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The warning signs are easy to spot - as are most obsessive compulsive behaviours. Take our test
Each of the one hundred million people (that's just a wild guess) who play golf fit into one of three categories.

These are:
a) the extremely casual golfer
b) the casual golfer, and
c) the avid golfer (or, Fred Couples, John Daly and Nick Faldo).

The extremely casual player is best described as someone who rarely plays, usually rents clubs, and seems to think that you need to get down on both hands and knees to put a tee in the ground.

The casual player is someone who plays a dozen times a year or so, attends the odd PGA Tour event, and often comes back from the course smelling like a saloon bar carpet.

Lastly, the avid golfer, who many non-golfers would describe as 'a very sick individual,' is someone who has a personalised golf related license plate and has most likely traded his children for a club membership.

Unfortunately, due to personal bias, prejudice towards certain golfing groups, or basic retardation, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the category to which you belong. So in order for you to set the record straight, you need to take the 'Are You An Avid Golfer?' test. Add up your points at the end to determine your category.

Question 1. I'll quit a round of golf when:

A cloud appears - 1 point
There is standing water on the greens - 2 points
Lightning strikes my golf cart - 3 points
I get sucked up into a tornado - 4 points

Question 2. After tallying up my front nine score and realising that it is a personal worst I:

Say 'whoop-di-do,' and grab another dozen balls for the back nine - 1 point
Whimper like a poodle - 2 points
Regurgitate my hot dog - 3 points
Try to slice my aorta with a divot repair tool - 4 points

Question 3. If my playing partner keels over on the front nine from a heart attack I will:

Drop my club and immediately try to resuscitate the victim - 1 point
Play my next shot and then yell for help - 2 points
Ask him why this couldn't be done after the round - 3 points
Finish the nine and tell the pro he needs a stretcher and/or a body bag on the fifth tee and ask for the 'single rider' discount for the back nine - 4 points.
[Ed's note; if you drag his body back to the clubhouse but stop on the way to hit the remainder of your shots, collect two bonus points]

Question 4. My golf instructional material consists of:

A copy of Caddyshack - 1 point
A few golf magazines and a copy of Caddyshack - 2 points
Jack Nicklaus's Golf My Way, a shed full of golf magazines, and a copy of Caddyshack - 3 points
Every golf instructional book and video that has been produced since WWII, including the 'Millenium Gold-Plated Edition' of Caddyshack - 4 points

Question 5. I take golf lessons:

Never - 1 point
Only if someone buys them for me - 2 points
So often that I pitch a tent on the lesson tee and sleep there for the entire summer - 3 points
I make money giving them in my garage - 4 points

Question 6. If I show up at the golf course without a tee time and the course is jammed I:

Tell the starter 'No problem' and get smashed in the bar - 1 point
Tell the starter 'That sucks' and go to the range for an hour hoping someone no-shows - 2 points
Bribe the starter with a crisp $100 bill - 3 points
Threaten to break the starter's legs - 4 points

Question 7. I'll teach my kids the fundamentals of the game when:

They ask for my advice - 1 point
They show an interest in the sport - 2 points
They demonstrate a motor skill - 3 points
They pass through the birthing canal - 4 points

Question 8. When money is really tight and a friend asks me to go to Kiawah Island golfing I:

Tell him 'No dough, Joe. No can do' - 1 point
Suggest that we go somewhere less expensive - 2 points
Sell my furniture and go - 3 points
My possessions have all been sold from previous trips; cut out a kidney and sell it on the internet - 4 points

Question 9. When I'm asked to go to the store to buy bread and milk I:

Do exactly as I'm told - 1 point
Sometimes swing by the range on the way home and beat a bucket of balls - 2 points
Often stop at the club for a quick nine - 3 points
Usually forget what I'm supposed to be doing and head to the course for 18 holes - 4 points

Question 10. I'll watch The Golf Channel (or live golf on Sky Sports):

When someone takes the remote control from my cold, dead fingers - 1 point
To laugh at the commercials - 2 points
Whenever they show re-runs of the 1977 Open Championship - 3 points
Because I'm part owner of the station - 4 points

Your score
10-15 points = Casual player
16-25 points = Semi-casual player
26-40 points = Avid player (make sure the divot repair tool is sharp).

Andrew Penner is a golf pro in Canada. He scored three points.

©    16 - SEPTEMBER 2002

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