Perfect golf partner: How do you shape up?

10 tips on how to be a pleasure to play with

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 27 Jul 2010

Perfect golf partner: How do you shape up?

There are good playing partners in golf and there are bad ones.

We've all got mates, surely, whom we enjoy playing with because they're not only good golfers but generous with their praise of your own game and have a sporting attitude which makes four or five hours in their company a pleasure.

And, of course, there are those potential partners we wish to avoid and strike dread into a three-ball when they approach with the immortal words: “Looking for a fourth?”

Here are 10 random tips we've gleaned over the years on what makes a good playing partner.

Tell us on the forum your tips for being a good partner and don't be shy in revealing what really gets up your nose when you're stuck the players you prefer to avoid.

1. Arrive on time

There's nothing worse than getting a reputation for being late and your playing partners wondering if you're going to turn up at all. Make the time to arrive well ahead of your scheduled tee time ready to go. You will also play better with a little time to putt and prepare mentally for the round ahead.

Remember: Fools rush in and put the rest of the group on edge.

2. Be quiet when it's not your turn

Rattling change, talking (even whispering) when others are about to hit is more annoying than missing a two-foot putt. When others are about to play, stand well clear (out of their line of peripheral vision - and definitely not behind their right shoulder).

Remember: A silent partner is often a good partner.

3. Don't go striding off

Apart from being anti-social, it's rude to go striding off - or driving off in a buggy - as soon as the last player has teed off.

While encouraging your playing partners to retain a steady pace of play that keeps up with the group ahead rather than merely just ahead of the group following, social repartee is surely just as important as merely looking for your own ball.

Remember: A round will be far more pleasurable if you keep alongside your playing partners.


4. Watch all ball flights

To avoid spending lengthy periods looking for wayward golf balls make a point of watching the ball flight of every shot in your group, where possible.

Make a mental note of its direction - and landing area -  if it's off line and help others look for their balls. you'd expect them to help look for yours.

It's  especially handy to stand behind the player teeing off and shading your eyes when they're playing into a low sun.

Remember: If you show me mine, I'll show you yours!

5. Don't walk on other partners' lines

When on the green, take care when putting that you are aware of the ball markers of other players in your group.

Stamping all over another player's line, albeit inadvertently, is guaranteed to raise the hairs on theback of a golfer's neck.

Rather than putt out and risk stepping on a player's line or through-line (the opposite side of the hole), mark your ball and wait until the green is clear.

Remember: Don't put your foot in it.

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