As the festive season approaches, it is worth keeping in mind a few rules relating to golf during this time.
There will be times this Christmas when you’d rather be on a golf course than sitting next your drunk uncle laughing at bad bonbon jokes. For the sake of family harmony, marital bliss and securing those golf weekends away next year, here are a few suggestions concerning golf this Christmas.
My true love gave to me
Your nearest and dearest know just how much you love the game, so it’s not unreasonable to think you may find a few golf-related gifts under the Christmas tree. You may have even hinted that you need a new pair of golf shoes, a trip to Barnbougle would be nice or a dozen golf balls would always come in handy.
But with belly-putter’s on the way out and going cheap, it will be obvious if Santa decides a belly putter is what you need. It will be the long skinny thing propping up the Christmas tree, in a way that seems to take all the skill out of the tree propping up itself.
Be mindful of your own reaction if you don’t receive any golf gear though. This may just be an oversight on your family’s behalf, but it may also be a message that perhaps you are a little too obsessed with what they naively call ‘just a game’.
Don’t even think about playing golf on Christmas Day
With your new white driver unwrapped, the thought of an empty golf course on Christmas Day may be a tempting one. On the list of “things you should never, ever do”, playing golf on Christmas Day is not that far behind planning a golf trip on your wedding anniversary.
Banish the thought immediately, put the driver in the bag and focus on carving up the turkey. You, your family and your future will be better for it.
Careful what you wish for
A new set of golf clubs for your partner may seem like the perfect Christmas gift at the time, but this seemingly generous act is a double-edged sword.
Firstly, you may just be pushing a sewage cart uphill. Ask yourself if your partner really wants to play golf. Have they really shown any desire to embrace the game as you did? If not, you may just be buying a set of clubs that will tragically just sit in the shed all year.
Secondly, do you really want other family members playing golf? You may well think that you’ll get to play more golf, but your last peaceful refuge may be gone forever.
Keep the in-law’s happy
The in-law’s may not know the full extent of your golfing addiction and certainly won’t know the difference between a lob and a gap wedge. If you unwrap a present and find a golf gift pack like the one’s usually sold at department stores with a free bottle of aftershave, just keep calm. Feign excitement the best way you can and claim that you will be using the rock hard golf balls the very next round of golf you play.
Get a round in on Boxing Day
If you have the energy to drag yourself away from the yacht race or Boxing Day Test, get out on the golf course and try out that new, shiny white driver. It would be a mean soul to deny you that privilege after the superb work you did carving up that turkey yesterday. And some of those golf jokes you told Uncle Leo were priceless.
Don’t book in a round for New Year’s Day
Too often golfers cancel their tee time on New Year’s Day or they stumble around in 35-degree heat sweating off all sorts of alcoholic beverages from the night before. While it may be a good opportunity to lose those gift-pack golf balls, you are no John Daly. Besides, those shiny white drivers can hurt the eyes if you are nursing a nasty hangover.
This article originally appeared in Inside Golf where Michael Green writes a monthly column.