You call yourself a "golfer"? Take the test and see if you are

Home > 19th Hole > You call yourself a "golfer"? Take the test and see if you are
M. James Ward provides a step-by-step guide for those viewing themselves as a legitimate golfer yet when a deep dive assessment is done may find they're lacking on a few different fronts
Posted on
May 10, 2023
M. James Ward in
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Credit the global pandemic with causing a major spike in those seeking out golf as their recreational game of preference. Younger people are now searching out connections to the sport. Long-time players are reconnecting and having an emotional return to the game. Women and minorities are also showing major gains in the sport's involvement.

Personally, I cringe when people simply presume that by playing the game, they are ipso facto a "golfer." That term embraces a broader meaning. A "golfer" is not determined by their handicap or skill level alone. It matters certainly but it's not the only connection of note. There's a certain vibe one gets when a "golfer" steps out of their car and prepares for what lies ahead.

I can quickly spot the authentic ones from those clearly out of their element.

It's been said for eons that golf has two types of people, those who play the game and those who are golfers. Many people see themselves as the latter but truly are more aligned with the former.

Want to know where you stand in such matters?

Review the ten questions posed below and answer them truthfully.

If you answer eight or more in the affirmative, then truly wake up and smell the coffee. It's time to realize what it takes to be a legitimate golfer.

Call yourself a golfer - Take the test and see if you are

Do you proudly carry a ball retriever?

Nothing defines you more clearly than possession of one. Incredibly, some using them will regale golf chums with just how many balls they've plucked from various penalty areas. People enamored with this should simply contact the club in question, pay a rental boat fee, add a scuba suit and forget playing.


Do you have your name on your bag?

Talk about ego. The only time you have your name placed on your bag in LARGE letters is when you win a major championship and are able to sell various products for large sums of money.

Those with names on bags are simply self-absorbed. It screams me, me me. Want to go another step in the detachment camp? Have your name in outlined in script format.


Do you have covers for your irons?

Head covers are acceptable for metal clubs and even putters. They are not to be used for irons. Those who have them don't realize how ridiculous it looks in the eyes of others.

More importantly, it's almost 100% guaranteed you will lose a few of them over the course of time. The silliness is compounded when invariably a few go missing and you now have a mixed presentation in your bag.


Wearing a cap backwards.

I asked my wife about this one and she hit the nail squarely on the head. It's doable with the following two conditions. You are under 30 and less than 175 pounds or if over that age you look like Brad Pitt and still have the weight limit.

If you don't meet that standard, then lose the desire to look like a classic dork.


You have a club called "The Chipper" in your bag.

It's amazing how those who have added "The Chipper" to their golf bag don't realize an existing set of clubs actually has ones you can use for that specific purpose

In my lifetime I have never seen any "golfer" of note have such a club yet there are players who I have met that are ever loyal in keeping one in their bag.


Your golf bag has 14 circular tubes fitting each of your clubs.

Yes, the thought process of keeping clubs separate from one another has clear merit, but when someone has 14 specific tubes for each of their clubs then you have a person more fixated on personal neatness than realizing such a contraption is another telltale sign of being lost in a personal fog.

Such a situation screams out loudly you have not yet arrived as a golfer.

Call yourself a golfer - Take the test and see if you are
(Kevin Phillips/Pixabay)

You own and use a golf bag that's larger than the pyramids.

Functional "golfers" don't need mammoth suitcases. The only people who should have these are tour players who use the available space as a billboard in touting all the various companies that pay them money for the space provided.

Players with such suitcases are almost always conscribed to taking a power cart because if you were to attempt to carry such a bag, you'd either be in the hospital or the morgue.

There are those believing the larger the bag the more connected to the game they are. There's a better word. Disconnected.

You actually use a golf score counter product.

This is laughable because the only people who might truly need such a device are those who score so high as to make the process in having the correct tally a real chore.

Should you reach a max of triple-bogey on a hole the process is simple - stop counting and head to the next hole so everyone else behind you can enjoy the course.


Bag tag glory.

You know the person who takes great pride in being able to showcase the various golf clubs and resorts they have played around the world. They have bag tags from EVERYWHERE.

The entire bag is full of such litter. And let's not forget the awful sounds that happens when all of them start hitting against one another as the bag is moved about.

Having 1-2 is fine but when you have a plethora of them with some SO old your name is now fading from view it is just over-the-top.

The situation ignorantly screams "look at me" narcissism.

Ian Poulter (Donall Farmer/PA Wire)

On the fashion front, wear apparel that fits your body.

Ricki Fowler is a headliner on the PGA TOUR and known for his splash of color in the various clothes he wears when playing. The same can be said of Ian Poulter. It helped Rickie and Ian because of similar body types - svelte and athletic. If you have a body type like Fowler and Poulter and are less than 40 years of age, then such wardrobe inclusions are fair game.

If you happen to have a body body that's generously large then eschew the pastels and opt for something less overpowering to the eyes of others.

This applies even more so when wearing a matching cap and oversized belt that gives you clear entry in being considered for a march of the clowns at any respectable circus.

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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