Okay – this one is for the guys. Ladies – feel free to forward and share it with your husbands or significant others. This is for all those guys who are out there dreaming of retiring to a golf community in central Florida somewhere, thinking that they and their wives will join the couples’ leagues and enjoy all kinds of activities revolving around the game of golf.
It’s sad really, because so many of them will never achieve those retirement life dreams, and they won’t even know why. But really, it’s their own fault. Men make it nearly impossible for many women to enjoy the golf course, at least when their husbands are on the same links.
Don’t golf? Feel free to apply the same general principles outlined here to any activity which, if done with your spouse, is bound to lead to tension – bowling, tennis, wallpapering, etc.
It’s not too late, fellas, but there are a few things you really need to understand. If you can figure out why we won’t golf with you now, you can make a few “adjustments” and try again. We’re always willing to give you a mulligan or two.
THREE REASONS WE WON’T GOLF WITH YOU
1. You can’t stop “helping” us.
We know you mean well – really we do. And we try to keep that in mind…But. You. Are. Driving. Us. Crazy.
I know it’s because of that whole Mars/Venus thing – you really can’t help yourselves. Men want to fix things. The end of the race is the whole point of running. Women want to connect emotionally to everything we do. We want to enjoy our journey to the finish line. That means women have totally differently approaches to something like golf than men do.
We want to think, practice, and feel our way to a better game. To you, it’s all science. “Flex your knees.” “Turn your hands over.” “Keep your elbows in.” “Follow through.” “Not so far back.” “Not so far forward.” “Don’t chop it.” “Stop trying to kill it.” And my personal favorite – “Keep your head down!”
By the time we get to the third or fourth hole, you’ve filled us with so many instructions that we can’t even think straight, much less hit straight. Then you yell at us to stop “thinking so much” before we swing, when you’re the one that paralyzed us in the first place!
And if we do hit a terrific shot, what’s your response? “Nice! Now swing just like that every time!” Um, if we could do that, we’d be on the LPGA tour.
SOLUTION: Shut up and stay out of our heads! We’re golfing with you because we want to be with you and have fun. Give us advice when we ask for it, but keep your lips sealed when we’re standing at the tee. If we really need that much help, send us to a pro for lessons. We won’t take feedback so personally when it’s coming from a professional teacher. And if we hit a shot anywhere in or near the fairway, tell us it was a great shot. Even if it’s in the wrong fairway. Practice the words right now – “great shot, honey!”
2. You think we’re much better than we really are (or want to be).
It’s amusing sometimes, the confidence you have in us. One minute you’re scolding us for “topping” the ball and blowing our approach to the green. The next minute, you’re strolling across the same green and tapping a spot with your golf club – “Chip it right here, honey!” Yeah, okay. Do I look like Annika Sorenstam to you? “Aim it just to the left of that pine tree out there.” Uh-huh. We’re happy if we’re more than 60 yards off the tee and still in view of the fairway, and now you want to confine us to a specific ten foot diameter target?
SOLUTION: It’s okay to give us advice, but keep it attainable. “Try to keep it to the left” is much more acceptable than “Hit it ten yards to the left of the third pine tree and make sure you get it past that little ridge on the right.”
3. You can’t stop taking golf seriously.
We’re beating little white balls around a golf course with sticks, not creating world peace. Yes, the game has to move along, and we can’t be too silly on the golf course. But it really is acceptable to look around and enjoy the scenery once in while. When we say “look, an eagle!,” we’re not talking about the play of the foursome on the next green. We’re probably talking about the flying kind of eagle with feathers, up in the sky. If we completely whiff a ball (swing and miss it), it’s okay to laugh, as long as we laugh first. It is NOT okay to launch into a diatribe about keeping our head down, watching the ball, concentrating, and getting serious. If a par 5 hole is frustrating us, and we’re not in a tournament, it’s okay for us to pick up our ball and just watch you play. There are no golf gods who will strike us dead for doing so (trust me, I know this).
SOLUTION: Lighten up. We know golf is your life, but it’s our hobby (and sometimes barely that). Save your competitive nature and testosterone for your leagues and tournaments, and enjoy a relaxing round of golf with your wife. Hold our hand when we’re riding in the cart. Smile once in a while. Tell us how sweet our swing is. Don’t act frustrated, even if you are.
You may not have a wife with a 12 handicap (and if you do, congrats!). But if someone forwarded this to you, it means you have a woman who WANTS to golf with you. There are a lot of guys out there (and I mean A LOT) who would give their left arm to have a woman who wanted to golf and was willing to consider that golf community for a retirement destination. Once my husband learned to lighten up (I think it was shortly after he realized that he was pushing my last button while I was carrying a long metal club), we started to actually have fun golfing together. We’ve golfed on the South Carolina coast, watching dolphins and eagles from the course. We’ve golfed in the Adirondack mountains, with deer strolling across the fairways. We’ve golfed in Ireland, on the breathtaking western cliffs (in bitter cold weather!) and in beautiful Tullamore in the heart of the country.
Come on, gents – that’s pretty cool stuff. So…lighten up, shut up, and stop ‘helping’. Send us to a pro, help us relax, and have fun golfing with us.