The 7 Best Golf Partners

Meet the guys who help make four hours on the course a real joy...

The right company can make or break a round
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Four hours is a long time to spend in someone else’s company out on the links, so just who are the 7 best golf partners? Read on to find out

Sometimes a round of golf can be made or broken by the company you either endure or enjoy for four hours out on the course.

The most annoying golf partners can make it a torturous experience; the best golf partners, like these 7 below, can make it an absolute joy…

Mr Eternally Cheerful

His game is in tatters, he can’t hit his hat, but absolutely nothing is going to deter him from having a good time out on the links that day.

He remains great company throughout, whatever the numbers (or indeed letters!) on the scorecard at the end of the round.

The kind of guy who makes you think, “If I could just be a bit more like him.”

Mr Eternally Cheerful will make the time just fly by

Mr Eternally Cheerful will make the time just fly by

The great encourager

The great encourager is a master psychologist.

He knows when to keep quiet; he knows when to shoot you a quick look that says, “I feel your pain – hang on in there”; and he knows when to come right alongside, put his arm round your shoulder and say, “Come on, you can still do this,” just as things seem to be slipping away.

Great encourager, we salute you.

The great encourager provides a shoulder to lean on, but only when you most need it

The great encourager provides a shoulder to lean on, but only when you most need it

The radar tracker

When you’re playing straight into the sun, or it’s one of those days when it’s virtually impossible to pick the ball out against the sky, you need the radar tracker in your group.

Whatever the conditions, he’ll follow your ball like a hawk until it safely rejoins terra firma, before pronouncing confidently, “Got that one,” just as you’re reaching in your bag for a provisional.

Worth his weight in both shots and golf balls.

Ball heading a little offline? No problem with the radar tracker in your group

Ball heading a little offline? No problem with the radar tracker in your group

The hunter hawk

A close cousin of the radar tracker, the hunter hawk is also a very handy ally.

For a start, he too takes the trouble to actually follow your ball, then keeps his eye locked on the landing area all the way down from the tee, whereupon he becomes imbued with canine-like sniffing skills to ensure it is located long before lost ball panic sets in.

In the rare event of the search taking a couple of minutes, he’ll typically find 3 or 4 more balls too, which he’ll chuck over to you as he only uses a certain type.

You'll never lose another ball with the hunter hawk for company

You'll never lose another ball with the hunter hawk for company

The shrewd praiser

From the same family as the great encourager, the shrewd praiser knows when to apply a suitable delay filter before commenting on the shot you’ve just played.

Not for him the false platitude of an instant “great strike” just because the impact sound suggests solid contact.

He will wait until he can see where it’s heading before making either a suitably considered assessment or simply saying nothing at all if more appropriate.

The jolly flagman

On every hole you play, someone in your group will have to either tend or remove the flag at some stage, and put it back in when everyone has holed out.

Step up the jolly flagman, who will always be on hand to see that everything is done in a timely fashion. “Tended or out?” he’ll ask even before you’re ready to go.

And he’ll be equally eager to do more than his fair share of flag replacing work when everyone’s done.

The jolly flagman oversees things on the green

The jolly flagman oversees things on the green

Mr Sociable

It doesn’t matter how well or how badly he’s played, Mr Sociable will always be first to the bar afterwards, with a cheery, “What are you having?”

While others might hurl the clubs in the boot, before screeching out of the car park in a self-centred rage after a poor round or last-minute collapse, Mr Sociable is having none of that.

For him, it’s as much about the banter and the company as the golf. Just don’t forget to reciprocate with the second round.

Win, lose or draw, Mr Sociable will always insist on getting the first round in

Win, lose or draw, Mr Sociable will always insist on getting the first round in
Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf


Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response