The old man looked me square in the eye and said “you can’t play golf for shit, but you boys can sure count.” It was the result of several moments of pure hell for the man and his two friends.
They had been looking for a ball on the edge of another fairway at the same time that I pulled my head just as I tried to nail the 17th green with a seven iron. This resulted in my ball falling from the sky, well right of my target, but directly above the three guys. I yelled “FORE” as I watched them scramble for safety from 168 yards away.
Fuck, I was embarrassed.
And then Larry teed off and hit a line drive directly at the same three men. “FORE!
We were pretty drunk.
And we were following the 18 Rules of Drunken Golf:
- Choose the course carefully. When it comes to golf, most people have several course options available to them. Choose the one with the best bar. But wait. Slow down. Don’t jump to rule #2 quite yet. We’re still on an important step and there are many things that should be considered. Does the bar have liquor, or just beer and wine? What's the layout like? Can you see the golf course without ever leaving your barstool? Are the regulars pleasant? Is the bartender efficient and nice? This is important.
- Prepare. Bring beer and liquor with you. Most courses do not allow this, but you will be glad you did. A wise man once said “a stolen watermelon always tastes sweeter”.
- Drink on the Course. Does the course have a cart girl? You can always haul your own supplies in with you, but there’s something special about a motorized bar cart. You can hear it coming from two fairways away and you know everything will be all right.
- Hit ‘em. You will probably hit a few errant shots. Be sure to yell “fore”. This will scare the shit out of the people you are trying to warn. After the dust settles, go to them and apologize profusely. Ask them if they’re okay and be sure to tell them how drunk you are. They will understand. Tell them you would like to make it up to them by buying their first round in the clubhouse. All will be forgiven.
- Play well. Blame everyone else for your bad golf. If you fuck up a drive, blame it on the assholes celebrating over at the next green, or the lady with the shrill voice, or birds making too much noise. Protest anything and demand a free mulligan.
- Bring a Zippo. I love the way they sound when they open and close. Your friends will love it too when you flick it open and closed in their back swing.
- Pee in the cup.
- Cheat. Drop balls wherever you want. If you can get away with it, drop it in the cup… “Hey look, it must have went in!”
- Find the Phone. Many golf courses have a phone located somewhere around the 8th tee box. It’s a direct line to the clubhouse and it’s there so you can order lunch. They’ll have it ready for you at the turn between holes nine and ten. It’s supposed to speed up your game by preventing you from having to stand around while they prepare your food. Another good use for the phone is to order drinks from the bar. They’ll be ready for you when you get there. If they don't have a phone installed at the tee box, use your cell phone.
- Rest. Even if you take advantage of Rule # 9, you should always take a break after the 9th hole. Sit in the bar and relax. You’ll need it. You’re only halfway through the game.
- Bet on Everything. “Two dollars says I can hit the green from here.” It’s a bet!” Five bucks says I can make it past the big tree on the left.” “It’s a bet!” A ten spot if I nail that squirrel.” “It’s a bet!”
- Drive Carefully. Drive your cart onto the green. I don’t feel the need to explain this, but it’s fucking awesome.
- Hit your ball. When you can no longer tell which ball you are swinging at, don’t aim at the one in the middle, use all three of your clubs and hit them all at the exact same time. If you start to see more than three balls, simply close one eye and follow this rule again.
- Mind the Marshal. If there is a marshal on the course, he will probably be keeping a close eye on you. Be nice to him. Chat him up. Order drinks from him. Offer him some of your drinks. Call him “Jeeves.” Ask him to critique your swing. Ask him to clarify USGA Rule 15-3b.
- Mark your balls. Most golfers will carry a Sharpie in their bag to make a signature mark on their balls. Perhaps it’s their initial, or a smiley face, or a little star. So, be sure to bring a Sharpie and mark the shit out of your ball. Since you will most likely be hitting into every other fairway but your own, you should consider writing a message to other players. I recommend writing something like “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT?” or “HEY DICKNOSE, THIS IS NOT YOUR BALL”, or a simple “FUCK OFF!”
- Tidy up. Don’t forget to get rid of the empty bottles that you didn’t purchase at the course before you get back to the club house.
- Get Inside your Opponents’ Heads. Rule #6 works great on the tee box but you need something for the putting green too. I recommend using your shadow to distract them. I like to stand in such a way that my shadow makes it appear that my penis is shaped like the grip of my putter and I’m fucking the hole. If your opponent doesn’t notice this, simply say, “hey look at my shadow… I’m fucking the hole.”
- Tip big. Golf is a game of manners and decorum. Well, it was until you showed up. Let’s face it, you and your buddies are going to be drunk and in doing so will appear to be the biggest assholes on the course on that day. So, whether you are in the bar or buying drinks from the cart girl, tip big. And I mean bigger than usual… bigger than you’ve seen anyone tip before. This will confound them to a point of enjoying your company; they will hate you, yet love you at the same time.