Gilalogy 101: The Species of Golfers Part IV

The continuation of the Species of Golfers series.

7. The Driver

Of all species of golfers, this is perhaps the most over-rated. The Driver is someone who spends 99.99% of his practice time slamming golf balls into oblivion. He can really, really DRIVE. But due to the retarded short game and ineffectual putting stroke, he continues to languish in the hell called mid-handicap. If he can work out his short game and recovery, the Driver can easily ascend to the pantheon of Players, or on the dark side, the Buayas and Doctors.

Characteristics: The Driver’s average drive is about 260 – 280 meters….not necessarily on the fairway. He just goes extremely long due to his entire devotion to the long drive. His set up usually resembles a lumberjack ready to swing a 20 pound axe into the tree…left hand stiffed, right elbow crooked, ball teed up six inches from the ground, and set on the outer left side of his left foot. He usually wears a grimace, and is prone to grunting, as if giving birth to a beluga whale. My personal experience with Drivers are that they are quite affable creatures….prone to jokes, and especially inclined to the ‘Jug of beer if can’t go past ladies tee’ rule, since it does not apply to them. They are usually Jokers as well, due to the fact that they usually start the hole pretty satisfied with their long drives, knowing they can doze off in the buggy while waiting for the short hitting wanker in their group to catch up. But their weakness is their mental toughness. They find it hard to focus on the other parts of the game that does not include ripping the ball to shreds. It’s like asking the Terminator to change his weapon from a 300-rounds per second chaingun to a rubber band with a folded piece of paper. And once they flunk out on their second or third shot, they usually play like clowns because they can’t wait to get to the next tee box again.

What to do if you have one in your flight: Do NOT be intimidated by the Driver. They are prone to messing up their short games and usually do not have mental toughness to recover, because they know that the last time they practiced their short game was when they first started golf, and their short game skills still remain the same. These guys have the mental toughness of a jellybean, so all you need to say is, “Wah, lots of bunkers there. Don’t hit it there, yeah”, and they will collapse like a house of cards being sat on by Roseanne Barr. It’s usually fun to have a Driver in the group so that the group in front will hurry on and play, and also to observe the physical contortions and agony that the Driver goes through to slam his ball 100 meters past yours. You need to be careful when partnering with a Driver, especially if you’re gambling. Due to his pessimistic nature and his impatience to get to the next tee box, you’re likely going to suffer, when the initial joy of watching him hit 300 meters down to the fairway is washed away with his 6th shot to get out of the bunker. You need to manage your Driver, encourage him, and nurture him into the great player he can be.

What to do if you are a Driver: For the sake of goodness and gracious, practice your darn short game, you lazy monkey! Many people would kill to be able to drive the way you do, but that talent is wasted when you don’t have any other game aside from that. Once the short game catches up, you will even give the Player a run. And stop being pessimistic about every other shot aside from your driver, golf is played out of many other strokes aside from blasting it down the fairway!!

8. The Grinder

The Grinder is the almost complete opposite from the Driver. He’s the guy with the shorter drive, the guy that tees up with a 3 wood to play positions because he can’t hit it long enough or his drive is not so straight. He focuses on the short game, and while his drive might not be 100%, The Grinder is a master escape artist. He spends 99.99% of his time in the trees, in the bunkers, on the fringe of the green etc. He’s the master of pitch-1-putt, means he almost always never lands on regulation on the green but he would chip it on and one putt for par. The Grinder’s mental game is as strong as Michael Jordan shooting the last shot of the game; it’s as tough as Tiger Woods without the sex, and usually wields a mean putter.

Characteristics: Grinders are one of the best people to play with. They aren’t usually as jovial or as idiotic as the Driver, because their drives are usually not so good. You hardly see a Grinder, due to the fact that he’s spending most his time in communion with Nature, in the woods, in the water, in the sand, everywhere. You’ll see them come onto the green, or watch his ball roll to 3 feet from the hole and him appearing magically from the trees for a tap-in par. Their attitude is always positive….because they seem to play better when they are in trouble. They never say die, they will always grind and grind and grind, even if it’s for double bogey, they will try to save it. In fact, they utilise every single part of the course the most. They are extremely calm, and you hardly see them tomahawk the club into the ground out of frustration, or yell something bad about your mother when their ball goes into oblivion.

What to do if you have one in your flight: They are very good people to learn from, because Golf is always reflective of life. When someone is so stubborn that he never gives up, and always looks to the better side of things, he’s usually a solid work partner as well. He understands that in life, as in golf, will throw you in the woods and bunker now and then and you need to grind your way out. So the Grinder is possibly the only species that can not just teach you short game and recovery, he is likely pretty wise on the things of the world as well, and welcomes adversity like his only son. He’s a great partner to have, because he’s dependable, and his shenanigans on the course to recover from impossible situations will usually throw off the opposition so much that they will be playing defensive golf all the way. The Grinder is a great psycho guy to have in your team…but just don’t expect to be talking to him that much since he’s away most of the time.

What to do if you are a Grinder: Ridiculous as it may sound, nobody is more suited for the Grinder, than a Driver. They go hand in hand, like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The Grinder’s optimism offers the counterbalance to The Driver’s morose look at golf; while the Driver’s initial long drive takes away the pressure to have a good drive from the Grinder. So if you are a Grinder, keep doing what you’re doing, because you are one of the endangered species of Golf. BE WARY, that in your Grinding, you do not fall into becoming the Cheater, because golf is about self governance and the best grinders are the honest ones.