The 5 types of medal golfers you're almost certainly going to cross clubs with in your next club competition.
1. The ‘Bufty’:
Shuffling onto the links armed with a formidably cute looking black lab, 18th century smoking pipe and a comically oversized plaid cap forged of only the mustiest and most mothball-infested tweed and tartan, the Bufty cuts a benign clubhouse presence. But don’t be fooled. Beneath the shiny bald dome and geriatric exterior lurks as fearsome competitor as any that’s ever set foot upon a windswept golf course. Get paired with him for 18 holes and you’ll witness a putting stroke more lethal than if Tiger Woods and Inbee Park had a love child and surgically replaced its forearms with a jumbo sized SuperStroke putter grip. Suffice to say, the Bufty is always a treacherous opponent in the Summer Matchplay, but if you can manage not to be lulled into sleep by his best-before-the-Boer-war stories, then you should be able to best him on the 18th.
2. The Young Gun:
Like his (much) older compatriot, the wizened Bufty, the Young Gun owns a razor-sharp short game. Endless school holidays spent razzing up chips on his club’s practice green means that the Young Gun thinks nothing of spinning up a flop shot from a plugged lie on a sixpence, slam-dunking bunker shots, and all the other similarly outrageous short game tricks that any self-respecting junior golfer ought to be able to pull. His golfing heroes are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson and Seve Ballesteros, but aesthetically he’s most likely to take after the – how shall I put this? – more ‘colourful’ sartorial inclinations of Ian Poulter. He may be still a teenager, but with his distractingly-luminous pink trousers and complementary irritatingly-smooth putting stroke, don’t be surprised if he gives you a drubbing.
3. The Big Hitter:
His body bulked up and muscle-bound from his job pummelling rocks into dust on a construction site, everything about the Big Hitter seems tailor-made for bombing the ball far. His iron paunch gives him the stability to lash at the ball with the speed of a Conor McGregor right hook and his tree-trunk wide biceps mean that even on his mishits his drives still sail well north of the 300 yard mark. Getting outdriven by the size of a small rural supermarket is inevitably going to be demoralising. But the Big Hitter’s length comes at a price. His meaty palms and forefingers too huge to be much in the way of sensitive, the Big Hitter’s short game is his weakness, so if you can hold onto your composure and putt decently, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to take him.
4. The Rule Bender:
What do you get if you cross the scythe-like schnozzle of Dick Dastardly with a bad swing, shifty demeanour and unquenchable desire to break 80 despite possessing the cumbrous hand-eye co-ordination of a constipated circus gorilla? That’s right, the Rule Bender. Of all the golfers you will meet in a medal, it’s the Rule Bender who is comfortably the most unpleasant. Oh he’s nice enough to talk to, if a little fixated upon the numbers on his scorecard, but catch him when he thinks you’re not watching and the devil inside is revealed. He’ll think nothing of flicking his ball out of a duff lie, claims the ‘foot wedge’ is an R&A-sanctioned piece of equipment, and couldn’t help himself slashing a 6 down to a 4 if his life depended on it. If you can get him to play by the rules then the match is yours, but let him out of your sight for a second and you’re going to struggle.
5. The Club Chairman:
With his military commander countenance, handlebar moustache and copper-tipped walking cane, the club chairman could easily be mistaken for a smartened-up Bufty. But fail to recognise his rank at your peril, for though a deferential doff of your cap will quickly see you entered into the Club Chairman’s good books, anything less than it will earn you a swift rap of his cane! During your round together the Club Chairman will be carping if you do less than exquisitely repair every pitchmark 20 times on every green and woe betide any playing partner of his who drives his buggy on anywhere but the course’s designated cart paths. The Chairman’s neurotic nitpicking and twitchy caning-finger will be your greatest challenges, but he’s also a pretty handy golfer so you’ll need to be on your A-game if you want to beat him.
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