Pity the “D-MINUS” Golfer: Part 1

Guest post by: David DiCola

Whenever I sign up to play in a scramble for a trade association or business golf scramble outing, I’m always the “D-MINUS” golfer. As the guy who can’t hit the ball any farther than 185 yards on a good day, there is always pressure when I tee it up. Especially in the outings where the rules are designed to make everything “fair” by requiring every team to use 1 or 2 drives on both nines.

I really hate that rule.

Sure, I understand the logic behind it. Business outings often favor the scramble format, and the best rules are designed to encourage a true “scramble,” where every player contributes instead of just the best ones. This is accomplished when event organizers spread the golf talent around, setting up each team with an “A,” “B,” “C” and “D-MINUS” golfer. If it’s done right, the “A’s” are sprinkled about as equally as possible, which evens things up a little by avoiding the creation of teams that are stacked with low-handicappers.

That’s all well and good, but I still hate the rule that a team has to use some of the “D-MINUS” golfer’s drives. Why just drives? Why not require that second shots, chips and putts have to be spread about just as equally?

Because it’s more fun to humiliate us lowly “D plussers”.

I was mortified to see the dreaded “one drive per nine holes” rule right there in black and white during my last business scramble outing. This particular competition was set up perfectly from a talent-distribution perspective. Not so perfectly, however, when it came to setting up cart partners.

Sitting behind the driver’s seat of my assigned cart was the VP of Sales for our number one competitor. On the first tee, it was evident to all that he was a much better golfer than me. For the day’s event, he would be listed as our “B” golfer.

I got elected to lead off for our group on the first hole. Our team captain (not the guy in the cart) must have decided that we’d better go ahead and get the crappy drive from the inept D-minus player out of the way.

I didn’t disappoint.

Using a four-iron, I hit a short looper that stopped rolling a whopping 95 yards from the tee box. Walking back to the cart, head down and tail between my legs I held my head up long enough to catch a glimpse of my B teammate’s mixed look of derision and self-satisfaction.

“How come you didn’t use a wood off the tee?” he asked, bewildered.

“Not too confident with my woods these days,” I replied sheepishly. “We might be stuck with using my drives on the par threes today.”

“Hmmm,” was his thoughtful reply as he teed his ball. He seemed to whack it about three times as far as my “drive.” The look on his face as he sauntered back to the cart was enough to make me want to lose lunch all over his shiny new FootJoy’s.

I managed to choke back both my nausea and my pride as I scooped up my ball laying just short of the fairway. My next three drives were no better and I couldn’t help but think that whomever did the organizing of this event deserved to hit the rest of my drives for me.

That is what it felt like to be the “D-minus” golfer at this corporate scramble. I didn’t know it at the time but my comment about using my drives on the par threes would prove to be very prophetic indeed.

Stay tuned to the Gorilla Golf Blog for the next installment in the “Scrambles and the “D-minus” Golfer series.”

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Matt Stugmeyer November 4, 2010

Ha ha!

I’ve been there done that. There’s nothing more embarrasing than hitting a duffer in front of customers or worse yet your competitor.


Tommy Priest November 13, 2010

Best thing is to relax and have fun….


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