How often do you plan a round of golf with friends? For many, they do not like playing with anyone else; it is their friends or nothing. Normally, this staunch approach to golf goes unnoticed by most in the golfing community.
Through the years, I was a member where a cadre of older players who rarely play with anyone but their friends seem to control the comings and goings at the course. Actually, these groups are like a little golfing mafia who set the tone for the entire course.
Do not get me wrong, playing golf with friends is always enjoyable until you get stuck behind this block of connected friends who feel empowered to do what they want, when they want. Theses players have the same tee time everyday and express their discontent if someone (which rarely happens) books a tee time during their regular slot. It is amazing how they magically have the same tee time even though tee times supposed to be doled out on a first come first serve basis.
Additionally, this mini mafia does not openly accept new players into their clique. Periodically they will allow you to join, but they is to rate your game to determine if you will “fit in”. Actually, it is like a job interview, if your game is too strong or too weak it is time to find another group of players to join.
Golf is intended as a social sport in which meeting new friends is a positive byproduct of playing. Personally, there are very few people I will not play golf with; if we were not golfing friends before then we will be after the round. Wayne Halm from Golfing in Kauai provides the best example that golf is a contact sport and meeting new people is his primary goal. I guess he would be anti-mafia in his approach to golf.
The golfing mafia can have its benefits. Generally, these group of friends are involved in organizing tournaments, events, and charities. They are or were established pillars of the community who do give back. They vote as a group the annual general managers meetings and take interest in the comings and goings at “their” course. However, I have learned from experience that they are a powerful group within any golfing community. I am just happy I never ended up with a horses head in my bed or went sleeping with the fishes!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!