Mailbag time. I appreciate all of the questions. Let's get to it.
Dear CPG - I play golf in a regular weekend group with some guys that I work with. All great guys with similar handicaps and it's a really good time. This may sound petty but one of the guys in the group who I will call "Bill" always wears white shorts or other very light colors and without fail by the 9th hole he has a shit skidmark that shows through his shorts. Honestly, it's disgusting. My guess is he doesn't wear underwear and when he scratches his ass it shows through. It may not seem like a big deal but it's incredibly distracting. Nobody in our group has had the nerve to say anything yet but I feel like he probably would like to know. To complicate matters, even though he's not my direct boss, he is a VP in another department and confronting him and embarrassing him could effect my career mobility. How should I handle the situation? - Grant B., Chesterfield, MO
It's difficult for me to say without knowing Bill and his personality. Is he the serious buttoned up type or a fun loving 'guy's guy' who would laugh along with everyone if someone in the group said "Hey Bill, did you shit your pants?"
I happen to agree with you, staring at a huge brown shit stain every time a guy hits a shot can be very distracting. My official advice is that you need to let him know.
But there are some things you should consider before telling him.
First, if Bill is a repeat offender you have to at least consider the possibility that he already knows there's a stain there and is OK with it.
Think about it, if he does his laundry you would think at some point he would notice the skid marks and make a mental note that it's probably been there all day and people saw it.
A sensible person would put two and two together and wear underwear going forward. If this is the case, obviously Bill isn't too concerned about it.
It reminds me a little of the guys who work in an air conditioned office and have MASSIVE sweat stains under their armpits at 9:00 AM and walk around all day like they're not even there.
Let's assume he's not a psycho and is totally oblivious to the apple butter in his Dockers. There are ways to broach the subject without embarrassing him too much.
For instance, you could pull him off to the side and quietly ask him if he forgot to wipe his ass this morning. It's discreet, yet gets right to the point. If that's a little too forward, you could frame the question by giving him an out. For example, you could say, "Hey Bill, did you just take a dump in your pants or did you accidentally sit on the Twix bar I bought at the turn?"
Obviously it complicates things that he is your superior at work but nobody should be subjected to these types of views all summer long.
My suggestion would be for your group to throw up balls to decide who has to confront Bill and get it over with. The sooner the better.
Hey CPG - I recently joined a 'semi-private' golf club and assumed that my membership would come with exclusive privileges, but it feels no different than the muni course I used to play. Did I make a mistake? Jerry T., Stockton, CA
Yes Jerry, you made a huge mistake.
I hate to break this to you, but there's no such thing as a semi-private club. Either it's private, or it's not. It's like saying your girlfriend is semi-pregnant, or you're roommate is semi-gay or you're grandma is semi-dead. General rule of thumb: If you're a little bit public, then you're all public.
The club I work at went semi-private back in 06' and I'll give anyone with a pulse and $26.00 an 8:00 AM Sunday morning tee-time. The membership distinction is meaningless and we need the revenue.
Oh we like to tell people we have amenities that muni courses don't offer but it's a total farce. For instance our GM stuffed a used Bowflex and a set of shake weights into a storage room and markets it as a Fitness Center. But that doesn't quite make us Pine Valley.
Hopefully you weren't dumb enough to pay an initiation fee. If you enjoy the course, my advice is to just adopt the mind set that you're playing a public golf course. That way you won't get too upset when the fivesome of shirtless college students playing in front of you blaring the bluetooth speaker and taking fireball shots are playing too slow.
Dear CPG - A friend of mine who plays in our weekly money game just got back from a two week vacation in Hawaii with his family where they played 13 rounds of golf. When he left his index was an 8.3 and when he got back, it was trending to an 11.6. He claims the courses were difficult and he had trouble putting on the grainy Hawaiian greens. I cried foul but he says his index "is what it is". There is no way I'm playing him for money at his new index. What should I do? Cedric H., Nashville, TN
First of all, your friend is full of shit. I don't even know this guy but I can't help but admire him. Not only is he getting two weeks of rest and relaxation, but he's also using this time away to pad his handicap in order to completely screw his buddies back home.
Let's be real for a second. Can you imagine the scene on the golf course with his wife and kids in Hawaii? A total whiff and giggle.
I see him hitting shots barefoot, skipping shots, skipping holes, you name it. Oh yeah, I'm sure this guy was really grinding over four footers in order to keep his handicap in line while his children were building sand castles in the bunkers. Let's just be completely honest, there's no way he even kept score.
If I were you I would call total bullshit on this guy and tell him that he either plays at the handicap he was when he left town or find some other pigeons to play with until his index gets back down to its normal range.
Dear CPG - I am the 6-time defending ladies club champion at my club near Portland, OR. In I guess what's considered a sign of the times, a new member (Terry) recently joined who happens to be transgender. He (or I guess I should say she), has signed up for the ladies club championship and the entire field is up in arms about it. I pride myself on being an accepting person but this guy/gal absolutely bombs it off the tee. I'm talking 290+. His/her participation in the event will make it a complete farce. My question is should I voice how unfair this is or just let it go? Margie R., Newberg, OR
Yeah this is a tricky one. Usually I have immediate answers to all questions related to golf but this one takes a little more thought.
My advice is this.
You need to accept the fact that you can't beat him/her legitimately. I would start game planning alternative routes to victory such as a slew of petty rules infractions or disqualification scenarios.
You could also try to knock him/her off his/her game by using a Trump/Pence 2020 ball marker or telling her Caitlyn Jenner only transitioned for PR/financial reasons.
You can see I'm grasping here. I'm trying my best to help you but your options are limited.
If none of these ideas work then your impressive six year reign is probably coming to an end. In today's world there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop Terry from bombing and gouging his/her way to a Tiger at Pebble year '00 type romp.
There's no shame in second place. Good luck.