Golfing Mafia

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.

Jim and Kirk before "Duck Match"

Golf with friends enhances your time on the 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!


20 thoughts on “Golfing Mafia

  1. Aloha Jim,

    Thank you – thank you – thank you for your kind words.

    I find this “Golf Mafia” post apt because I recently became an “Associate’ with a local “Family”. We play different courses as a group. My purpose was to play golf with people I hadn’t met before.

    This is going more slowly than I hoped. Each week I am matched with the same two “Soldiers” who keep an eye on me and make sure I follow the rules. However, two different “Caporegime” also join us to evaluate me and make sure my handicap is real.

    You counted correctly – that is five, it is a demonstration of power. I write a lot about the courses out here – blog, online, and in print. Still, I can’t get a five-some out. Yet they routinely put five on the tee – power!

    I don’t blog about these rounds because there is money involved and I don’t want to distract anyone with picture taking. Also because the “Consigliere” suggested I wait until he got approval.

    Playing golf with these folks is fun in it’s own way, but I’m not sure it is right for me. Soon I will be back out meeting and playing golf with total strangers.

    A Hui Hou,


    • Wayne

      You are welcome! 🙂 It sounds like you are in the “Mafia”, haha. There is a requirement to have both, a reliable group and strangers to play golf with. You seem to have both under control; your next decision really depends on which meets your golfing needs.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim
    Unfortunately you are right. And it is hard to break into that group. Recently 6 of us from one club wanted to join another club but after investigation we realized we would have later tee times than hoped for on a regular basis because the “mafia” controlled everything. We went somewhere else. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

      • Actually I am not a member anywhere. I decided to play various places and try out different courses. There are many where we live – just like there are so many here in Toronto area. I don’t want to plop down a large initiation fee knowing that I might move from there in the near future.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim,

        Yes this is very common especially at courses with memberships. Guys (and girls) get their groups they’re comfortable with, they like to play at the same time and they’re reliable. In some ways I understand that it’s nice to have a reliable group to play with, however they should keep an open mind to playing with new people or inviting others.

        Myself and another guy started an email list at the club with all the other spousal males (many of which we had never played with before). The idea was for everyone to get to know each other, meet new people, and always give others an opportunity to find a game when they needed one. Turns out it was always the same couple of guys that were keen to play, and the majority of them just went about their usual routine. Beth started a similar email list to try and get more ladies to play with each other, but the same thing happened…

        At least we tried…


        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim, we had such a group at the club I used to work at. While they do control the tee sheet on weekend mornings, the redundancy actually make the employees jobs easier when you know who will be playing and when. I suppose our “cappo” kept the trains running on time which we all appreciated. I do get the frustration from the outsider point of view. Does your current club have such a group?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      I recently moved, but my last course did. It was a bit frustrating. If you were not out on the course before 8 or 830, you might as well wait until the afternoon. They did not affect me so much, but any potential green fee player would be unsuspecting of the long delays of playing behind them. Of course, this is only my opinion….haha.


      Liked by 1 person

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