By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Before you even think about asking the question, ask yourself the question first.

What do I mean? Well, it was time for the annual guys' golf trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. (a subject I've discussed before), and the usual group was gathered to discuss the plans.

Now, keep in mind we have a solid eight guys who go on this trip every July - married guys, divorced guys, single guys - and we run the gamut.

We've also been doing this so long that no punches are ever pulled.

To put that another way, if you have any type of ailment - itching in a place nobody wants to hear about or chafing somewhere else - just keep it to yourself because nobody wants to know, and if word gets out, well, you'll never hear the end of it.

Guys, of any age - we're all around 50 but still act like we're 12 - can be brutal when it's only other guys around.

So, when one of our guys (one of the married ones, too) asked the question: How am I going to get my lasagna pan on the plane? The busting began and never stopped.

When on a golf trip with the boys, the last thing you want to do is cook anything.

The only utensil used in the kitchen is the knife to cut the limes for the gin and tonics.

The top priority, well, for some of us, is the golf. Sure, it's hot in July in Myrtle Beach, but it's hot in July when you're cutting your lawn, too. In other words, go and play no matter what the thermometer says.

There are 51 other weeks when you wish you were playing, don't be a chump and back out when you have nothing else on your stupid planner.

And don't exclude someone from the trip based on their ability, or lack thereof. We've done that in the past and regretted it.

Of course, when you do that, you're going to get all kinds of players just like we do.

The good golfer, who never says a word about his skills because he doesn't have to.

The guy who thinks he's a good golfer but really isn't. He's the one who will continually tell you he's good.

The middle of the road guy who enjoys the trip more than anybody because he doesn't expect too much out of his game and is genuinely happy when he does something well.

The true hack who struggles to break 120.

And the guy who is just happy to be along for the ride. He doesn't care about the golf, he just likes hanging out and having something to do.

The best thing about it all is that it works.

All you really need to put it all together is the planning guy. He's crucial because he knows the likes and dislikes of everybody in the group and can pick the courses (Myrtle Beach has a smorgasbord of golfing options) and the place to stay.

We get a four-bedroom condo that's huge and keeps everybody together for poker games and to cut the limes.

And if you lose a guy or two (we have, for a variety of reasons) over the years, don't sweat it. Just bring in somebody new or go with a smaller group.

Chances are the new guy will fit in with someone and turn out to be a regular.

Let's face it. We all love sports, but getting eight of your 50-something buddies together to play football or go rock climbing isn't really feasible.

Golf offers the opportunity for the old and young (especially the old) to stay together year after year unlike anything else.

And never forget, nobody is paying to watch you play. We pay to see Phil and Tiger, nobody wants to see us play except our buddies so they can bust on us.

Few things, if any, beat the buddy golf trip. You can make all the bodily noises you want, eat the wrong foods every night and sleep and do whatever you like for a few days.

If you can put one together, do it. But leave the bakeware at home.

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