ClubProGuy: Make your game shine by throwing your partner under the bus
Any golf event in which you’re partnered with someone can be a welcome relief from the grind and solitude of individual medal play. Whether it’s a member-guest tournament or a fourball match at the Ryder Cup, pairing up is a breath of fresh air. You’re a team. A brotherhood. Comrades in arms. You’re “pards,” picking up each other’s poor play as you ham-and-egg it around the course. Your risky decision to wear matching outfits? It never looked so good! Until it didn’t.
Oh, how quickly it can turn. High fives and chest bumps turn to eye rolls when the chips start chunking and the putts stop dropping. Your partner’s third tee ball out of bounds in the last four holes forces you to put on a body-language display that screams, “Why did I invite this hack?!?!” This is roughly the point in the proceedings when it dawns on you that this disastrous round will be posted as a team score for all to see. Even though you played well, nobody will know it. My advice is, don’t go down with the ship! You pulled your weight. Tell the story that the scoreboard won’t! But how? Don’t panic. CPG has you covered.
Once you’ve turned in your card and begun milling around the clubhouse with the other losers, it’s time to make sure blame is properly assigned. It’s a very delicate balance, so be careful: You want to make sure everyone knows your partner was 100 percent responsible for your team’s lousy finish, but you don’t want to be obvious about it. When, for example, someone asks you the obligatory “How did it go out there today?,” the following stock responses are innocuous enough to give you cover but firm enough to securely wedge your partner under the bus tires:
1. “I played great. Unfortunately, ‘pardsy’ struggled … BIG TIME.”
2. “I split 14 fairways but got zero help.”
3. “You ever see a guy three-putt from eight feet twice? I have.”
4. “It was a 226-yard par 3, and all he had to do was hit the green.”
5. “When am I gonna learn to stop inviting clients as partners?”
6. “We shot 82 as a team and I shot 84 on my own ball … if that tells you anything.”
7. “It’s hard to be aggressive when your pards is in his pocket all day.”
Each one of these well-practiced howlers will subtly let your listener know that you played to your full potential — and the complete no-show was what’s-his-name. Feel free to write them down and keep them in your bag.
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