One sure sign of being an out-of-touch upper echelon manager or mafioso is that you bring your golf clubs to work, so you can practice your putting rather than actually pay attention to anyone who's talking to you.
For this very leisurely game, a small, flat field is set up in the office, sometimes with an actual hole but most of the time using a cup or a mug.
If the executive in question has a bit of a temper, the golf club might turn out to be a Chekhov's Gun. At the very least, deftly practicing your swing while a nervous underling sits by your desk is a good way to get him good and intimidated.
Compare Office Sports, which are apt to be played by bored cubicle monkeys rather than bored executives.
- Used in an insurance commercial. At the end of the commercial a lowly employee infiltrates the boss's office, putts a ball neatly into a cup, and then it bounces out and smashes the boss's expensive plasma TV.
- One beer commercial has a group of low-level workers playing in an office. Not content to practice putts, the commercial shows them making long line drives across rows of cubicles, knocking over fixtures, shattering the office coffee pot, etc. All because it's snowing outside.
- In Aggretsuko when Director Ton isn't verbally abusing his staff or dumping his work on them, he's usually practicing his golf swing. At one point, he even repeats to himself that he deserves a vacation while practicing his drive, which gets Retsuko so irate that it inspires one of her trademark freak-out moments.
- The Prime Minister of Earth in Captain Harlock is often seen practicing his putt in the office or at home to emphasize how useless he is. He also presides over a legislature that breaks for horse races, dog races, and anything else you can bet a fiver on.
- In GaoGaiGar, Koutarou Taiga either engages in this or is implied to engage in this, as he routinely carries around a golf club.
- Shirobako: When director Kinoshita forces his way into the offices of Yotaka Publishing in order to meet with Nogami-sensei, Editor-in-chief Tatsuya Handou stands in his way wielding a golf set. He explains that he won't use violence, but will play golf "to relax at the office", and whacks golf balls at Kinoshita in an attempt to hold him off, but Kinoshita uses his belly to bounce the golf ball back and blow him out of the way.
- In Wicked City, when Taki reports to his boss' office, the boss is trying out his new MacGregor putter. Taki spots the brand and mentions the name, and the boss praises it before moving on to other topics.
- In at least one Batman comic, Bruce does this while Lucius Fox is talking, as part of the whole Idle Rich act.
- Lori Lovecraft: The Dark Lady ends with Horatio practicing putting while Zelda is attempting to run tests on him. When she asks why he is practicing golf, as no one in Voodoo Mansion plays golf, the recently deceased and golf-mad Sir Andrew Parke-Jones enters, telling Horatio that they have 36 holes to play.
- Don Bluth's Rock-A-Doodle has the villainous fox Pinky practicing this in his office.
- Gomez does this in the The Addams Family, with his balls always landing in his neighbor's house. Later, the neighbor (who's a judge), gets his chance for revenge, when the family loses their mansion to Fester, by giving him Gomez buckets of the golf balls that landed on his property.
- At the beginning of Armageddon (1998), the Bruce Willis character is playing golf on his oil rig. He purposely aims his shots at a boat of protesters, and this seems to be the only reason he's playing.
- Parker Selfridge, the Corrupt Corporate Executive in Avatar, is seen doing this when Grace goes to talk to him early in the film (in fact, it's his first scene). For bonus points, he is on an alien moon, so he either used insanely expensive cargo space for his golf set, or manufactured one on the planet. Amusingly, his action figure's sole accessory is a golf club. Also done as a wink by Cameron to deliberately use the "something's coming at you" 3D effect.
- In Bank Shot, the golf-obsessed Streiger is practicing putting in his office when he calls Constable and orders a loose tail put on Karp.
- Bruce Wayne gives a secretary some lessons in office golf via the Hands-On Approach in Batman Begins. This is how he chooses to reintroduce himself to the company trustees who declared him legally dead while he was Walking the Earth: one reputation as a harmless playboy dilettante, coming right up.
- The cardinal in Dogma does this; because he also blesses his golf clubs, it becomes important to the plot.
- Early in Down Periscope, Dodge gets chewed out by his captain for playing golf off the top of their sub as it was sailing into port. He actually does rather well, hitting a long shot onto shore and getting very close to the hole.
- Independence Day. The man on duty at the S.E.T.I. Institute is playing golf. A red light starts blinking alerting him about the alien spacecraft approaching Earth. He excitedly calls his boss on the phone, and the boss rushes to the office where he trips over the golf balls.
- The head Mobster in The Mask keeps a golf bag on hand. To show his dissatisfaction with ex-right-hand-man Dorian Tyrell, he drives a ball off of the guy's face.
