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The Words Golfers Never Want to Hear

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Since this story (and the future stories I will share) may not paint me in the best light, I decided to write under a pen name. Full disclosure: my employer also didn’t think it was cool that I would be writing for a golf website. 

My wife came to me other day and said the words you never want to hear from your spouse: “I think we should quit the country club.” The chain of events this set off inside my head was like nothing you can imagine. On second thought, you’re on GolfWRX, so you know exactly what went through my head. I’ll save all the details of conversation for another time, but for now I can tell you that I put on quite a show after she uttered those words.

The best way I can describe the next hour of my life is to compare it to how you act when your wife shuts down your request to play 18….the day after you just played 36. You know deep down you shouldn’t be asking to play again, but you give it a shot anyway. It sounds something like this: “Oh honey, I’ll cut the grass when I get home.” Or “How about after the round, I take you to that new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try?” Or “I know I played 36 today, but when I get back I’ll put a new roof on the house. Pleeeease.” We’ve all been there, and if you take that scenario and multiply it by 50, that’s where I was in my head.

At some point during this hour, I realized a couple of things. First, I realized golf is more than just a sport to me. It’s a way of life, something I love, and something I don’t want to give up. My day is constantly filled with thoughts of golf. The first thing I do when I get to work? I check out the GolfWRX Classifieds to see if anything interesting was posted since last night when I went to bed. Lunch break? I’ll check eBay for the golf-related items I’m watching. When I get home, I flip on the Golf Channel while I change out of my work clothes. It might not be healthy, but it’s my life, and like many of you, I’m OK with that.

The other thing I realized in that hour was that all of the people who have told me my life is like a sitcom were correct. I say this because, at one point, the thought crossed my mind to try to fake cry! At another point, I thought about making up a story about playing golf with my dad as a kid, the memories I had of it, blah blah blah. Somewhere in middle of all of that, I even contemplated acting as if I was having chest pains.

At the end of the day I didn’t do any of that. For the most part, I acted like an adult… sort of. To be clear, though, if you would have told me that any of those acts was a surefire way to end the conversation and keep my membership, I would have done it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, I know my acting skills suck and my wife can see right through them.

Her reason for wanting to quit was valid; it costs a lot of money. I can’t argue with that, because it’s true. I belong to one of the nicer country clubs in the area, and the golf course is the crown jewel. It hosts local qualifiers, USGA events, etc. and it’s less than 5 minutes from my house. It has a great practice facility with a full range, three practice greens, and a short game area. The fact that it is less than 5 minutes from my house is the cherry on top. When my wife looks at the club, she sees it as something standing between her and our next home-improvement project. After plenty of back and forth, we agreed that if I wanted to keep our membership, I had to come up with a way to offset some of the costs of the club.

After the conversation, I went straight to where I do my best work… well, the second-best place, which is my man cave/basement. My objective was clear; I had to come up with a way to make some money on the side, and I had to come up with it fast before my wife changed her mind. I did what any of us would do in this situation; I decided to hit some putts for a half hour to clear my head, and then I got started.

Since I’m a 7-handicap, turning pro was out of the question. I thought I could be a golf writer, but the life of a journalist isn’t for me. Then it hit me…. the thing where everyone thinks my life is a sitcom. That led me to the brilliant idea to share these stories and hope that I can somehow use them to help me keep my membership. I’m open to other ideas (or donations) if you got them.

To be honest, I don’t think my stories are out of the ordinary, but my co-workers and friends constantly tell me they are. Like the time my club-championship match went into a five-hole playoff and my wife had to go to a party by herself is a pretty good one.  Although the time I fell down the stairs while trying to sneak out of the house at 5 a.m. to play an early round is probably better.

The one my buddies enjoy is when I got caught putting fake calendar appointments in my wife’s phone that made us look busy on important days like Masters Sunday, the Ryder Cup, and my fantasy golf draft. To the say least, I have plenty of them, and her wanting to quit the club isn’t going away anytime soon. I’m sure that will lead to more. So I’m going to share all of the stories and see if it leads me to a way to keep my membership.

Wish me luck!

For feedback (or donations) please email me at j.ruggeri@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Twitter at @Joey_Ruggeri. 

