By Janie C. Farina LPGA
Does golf bring couples closer or does golf “slice” a good relationship apart?
“…I love you like a golf course
You are beautiful, yet green
You have some rough patches
And can come off sort of mean
You will frustrate me forever
Because I can’t make even par
But I know you’ll always be there
And I love you as you are
I know you have some hazards,
And you always want your way
I’ll probably never win the game
But it is awful fun to play.”
~ Haley Akin
Growing up at Nick Stoner Golf Course, in the heart of the Adirondacks, was a unique experience by any standards. When my sister and I both dated golfers, it became even more interesting. Eventually, we both married golfers that turned professional (we won’t elaborate on how our relationships ended up), but golf continues to provide the fun and competition in those relationships to this day.
Taking a date on a golf outing sometimes doesn’t promote all “birdies and pars.” When couples that are different levels of skill play golf together, a day of golf can turn into a “hazard.”
Heads up; here are a few “stroke savers” when taking your partner to play:
- Resist the urge to instruct on the playing field. Most of my novice golfers have better results in their first lesson than their counterpart that has been playing golf without proper fundamentals for years.
- Encourage your partner with advice that will actually educate, not contaminate, a golf day. Prioritize etiquette suggestions such as “not driving the golf cart onto the putting surface” and yelling “Fore” before the ball clobbers players in harm’s way.
- Never assume your partner knows what to wear to play golf. Check the local rules for attire. Leaving the bikini top and the strappy sandals at home will keep your date from being thrown “out of bounds” by management.
- Keep it fun. One “golfer date” and I would bring a roll of dimes to the course and play Bingo Bango Bongo: First on the green, closest to the pin, first in the hole for a dime each. Careful of this one though, as my “golfer date” became highly agitated and stopped playing with me, then dating me, when he kept losing dimes to my chip ins.
Follow these rules and playing golf can be the hook that keeps a couple in pars and birdies … on and off the playing field.
Janie C. Farina is a 28-year teaching professional.