the NCAA will understand.

4. The "No Putt Zone" Guy - You have a nasty six footer to save par, you've lined it up, figured out the speed and as you step up to the ball this figure comes into your peripheral vision.'s the guy who is oblivious to everything on the putting green except...well himself.  This one surprises me it happens so often. Normally, people pick a hole they want to practice with, line up some balls and work on their game.  But every so often you get that person who wants to putt at every hole and walks right in your line.  Sometimes doing this when you are in the middle of your stroke.  Please, if the green is full just pick a hole and practice your different scenarios, but whatever you do, respect everyone's line.

5.  Chernobyl - Now this one I've noticed just recently, but I would be willing to bet it happens more than you think.  I was watching a young man hit balls and was struggling.  His issue was overloading on his right side on the backswing which caused a lot of fat shots and other crazy misses.  He would shake his head, talk to himself and then BOOM!  He takes his 6-iron and knocks the heck out of the basket of balls sending them everywhere.  He wasn't done!  The unsuspecting second basket of balls was summarily kicked all over the stall.  By the he was done, there were golf balls all over, his blood pressure was up 50 points and the golf swing didn't improve.  Next day I watched a older gentleman literally cuss out his driver.  He held it up to his face and dropped all sorts of profanity which will not be repeated here.'s like our friend Allen Iverson says..."it's not a game...we're talkin' bout practice!"  Chill out, relax, take a deep breath...come over to your teaching pro and he'll straighten it out.

Honorable Mention -

1. Golf Cart On/Near Greens

First off....cart paths are for carts.  Greens are for putting.

2.  Practicing While Speaking On Cell Phone - Yes because your chip shot is as interesting at that moment as speaking to your wife or kids.

3.  The Chunking Chipper - Please, when you're on and around the chipping green and you excavate about a foot worth of turf, please don't leave it on the green.

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