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To future aliens studying earthly activities, golf will seem incomprehensibly dumb. Why, they’ll ask, did this human species design such an impossibly frustrating sport requiring participants to club a 1.68-inch ball 200+ yards across rarely-accommodating terrain into a hole barely big enough to fit said ball. Why, they’ll ask, was this a common activity prior to such a beautiful event of a wedding? What does slamming a club into the ground have to do with infinite matrimony? We’re weird. Golf is weird. Still, golf is inevitable, and you’re gonna have to deal. A classic choice for destination weddings is a resort on a beach somewhere. And you know what resorts often have? Gold courses. And you know what a bunch of men do together? Golf. So when you, someone for whom golf does not come naturally, are invited onto the green, here’s how to suck it up and play the game.
BEG FOR SCRAMBLE FORMAT
Insist on playing SCRAMBLE format, which allows players to hit each shot from the location of your group’s previous best shot (see rules here). This is easily confused with BEST BALL format, which still requires maximum shame management, but helps make your scorecard look better than it should.
Golf is all about simplifying processes. Grab a wood and a few irons and ask someone who knows what they’re doing to give you one tip—just one. Focusing on just one part of your swing throughout the day will at least give you a foundation to build off next time around, assuming there’s a next time.
You’re going to need about 10 balls because you’ll probably lose nine over the course of 18 holes. Also, ease all debilitating tension and load up on brews for the cart path. By the third hole, you’ll feel loose enough to manage a few triple bogeys. Flasks and cigars are typically welcomed and encouraged. It’s entirely okay to quit midway through a round and assume on-course bartender duties.
Own your suckitude. Even scratch golfers are required to self-deprecate, so prepare to mock yourself. Quoting lines from any of the following movies will also help distract from your painfully nonexistent golf skills: Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack, Caddyshack 2, The Legend of Bagger Vance. This list goes on.
Any decent player with a hint of ego, no matter how well he plays, should be shamed. As the worst player, you literally have nothing to lose. While competitive golfers must comply with etiquette standards, you couldn’t give a rat’s tail! Embrace your rare position and say what everyone’s thinking.
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