- He also doesn't just putt in his office; he actually has a driving range simulator.
- The head of the mining colony in Outland, Sheppard, has a computerized golf range in his office; he tees off against a video screen which shows where his virtual ball ends up. GOLF IN SPACE!
- The film version of M*A*S*H has a scene of Hawkeye and Trapper (the "pros from 'Dover'") playing this, uninvited, in a colonel's office.
- In The Movie of Richie Rich, Ellsworth plays miniature golf in the middle of a class about "what to do when your company is failing".
Ellsworth: Bribe someone.Professor: Sit down, Ellsworth.
- A variation in Predator 2. In the middle of a chaotic police station, Detective Jerry Lambert is introduced demonstrating to a female officer the correct way to swing a golf club, without actually having a club at the time.
- The male protagonist of A Star Is Born plays Golf in his living room.
- The Suicide Squad. Amanda Waller shows she's Not So Above It All when during a quiet moment in Mission Control she's practicing her putting with mugs. After missing the shot, she gripes that she'll have to do better for her upcoming game with a senator. This serves as a Chekhov's Gun when one of her staff knocks her out with the golf club during her Villainous Breakdown.
- In Trouble Man, T goes to threaten a building owner whose neglect of the building has caused a child to become injured. T finds the man playing golf in his office. He steps on the golf ball as it rolls towards him.
- A variation in Wrong is Right with the US President riding an exercise bike in the Oval Office.
- 'Allo 'Allo! has the Colonel playing this, using a very large (not to mention very close) wastepaper basket as the hole, which he still manages to miss.
- The Beverly Hillbillies: Mr. Drysdale, President of the Commerce Bank of Beverly Hills, is seen playing office golf on several occasions.
- Mayor Wilkins from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Mayor: I swear, I'd sell my soul for a decent short game. Of course, it's a little late for that.
- Cowboy Bebop (2021). A variation in "Venus Pop", where a building site foreman uses a golf bag full of clubs as a hatstand for his hard hat.
- Ben does it in the first episode of Crownies, showing that he doesn't take his job very seriously.
- Doctor Who: The Colonel in "The Sea Devils". The Doctor one-ups him by doing it blindfolded.
- Father Brown: Inspector Mallory is seen doing this when he hopes to gain membership to an exclusive golf club in "The Rod of Asclepius".
- Appears in a flashback in Highlander: The Series. The Villain of the Week got his first death from the mobster in question.
- One of the marks of the week in Hustle is a real-estate developer who does this.
- Iron Fist (2017)
- Rand Enterprises board member Lawrence Wilkins has a putt-putt hole in his office.
- The trope is spoofed in "War Without End" when Arms Dealer Turk Barrett is shown playing golf next to his van full of weapons, using empty coke cans as tees. Rand CEO Ward Meachum buys a gun off him and gives some advice on how to improve his swing.
- Henry Blake in M*A*S*H. Amusingly, at one point, his ball hits a landmine. A later episode has Hawkeye playing this in the Swamp, using one of B.J.'s sneakers for the hole.
- Mission: Impossible: In "The Killer", Drake (the eponymous killer) does this while waiting to find out who his target is. It is later shown that his golf balls are actually disguised plastic explosive.
- The Monty Python's Flying Circus episode "Party Political Broadcast" has a doctor who practices his golf swing while his patient is bleeding to death in his office.
- Motive: In "In Plain Sight", a sleazy Private Investigator the murderer of the week visits is practicing putting when she arrives in his office.
- Murder, She Wrote: The Victim of the Week in "How To Make A Killing Without Really Trying" was a golf-obsessed stockbroker who was practicing his putting in his apartment when his infuriated attacker grabbed his putter and smashed him over the head with it.
- New Tricks: Jack, who is an avid golfer, does this while Sandra is away in "Good Work Rewarded". On learning that Sandra is returning sooner than they expected, the boys scramble to clean up the office before she gets back. Jack misses one of his golf balls, and Sandra trips over it on her return.
- The ancient barrister Uncle Tom in Rumpole of the Bailey, who has completely lost touch with reality and hasn't had a case within the memory of anyone in chambers, nevertheless continues to potter around the office practising his putt with a mug.
- Stargate SG-1, from the episode "Window of Opportunity". O'Neill and Teal'c are caught in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and settle in to make the best of it by screwing around. Driving golf balls through the stargate is only the most spectacular example:
Col. O'Neill: Oh yeah! That'll play... How far is Alaris, anyway?
Teal'c: Several billion miles, O'Neill.
Col. O'Neill: That's gotta be a record.
