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.