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Joe Ruggeri is a former collegiate golfer from Missouri who is probably one of the most competitive guys you will ever meet. He describes his non-golf profession as "what he has to do so he can fund his golf habit." Twitter: @Joey_Ruggeri Email: j.ruggeri@yahoo.com Youtube: coming soon

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. nobody2u

    Oct 30, 2017 at 2:35 am

    What man would rather not want to spend more time at home. He gets a fresh list of honey do’s and told how bad of a husband he has been for spending time with friends that applaud good shots are not so cynical when you light a cigar or open a beer. If you do that at home and her mother should suddenly drop in, what a lovely time that is. Then you have all of the stuff on TV that you are getting to miss when you could be spending the afternoon with the understanding laughing friends and cart girls or the cute waitresses in the 19th hole that are willing to get whatever you want at your little hearts desire. I don’t know what man would give up that comradery among friends to be able to spend some quality time with the unpleasant person at home. Give her a little boost to either spend some time at the pool, you can charge drinks or other things at the pool, or send her shopping, she has a million options and yours should not be impeded.

  2. Lance

    Oct 20, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Currently, I’m entertaining a golf widow/model/trophy wife while old hubby is obsessed with his golf handicap and spends his days on the course and nights in the clubhouse.
    My club also has tennis courts and I met her playing tennis and it started from then. She’s so happy now. Me too.

    • Da Judge

      Oct 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Wife: “Golf course or inter course…. choose!”
      Hubby: “Uuuum ….. “

  3. Travis

    Oct 19, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I stopped reading this in the very beginning when you talked about “asking for permission” to go play golf… how about you get into a relationship where you two respect what each other wants to do.

    I’ve never once had to “ask permission” to go play golf, nor does she ever “ask permission” to do her hobbies. We respect that those hobbies are each others’ passions, and that’s that.

    Do you also “ask permission” to sleep in the bed again and not the couch in the living room? Pathetic.

  4. nobody2u

    Oct 18, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Your bragging about adultery, I don’t know if you are religious or Catholic, but, condemning yourself to the crimes of the flesh, you may want to re think at what you think is funny. I am not a Holy person but I promise you if I came in my home and found you trying to get out the window, you better be ready to have that thing you spent the last few seconds with to land on top of your point little head. See many of those golf widows don’t walk away with everything the man has worked his whole life for, so you may be acquiring a sweat little thing in your endeavors. And yes that is from experience, still glad that little fella did me such a great favor, I got the house and the kids, guess whats she’s doing,,, but not with me.

    • Lance

      Oct 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Bitter bitter golf dude…. and fyi, all the golf widows come to my pad to get what they don’t get from their golfing hubby who prefers to spend time with his equally impotent buddies on the golf course.
      A neglected woman will seek loving companionship wherever she can find it…. and they find me … and there are so many of them. Once a couple of them came to me for ……. you know.

  5. Bob

    Oct 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

    A simple divorce should cure your problems

    • Barry

      Oct 18, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      Only if you’ve been smart enough to hide your assets from your wife

  6. Busty McBoob

    Oct 18, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I still don’t get the reasons for marriage other than we’re trained from a very young age that marriage is just something you’re supposed to do in life. All my married friends bitch and moan about all the time about their wives not ‘letting them’ do stuff. Man up, take your (non golf) balls back and tell her you’re not quitting the country club.

    • Lance

      Oct 19, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Such man golfers are perpetual children seeking pleasure on the golf course… while I get pleasure from their golf widows.

  7. Eldrick T

    Oct 18, 2017 at 3:38 am

    I thought I was at a country club in California but somehow I ended up in a ditch in armpit Florida

  8. Eldrick T

    Oct 18, 2017 at 3:37 am

    There was only one fire hydrant outside my house

  9. Ben Jones

    Oct 17, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    My wife loved the country club. Man I miss those days! Camelot, yes it was. Then we had to move to somewhere where the courses are semi-private. What does that mean? It means crowded course, lousy tee times, and a chopped up practice area. Worst of all, the range balls are dead and the practice bunker is in the shank zone. Man, I miss that time.

  10. 8thehardway

    Oct 17, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    I wrote on this subject a decade ago and will share my still-valid observations.

