The Most Memorable People You've Been Paired With

One of the great things about golf is that it’s a tremendously social game.

You have probably noticed that the experience of traveling to play golf is as much about the people you encounter as the places you visit. This can be especially true in instances where you don't find yourself traveling in a full foursome - you have probably been paired up with a pretty wide cast of characters over the years.

I don't know about you, but my most memorable rounds have come in the company of players I wasn’t expecting to be sharing a tee time with.

A few years ago, while playing golf in Myrtle Beach, I joined a threesome of gentlemen from the state of Maine; two of them were commercial lobster fisherman and the third had worked in a paper mill for most of his life. After five holes of sitting next to the retired paper mill worker, I finally got the hang of his thick “Down East” accent and all four of us had a wonderful time.

In a U.S. Open qualifier a couple years ago, I was paired with recent PGA Tour member and Web.com Tour winner Mark Anderson. Getting to compete with someone who plays the game for a living was an awesome experience, and I played better because of it.

Just a couple weeks ago, in Florida, I joined up with a fellow single whose son is one of the best junior surfers in the country. Over the course of 18 holes I received an education in just how unexpectedly similar competitive surfing and golf can be (more on that in a future tip).

These are just a few examples of many great mornings and afternoons I’ve shared with a wide assortment of fellow golfers over the years.

Not all my random pairings have been positive experiences, though. I had to get a fellow competitor disqualified for his unrepentant cheating in a junior tournament once. But for the most part, the random strangers I’ve met on the golf course have added to my golf experiences greatly.

Do you have any memorable stories – good or bad – about random golf partners? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor and the Managing Editor of the Golf Vacation Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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My brother and I played a local course one day, and were paired up with a father and son. The son was in his 50's, and the father in his 80's. The son mentioned to us that his father had been a good golfer at one time, but his age was catching up to him. The father would take 8 or nine shots to get to the green, with liberal use of mulligans and the leather wedge, then 3 putt on every hole. But his comment to his son each time was "put me down for a boge!".
We enjoyed the day, and I admired the son for spending quality time with his aging father.
Now any time my brother or I put up a big number on a hole, we jokingly say "put me down for a boge!

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In New Jersey, On Christmas Day this year my friend Bib and I got paired with I guy named Stan. He was the most avid golfer I have ever played with. This round was his 400 th of the season. He had not missed a day of playing at least once since April 9. He was a builder by trade and had constructed a full size putting green in his basement with the walls and ceiling painted to provide an authentic on course look.

He chain smoked the whole time but walked and had no trouble keeping up and probably shot in the 80s. I would guess he is in his early 70s.

He's headed to west palm beach for the new year looking to place twice a day.

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I played in a charity outing and a 'celebrity' was placed with each foursome. Mine was a major league baseball pitcher whose heroics won a world series for a team that desperately needed the title. He was all about winning. He wanted to win the scramble and kept our foursome focused on each shot. He was a great cheer leader. We didn't win but he was into it the whole way. As an example, before the golf started, he bought $200 in raffle tickets. After golf they held the raffle. He won $25 in golf balls. He was soooo excited because he won! My take away from this is, it takes a huge competitive spirit to be a world class athlete.

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A couple of years back at Kingsbarn (Scotland) my friend's caddy said that during the season he tried to get 2 jobs a day, a.m. and p.m., 6 days a week. He then mentioned his handicap - plus 2. When I asked him how he found time to practice, he said he didn't practice much, he'd sooner play hockey."But" he said "my brother plays in the US, he's very good.". And we though plus 2 was 'very good'. That's when my friend and I realized that off 10 and 12 handicaps, we were nothing more than a couple of B-grade hackers.

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I was at a 9 hole with my 7 year old grandson. Got paired with Q from Startrek. He had his son. We got to the first tee as the group ahead was walking off. On every tee box, we would tee up balls and just let the boys hit. Once the players ahead were out of our range we would hit, pick up balls on the way to ours, and do it again.

Surprisingly we kept up with the group ahead.

The boys had fun hitting balls, rolling down slopes and giggling. And us two "adults" laughed and joked the whole 9 holes. I don't remember what my score was, but I know I never had more fun.

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Many great people over the years. The one of most notoriety would be Taylor Swift's Manager who is also the Brother of the one armed drummer for Def Leopard. Very nice guy! And no I didn't ask for or get a meet & greet or tickets to Taylor's concert that week. We shook hands and wished each other well and that was it. He did have some great stories during the round however!

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Just 2 weeks ago I was a passenger in a golf cart during an interclub match. Worst driver ever! First he whipped the cart left/right/left trying to keep it on the cart path while complaining about the steering. I suffered sideways whiplash from that alone. Then, when he stopped, he would lock up the brakes and squeal the tires, complaining about the brakes. I suffered back and forward whiplash from that. Also, he could not spot his ball so I was constantly giving directions which had to be repeated three times, with hand signals, before he turned the cart in the right direction. And, finally, when I told him to stop, he would drive 10 feet past the point where I yelled "Here!, Right Here!, STOP THE CART!". I was very happy when the round finally ended. It was all I could do to not wrest the steering away from him and kick him out of the cart.

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Back in the 1990's I traveled from Switzerland to see my friend in Texas. One day we played a nine hole course nearby his home. We were paired with a strong young man, who outdrove us by a mile on the first hole. But he overshot the green with the next shot, missed the green again and four-putted for an eight. Same procedure on the next hole: tremendous drive, but no short game. We asked him what the problem was. He answered: I am a Cowboy. We compete on the Ranch about who has the longest drive. So today I decided to visit a golf course...for the first time in my life!

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I was 12 years old living in Tulsa OK and caddied for my Dad on Sat & Sun at Tulsa CC. He asked me if I would like to caddy for one of his 4some partners, Leo Case, in the ProAm of the 1944 Tulsa Open being played at Southern Hills the following week.
I jumped at the chance and was rewarded as Mr. Case's partner was none other than Lord Byron Nelson. Mr. Nelson was at the high point of his career at the time and looking back in later years I was very impressed by one of the finest gentleman I ever met.
I have never forgotten that golf is a 'Gentlemans Game'

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A few years one of my work colleagues Charlie took me to play his course, Edgbaston, in Birmingham, UK. We were standing at the first tee and this guy comes up and says "Do you mind if I join you?". Turned out it was Brian Lara, the West Indian cricketer, who was world famous at the time for making the highest ever first-class score of 501 (still stands). He introduced himself, saying "My name's Brian". Charlie and I are both fanatical cricketers, so we replied simultaneously, " I know". He hit it long but not very straight. After about three holes the heavens opened and there was a torrential downpour. We had one umbrella between us, so there we were by the third green, huddled together making small-talk for about 10 minutes. He played about 9 holes with us then had to leave for an evening engagement. Great experience.

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The Most Memorable People You've Been Paired With
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