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Opinion & Analysis

Four golfers to avoid at the driving range



In a previous article, I highlighted the four golfers to avoid when playing a round of golf.

The list provided a basis to enhance the enjoyment of your weekly game, and keep you from quitting forever. However, as people with lives outside of golf, we know it isn’t realistic to get in 18 holes as much as we’d hope. Sometimes, we don’t even have time for a quick nine holes before sunset.

As golf addicts with an itch to swing the club, this leaves us with only one option: the public golf range. You know, the double-decker golf range with 180 stalls; equipped with golf mats, rubber tees, a mini-golf course, a trivial pro shop that only sells Wilson golf gloves and Pink Lady golf balls, a batting cage, and yellow, limited-flight Srixon range balls. Everyone has a local public range that they have resorted to, either in the off-season, or just to hit a small bucket after work.

This installment of “players to avoid,” features golfers at the local public range. These people will no doubt have a negative effect on your off-season/after-work golfing experience.

The Jack Byrnes, a.k.a. “The Over Bearing Father/Husband”


We all know him. He’s the guy that stands behind his son/daughter/wife and tells them what to do. The advice he’s giving is not only fundamentally flawed, but it’s articulated in the most condescending way possible.

Nothing is better than when he goes to show the “secret move,” and duffs the demonstration shot. The worst part is that he thinks he’s doing his loved one’s a favor by teaching them the game. Unfortunately, all he’s really doing is robbing them of enjoyment, instilling poor swing habits and scarring them for life.

Phrases you’ll hear from The Overbearing Father/Husband:

  • “Are you stupid?”
  • “That’s terrible!”
  • “How can I fix something that bad?”
  • “Stop wasting my time.”

The Animal House, a.k.a “The College Kids”


This is the group of degenerates at the back end of the range in jeans and cut off T-shirts. They’re undoubtedly drinking Keystone Light’s (finishing off the 12-pack that they cracked in the parking lot), using borrowed drivers from the pro shop (which they’ll probably steal afterwards) and spend most of their time throwing golf balls at the range picker, rather than working on their swing plane.

I’m all for the growth of golf and accepting new people that want to learn the game, but disrespect is a different story. And watch your mouth — cursing isn’t cool when there are kids around.

Phrases you’ll hear from The College Kids:

  • “Dude.”
  • “Foooooooore!”
  • “Hold my beer.”
  • (Sound of a driver hitting a beer can).

The Tin Cup, a.k.a “ The Gadget Guy”


This guy provides distraction based purely off humor. He spent $700+ on new gadgets over the winter, and he’s using them all at once. He has alignment tools, swing plane aids, core building enhancements and hip-turn helpers. With all this assistance, he’s still the one in the corner of the range hitting chili peppers up Lee Janzen’s butt (Tin Cup movie reference).

Hey Romeo, tell him to put all the change in his left pocket, for everyone’s benefit.

Phrases you’ll hear from The Gadget Guy:

  • “I’m gonna get it soon.”
  • “All I need to do is learn this one move.”
  • “By mid-summer I’ll be scratch.”
  • “You’ll see.”

The Happy Gilmore, a.k.a “The Crazy Person”


There’s no other way to describe this guy — he’s a head case. He’s the golfer with two jumbo buckets in front to him, getting increasingly frustrated with each swing.

He’s audibly yelling cuss words, convincing himself he’s terrible and lining up ball after ball hoping for better results. You almost start to feel bad for him, until he throws his new Taylormade R1 driver down the range, farther than you can hit your pitching wedge (impressive).

The golf range is for game improvement and relaxation, not fits of rage and self-loathing verbal assaults. Maybe he’d be better-suited taking fastballs off his forehead in the batting cages.

Phrases you’ll hear from The Crazy Person (censored for offensive language):

  • “I should quit.
  • “I don’t enjoy playing golf.”
  • “Wow, I’m really bad at this.”
  • “My life is worthless.”

This list of golfers should leave you with a decent idea of who to avoid at the public golf range.  Whether you’re going to hit a jumbo bucket to work out the kinks, or simply blowing off steam after work, this should help you keep your sanity this season.  Hit ‘em long and straight, but don’t be a distraction.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.




    Oct 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    When I can take the time, I’ll go to the range, pick out a terrible hacker, show him my 5 set-up changes, then sit back and enjoy his shock at hitting straight golf shots. Wish I could meet up with Charles Barkley out there one night. I’d be driving a Bentley soon afterward.

  2. Kristin

    Jul 24, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Pretty sure the overly sensitive whiners with no sense of humor who are taking offense to this and getting all worked up are likely Happy Gilmores, Animal Houses, or Jack Byrnes and you hit the tee shot a little close to their flag. Relax, friends, this article was meant to be funny. And it was. Get over yourselves. Could also be internet trolls just going around trying to stir up controversy and ruin everyone’s day.

  3. Andy

    Jul 12, 2013 at 2:30 am

    This article is comedic if you get it, offensive if you let it.

    Here’s food for thought for future GolfWRX rages (Marty, suggested reading):-

    The better, mentally stronger golfer doesn’t get too upset when a bad shot is hit; vice versa for a lesser golfer (read Chapter 6 – Bob Rotella’s ‘Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect’ if you disagree).

