Golf is a game of honor and integrity. But let’s face it, sometimes in order to play this great game of honor and integrity, you need to be less than honest. What does one do when it’s 80 degrees and sunny, and you’ve just been asked to be a fourth? Here are seven airtight excuses.
By Sam Weinman
1. You’re sick (Not Covid-19)
The old standby, as time-honored as milk and cookies, provided you lay the correct foundation. The veteran move is to check the forecast a day or two in advance and start hinting at an impending illness the afternoon prior. A sniffle here, a wince followed by a rubbing of the abdomen. “Ooh, I don’t feel right.” Then the next morning, the inevitable email: “Man, this thing hit me hard.” No questions asked, and you have the added benefit of co-workers corroborating your story. “Yeah, he looked pretty bad.”
2. You’re going to a conference
No one knows what anyone does at any of these things, but apparently they happen all the time. The conference comes with the built-in expectation that you’re hunkered down in some hotel ballroom with your phone turned off, perhaps gathered around a whiteboard brainstorming ideas about “workflow efficiency.” Or whatever. In reality you’re 2 up thru four and you’re stroking on the next two holes!
3. You’re working from home (this one is easy today)
Very tricky, particularly in this era of smartphones, instant messaging and impromptu conference calls. It goes without saying this one is nearly impossible at any course that has a strict cell-phone policy, so you need to reserve it for some muny or daily-fee track where you can scroll through messages and answer calls in between shots. The key to the golf-while-working dynamic is to remain engaged just enough to seem like you’re working, but without the actual burden of doing any work. Respond to emails in very vague promissory tones. “Great idea, I’ll talk to him this afternoon.”“Totally agree. I’m on it.” Meanwhile, what you’re really on is the green in two and putting for eagle!
4. Jury duty
In many ways the perfect golf excuse in that it’s so universal and open-ended, and it comes with the expectation that you can’t respond to work queries. The key to the jury-duty excuse is to not be so reckless to say you were working on some murder trial or anything remotely interesting that will elicit a series of annoying questions. Instead, fabricate some intricate civil trial about zoning or septic tanks — anything that will make people’s eyes glaze over, or better yet, feel BAD that you couldn’t be at work.
5. Death in the family
We strongly discourage this one, for the obvious reason that death is not something to be taken lightly. Exceptions: Fishers Island, Augusta National, a distant uncle you don’t really like.
6. You’re having “a procedure” done
Similar to calling in sick in that you’re drawing attention to your health, but this one ventures into such uncomfortable terrain that people know not to ask about it. Maybe it’s a vasectomy or some other unmentionable work to your nether regions. The trade-off here is it will invariably inspire all sorts of whispers around the office about you, and you could very well be stigmatized for the duration of your career there. On the plus side, you haven’t putted that well in weeks!
7. You locked your keys in your car
I’ve actually done this for real several times, and the risk you run is that people begin to look at you as incompetent, incapable of functioning as a regular adult (guilty). However, similar to having some sort of awkward surgery, it’s also the type of embarrassing detail people just assume you wouldn’t make up. But you would, because you’re the type of incompetent, dysfunctional person who really wanted to try out those new wedges.
Originally posted on GolfDigest.Com