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So you decided to make a tee time for 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday. It was a drunk decision, sure, but you and your buddies also said you wouldn’t stay out late this Friday. You said you would never, under any circumstances go home with that six who keeps selecting “You Shook Me All Night Long” on the jukebox. You say a lot of things that aren’t true. As one of my good friends likes to say, “Don’t worry about it. Unless you have to.” So maybe all of those things end up happening. Here’s your guide to a hungover round of golf.
Your morning routine is going to set the tone for the round. Take a shower. Maybe allow “Throwing It All Away” by Phil Collins to play on a low volume while you prepare your outfit and make sure you have enough Top-Flite water balls to last you through a round.
This is a biggie. 18 holes of golf is a battle of attrition. I don’t care how drunk you got last night. Get out of bed and make yourself a few eggs over easy. Stop by a Chick-fil-A if you have the means and get a chicken biscuit. Just line your stomach with something. Anything. You don’t want to be the guy who has to bow out at the turn because your “back is acting up.”
I’m in the camp that believes the cure to any hangover is a light beer. You know those eggs I just told you to cook? Make sure you have a cold beer to accompany that. One, MAYBE two Miller Lites and you’ll be back at 80% before you even check in with the clubhouse. I’ll probably be getting a lot of “John — do you have a drinking problem?” comments. The answer is no. Okay, the answer is possibly. Look, I know you’re trying to go low today, but you blew any opportunity at shooting a 72 when you decided one night prior that a round of Cuervo for the crew was a good idea. Keep it to a maximum of three beers before the round starts, and if you’re playing at a municipal, throw a couple pops in your bag for later. The ranger isn’t going to care, trust me.
Like I said earlier, I know you wanted to go low today. I know you had aspirations of beating the course record. I know you wanted to take that 3-iron out of your bag and put one on the green from 250 for a nice long eagle putt. But a hangover plus eighteen holes does not equate to a day of birdies. And you know in your heart of hearts that you can’t hit your 3 for shit. So make sure the group you’re playing with isn’t comprised of a bunch of former D-1 college golfers and guys who get out to play three times a week. The hangover round is reserved for good friends. It’s not so much about playing golf as it is enjoying each other’s company in a beautiful outdoor setting. You want some comradery. You’re not there to show anyone up. Just try and keep it in the fairway.
At The Turn
After 9 holes of golf, you know how the rest of your day is going to go. Maybe you parlayed that hangover into a three over front nine. Good for you. I’d advise that you stay away from any and all alcoholic beverages in the clubhouse before the back nine. But let’s get real. If you’ve got a hangover you’re probably not playing a great round so far. Go inside, get a hot dog, maybe some chicken tenders and a bloody. Catch a buzz and get back out on the course with a false confidence that only alcohol can give you. If you’re anything like me, you usually start the back nine telling yourself that the first nine was ‘just a warm up.’ The back nine is a fresh start until that promising drive you had on 10 turns into a topped second shot and a double bogey.
The hungover round of golf is fun, but you have to allow it to be fun. Don’t sweat that four-footer for par. If you miss the putt, you miss the putt. Stop and evaluate what you’re doing for a second. You’re outside on a beautiful day walking around on freshly manicured grass. You’ve got a buzz, some buddies, and a nice three to four-hour walk in front of you. If you can get past the fact that this hungover round isn’t going to be reminiscent of pre-divorce Tiger Woods, you’re going to have a great time. You’re not out there to qualify for The Masters. Just keep it light and make sure the lines you’re spitting at the beer cart girl aren’t taken the wrong way. .
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