By Chris Prickett — In business, playing golf is almost a prerequisite to being successful. I’m sure glad being good at golf isn’t, or I’d be polishing garbage cans for a living.
I’ve always been competitive when it comes to sports, with the exception of golf, a game at which I truly stink. I didn’t pick up a club until I was about 40, and I quickly went from being horribly bad to just bad. Sadly, I’ve hovered at bad ever since. The good news is, with a few pointers, a hacker like myself can still be at least mildly successful when hanging with the business crowd. You just have to know a few tricks.
1 Know the rules. Shanking a shot can happen to anyone, cracking a joke during someone’s backswing will earn you the ol’ “stink-eye” or worse.
2 Pulling out your driver on the putting green will get you blacklisted faster than you can say “fore.”
3 Keep the ball rolling. If it takes you eight shots to get to the green on a par four hole, do it quickly. Searching for your slice for 20 minutes or “waggling” prior to your next errant attempt is no bueno. Most courses have time limits and if you hold up play, a ranger will visit you. Not cool.
4 Play in “scrambles.” Many charity tournaments are done in this format. Three good golfers can make up for one schlub, especially if that schlub is buying the beer. And tip the cart girl generously. The more people on your side, the better!
5 Know plenty of good golf jokes. This is probably the only thing that gets me invited back. There’s usually a little downtime between holes (especially at scramble events), so a little levity can carry you when your clubs can’t. Just keep them in your bag during the other guy’s backswing.
Over the Prickett Fence is a column in In&Out Magazine.
Answer: In case they get a hole in one.