Rules for Teeing up with Women
Golf Digest Senior Editor Stina Sternberg offers five rules to follow when playing golf with a woman.
Released on 10/15/2010
If you're a golfer, you're probably pretty familiar
with the various rules and etiquette codes
that come with the game.
But, if you're a man, there are a few things
that you may actually not be aware of.
In fact, when it comes to one particular area,
odds are you're completely clueless.
As a guy, there's actually a laundry list of things
that you should pay more attention to
when you're playing with a member of the opposite sex,
whether you know her well or not.
But here are the five things you absolutely shouldn't do.
First, let's talk about sharing a cart with a woman golfer.
One of the biggest sins you can commit
is to forget that she's playing
from a different set of tees.
This happens all the time.
A guy will tee off from the back tees
and get so wrapped up in his own shot
he completely neglects to think of his playing partner
and just blows past the forward tees
without stopping to let her off.
This, gentlemen, does not go over well.
You may get away with it once or twice,
but that's usually the limit for most women.
The next unwritten rule is one
you've all been guilty of breaking at one point or another,
whether you know it or not.
I'm talking about giving unsolicited
on course swing advice to a female playing partner.
There's nothing more frustrating than
hitting a bad golf shot and then
having someone giving you their armchair analysis.
Trust me on this.
Don't tell her what club to hit.
Don't tell her to slow down or speed up.
And, most important of all,
don't ever tell her to keep her head down
and her left arm straight.
That's as cliche as it gets
and she'll be likely to walk off the course.
The truth is you're probably not qualified
to give swing advice to anybody.
And she's not asking for any.
Even if she was, the course is not the place to do it.
Here comes probably the most important
unwritten rule of all.
Don't do anything that your female playing partner
can interpret to mean that you think
her score doesn't matter.
Maybe her ball is plugged in a greenside bunker
and she needs three swings to get it out.
Once she finally makes contact,
she skulls her shot and you try to be helpful
by sticking out your foot to stop
the ball from careening over the green into another bunker.
The same thing goes for giving her putts
that shouldn't be gimmes, like anything over three feet.
In what universe would you ever do that with another man?
Once again, you may think you're being nice,
but you're really just being condescending.
Our fourth unwritten rule has to do with your game.
Ask any woman golfer what she dislikes the most
about playing with men and she's likely to answer
that they sometimes get so angry after hitting a bad shot.
Everyone knows that golf is frustrating.
But taking it out on the grass or the cart
or, heaven forbid, your club is a very
unattractive display of juvenile temper.
No woman is gonna expect you not to be disappointed,
but if you start cursing, pouting, and hurling clubs,
you'll embarrass her.
Remember, just because your round has been
soured by a few bad shots doesn't mean
you should ruin it for everybody else.
Last, but not least, we come to one of my own
biggest pet peeves and it has to do with gambling.
Men and women all like to involve
friendly matches in their golf outings.
And there's usually a little something on the line.
Chivalry might convince you to refuse
to take your playing partner's money,
but, when that moment arrives
when she's fishing out her wallet,
you have to resist the urge to
tell her to put it away.
If she lost the bet, you have to take her money.
So, unless you can be man enough
to actually collect on your bet,
just make it a rule to never gamble with women.
All these unwritten rules may seem complicated,
but they're really not.
The bottom line is that you should treat
a female playing partner exactly
the same way you treat a man.
Save, perhaps, for some of the locker room lingo.
Just show her respect and let her play her own game
and you'll be fine.
And, if all else fails,
just tell her that you're concerned about goofing up
and ask her how you can make her playing experience better.
A little honesty goes a long way.