    The irony of the situation is, those few who have let so petty an article upset/offend/outrage them (I say petty with respect, I thought it was quite funny), you have some work to do want if you want to improve your golf (and in turn, be a better person).

    You won’t get far in life if you let petty nothings, such as thus, evoke such negativity within.

    And to those right now thinking “It’s not negativity! It’s my opinion and it’s my right to share it!! Who are you to tell me what to think?!”, my message is this:

    Shut up.

  4. Zak Kozuchowski

    Jul 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Let’s cool it, guys.

    – Zak

  5. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Why would you want to avoid these guys/gals?

    • Andrew Tursky

      Jul 10, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      The article is a comedic take on different people and personalities you encounter at the driving range as they pertain to characters in popular media, not to be taken offensively.

      • Marty

        Jul 10, 2013 at 10:11 pm

        One problem- the article wasn’t funny. If it were, maybe you wouldn’t have people taking offense. Try harder next time?

  6. Nicholas

    Jul 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Sounds to me like you have concentration problems, social issues, are worried about others rather than your own game, or you don’t understand the game of golf as it relates to everyone. I guess it can’t be helped.

  7. John

    Jul 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Yeah not a fan of this article…you started by saying public range, so you should’ve just stopped there…a public driving range is for ANYONE to go and use and enjoy however they may please. Golf is a game for everyone, all ages all personalities, and it’s articles like this that is really hurting the game with this elitist mentality. Because some people don’t practice as seriously and as often as you they need to be avoided?…if drinking is allowed, drink beers, if there aren’t kids around, yell and swear as much as you like until someone asks you (nicely) not to…seems like the guy to avoid is the guy who has problems with everyone around him at the public range because he’s such a serious golfer (must be turning pro soon)…if you don’t like the people around you, wear blinders and headphones, then rewrite this article to include yourself

    • Dave

      Sep 20, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      The range is not there to be used however one pleases. There is etiquette just like on the golf course. If you’re yelling profanity and throwing clubs or drunk to the point of endangering others we don’t have to just deal with it. Why would the folks who are respectful have to be polite in how they ask another person to stop acting in such a way when the violator isn’t giving anyone else the same respect? The comment “yell and swear as much as you like until someone asks you (nicely) not to” is just plain ignorant. The problem isn’t “everyone” around us, just the jackass who’s acting a fool. The sense of entitlement to do as you please regardless of how it affects others is an issue. If you think you should be able to do whatever you want wherever you want to the problem is yours, not some elitist bunch of golf nuts.

  8. Marty

    Jul 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Some of us can only afford the public range. Sorry if we don’t fit the bill of what real golfers should be like.

    • Jonathan Chicks

      Jul 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      Relax bud its just a humorous article pointing out the types of people who we have all seen at the range. It has nothing to do with what one can afford. If you think one of these is you, then you should adjust how you play at the range, as it makes the experience worse for everyone else. The only bill to fit of what a real golfer is, would be to act with respect.

      • Marty

        Jul 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        Hey, thanks BUD! I will take exactly 0% of your advice to heart!

  9. WarrePeace

    Jul 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    The one I especially like is the big buff guy in a tight polo shirt who brings his girlfriend to watch him hit balls or even better- to follow him in a golf tournament. Since I am only 5’6″ but have played competitively for many years, I love to settle in next to these guys and just flight balls at every target and then hit it 40 yrds past the big brute with the driver swinging easy and listen to them getting more and more pissed. Finally the girl will say- how come that guy can hit it farther than you?- Then the lid comes off the boiler and the guy starts swinging as hard as he can- only to yield 60 yrd slices ha ha- I love golf, the great equalizer of men. It’s even more comical in a tournament where there is trouble right and left.

    • Tyler

      Jul 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      You do realize you just sounded like the big buff brutes that drag their girlfriends to te course, right?

    • brian

      Jul 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      so you go to the range to show off?

    • Dirk

      Jul 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Hey Bro!

      Ever hear of this thing called a Napoleon complex? Might want to look into it–it could explain why you have problems connecting with others!

      • ray

        Jul 11, 2019 at 8:14 am

        Spoken like a poor golfers with insecurity issues who wants the status quo.

        Face it, he’s better than you. Period.

        Ps. Look up napolean complex and understand it properly..

    • IgnoranceIsBliss

      Jul 12, 2013 at 5:30 am

      … and then you woke up and realised you were still 5’6″ with a 150M bunt off the tee?

  10. Carl

    Jul 4, 2013 at 5:00 am

    My personal favorite. “How far is it to the back flag? Only 345? Not sure that’s deep enough for me but I guess it’ll work”

  11. Mitch

    Jul 4, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Was at the range the other day when the random guy next to me turned and asked me, “do you play?”……….. Literally shocked by the stupidity of that question.

  12. Jeffrey

    Jul 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Look, I didn’t throw my R1, it slipped.

    • Corey

      Jul 3, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      The Crazy Person to Romeo:

      Look, you’re the Mexican Mac O’Grady. You need to figure out why I’m still shanking the ball.

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