PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

Lose The Number

The 8 golf buddies you should delete from your phone immediately


Blend Images - Erik Isakson

This might sound harsh, but there are a number of people in your golf rotation who you should banish from your golf rotation. Immediately.

With golf season already in full swing, it's officially time to start searching for tee times seven days out. And if you are like me—the guy who makes the tee time and gets the group together (usually the same guy who is the fantasy football commissioner, the March Madness pool organizer, the bachelor/bachelorette itinerary-maker)—then you are on high alert for the people in your midst who gum up the works.

Nothing can be more maddening. Just last week, I texted between 10-12 people to play on Saturday for a tee time I had already booked. I could only get three, myself included. The rest of the lot gave a laundry list of excuses that caused me to tweet this in a fit of rage rather than banging my head against the wall (much less painful and it got some good engagement which equals Elon bucks. I'm playing chess here, folks):

The other thing my tweet accomplished? It got the wheels turning in my brain as I thought about all the other mind-numbing experiences I've had with certain people in my life who I have tried to fill a foursome with. Below, I've listed my 8 least favorite types of people to deal with in this situation. These are the guys and gals you should delete from your phone contacts immediately. OK, that's mean. You can still grab a beer or hang out with these people if you'd like, but when it comes to golf, they should be the absolute last person you text to tee it up. Save yourself the headache.

The person who says “dude, we NEED to golf soon” and then you present them with a time and place and they say “oh, man, that’s kinda far ...”

Already said this in the tweet, but bears repeating. Do we need to golf soon, my DUDE? Because it sounds like I just set everything up for you and you are replying with “actually, that’s too far for us to golf soon.” So, I guess we don’t “need” to golf soon, then? Lose the number pal. You’re done.

The person who says “thanks for the invite” when they see you are playing with reliable people on social media

Absolute nut-low behavior. “Thanks for the invite” person usually never lifts a finger when it comes to making a tee time or gathering the group. “Thanks for the invite” person has been unable to golf the last five times you’ve asked them. After a sixth time asking “thanks for the invite” person to play and getting yet another excuse, you made the prudent decision to ask other people who might actually say yes. “Thanks for the invite” person then somehow finds out you are playing with reliable people without them and they get mad that you had the unmitigated gall to try other options, which is when they hit you with the “thanks for the invite.” Nails on a chalkboard. Surely, THIS would have been the one time “thanks for the invite” person would have been able to play. Sorry, but you were already out of the rotation about four asks ago. The last two times I asked were because I felt bad. By the way, my favorite thing to do to the “thanks for the invite” person is to post on social media as much as possible that I’m playing with other people so “thanks for the invite” person sees it and gets pissy enough to hit you with the “thanks for the invite.” Better get used to saying that bud because you are never getting invited again.

The person who agrees to play then hits you with “so, I don’t have a car ... “

Look, I have zero problem carpooling, especially if it’s a bit of a drive and whoever is picking up who isn’t that far out of the way. Save the earth, road-trip camaraderie, Taco Bell run afterward, blah, blah, blah. But I draw the line at “I need you to pick me up if you want me to play.” If you don’t have a freaking mode of transportation as a grown adult, you should not be saying yes to golf. Also, ever heard of Uber? Pretty sick invention. They literally come and pick you up, albeit for a (sometimes absurd) fee. There are also trains, buses, etc. I can work with that. I can pick you up at the nearest station. I can come “scoop” you if it’s reasonable. Being your personal chauffeur? Gonna be a no from me dawg.

The person who can’t just say “Yes” or “No”

This is, and I cannot stress this enough, my least favorite person to deal with when it comes to herding the group. “Well, MY WIFEEEE... / “Well, little Sarah’s soccer practice... / “Well, I’m working Friday, and I might be tired Saturday morning, but...” YO, BUDDY, I. Do. Not. Care. I’d rather hear about your fantasy football team or your $1 7-leg parlay that just needs 6 more legs to hit than hear about your sob stories and excuses for why you can’t play. We literally all have obligations, familial ones, job-related ones, health-related ones, etc. But when I text you on Thursday trying to fill out the foursome for this Saturday I need a YES or a NO pronto so that I know I’ve accomplished the goal or that I need to find somebody else ASAP. Stop wasting my precious time. People who reply “in” or “out" or people who reply “yes” or “no” to me are on my Mount Rushmore of people I text when I’m filling out a group. People like this also love the "can I let you know later in the week?" move. Um, no, you can't, you selfish you-know-what. Buh bye now.

The person who stumbles in two minutes before the tee time

Hand up, I’ve done this before—but the key difference is this: I made the tee time, it was prepaid and I’m always ready to roll out of the car. The usual culprit in this situation checks none of those boxes. They have never had any consideration for another human’s time other than their own, and, somehow, when they roll up late, stumbling out of the car with their shoes and clubs and half-eaten Taylor Ham egg and cheese falling all over the place, they make it seem like it’s everyone else’s fault/problem. If it happens once or twice and this person learns their lesson, fine, we can manage going forward. When it becomes a recurring theme, though, you’re probably not getting the text to play anymore. If you're five minutes early, you're late. Shoutout Tom Coughlin.

The person who never makes a tee time and says “we should play this weekend” on ... Friday night

Oh, yeah, let me just grab a tee time for a peak summer weekend day at the 11th hour. Should be no problem! I bet they’ll have a bunch of foursomes available in the morning just like you like and they won’t be completely booked until 5 p.m. Great idea! I would have never thought of that!

The person who hates on the course YOU booked a tee time at (or the time you booked it)

Anyone who is like me—the person who makes the tee times—knows how much of a process it can be. When you do finally secure a time slot and a location with fairways and green and begin making the rounds, course snob guy hits you with “that course sucks. Can we play somewhere else?” Sure thing guy! You see, I purposely picked the shittiest course possible just so I could go through the entire tee-time making process again because you don’t approve of the course. I’ll get right on it, boss man! This person also says things like “that's a hike” and “you couldn’t get anything earlier?” and "who are we playing with? I don't want to play with randoms." Translation: “Why can’t everything be EXACTLY how I want it?” Oh, Veruca Salt over here. This person is the WORST.

The person who bails at the very last minute

This is a one strike and you are out situation. If you bail morning of, afternoon of, hell, even the evening before, you’re finito. Out of the rotation forever. If you have a legitimate excuse, like some sort of emergency, fine. You get a pass. If it’s anything else, like “something came up” or “I’m sooo hungover” or "it looks kinda cold out..." ... SEE YA.