I've been lucky to have taken numerous golf excursions around the world and I'm a fairly easy going guy. I do my best, however, to avoid fellow travelers who are world-class whiners and complainers.
Unfortunately, there always seems to be one or two grumps who just can't seem to fully appreciate different cultures, customs, cuisine and golf courses.
Oh no... these champion complainers must voice their vitriolic opinions on just about everything.
Here is my list of the top 10 most annoying golf travelers on international trips:
1. Downgrades authentic links courses in Scotland and Ireland compared to U.S. courses--Most of the courses in the British Isles are naturally beautiful, stay true to the local terrain and don't possess the well-manicured look of U.S. courses. There's always one wise guy that starts referring to these layouts as goat ranches, donkey pastures or some other derogatory term. Enough already, Mr. golf course expert, it's like comparing apples and oranges. Enjoy the links golf experience while you're there and keep your mean, cynical comments to yourself.
2. Complains about dogs and hikers on Scottish courses--Get over it, dogs and hikers are welcome on most golf courses in Scotland. You'll see people walking their dogs and some golfers accompanied by the family pooch and hikers, who enjoy soaking up the scenery at a beautiful golf course. If it really bothers you to see Fido roaming the paths alongside the fairways, you either don't appreciate Man's Best Friend or you don't know a darn thing about golf in Scotland.
3. Refuses to follow local customs and clubhouse rules--This is the insensitive lout constantly wearing his hat and athletic shoes around the clubhouse even though there are signs everywhere detailing appropriate clubhouse behavior. Typically, the group leader informs everyone of proper behavior and dress before entering the clubhouse, but there's always one person who just can't seem to adapt and follow rules.
4. Complains because golf carts aren't available--"What the *#@%, do we really have to walk these courses, I can't play without a cart," says Mr. Lard Ass, who hasn't walked on a golf course like, well, ever. In many parts of the world, golf carts are a luxury not a necessity and generally reserved for disabled golfers. Golf courses in the British Isles are best enjoyed by walking. Some major resorts have golf carts, but, for the most part, walking is an enjoyable part of the golf experience at most courses.
5. Overpacks with the largest luggage in the group and requires assistance in carrying--We all want wardrobe choices on a golf trip, but this person packs for an 8-day golf trip like they're going around the world in 80 days. Stacks of bricks and gold bars don't weigh as much as this person's suitcase. You practically need a forklift to move this overstuffed bag from the bus to the lobby of the hotel. To be sure, the same person always has a jammed golf bag that's difficult to lug around as well.
6. Grouses because the breakfasts are different from those in the U.S.--The full Scottish breakfast arrives and the sight of a half tomato, baked beans and Black Pudding sets this golfer off. He quickly tells everybody at the table that he cannot begin his day this way during the week long trip. The insufferable windbag then delivers a speech about all the great American breakfasts at his favorite places back in the States like Denny's, IHOP and Perkins.
7. Constantly boozes on planes, trains, automobiles and vans--Hey, everyone who imbibes enjoys a smooth single malt or ale, especially on a visit to Scotland and Ireland. This person, however, can't limit drinking to pubs, restaurants and clubhouses. Oh no, this boozer is the first to start pounding them down on the plane and brings his own supply of plastic cups and a hidden leg flask so he can knock down a shot or two on the van or rental car on the way to the golf course.
8. Brags incessantly about all the Top 100 courses he or she has played--This is the golfer whose entire wardrobe (hats, visors, sweaters and shirts) consists of logo merchandise from the most celebrated courses in the world. Beware, too, if this boorish individual has already played one of the courses on your itinerary. He will assume the position of self-appointed expert and furnish more advice than you'll ever want or need.
9. Obsessively uses a smart phone to post on social media--Can you just put away the freakin' phone for a little while? We know you're important and successful and people can't live without your witty social media repartee, but, puhleeeeeeese, give us a break and wait till you get back to the hotel before you dive into your email, posting and tweeting world.
10. Takes a photo of seemingly everything--Mr. Photographer absolutely must take a picture of every golf hole on the trip and just about everything else so he can entertain his family into boredom when he returns stateside. I love foursome and group pictures as much as the next person, but please tone it down with all the pictures, will ya.