    Share your heartfelt disclosures with your wife and suggest marriage counseling. The USGA secretly maintains a list of marriage counselors, attorneys and judges ranked by handicap and Country Club affiliation so you will probably find a sympathetic ear in your neighborhood… just mention my user name.

    If things don’t go well buy a home in Myrtle Beach and move divorce proceedings there… all decisions invariably favor the golfer and that includes custodial issues; be sure to mention how much you’ll save employing your children as caddies rather than paying those outrageous cart fees.

    If you insist on staying domiciled in your present location and your wife isn’t employed, suggest the virtues of being a cart girl… the extra income, the opportunity to see more of you on weekends, saving money on mid-round snacks and how she can gather valuable information on whose new equipment purchases aren’t working out (handy to know for wagers or inexpensive purchases).

    Above all, maintain your handicap and a positive outlook… women come and go but golf courses tend to linger.

    • Lance

      Oct 19, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      I feast on golf widows….. and they feast on me!

  11. MS

    Oct 17, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Donation… Sorry ain’t goint to happen. Not a member of a private club, never have been, probably never will be. Best I can do is season pass as a public course.

  12. Milo

    Oct 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    1st world problems

  13. AJ

    Oct 17, 2017 at 12:56 am

    keep the club but she will be gone. Shes giving you an out take it from experience

    • Lance

      Oct 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm

      Golf widows are primed for nookie. I know.

  14. Judge Smeills

    Oct 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Its not about the money, she just mentioned money because its better than saying that she hates golf and the amount of time you spend playing.

    • Lance

      Oct 20, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Golf widows that I know well never complain about the time hubby spends at the country club …. and in fact encourages him to go play with the boys….. and then there’s me waiting and not for long ….lol

  15. Bullsfan

    Oct 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Been there and done that. Where did it get me, Divorced and on the hook for 20yrs. I get where you are coming from, I too am a lifelong golfer who has played collegiately and come from a long line of family golfers. It’s not a hobby, it truly is a life. I may not play or run a country club as my main source of employment, but for me and my family it’s the same. I was a member for 11 years at one of the most prestigious courses in my area, only 250 members and most had the money to buy 3rd world countries. So when the time came, 2007-08, in the middle of the downturn I had to give up my membership. Now other things happened personally and professionally that led to my divorce, but not being a member at my club anymore didn’t help my issues. Life hit hard and I had to reevaluate my life and what was important. Now today I have rebounded well, gainfully employed in my chosen field and remarried happily and fittingly enough live in a new home right across the street from a country club my parents were members at when I was growing up, but I haven’t joined! Would I like too, sure, but my lessons learned from my past is, it’s not the right time. I still play golf once, twice a week. I have friends all over my area who are either members or work at various clubs that I play with and for those times I’m not playing with them I pay my $30 and head out somewhere else and get my fix. What I’m saying is it’s not all that bad not having a membership. Would it be nice, sure. But there are other ways to play and enjoy tournaments and competition. You may want to look into these before your better half decides to do it for you.

    • sanjay

      Oct 16, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      $30?? A muni is not a country club….

      • CrashTestDummy

        Oct 17, 2017 at 2:21 am

        I have played a lot at both country clubs and public golf courses. Generally the shape of courses at country clubs are in better shape (especially the greens and bunkers). However, many public tracks are just as good if not better tracks that country clubs. You can still play good courses for 30-50 bucks in my area and really good courses for 60-80 bucks. Only a few are munis. Munis are not bad if the greens are decent and a decent track. You still have to hit good shots and play golf.

  16. Steve

    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Divorce her before you have children and you’re on her hook for 20 years.

  17. Acemandrake

    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    “We already have three.”

  18. sanjay

    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Methinks you are misreading your wife’s suggestion to quit the country club. Perhaps her motives are justifiably selfish.
    When she says: “I think we should quit the country club.”….. she may be telling you she wants you to spend more quality time with her than with your buddies, playing 36 holes and then coming home and telling her “I’m too tired for that… maybe tomorrow.”
    The problem is that within most adult men there is a child who wants to play, for the pleasure… and with other men. Your fine wife is sending you a signal that everything is not fine with her because you want to play games rather than tending to her needs. Ya think…?!!

