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Opinion & Analysis

Which type of playing partner are you?

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If you’ve played golf long enough in one area or at one golf course, surely you’ve become part of a group of guys or gals who you play golf with every so often. It’s a foursome, or maybe more, and you know their golf games, tendencies, attitudes and basically everything about them — because how better to get to know someone than on a golf course?

Well, today we’re in for a treat. In this article, you’ll meet the “four amigos.” They’re a group of guys (who I made up), who represent, in some capacity, the four playing partners in your group. And if you haven’t met any of these four golfers, you either don’t play much golf, only play golf alone, or one of them is YOU!

We meet the four amigos on a Friday night during their weekly Saturday match. Which one is most like you, or your buddies?

Kenny

First up is Kenny, a golfing sociopath. He has his clubs and shoes cleaned, bought three dozen new balls, and has his golfing wardrobe selected, color coordinated and laid out ready for the morning. He has checked the weather forecast and loaded the bag with all the essentials. He had a lesson mid week to dial in his angle of attack and has been practicing all week, preparing for the “the best round of his life.” He’ll be in bed early reading Hogan’s Five Lessons and will be up early for a nutritious breakfast before heading to the club first thing to warm up, hit balls and practice his short game. He’ll play, lunch afterwards at the club and then head back to the range to work on his game for a few hours. He might get a chance to get to the DIY store later to buy new locks for his house just in case his ex comes around and trashes his apartment again! But that can probably wait. He’ll probably just head home for a night on the couch watching the Golf Channel. Kenny dreams of playing the tour some day, but hates the fact that he has to work at the bank to pay the rent.

John

John is also playing tomorrow. His clubs are in the trunk of his car, exactly where he left them after last Saturday’s round. The mud is now fully caked on his irons and there is a nice pungent smell exuding from his FootJoys. He’s out tonight at the bar to watch the game and will have several drinks. He’ll wake up tomorrow with a sore head and throw on whatever clothes are closest to hand. He’ll arrive late coming into the car park on two wheels, screeching to a halt, grab his clubs and run to the tee, coffee in hand. His first swing of a club is his opening tee shot. He’ll munch on a breakfast roll for the first few holes. His triple-bogey, double-bogey start doesn’t surprise anyone, but he comes good toward the end of the round and suggests to his group that next week he’ll take things easy the night before… until he realizes that it’s Chad’s bachelor party next Friday. Kenny hates John, as he has natural talent, and he knows that if John wised up he could beat Kenny with one arm tied behind his back. But John cares less about golf; he just enjoys playing each Saturday with his buddies. He knows that when he does eventually settle down some time in the future, he can focus a little more on his game.

Harry

Harry is not sure if he can play tomorrow or not. He still has to run it past the wife and thinks at best he’s only a 50-percent chance. He might be able to swing it if he’s up early enough to mow the grass and collect the kids from soccer beforehand. Each week he finds most of his clubs in the garage scattered around by his kids, and he just throws what he can find in the back seat, as his truck is full of prams and kids’ stuff. He’s keen to get going and plays the entire round glancing at his watch and cell phone to check for updates from his “better half.” Occasionally, he’ll have to take a call to explain to the wife that he’s nearly finished and that it is “so damn slow out here today.” After the game he runs for the car, shouting “see you guys next week.” He has a lot of catching up to do when he gets home, as the wife heads out the door for some “me time.” Harry hates Kenny and John; where do they get the time for all this drinking and playing golf, he wonders?

Eric

Eric is definitely not playing tomorrow. Since last Saturday, he now hates golf and all that it has done to his life. He used to enjoy playing with Harry, John and Kenny, but his game is in the toilet right now. He has tried lessons and new clubs to no avail. He is now at counseling and thinking about taking up cycling. But he comes around late on Friday night after realizing that it’s his grip that’s been his “achilles heel,” according to Golf Digest. So he decides to give it one last shot, and he sheepishly shows up for his Saturday tee time “again,” knowing that he’s going to get a roasting “again” from the other three. After three holes, Eric is openly discussing committing harakiri with his driver. By the 9th, he announces that he’ll be taking a break for a few months. And by the 18th he has run out of expletives, blaming the weather, oil prices and his new potassium-rich diet for his poor shots. Eric hates everyone, but he secretly loves being the focus for attention. And they all know he’ll be back the following Saturday!

In fact, they all will.

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Mark Donaghy is a writer and author from Northern Ireland, living in the picturesque seaside town of Portstewart. He is married to Christine and they have three boys. Mark is a "golf nut," and is lucky to be a member of a classic links, Portstewart Golf Club. At college he played for the Irish Universities golf team, and today he still deludes himself that he can play to that standard. He recently released Caddy Attitudes: 'Looping' for the Rich and Famous in New York. It recounts the life experiences of two young Irish lads working as caddies at the prestigious Shinnecock Hills course in the Hamptons. Mark has a unique writing style, with humorous observations of golfers and their caddies, navigating both the golf course and their respective attitudes. Toss in the personal experiences of a virtually broke couple of young men trying to make a few bucks and their adventures in a culture and society somewhat unknown to them... and you have Caddy Attitudes. From scintillating sex in a sand trap to the comparison of societal status with caddy shack status, the book will grab the attention of anyone who plays the game. Caddy Attitudes is available on Amazon/Kindle and to date it has had excellent reviews.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Dannyd

    May 20, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I know a lot of Harry’s, what tool bags

  2. Alex

    May 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Last year I formally announced to my buddy on a Wednesday after an awful round “ok, I’ll take a month break. My golf sucks”. He just looks at me, eyes wide open, like “you’re kidding” but he never said a word. Next Saturday I was at the first tee trying to hide away from my pal to avoid ridicule.

