Many of the UK’s 4 million golfers have a love-hate relationship with the sport. Playing a round can be hugely rewarding, but also highly frustrating. Here are the 10 things that every British golfer dreads:
1) Slicing into the rough at the first tee
Golf can be a frustrating sport and one of the most disheartening things is hitting your ball into the rough on the very first tee. At least you avoided the water hazard though. This time.
2) Slow play
You’ve gone out for what you think is a four-hour round of golf, and you’re still out on the fairways more than five hours later! That group ahead of you have either not noticed that you’re waiting for them at every hole or they don’t care. Aaaarrgghhh!
3) The course being closed
Floods, gale force winds and thunderstorms; the weather in the UK is unpredictable no matter what time of year, leading to course closures. While most golfers ignore inclement weather to some degree (we’d never play otherwise), you can’t ignore it when an electrical storm threatens or when ducks can paddle right across the green.
4) Not being as good as you’d like
One of the things that irritate golfers most is not being as good as you’d like to be, or even as good as you were last time you played. It can be even more rage-inducing when that guy, who claims to have never picked up a club in his life, is scoring better than you are! Take solace in the knowledge that beginner’s luck rarely lasts more than a few holes.
5) An overcrowded course
It’s a bank holiday weekend, or a recent major has captured the interest of the nation. Perhaps the sun has simply made a brief visit to our green and pleasant land. Whatever the reason, your course of choice can easily get busier than normal. This often means your relaxing game of golf can become a hot and sweaty stress-fest, especially if many of those playing are first-timers. Remember, though, it wasn’t so long ago that you were that first-timer!
6) A bunker filled with water
There is nothing more frustrating than your ball landing in the bunker, then realising that it’s full of water too! If this happens to you, you’ll discover one of golf’s most unfair rules. If the bunker is brimming with water, with no chance of rescue, you’re forced to take a penalty drop behind the trap, and now you have to play back over it too.
7) Getting caught in bunkers in general
Let’s face it, golfers don’t just hate bunkers filled with water, they also detest bunkers in general, especially when you well and truly plug the ball. If you get stuck in one with a poor lie, then you know your scorecard is going to take a hit. It doesn’t have to be the end of your round though; take inspiration from these excellent examples of dealing with tricky bunker shots.
8) Scuffing your new driver
You’ve spent hours of research and plenty of your hard-earned cash on a new driver. It’s the envy of your friends! But what if the first time you use it, you tarnish the face with a nasty scuff? Clubs don’t look pristine forever, but you were hoping to get at least a few rounds in with your shiny new toy before it got marked.
You’ve arrived on the green, you’ve got a fairly straight four-footer and you think you’ve got this one all sewn up. But you blow it all by misjudging the distance. Then you get an unlucky roll off the lip and end up just as far away again. Before you know it, you’ve taken four putts and your scorecard is looking a lot more down-in-the-mouth. Fail. The good news is that you didn’t ‘Ernie Els it’.
10) Unexpectedly strict dress codes
Strict dress codes are still the norm at many British golf clubs, which can mean that you need to buy or borrow the proper attire before you turn up to play. If you can’t beat them, you may as well join them; so why not don a Faldo-esque jumper, arrange your cap at a jaunty angle and embrace the experience fully?
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