Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I drop my lousy golf partner?
Last summer, I invited a work buddy to join a golf foursome with a couple of old friends of mine. He must have lied about his handicap, because he’s terrible. After a season of painfully slow games and angry play-throughs, we’re ready to make a go as a trio. But now he’s asking when we’re starting up again. How do I ditch him without huge friction?
—Unhappy Gilmore, North York
Look, you’re not playing in the PGA Tour, so before you give your friend the heave-ho, ask the team if they’d consider playing scramble (that is, everyone takes their second stroke from the group’s best tee shot), which would speed up the game without bruising any egos. If the other two don’t bite, break the news to the weakest link over lunch. It may not surprise him—he probably figured out he’s the Ringo of your band in your first game together—but it will still sting, so focus on your chemistry with the other guys, not on how awful he is. Assuming you refrain from bragging about birdieing hole six around the office, he’ll get over it.
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