1. Come prepared.
When I say be prepared, this doesn’t mean taking some practice swings at the range before your round. A true bro will always come prepared with two things: cash and booze. Playing the game of golf is hard. In fact, if you are stuck in a rut, it flat out sucks sometimes. This is where booze comes in. It’s important to have enough alcohol for you and your group. Don’t be the guy that is always mooching beers on the golf course. It’s unbecoming.
As for the actual science of drinking and playing golf, alcohol loosens you up and leads to a more free swinging style of play. This obviously leads to better results. Plus, there are few better feelings in the world than cracking open an ice cold beer on a hot summer day.
As I mentioned above, also come prepared with some cash. If you are like me, you play with guys that have a wide range in skill level. Playing straight up can be difficult, especially if you are factoring in handicaps and are not good at math. But, as we know, bros are competitive. I don’t know of another sport where literally everything can be bet on. “Hey, 5 bucks says you miss that putt.” “I got 10 that says I hit it closer.” You can see how betting is an important part of the game. Adding a little friendly competition makes the game actually mean something, even if you are just screwing around at your local pitch and putt. But, you don’t want to be known as the guy that never pays up. Hitting the ATM prior to your round is key.
2. Look the part.
We all know that bros have a certain level of style. The golf course should be no exception. Now, you don’t have to go full-on Rickie Fowler, but at least try to look good while on the course. Have a certain level of style about you. Even if you don’t plan on playing on tour, there is no reason you can’t look like you could. Stick to moisture wicking shirts, golf hats, and flat front shorts or pants. Stay away from Tommy Bahama, bucket hats, and cargo shorts. Don’t look like a clown out there. If you do, people will question your ability to play the game. As Deion Sanders once said, “if you look good, you play good.”
3. Don’t take yourself or the game too seriously.
Look, it is easy to get frustrated playing golf. It happens to all of us. But remain a bro by not losing your cool too much. We all know that guy that hits a few bad shots and then won’t talk to anyone for a while. He may even throw his putter or snap it in half. Dude, it’s just golf. You are outside on a nice day with your buddies. Grab a cocktail and chill out.
Chill out with the rules too. Unless you are playing in an actual tournament, a bro will have a loose interpretation of the rules of golf. At the end of the day, the game is about having fun. Assessing someone a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a hazard is a real dick move and, trust me, no one will have fun if you are doing things like that.
One more item that you shouldn’t really concern yourself with is giving advice. If your friend really wants some feedback on his swing, he’ll ask for it. Unsolicited advice is one of the worst things you can do on the golf course. Plus, if you have shanked a couple shots, who are you to be giving advice in the first place?
4. Know the game of golf.
This may be the most important characteristic of a bro golfer, have a freaking clue what’s going on. For starters, have a knowledge of the game itself. Know the rules, proper etiquette, etc. Even if you don’t enforce said rules or etiquette, you may get stuck with a guy that does every once and a while. Don’t embarrass yourself by doing something stupid. That being said, if you are playing with your buddies, by all means, let loose. Get liberal with mulligans, drive the cart recklessly, and shotgun beers at every par 3. Just make sure you don’t interfere with other people trying to enjoy the game. If you do that you go from being a bro to an asshole pretty quick.
It’s important to know the history of golf and more specifically, how it can be related to your round. A real bro will be able to contribute useful anecdotes from time to time. Show you are a bro by referencing some of the greatest bro golfers of all time. If the situation arises, feel free to tell your playing partners that Ben Hogan got hit by a bus and still managed to win a US Open. Ponder with your friends about how many burner cell phones Tiger Woods may have had. Drop lines from noted bro golfers Danny Noonan and Ty Webb. Just be careful you don’t step over the line and become a douche by quoting a line from Caddyshack every time you open your mouth.
Lastly, knowing the game of golf means being able to play it with some level of consistency. Sure we all play with a guy that is absolutely terrible, and that’s fine. Just be able to make contact and advance your ball. If you are really struggling, know when to pick it up and move on. There is nothing worse than a guy taking 10+ swipes at a ball in the bunker. Remember, you have all that ice cold beer back in the cart. Grab another one and let everyone finish up the hole.
5. Take it easy on the cart girl.
I know what you are thinking. This one doesn’t make sense. There is an attractive, 20-something girl slinging suds on the golf course and you need to be all over that. I agree, taking a run at the beverage cart girl seems like a good idea, but hear me out. A true bro will play this one cool. There is a young college aged girl with tons of booze. This is a gold mine for the older dudes at the course. They are married with kids and use golf as an escape. Getting drunk and fawning over the cart girl is a lot of guys MO during their round. It’s part of the game.
Now, do you want to be just another dude doing the same thing? Probably not. You’ll make better inroads if you keep the conversation light as opposed to asking her how many golf balls she can fit in her mouth.
This is not meant to be an end all be all, but rather some high level guidelines. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy a nice round of golf.