Let’s face it — golf is frustrating. Sure, it can be a wonderful experience, but if you’ve devoted any portion of your life to getting better at it, it’s extended periods of aggravation interrupted by fleeting moments of feeling like you’re going to live forever.
Perhaps that’s why so many of us have followed our rounds up with trips to our favorite 19th hole. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had the round of your life or need to seriously take a look in that proverbial mirror, you’re probably going to be indulging in an adult beverage (or several).
Be careful what you order! What you drink after your round not only says a lot about you — it speaks volumes about the state of your golf game whether your realize it or not.
Here’s a look at what your post-round choice of drink says about your game:
Double Shot of Whiskey
When to drink it: After an uncharacteristically bad round
What it says: “Unless you want to hear me complain about bad breaks, bad lies and a bad round, avoid me for the next hour or so.”
If you find yourself in the 19th hole after a round and the first thing you’re asking for is a couple fingers of whiskey — throat-scorching, 90 proof whiskey — then you’re probably not celebrating much of anything. Except, maybe, the merciful end of the round.
We all have these days on the course. It’s like Ray Floyd once said: “It’s called ‘golf’ because all the other four-letter words were taken.”
That being said, if you feel like you need to cut loose and tip one back, the best way to do it is with a good whiskey. There’s that pain that’s associated with it (because, you know, all golfers are a little sadistic), the quick-working amnesia effects of the alcohol and the universal, “I’ve had a really bad day, please don’t engage me in conversation”-vibe that a bottle of whiskey by your side tends to give off.
All this being said, drinking whiskey doesn’t mean you’ve had the worst round of your life. That’s what our next cocktail is for…
Shot(s) of Tequila
When to drink it: After the worst round of your life; After an unforced implosion round
What it says: “Unless you want to sit here and play Dr. Phil and try to talk me off the ledge, you might want to leave me and Jose Cuervo alone for the foreseeable future.”
Ahh yes — Tequila. If you’re drinking to forget, then tequila is the way to go. Potent, easy to get down and with punishing after effects, tequila shots are the go-to drink following the worst round of your life.
Did you go out in 35 and come in in 50? It’s time for tequila.
Shoot 91 with two 10’s? It’s time for tequila.
Make 8 on the last hole when 7 would’ve broken 80? It’s time for tequila.
Lose a dozen Pro V1’s in one round? It’s time for tequila.
Honestly, any round where you’ve shot 15 or more strokes over your handicap or had 15 or more strokes on the back nine than the front nine, and no one on this planet can judge you for how much tequila you consume.
If you feel the need to pass out at the bar, go ahead. Call a cab and regale the driver about the worst round of your life on your way home. You deserve it.
Any time you experience something as world-shattering as any of the rounds listed above, your bubble becomes a judgement-free zone — and a dozen empty shot glasses in front of you at the bar is a universal signal for, “let me wallow here alone in self pity.”
When to drink it: After any run-of-the-mill round of golf
What it says: “Hey bud — how was your round? Let’s tell the wives we’re stuck behind a foursome of old men, throw a couple back and talk about our rounds, shot-by-shot, until we feel like we were both a bounce-or-two away from setting a course record.”
There is no more ubiquitous post-round drink than a can or bottle of light beer. Luckily, that is the perfect drink for most post-round conversations.
Let’s face it — if you play often enough, “blow up” rounds as mentioned above are not super common. Maybe twice a summer does the ardent golfer have a round where they really feel like ordering a bottle of Sauza or Jim Beam for themselves.
Conversely, it’s not too often these players have the “round of a lifetime,” either. With that in mind, you’ve got to have something in between the painful, sadistic downing of tequila and whiskey.
Light beer is the perfect drink of comradely. Down a few silver bullets with your buddies and by the end of the day, you’ll all be convinced your 86’s were just a few unlucky hops away from being 72’s.
When to drink it: After a round that, while not the “round of a lifetime,” was still incredibly satisfying.
What it says: “You know something? Today was a good day. I hit most of the shots I wanted to, got up-and-down when I had to and really felt like I was in control out there. I’m going to enjoy this marvelous occasion.”
“Sometimes, when you feel right, there’s a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it’s going to go a long way. Damn, if you don’t feel like you’re going to live forever.”
That’s one of my favorite quotes from the 1988 film, Eight Men Out, is when Buck Weaver (John Cusack) is talking about what it feels like when everything falls into place on the baseball diamond — and honestly, it’s not far off from what it feels like when it happens in golf.
When you have that round, when it all comes together, you need something enjoyable, something refined to celebrate your achievement on the links. When that happens, get yourself a nice bottle of red wine and, you know what? How about a cigar, too?
So sit back in your high back leather chair (or, sit tall on your barstool) and raise a toast to you — you’ve earned it!
When to drink it: After the round of your life; After a hole-in-one; After a hard-fought money match victory
What it says: “Holy cow! Can you believe it? I can’t believe it! This is incredible! My goodness, I love golf! Have a drink with me! This is flippin’ awesome!”
This one doesn’t happen too often — especially if you’ve been playing for a long time and have improved your game to the point that you’re in the single digits — but when it does, you must celebrate the occasion.
Few things are better than Champagne when it comes to celebrating big wins, milestone achievements or once-in-a-lifetime occurrences.