To Annoy, Or Not To Annoy       

By Tom Abts






Last month, one of the big golf magazines had an article about what annoys golf course superintendents.
Annoy might be mild … they also used the word “irk” … still pretty mild. I think words like “angry” … “outraged” … “furious” would be more accurate.
So … let’s walk through these 12 infractions:
1.) Tee-box Temper Tantrums … such as hitting the tee-marker and destroying it. Probably more than annoying.
2.) Early-Bird Practice Sessions … guys who hit 10 shots from the same place in the fairway … taking divots and destroying the area. Probably more than annoying.
3.) Off-Season Trespassers … obviously the course isn’t ready to be open … that’s why it’s not open. And obviously it’s fragile. Probably more than annoying.
4.) Litter-Bugs … yeah, that’s never good. Especially on a beautiful golf course. Probably more than annoying.
5.) Lip Disservice … at first I didn’t know what the heading meant … lipping off? No … it means wrecking the lip of a cup … usually by using the head of a putter to dig the ball out of the cup. Probably more than annoying.
6.) Reckless Driving … running over signs, driving on or near the green, driving through wet, roped-off areas. Probably more than annoying.
7.) Ash Holes … leaving cigars or cigarettes on greens or tee-boxes … or in bunkers. Annoying.
8.) Taking Excess Relief … the course is not a giant urinal … I know some courses don’t have bathrooms or enough bathrooms on the course. We do. Every 3 or 4 holes … and we’re adding another one this year … that means we’ll have 6 bathrooms on the course … not counting the Clubhouse. Annoying.
9.) Stage Whispers … complaints made so that the super hears them … but not saying it to his face. More than annoying.
10.) Wannabe Bosses of the Moss … kind of like #9 … though more direct … but with an arrogant, condescending attitude. More than annoying.
11.) Icy Treatment … complaints about frost delays … as if the super controls Mother Nature. Annoying.
12.) Putting the Aggro in Agronomy … golfers mistreating the maintenance crew by hitting into them or making no effort to get out of the way. Charming. Probably the worst of the list. More than annoying.
So … why am I writing this? To be a scold? 
I was glad to see the article in a major magazine. Most superintendents don’t have much interaction with the players. Or have blogs … or other forms of communication. But … they deserve a voice … they deserve to be heard.
When I was in college, I worked on a grounds crew … that’s where I met our superintendent’s mentor. People don’t really understand or appreciate the amazing job so many superintendents do. You know how much work it is maintaining your lawn … think about having 100+ acres … and having vulnerable grass, such as on the greens … fairway grass is even more vulnerable than what you have in your yard. What these guys do is incredible.
Not only is this article about what annoys the superintendent … this stuff annoys the other golfers. So, if one of your buddies is doing this stuff … you have my permission to give him a nudge with your wedge. Not a full-out swing … just a little chip-shot.
The article did forget one very important item: Sunflower seeds. Spit-out sunflower seeds aren’t much fun to clean-up. They have to be picked-up by hand. They’re a nightmare on greens … they get rolled into the green by the mower … not conducive to a smooth putting surface.
And the cleaning-up of sunflower seeds is as annoying as what they do to the greens.
So … if your buddy is doing the sunflower seed trick … you can nudge him more than a chip-shot … not a full-out swing … but almost … we’ll pay your lawyer fees.