The LINKS Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide

Getting through the Holidays requires sustenance, which for many of us means a good drink. This year, the libation of choice is as refreshing as its namesake. Of course we mean the Arnold Palmer, the now-iconic mix of iced tea and lemonade made famous by one of the game’s unassailable icons, who passed away just a few months ago. In the true spirit of Mr. Palmer, we suggest adding some spirit to his drink, which is something he was known to do from time to time. Arnie’s additive often was vodka, specifically Ketel One, which was one of his sponsors.

Now that you have a drink, get comfortable and take a look at our Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide, which will help you endure and enjoy whatever the season has in store.

What to Say, What to Wear, When to Run

Ice Breakers

Talking with a bunch of golfers at a party and you’ve all unaccountably run out of things to discuss? Here are some topics sure to drive the conversation:

  • The best putter on Tour, now and ever
  • Who should be the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain?
  • Tiger vs. Jack
  • Speaking of Tiger, can he come back? Will he?
  • Scotland or Ireland?
  • Best golf announcers on TV
  • Worst golf announcers on TV
  • You need to nap: Do you watch the LPGA or the Champions Tour?
  • The course you most want to play in the world (to make it more interesting, take out Augusta National)
  • Golf is (pick one): Dead, Dying, Doing Just Fine

Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide

…and Ice Melters

Some questions are better left unasked. Such as…

  • Why do they call it “golf”? (Be prepared to hear all the other four-letter words it could have been)
  • Have you shot your age yet? (Unless you’re sure the other person is at least 75)
  • Do you golf? (Response: “No, and I don’t tennis, either.”)
  • Where are they playing the Masters this year? (Just walk away)

Dress for Success

Some holiday parties can’t be missed. Here’s how to dress wisely so you at least look as if you’re having fun:

  • At the Country Club: No denim. Ever. Santa-playing-golf tie? Sure, why not.
  • At the Neighbor’s House: Golf clothes are fine… except for the visor.
  • At the In-Laws: Assume your father-in-law will go full-golf mode and go one step less.
  • At the Work Party: Wear the spikeless golf shoes so after chatting with the boss for five minutes you can escape to the range.
  • At the Fancy Restaurant: Blazer, cashmere sweater, shined shoes… and a tee in your pocket to poke yourself to stay awake.
  • At your Own Home: It’s your castle, wear what you want.

Beware The Golf Bore!

You’re at a party, drink in hand, chatting with the neighbors, when from the corner of your eye you see someone heading toward you mouth open, talking loudly, and you swear you can hear the clickety-clack of metal spikes on the hardwood floor. You’re about to be attacked by a golf bore, who will talk your ear off for hours. Here’s how to spot one (hopefully before he spots you):

  • Is wearing a sweater (or worse, a sweater vest) with the logo of a remote Scottish course most people (even Scots) have never heard of, let alone played.
  • Where other people wear a watch he’s wearing a distance-measuring device.
  • Before asking how you are (which he may never do), starts the conversation with, “Have you played…?” Assume wherever it is, he has, and he’ll tell you all about it. All.
  • Wants to fix your swing—right there at the party.
  • Can talk for 10 minutes about how different grasses affect the roll of a putt. And he doesn’t call it grass; it’s “turf.”
  • At least once during his lecture he says he has to have you to the club. Thankfully, he’ll probably forget.
  • And actually refers to it as “the club.”
  • At some point will say, “I have to tell you about my round at…” That’s when you hold up your hand, stop him, and say, “If you’re going to make me go all 18, you’ll have to pay me like a caddie.”

By the way, if people seem to be skulking away when you approach, take note of the logo on your sweater. The golf bore could be you.

To Give… and Not to Give: The 12 Worst Gifts of Christmas

As a golfer, nothing is worse than getting a golf-related gift from someone who doesn’t play the game. So if you think the novelty sweater with Santa teeing it up with the reindeer is tacky, you’ll love these:

  • Potty Putter: The Ultimate Toilet Golf Game , Practicing putting while you’re on the can is the ultimate in slow play.
  • A golf glove , Even if in the right size, would you let someone give you a pair of shoes? Sorry, too personal.
  • Golf Ball-Finder glasses , Not sure what’s worse: The way you’ll look (dorky) or the way you’ll see (not at all).
  • Uro Club, the golf club urinal , For when the restrooms are too far away. Gives new meaning to “taking relief.”
  • Divot Repair Multi-tool, Jack of all trades, master of none. Will sit in your bag adding weight.
  • A swing training aid, Gee, thanks for pointing out that my game is terrible.
  • X-Out balls, Sends a two-pronged message: You’re cheap and I’m a bad golfer.
  • Logoed apparel from a club you’ve never played , Unless it’s Augusta National… and comes with an invite to play there.
  • Motorized club-cleaning brush, Because you’re too lazy to do the brushing motion manually?
  • Club Champ Kooler Klub Drink Dispenser , Given to you by someone who thinks you’re such a lush you can’t wait for the halfway house.
  • A Bag of Tees, Just say thank you and move on.
  • A Golf Hat Only Bill Murray Would Wear, And only he should wear. 

Never-Fail Gift For A Golfer

A single-malt whisky from Scotland. Any one, doesn’t matter. And if the recipient doesn’t drink (although you should know this), he or she can always re-gift it to someone who does. Like you.

Survival Guide - Bill Murray

Play On! Keep The Golf Flame Burning

Don’t let the season—too cold, too busy, too much family—put a complete halt to your love for the game. Even if you can’t get out for a round or two, there are ways to keep your golf muscles, mental as well as physical, sharp. For instance:

  • Hit balls on a golf simulator
  • Take an indoor lesson
  • Go for a club fitting (even if it’s just the putter, which, yes, should be fit, too!)
  • Sign up for golf-specific training at a gym
  • Sign up for any training at a gym
  • Do some cross-country skiing or skating, which aren’t only good ways to stay active but work many of the core and lower-body muscles you need for golf
  • Read a golf book, instruction if you must but better if it’s something like Golf In The Kingdom or The Match, books that speak to your passion
  • Play a golf game on your phone, tablet, or computer
  • Sign up for World Golf Tour (wgt.com), which lets you play famous courses for free online
  • Handy? Take up club making
  • Read the Rules (and prepare to be surprised by what you’ve been doing wrong all these years)
  • Knit a set of headcovers
  • Don’t forget Golf Channel
  • Get your eyes checked

Survival Guide - TrackMan

To read the rest of this article and more from our December Issue of LINKSdigital, click here.

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What are your golf related keys to surviving the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

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