Kathy and Jim Mulligan had finished packing their golf gear in anticipation of a golf vacation that was only a few days away. Both are decent players and enjoy the game regardless of how well they score.
A few days before setting out for their golf get-away, Kathy said to Jim: “I’ve been thinking. We always play golf with Joan and Harry and they are such great company. What happens if we get teamed up with a beginner, a club-thrower, a cheater, or even worse, someone with a potty mouth? That could ruin our whole day.”
Being paired with a stranger on the golf course who is not your cup of tea can definitely be a problem and spoil your round. Think Jerry, from TV’s “Seinfeld,” playing a round of golf with Newman. Not the most pleasant way to spend four hours or more.
Behold, I bear good news and the answer to this dilemma. But first, to give you an example of just how terrible this situation can be, Southold teacher Jeff Ellis shared an experience he had with Mr. Obnoxious.
“What was to be one of my best days playing golf didn’t turn out that way,” Ellis said. “I was up at 1 a.m. and set off with two of my buddies for Bethpage State Park to sleep in the parking lot so we could get a tee time to play the Black Course. We got our tee time and another person, a stranger, was put in our group. He informed us he was a scratch golfer, but was playing to an eight handicap. Right then we knew we were in trouble. And we were right. This guy never shut up. He told us what pro golfers he knew, had played with and had beaten. He cursed at the top of [his] lungs constantly. I actually asked him if he ever stopped talking. On the 16th tee my buddy looked at this guy and said to him, ‘You have made me hate golf.’ We then picked up our bags and walked off the course.”
Nick Savino, a 2002 Southold High School graduate and New York City attorney, along with his friend and business associate Adam Schreiber, have created a much-needed service for golfers of all abilities. Their company, GolfAlike, pairs you with compatible golfers based on your game and other factors.
The company’s philosophy is simple: Determine who will be your playing partners before the round based on player profiles. GolfAlike asks about your handicap, playing style, what behavior you expect from a partner, your golfing goals, etiquette and more.
“It’s also a great way to network and you can even hook up and play with your old classmates,” Savino said.
The brainstorm came to Schreiber when he showed up at a course as a single and was paired with a couple who were inappropriately dressed and had never played golf.
“I took one look at them, excused myself, and returned to the pro shop where I waited for a group more suited to my credentials,” Schreiber said. “Sure enough, I hooked up with two nice guys and had a great round. When I got home I had my ‘a-ha’ moment and started writing a business plan. I asked my good friend Nick if he would be interested in becoming a partner and we were off and running.”
GolfAlike is currently concentrating on the New York Metro area and has plans to branch out to other urban centers and then nationally. Go to GolfAlike.com to learn more.
19TH HOLE Red White, from Arizona, was on vacation in Ireland and decided to play a round of golf. He was paired with three local gents.
Red takes a few practice swings, steps up to the tee and proceeds to hit his drive out of bounds. He shakes his head, re-tees another ball and hits a great shot down the middle of the fairway. With a big smile he says to the others: “In America we call that a Mulligan. What do you call it here in Ireland?’’
After a moment of silence one of the gents replied, “Hitting three.”