  3. The Dude

    May 20, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Met them on a Friday night during their weekly Saturday match??????
    Time warp?

  4. Tom

    May 20, 2016 at 11:19 am

    There’s a lot of drama in this foursome.

  5. golfraven

    May 20, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I am the Kenny type but right now in my life feel like the Harry dude. Funny enough.

  6. alan

    May 20, 2016 at 7:07 am

    i am john. i show up late and hung over but still play pretty decent. my vehicle stank so bad yesterday from a wet golf towel i finally had to wash it.

  7. Harry

    May 20, 2016 at 3:18 am

    Hey! My wife does a lot for me, and how often does she get 5 hrs away from the litter, I mean kids? I do pretty well to get out at all.

  8. Chris

    May 19, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    With my fiancee away for this weekend, you can call me Kenny!

    • Brian

      May 19, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      Anyone who uses their phone and drives needs to be beat with their clubs til they break.

      Quit being self-centered and put your phone down.

      • Drew

        May 20, 2016 at 4:06 pm

        You comment on WRX articles….on your phone….while you golf?? On top of that, your comment is about your annoyance of someone referring to the person they are engaged to marry as their fiance? Ok dude…

        • Brian

          May 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm

          We’re all slowly (and cringe-worthily) learning to ignore the Smiz. Obvious troll is obvious.

    • cgasucks

      May 20, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Anyone who texts while driving needs to be beaten by their fiancee with his clubs.

  9. cgasucks

    May 19, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I’m not golf-obsessed like Kenny and I’m definitely not Harry since I don’t have a wife and kids to answer to…I might have been like Eric a couple of years ago (but not now). So by virtue of elimination, I just be more like John..

    • JustTrying2BAwesome

      May 19, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      So, looks like it’s time to go to the bar.

      • cgasucks

        May 20, 2016 at 10:04 am

        Yuppers…you want to be my drinking buddy??!

  10. andy walker

    May 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

    You forgot the typical golfwrx’er with his new tour issue shaft and prototype wedges. Playing and shooting 128 each and every week!!

    • SuperHack

      May 20, 2016 at 4:57 am

      does it make a difference if I’m fully self-aware of this? Besides, its usually 110!…

  11. Don Quiote

    May 19, 2016 at 9:20 am

    *Price is Right losing horns*

  12. Ian

    May 19, 2016 at 7:53 am

    ?

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Opinion & Analysis

What does it really take to play college golf?

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Much has been written and speculated about this question, both in popular media and by junior golfers and their parents and coaches. However, I wanted to get a more definitive answer.

In collaboration with Dr. Laura Upenieks of Baylor University, and with the generous support of Junior Tour of Northern California and Aaron R. Hartesveldt, PGA, we surveyed 51 players who were committed to play college golf for the 2021 year.

Our sample was comprised of 27 junior boys and 24 junior girls. Most of our respondents were either white or Asian. As for some other notable statistics, 67% of boys reported working with a coach once a week, while 100% of girls reported working with a coach at least once a week. In addition, 67% of boys were members at a private club, while 100% of girls were members of a private club. Here are some other interesting findings from the data:

-The average scoring differential for a boy who committed to college golf was -1.48
-The average scoring differential for a girl who committed to college golf was 3.72
-The majority of the sample reported having played over 100 tournaments
-The average boy was introduced to the game at 7 years old
-The average girl was introduced to golf at 12 years old
-The average boy first broke par at 12
-The average girl first broke par at 17
-67% of boys and girls who responded reported having won at least 10 tournaments

One of the most interesting findings of the survey was the amount of competitive golf being played. The data shows that 67% of players report playing over 100 tournaments, meaning they have close to 1,000 hours of tournament experience. This is an extremely impressive amount given all respondents were teenagers, showing the level of dedication needed to compete at the top level.

Another interesting showing was that 75% of boys surveyed reported receiving “full scholarship”. At first glance, this number seems to be extremely high. In 2016, in a GolfWRX that I did with Steph Acosta, the data we collected estimated this number was between 5-10%. This number is seven times greater, which could be due to a low sample size. However, I would also speculate that the data speaks to the extrinsic motivation of players in the data set, as they feel the need to get a scholarship to measure their athletic success.

Finally, boys in the survey report playing with a mixture of elite players (those with plus handicaps) as well as 5-9 handicaps. On the other hand, no female in the study reported playing with any plus handicaps. It also stood out that 100% of junior girls report that their fathers play golf. In ongoing research, we are examining the reasons why young women choose golf and the impact their environments have on their relationships with golf. The early data is very interesting and we hope that it can be published by the end of this year. Altogether, we suspect that girls hold lower status at golf courses and are less able to establish competitive groups to regularly play with. This could impact how long they stay in the sport of golf as well as their competitive development.

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TG2: Tursky vs. Knudson WITB battle! Which bag would you game?

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It is time to see who has the better WITB! Tursky and Knudson face off in a battle of golf clubs, seeing who has made the better setup. Take a listen and then let us know who’s bag you like better on our Instagram account, @tg2wrx

 

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: Callaway Jaws Raw wedge review and Strackaline’s yardage and green reading books

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Review of the new Callaway Jaws Raw wedge and the new Z Grind sole on the lob wedge. Great spin and improved shape make it my choice over the Jaws MD5. Strackaline’s yardage and green reading books are highly detailed and catch all the slopes on the green.

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