IF you want to understand somebody’s personality then look no further than their approach to golf.
During the course of 18 holes character traits are bound to surface. For example I once played a competition with a very pleasant, quiet gentleman.

His calm and peaceful persona was soon replaced with a highly competitive nature as he immediately started giving unsolicited tips. By the 17th he was barking commands at me. Luckily I played under my handicap whereas the tension was clearly too much for him and he wound himself up nicely, eventually missing a vital two-footer on the 18th which lost us the game!

Do any of the following sound familiar, or maybe a little too close to home?

THE COMPETITOR
Known to flex rules, what’s more they do it so confidently few dare to challenge them. They can also suffer from temporary amnesia when it comes to their own score. Pack your rule book or be prepared to be ruled over.

THE WINGER
All the gear but no idea. Doesn’t play often, or not a member, so they usually ‘estimate’ their handicap. Or are bandits. They believe golf is all about power and speed and frequently let ‘rip to the right’, so spend a fair bit of time digging out balls in places most golfers have never trodden before.

THE CONTROLLER
Arrives in plenty of time, has sorted their kit out the night before and spent at least an hour on the range. Immediately takes charge, whether it’s the side bets, the format or the card – they’re likely to know exactly how many strokes everyone has taken. Someone who likes to do it their way or no way.

THE TALKER
Chats or tells jokes incessantly. Perfect if you’re just out with mates but distracting in a competition. Usually they’re so nice you can’t say anything. These ‘it’s all about me’ people are only interested in having a laugh.

THE PERFECTIONIST
As things go wrong they get more and more annoyed with themselves and their head either goes down, or their clubs start bouncing off the ground. Usually a decent golfer but whatever they do they’re not happy. If they produce a superb 150-yard approach, feet away from the flag, they’ll complain they’ve left themselves a downhill putt.

MR STINGY
Won’t offer a gimme even if inches away. Can be reluctant to settle bets or be the last to the bar at the 19th. Beware the ‘tight trouser pockets’ may not be limited to golf.

MR OBLIVIOUS
They’ll amble up to the ball, leisurely select a club and then do time-consuming pre-shot routines. Completely unaware if the field backs up behind them or where anyone’s ball is. Not known for their sensitivity or observancy.

Conclusion: If you’re looking for a partner in life or business then offer to play golf with them as you’ll probably learn more after a few holes than any psychometric test.

Read more about the Ladies game HERE

OR why not check out our other COLUMNISTS