photo source: Sarah Gabriel Photography
Frequently Asked Question
(Written By: Sara Hurwitch) One of the most frequent questions I have been asked over the years is how can I get my daughter/wife/girlfriend to “like” golf?
For the thousands of you who have asked this, there is no clear-cut answer to the question.
….or even Bob Barker beating the snot out of Happy Gilmore!
(The Guide) - How To Get Women To Like Golf
So as you can see, golf has more ups and downs than marriage. The obsessive nature of this game has many people believing that filing for divorce might be an easier thing to do than trying to quit the game of Golf. It truly is a game that will stay with you for better and for worse, but can also ultimately bring you some of the greatest rewards you will ever experience in your life.
Many of you may have tried to get your woman into the game, but came out of it with nothing to show for your efforts. You may also have thought about getting them started with the game, but have zero clue where to start. There are two rules you need to remember in order to get your woman started, and a third rule that may even help your relationship and make the learning experience a little more relaxed. The two goals most of you probably want to accomplish are:
:: getting your woman out to a golf course with you
:: helping them come to the conclusion that they “LIKE” Golf (maybe not as obsessively as you, but at least willing to make a habit of working to improve their game).
According to the National Golf Foundation, the proportion of female players is right around 20-25%. In 2006, nearly 66% of all new golfers were women. There are obviously an increasing number of women interested in getting started in golf, but the problem is finding the right way to get them started and to keep them interested*. There are 5 critical aspects of getting your woman interested in Golf, and how you approach them will determine the success of your venture.
#1 - Equipment
Yes, Golf Equipment is expensive, but it is the greatest investment you can make to maximize the success rate of your lady enjoying the game. If you give her a set of dusty relics that have been sitting in your garage for 30 years, she’s going to lift those things like a chopping axe and probably want to hit you straight upside the head with them after hitting about 5 balls.
Do her a favor and take her to get fit from a club fitter and get a decent set of clubs in her hands. An appropriate starter set can set you back as little as a couple hundred dollars, and involving her in the shopping experience will earn you some major points.
UPDATE: Women like shopping, especially when you are paying for it! Most manufacturers have wisely chosen pink and purple color schemes for their women’s clubs and start your lady’s golf venture off the right way. Imagine your wife asking you to attend a Bikram Yoga class with her and she provides you with a pair of her old yoga pants that have been in the back of the closet to wear to class. That’s how she’ll feel with your old Powerbilt Blades whose grips are so dry-rotted she’ll think she needs a tetanus shot after the round.
#2 - (The Most Important) Don’t Be THAT Guy
Whether you’re teaching your daughter or your significant other, THAT GUY analyzes every shot she hits and points out why it didn’t go according to plan. Be encouraging and do everything that you can to make her comfortable with accepting the outcome of her shots. If you feel she needs more help than your recitations of every Golf Digest you’ve read on the toilet, save yourself hours in couples’ therapy and get her a few lessons with a local instructor who regularly teaches beginners.
#3 - Teaching Your Daughter
If it’s your daughter you’re trying to get interested in the sport, girls must have a motive to play & practice. Taking her out to the practice range day after day to hit golf balls is going to get boring for her. If you want her to be a golfer more than she does, its going to be a losing endeavor. It’s a game, and games have to be fun. The over zealous Golf Dad is a guy you definitely do not want to be. Creating games and contests can really be beneficial. Luckily I had Slurpee coupons to win as incentive (see Rocketboobz post for reference) when I started.
You can do the same with your kids too. If you’re at the range, tell her if she hits 5 shots within a certain distance to a target you’ll get her that new Twilight DVD that just came out (I personally could care less about Twilight but hey, it works for millions of other girls).While we’re on the subject of Twilight, that leads me into the next greatest thing about girls that play golf. As much as she may be drooling over Robert Pattinson (the leading man from the Twilight movie), she could also drool over the thousands of cute, hot, sexy boys out there that play this game! And dads out there, be warned, if your daughter gets good enough, she will get plenty of stares back from these boys, and maybe even (gasp!) asked out on a date!
#4 - Getting Your Significant Other Into The Game
If you are trying to get your significant other into golf, there are some additional steps you can take to keep her interested in the game. Women enjoy playinggolf in groups with other women. If you’ve wondered why you rarely see multiple females at a driving range, its because most ladies feel like an idiot hitting shanks, tops, and whiffs out there all alone. If you have a group of 5 females together, and all doing the same thing, it’s instantly way more exciting for them to laugh at their god-awful shots. Another reason women like to learn in groups is because (now here’s a revelation) women actually like to talk!!! Beware, there’s a very good possibility that they may talk much longer than they end up spending hitting golf balls, but in the end, if you encourage her to participate with a group, you’ll have a greater chance of maintaining her interest in the game!
Now, once your significant other has been out a few times with her other lady friends to practice with her awesome equipment you got her by following #1, the time has come for the ultimate test, taking her out to a Golf Course to play a round with you!! When you both take the plunge spending 4 hours on the golf course together, in the same cart, there is a third rule I highly suggest. The catch is that this requires that both of you are over 21, have an emergency contact, and a DD. This rule will also assist in preventing you from becoming “THAT GUY” (See #2)!
#5 (optional but recommended) Bring Alcohol….for BOTH of you!!
I’m not suggesting you take up alcoholism as a supplementary hobby, but a glass or two of swing lube never hurts! Having a few beers on the course will not only help you forget those atrocious shots you both are going to hit, but it’ll also give you less desire to try and fix every element of her game. Alcohol will also give any golfer the key quality to getting the most out of this game…. ACCEPTING FAILURE!! There is no perfection in this sport, and there is no guarantee that your woman will become as golf obsessed as you are, but if you follow most of these guidelines, it’ll give you much more of a chance of success than before you began reading this.
If you have tried in the past to get your women into golf, but weren’t able to keep her hooked, were you THAT guy?? If you were successful, what method did you try to keep her interest up in the game? If you don’t drink just remember to RELAX. It is just a game after all.
Source: *Newport, John Paul. “Golf Searches For Its Feminine Side. A New Study Sheds Light on Why Women Get Turned Off By the Game. For Starters: Clean the Bathrooms, Add Flowers.” The Wall Street Journal. April 9, 2010