From the ultra-exclusive to the affordable and accessible, there are as many varieties of country clubs as there are golfers. From nine-hole executive courses with tiki bars to 54 hole gated neighborhoods with concierge services to everything in between, there is definitely a club to suit your tastes.
You hate snooty and strict? There is a laid back course just down the street that allows jeans and teeshirts. Do you hate narrow, target golf? There is a wide-open track on the other side of town. By all means, you should take your time and find the right place for you but be forewarned, wherever settle, these nine members at every country club will be waiting for you.
The Elder Statesmen– Usually found in groups of four, these ornery octogenarians have been at the club since opening day. They have the first tee time on lockdown year-round. If you are having trouble locating them just look for the cart parked on the green or tee box. The rules don’t apply to these guys because “We wrote the damn rules!”. Stay clear of their tee times, parking spaces, and lunch table and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
The Young Punk– The arch-enemy of the elder statesmen, the Young Punk is often the son of the club president or other such prominent members. Similar to the statesmen, the Young Punks also display ambivalence towards the established rules. Often in their sixth year of law school, these guys have plenty of time to play and will keep the food and beverage numbers in the black. As long as you enjoy early tee times, you may never rub shoulders with them.
The Gambler– The Gambler is the easiest CCC (country club character) to spot because he will find you. He cannot understand playing a round of golf without a significant wager. His scorecard will resemble an accountants ledger, filled to the edges with points, skins, greenies, sandies, etc. The only word he seems to know with more than four letters is “press”. The good news is this guy isn’t always a stick, so if you work it right he could end up funding your membership.
The Sandbagger– The Sandbagger is the black sheep cousin of the Gambler. This guy has never shot better than an 88 in a casual round but magically guns a 79 in every club event. Sandbaggers can be hard to spot at first, but in a month you will know exactly who he is. Beware, often he is one of the first people a new member will be partnered with because everyone else has refused to be paired with him.
The Tortoise– Perhaps the only poor soul that is less popular than the Sandbagger is the Tortoise. This guy moves at such a glacial pace time seems to run backward. Never has anyone taken more time over each of his 115 shots. Honestly, wouldn’t you rather play a 3 1/2 hour round with the club cheat instead of a 5 hour round with this guy? If you do get stuck with him, buy plenty of beer at the turn. It might be 3 hours until you have another chance.
The Resident– The Resident is the member that you have never NOT seen! This CCC inspired Judge Smails to bellow “Don’t you have homes?” You can find this guy on the course, at the bar, in the pro shop, and in the locker room. The one place you can’t find him? Home with his family.
The Bar Fly– Much like the Gambler, this member cannot imagine a round of golf without his favorite vice. Bloody Marys on the first tee, beers at the turn, and belly up to the bar until the last call. The Bar Fly is always easy to find. Listen for the loudest voice, and then look for a group of guys with uncomfortable looks on their faces.
The Cheapskate- There’s not much to say about the Cheapskate. He is the member that walks every round “for his health”. Well, every round until the cart fee is included in the event, then he is kicked back, feet on the dash, and definitely not driving. You may find the Cheapskate at the bar nursing house scotch because “he actually prefers it”. You will find it amusing how quickly his preference changes when a fellow member has a hole-in-one and buys a round of drinks.
The Expert– While all of the other 8 country club archetypes have their annoying tendencies, none can hold a candle to the Expert. A dead patch on the fairway? He knows just what to do and is going to have a word with the superintendent. The course is playing a bit behind pace? He knows who is causing it and how to handle it. He’ll be right back after letting the head pro know how to take care of it. This CCC is almost always retired upper management. He no longer has authority over others at work, and he most certainly isn’t in charge at home. He will bore any member within shouting distance to tears, and the staff quickly runs the other way when they see his car pull up. Be careful with the Expert, however, as he usually finds a way to get his name on a parking spot. Just smile and nod, and hope to god you’re not paired with him for the Saturday cash game!
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