    • Mower

      Oct 16, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      Yep. It’s psychological jiu-jitsu. They’re trained from a very young age.

    • Lance

      Oct 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      I search out such golf widows and they are starved for companionship. Me like ….

  19. ray arcade

    Oct 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    And here I always thought it was “…you’re still away”.

    • sanjay

      Oct 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      Nice…. but women become gregarious when ignored and neglected for too long. In that case “…you’re still away” may be her opportunity to find pleasant companionship.

      • AW

        Oct 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm

        Maybe that’s the best solution if he can keep the membership. 🙂

        • sanjay

          Oct 16, 2017 at 7:59 pm

          Men who eschew sex for golf are …. well, you know…. the majority ….!

      • Lance

        Oct 18, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        Yup, I’ve had ‘companionship’ with many a golf widow.

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Opinion & Analysis

Inside the Ropes: 5 things you didn’t know about playing on the PGA Tour

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Golf finds a way to take a hold on you… whether you become entranced by the skill of the world’s best professionals, fall in love with the feeling and beauty of a well-executed shot, or simply enjoy getting outside and having fun — the game is addictive.

I started playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros on TV dreaming what it would be like to play golf on the PGA Tour. When I earned my PGA Tour status for the 2014 season, that dream became a reality. And like anything, it’s not until I actually experienced that life did I have any idea what it entailed.

For those of you who are curious what it’s like to be on the PGA Tour, here are 5 things to describe it.

1) The Culture

Traveling the world to various cities can be fun, and it’s an underrated part of the Tour lifestyle; you get to see new landscapes and taste the cuisines that define different regions across the country and the world. Unlike some other professional sports, where players stay in one place for maybe a night or two, we get to stay in places for a week or more, which allows for plenty of time away from the course to see the sights and get a feel for what the cities and their cultures offer.

2) The Show

The setup and time that goes into planning an event — the grandstands, concession stands, volunteers, and the whole network that makes these tournaments run — is beyond impressive. We see the finished product at the event in the epicenter of it all, but the planning goes on behind the scenes all year. When it’s game time and the golf ball gets teed up, it’s time for us players to block all of that out, but we certainly appreciate all of the hard work that goes into putting on an event. It may feel like being in a circus at times, but performing in the show is a thrill.

3) The People

The game of golf in general brings people together, but especially so on the Tour. Thousands and thousands of fans come to watch the golf action and enjoy the festivities. The Pro-Ams are a great way for the fans to get an up-close look at what goes on at a Tour event, and they’re also a great way for us pros to interact with fans and maybe provide some helpful swing tips, too. In my opinion, one of the best events of the year is the Pebble Beach Pro-Am — a gathering of pro golfers, athletes, musicians, actors and other celebrities. It’s a testament to how the game can bring people together from different walks of life.

4) Inside the Ropes

The Tour is almost like a private school of sorts. It’s a select group of a couple hundred guys traveling around playing these events. The jocks, the nerds, the geeks, the loners; you see a little of everything. As much as there’s a sociable aspect to traveling on Tour and getting to know these people, it’s a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is playing for their livelihood and playing privileges.

5) The “Pressure”

A season-long race can come down to a single shot making the difference — for some it’s between winning and losing a tournament, and others it’s between keeping and losing your card. The cameras, the grandstands, the noise… it can all be quite distracting. The idea is to block all of that out and pretend you’re playing like a kid, focusing with pure imagination for the shot. All the extra attention can help heighten the focus further, adding inspiration to “give the people what they want” and hit even better golf shots.

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Ping Engineer Paul Wood explains how the G400 Max driver is so forgiving

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Paul Wood, VP of Engineering at Ping, joins our 19th Hole to discuss the new G400 Max driver, which the company calls the “straightest driver ever.” Also, listen for a special discount code on a new laser rangefinder.

Listen to this episode on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes.

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WATCH: How to Pull a Shaft from a Composite Club Head

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Composite club heads are increasing in popularity with golfers thanks to their technological and material advantages. For that reason, it’s important to know how to pull shafts from composite club heads without damaging them. This video is a quick step-by-step guide that explains how to safely pull a shaft from a composite club head.

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