15 Things That Golfers Don't Agree On

Golfers enjoy nothing more than a healthy debate in the clubhouse before and after their rounds, here are some of the most popular arguments...

15 things that golfers don't agree on
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Most golfers will have been in the clubhouse when a spirited debate has kicked off around them, with topics raging from rules disputes to the most trivial of quarrels. Weighing in on such matters is down to the individual, but often it's hard to resist the urge to settle the discourse with your well-researched, nuanced opinion.

After hearing some of these conversations in the 19th hole, we decided to highlight 15 things that golfers don't agree on...


In every social golfing group, there will always be one player that is referred to as 'the bandit'. The nickname may have stuck after a series of profit-earning performances in your friendly cash games, only to be followed by a string of performances in the Monthly Medal that has seen them propping up the rest of the field - by some margin!

You may even recognise a player like this in your own group, but ask yourself, if they have an official handicap are they really a 'bandit'? If a player is putting in a card regularly, perhaps they are just playing their best stuff when the chips are down.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods in his Sun Day Red hat and shirt

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The 15-time Major Champion divides opinion amongst golfers. He's had his personal life controversies, but avid Tiger Woods fans can put that to one side and focus on his on-course achievements, whilst others can't.

Some believe he gets far too much on-course TV time, despite playing a much reduced schedule in recent years, whilst some will happily sit down for five hours watching his every move and reminiscing about the good old days.

Rakes – In or out?

Or even half in, half out? It's a question that has no real answer. Ask a greenkeeper from one club and they'll tell you what's best, but ask one from a different club and they might tell you something completely different.

Leaving the rake outside the bunker creates a chance that your ball rests up against it, or worse cannons off it, but leave it in the sand and you produce a similar conundrum - plus the handle will be all sandy!

Tiger or Jack

Tiger Woods shaking the hand of Jack Nicklaus at St. Andrews

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The standard GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) debate rages on over Woods and Nicklaus, with compelling arguments made for both. The pair are certainly the greatest golfers of the past 50 years or so, but who is the best? 

On one-hand, Tiger has more PGA Tour titles, but on the other, Jack has more Majors.

Dress codes

Here we go, this is juicy one. Not much divides golfers' opinions more than dress codes

Collared shirts? Jeans in the clubhouse? Sock length and colour! Golf's dress code is contentious and contrasting at all different clubs around the world. Some see it as an exclusive, 'stuffy' part of our game that puts newcomers off, whilst others say that it is a key tradition of golf that needs to stay.

Scottish Links Golf Course

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Links courses are widely regarded as superior, if you look at the Golf Monthly Top 100 rankings, and were the original form of the game. There are, however, many that will argue a day in the heather and pines at Sunningdale can't be topped.

Like with many contentious issues in golf, it comes down to preference, but maybe we should play as many as possible just to make sure... you know, in the name of research!

Pace of play

Pace of play has been debated heavily in recent years, all the way from the amateur to the professional game. Some golfers like to race round and get on with their day, while others like to take a more leisurely approach and take their time.

This isn't always the players fault, as there are plenty of other factors that influence the pace of play. There is also the issue around ability levels, with some new players struggling to enjoy and improve their golf due to the pressure of having an angry group behind tapping their watch in disapproval. 

It can be frustrating when the group in-front is not playing with the appropriate urgency, or not allowing groups to play through, but clearly there needs to be balance, as golf is for everyone and we should be striving to find a balance.


Putter length? Putter grip length? 6 inches? Generous on the front nine, then nothing on the back? Everybody has a different view on gimmes, and some are more generous than others. As long as you are consistent, and in agreement, this can surely only help with the pace of play.

LIV Golf

LIV Golf Las Vegas

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Since its inaugural season in 2022, LIV Golf has been one of the most divisive topics in the sport. 

Some players and fans have welcomed the tour with open arms, clearly embracing its different and unique approach. On the other hand, its introduction has fragmented the game and resulted in a disbandment of the top talent we love to watch each week.

With the future of world golf looking quite uncertain, amidst talks of mergers and partnerships, it will be interesting to see how long this debate rages on.

Ball in a divot

You've hit your drive straight down the middle of the fairway and guess what, it's only ended up in a divot! That's not fair, is it? Well, according to the rules of golf it is fair, because the game's principles are that you play your ball from where it lies...

Price of golf

A lot of players will feel that golf club membership or green fee rates offer pretty decent value for money, especially when you look at how much a top bicycle costs or a new fishing boat.

Golf can be affordable across the country, and like anything, some areas are more expensive than others. Another dividing financial element of the game is the price of equipment

You might occasionally hear the remark, 'Back in my day a driver only used to cost £200', however in the present day, material, research, design and other aspects have pushed the prices up. The question remains, is it worth it?

Carry bag or trolley

Trolley and Carry Bags in Golf

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Look around the golf course and you'll mostly see trolley users, so perhaps this is less divisive than we thought. However, many enjoy carrying their golf bag and the freedom of being able to step over the 'No Trolleys' rope and place your bag on tee boxes or wherever else you choose.

Masters or The Open

Sit back, sip a cold beer and enjoy the beautifully manicured fairways of Augusta along with some legendary drama as the golfing season gets underway. 

Alternatively, immerse yourself in the world's oldest golf tournament played on some of the best links courses on planet earth, as players battle their way around tackling the elements in search of the fabled Claret Jug and Champion Golfer of the Year title.

So, Masters or Open, which is better?

Sausage or bacon baps

Bacon and Sausage Bap

Sausage or bacon sarnie?
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There are a couple of questions here. Do you go Bacon or Sausage? And do you consume before, during at the halfway house or after the round? People can get very heated about this, and don't even get me started on sauce.

In my opinion, the answer to all of the above is... yes! Bacon and Sausage baps all round.

Pint or Hot Drink before the round?

You can't eat your breakfast sandwich and not have something to wash it down with. Some golfers are partial to a tea or coffee pre-round, as a crucial part of their golf warm-up, and others like to go one step further and take on some liquid courage before facing the balcony at the first tee.

Let us know some other topics golfers don't agree on and your thoughts on the ones listed above on our social media channels.

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV