A buddy and I realized we had recently hit the point in our lives when we should throw our hands up, declare "I quit," and just start playing golf. We're going full speed in the fast lane heading toward irrelevance anyway; might as well mash the gas and sail off the cliff into oblivion. Simultaneously, I've reached the summit of my laziness, and now pretending to be athletic is just as good as actually being athletic. In that sense, golf is perfect.
I'm still at the stage where the game might as well be a massive, unsolvable equation on a chalkboard and I'm a misbehaving student in the corner wearing a dunce cap. Still, I've collected a few tips and tricks for people interested in learning how to play perhaps the laziest sport you can make millions playing on a professional level -- just some things a beginner should have in mind before they ever play their first round.
#4. Vent Your Repressed Rage Through a Weird Mannerism
Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images
We all process pain differently. When I get sad and mopey, I bury myself within an impenetrable barrier of video games. Maybe you eat lots of junk food or go for a long run. None of those things are around to soothe your aching soul when you suck at golf. I can't hit a ball over the fence and into the street, then immediately play Skyrim for seven hours. I play at my absolute best when my negative emotions are bottled and my eyes are glazed over, locked in the perpetual thousand-yard stare of a madman.
A great golfer.
My bottled rage will leak out and present itself in the form of deeply examining the head of my club after my usual failed attempt to accomplish the daunting task of hitting the ball. I guess I'm trying to do some Terminator/RoboCop ocular scan of the club for evidence so I can track down the asshole who messed up my shot and repeatedly miss his head when I try to beat him with my clubs. When my friend blows a shot, he steps back and stretches his neck side to side, loosening the blockage that's preventing professional-level skill from flowing to his limbs. Another friend will do something terrible, then glance back at the rest of us with a look that says, "Whose fucking idea was this?! Was it YOU?!" As the day stretches on and he still hasn't won a PGA championship, his look will say, "I could be sleeping right now, but instead I'm mad at grass."
All of these moves are involuntary, and they're all tiny outlets for our frustrations that are as unique as extremely pissed-off snowflakes. Find yours early and rely on it as much as you can so you don't flip your shit and replace someone's eyes with golf balls you've palm-punched into their head.
Another thing that will always be unique to golf beginners is the advice beginners give to other beginners. Kind of like what I'm doing right now. So, when you're just starting off ...
#3. Make Sure Your Terrible Advice Contradicts Everyone Else's Terrible Advice
Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images
Two things were immediately apparent when I began playing: Everyone's just guessing, and no one is good at golf. It's all skills, tricks, and tips derived from dozens of different YouTube tutorials and wikiHow guides; hearsay of a technique that will let you drive a ball to the moon and back and still get you two under par on every hole, and legends of a magical club that can enslave the world. The urge to want to join in on the fun and give out my own uninformed advice is stupid, unnecessary, and so damn tempting. You might feel it too when you're just starting out. This is why you have to make sure whatever unwanted advice you give your golf buddies goes against the advice everyone else is giving.
"Did Greg tell you to hit with this end? Pfft! Greg's been saying weird stuff since his wife died."
Why? Because golf advice shares a lot in common with the horrible, paranoia-fueled rumors and conspiracies that crop up on your Facebook feed after a major tragedy -- when there is no definitive answer, people will make one up. So do your part: Make up some shit.
I say that like you're going to do this on purpose -- you won't. You're going to do it unconsciously, because you'll think that your whole three weeks of experience make you a mystical oracle possessing all universal knowledge. So, it's in the best interest of everyone you're playing with to listen carefully to someone's advice, then decide that they're an asshole who doesn't know dick about shit -- you, and only you, know all the dick about shit! So, a couple of holes later, give out your twist on that same advice, completely disregarding the advice your friend gave because, frankly, he's stupid.
My games are filled with everyone shooting advice back and forth, to the point where it becomes something like the infinite monkey theorem. You know how it goes: a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare. If we keep talking, one of us will eventually come up with advice that will enable all beginners to see and manipulate the matrix code of golf. But really, we're dipshit monkeys flinging shit around without a typewriter in sight.