You've probably got them at your club; they're everywhere. Gangs and factions who have changed - mutilated - the face of club golf.
They gather en masse, anoint themselves with puerile acronyms, the PESTS, for that's what they are or, as they throw their balls into the air to determine their partnerships, the Tossers. Or, as I have christened them, ITMA (It's That Mob Again).
Invariably, they are out in force; they coagulate on the first tee and nice enough blokes that they usually are, who you would happily take a drink with, they have put a heavily threatening influence on casual golf.
Individually, every one of them will express an aversion to visiting societies; none of them will understand that societies are precisely what they have become and they are just as big a damned nuisance as those visitors who book tees and get in the way of the round of golf that, because it's a lovely day, you have just decided to pop out to try to play.
I have a friend, the member of a club who present one of the best courses in the Midlands who, because of his busy work schedule, popped out twice for a quick round last year and twice couldn't get on the first tee either time.
It was choked by the Tossers. Only last week, I turned up as an expensively introduced guest to a Birmingham club and was forced to sneak in on the tenth because the first was heaving with the ACCS (Antediluvian Course Cloggers Society).
They are all happy in what they do, they are comforted by the herd instinct that brings them all together, they are blissfully unaware of the nuisance they sometimes make of themselves and you have to be a pretty anti-social cove, like me, to disapprove of them. But I do.
It was therefore an unexpected pleasure to turn up at the club for the Bank Holiday Alliance and find myself in a casual fourball; that hadn't happened for ages. Anybody looking for a two, I inquired in the car park? And to my enormous surprise, I was snapped up. By two youngsters - two schoolboys - who, I thought, my partner and I could give a bit of a lesson to.
Brisk inquiry on the first tee: what are your handicaps, lads? "Eight," said one. "Three," said the other. They drove off, I drove off and there was the best part of a hundred yards between their better ball and mine.
And into my mind there sped a phrase that I had just read in one of George McDonald Fraser's Flashman books. I felt... "like a flea on the lip of a lion."
Now it was a pleasure to watch those young men hit a golf ball, long shots and short shots and couldn't they putt? But it was less of a pleasure to be part of their fourball because I think that they think that all there is to a game of golf is golf.
My mate and I . . . well, we like to look at the tree creepers that have appeared near the second; we like to pronounce admiringly on the care and compassion of Tony Blair's stewardship of our country; we like to concur about what a damned shame it is that the Harlequins have gone down.
Now I'm all for earnestness on a golf course and I know that you cannot play the game properly unless you focus.
But I've played in pro-ams with three members of our last Ryder Cup team and I've played in one with a man (Bob May, actually) whom Tiger Woods struggled to beat in a major championship; I've watched the greatest players in the world at their serious work and none of them has been more intense than these young men.
We could show them nothing except despair, but as they were obliged to mark our card it would have been appreciated had they disturbed their absorption sufficiently as to know what to put on it.
You've just made two of the best pars of your life and both times the opposition asks: "What did you have there?"
They came in with a better ball score of 64, which wasn't as good as it might have been and we marvelled at just how well we seem to be encouraging our young amateurs to play these days.
But we shouldn't have been on the same golf course as these two killers and we are resolved to try to avoid ever making that sort of mistake again. We'd be much more at home with the Tossers.