One of the great aspects of playing golf at amateur level is the social interaction with other players. These may be family members, friends or people you have never met before who share the same passion for golf.
There is probably no other sport which allows for such great social interaction while enjoying a well-maintained outdoor environment.
However, playing golf with different people can also throw up its fair share of challenges. When playing in a tournament for example, you can be paired with someone you do not know or someone who you have had difficulty playing with in the past.
Immediately, even before you have struck the ball off the first tee, you are on a downer, knowing you must play with someone who has frustrated you in the past. This is not how you want to feel when playing golf, especially in a tournament.
Today, we have some tips for how to deal with problem players.
If you are playing with someone who fails to control their temper when playing golf, it can be very distracting. However, in this situation there is very little you can do because if you try and offer some advice and encouragement, it is only likely to increase their anger.
Unless they are causing huge disruption on the course and throwing equipment around, it is best to say nothing and allow them to think for themselves. If you start getting involved, it will only lead to you taking your eye off your own game.
Playing golf with someone who is slow can be hugely frustrating and is one of the most common problems faced by more experienced players.
If you find yourself in a group with someone who is playing slow or have a partner in a tournament who is taking too long, casually mention to them that group behind is catching up or daylight is starting to fade. If you are in a group, you can say this in-front of the whole group, rather than direct it at one player.
If you notice someone is putting out everything, even from inside a foot, take the opportunity to hit the ball to them and give them the shot, saying how you know they would have made it without a problem.
The opposite to a slow player is a fast player and this can be equally difficult to deal with on the golf course.
You will probably notice your own pace of play speeding up to try and keep up with them but the quality of your play is likely to suffer as a result. If you really feel the need to speed up, spend less time checking the wind or precise yardage of shots instead of rushing your shot set-up and routine.
Finally, it pays to remember we were all beginners at one stage of our lives and sometimes you must be patient if playing with someone who is new to the sport.
If you are paired with a beginner, consider everything which must be going through their mind if they are playing their first tournament. They may do something frustrating like step across the line of your putt but once you have made your putt, you can point this out to them as you walk to the next tee. You can almost mention it as an aside and this will ensure they learn but do so in a way which does not spoil the round, for either of you.