- Star Trek: Voyager:
- The holographic Doctor was seen doing this in "Drive", but with a ridiculously futuristic putter and blinking-light golf balls.
- In "Author, Author", the Doctor creates a holographic novel portraying thinly veiled expies of the crew as jerkasses. Tom Paris gets back at him by creating his own version involving a Dr. Jerk who's obsessed with his recreational hobbies, like golf.
Jerk-EMH: When I tell you your shift begins at oh eight hundred that doesn't mean you can stroll in here at oh eight hundred and twenty four seconds. Do you understand me, Ensign!EMH: This is outrageous!Jerk-EMH: What's outrageous is that I'm going to miss my tee time.
- Commissioner Ervin Burrell in The Wire has a putt-putt hole in his office.
- In Beetle Bailey, General Halftrack not only goes out golfing a lot even during the workday but also does it in his office frequently (although the theme may have been abandoned by now). He's pretty bad at it. In one strip, Ms. Buxley mistakes his genuinely looking for a lost golf ball (with a hand reaching out from under his desk) for sexual harassment. In another, the general is pleased with his performance only to return later to find Beetle replicating the same using the handle of the mop he's supposed to be cleaning the office with. One strip has him practice his driving in his office while it's raining, using marshmallows in place of balls.
- Sesame Street: In Elmo Saves Christmas, Santa is playing golf in his office when the Elves inform him that toy production has begun again to due to it being Christmas again tomorrow (due to Elmo wishing for it to be Christmas Every Day).
- In The Men from the Ministry this is One and Two's favorite pass time in the office aside from making paper darts out of assignment papers.
- Tom Nook has a small golf course in the Resident Services tent of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
- In BioShock, Andrew Ryan is briefly seen doing this while Rapture comes down around his ears when you reach his office, shortly before he "invites" you in. The player then beats him to death with his own golf club, by his own order.
- David Sarif has a golf cart in his office in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
- Woozie does this at the Triad's Four Dragons casino in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. His henchmen make sure the blind crime boss always gets a hole in one for self-esteem purposes (he's blind, and none of his other senses would help with the sport), not that he knows it. He subverts the stereotype of who would play such a game – he's a competent Triad boss and administrator.
- In Hotline Miami, the manager of the Phone Hom company has a bag full of golf clubs in his office. In order to fight and defeat the Biker, Jacket must take one of the golf clubs and wait until the Biker is distracted retrieving his thrown cleaver so that you can bash his helmet open with the club.
- Jack Kelso's boss in L.A. Noire.
- Dr. Clickett from LEGO Island informs you during the ambulance mission that "if you need me, I'll be on the golf course. Where is that anyway?" Indeed, LEGO Island does not have a golf course.
- The Sims
Execuputter description: Why should your Sim sit through boring business lunches when they can play golf instead? The Execuputter features imported synthetic imitation grass, along with simulated water and sand traps so that Sims can work on their swing while building charisma points - and hobnobbing with important business contacts.
- The career reward for the business career track in The Sims 2 is a small golf hole known as the Execuputter. It can be used to increase a Sim's charisma skill while having fun. The reward description lampshades it.
- In The Sims 3, a Sim at the top level of the medical career track can choose to play golf at work, which will increase relationship with their co-workers.
- This comic from Statistical Fact features a man suffering from poor depth perception driving a golf ball over the green and through his office window.
- In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "The Little Merhog", Dr. Robotnik plays a round of golf in his office, and even provides his own commentary.
Robotnik: If Dr. Robotnik can sink this final putt, he'll win the Mobius Tournament of Champions and the grand prize of the dictatorship of the universe.
- In Archer, Len Trexler does this in "Job Offer", driving balls from an open window of his office into a nearby park.
- Dr. Rip Studwell from The Fairly OddParents! frequently golfs on the job and has even performed surgery on a golf course due to lack of time.
- In The Jetsons, Mr. Spacely's rival Mr. Cogswell not only does this, he cheats, using a gadget on his desk that moves the hole if he misses.
- The mayor of Townsville would occasionally play golf in his office in The Powerpuff Girls (1998).
- Used in an episode of The Replacements with a bear rug.
- In The Simpsons episode "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Springfield", while Marge is trying to fit in with the women of the local country club, Homer takes up golf, and is later seen at work chipping golf balls into the toilets while Lenny and Carl watch. Mr. Burns sees him on the security camera and challenges him to a golf match.
- SWAT Kats' Mayor Manx will golf in his office on the rare occasion that he can't make it to the course.
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Toons Take Over", this trope is taken to extreme by having an entire golf course in Mr. Cooper DeVille's office.
Buster: This explains why he was yelling "Fore!" on all those conference calls.